Lionel Messi's first-ever Barcelona interview as a 16-year-old has been unearthed, giving fans a look at what the Argentinian was like before he turned into a worldwide superstar.
Back in 2003, Messi was interviewed by Barca TV after signing his first professional contract with the Spanish club.
“They called me, they told me that they were going to make me a professional and it was an enormous joy,” said the baby-faced 16-year-old.
“Here, until 18, 19 years old, they don't jump, but there in Argentina, with 16 or 17 years old, they are already playing in First Division because there is not much money and they have to get the guys out of the quarry. “
Messi joined Barcelona years earlier after being scouted in his native Argentina.
But the attacker admitted he hadn't enjoyed the easiest of starts to life in Spain.
“The first season I had a very bad time,” he continued.
“The first six months I had a very bad time because I did not have the papers.
“In the first game I was injured and I was two months more unemployed.
“At first it was ugly, with the companions I got along well, but I did not have confidence, there was little conversation and it was difficult because I was there, in the locker room, I entered, I did not speak, but then the companions opened up to me.”
Seventeen years ago, the youngster just wanted to progress to the club's reserve team.
“I would like to go directly to Barça B and skip C,” Messi continued.
“And then be at Barça B and alternate with the first team, even if it is play with B and train with the first team.”
This article was most recently revised and updated 3 years ago