Messi made his debut for the first team eight years ago today

Messi and Kameni, on the day of the Argentine's debut  (16-10-04). PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB.
Leo Messi has come a long, long way since his first team debut on October 15 of 2004. Here’s an overview of facts and stats from Messi’s first game for Barça’s senior side:

34,400 spectators. On October 16 in 2004, over 30,000 fans filled the Montjuïc for the Catalan derby between Espanyol and FC Barcelona. It was Messi’s first game with the senior side.

Four. This is the number of reserve players that were called up to the first team by Frank Rijkaard to complete the team against Espanyol. Four of Barça’s first team players missed the match due injury.

The bench. Messi was accompanied by Damià, Rubén (keeper), Cristian Hidalgo, Peña, Iniesta and Fernando Navarro on the Barça bench.

Minute 9. Deco scored the only goal of the derby with a shot from outside the area that was deflected by a defender before it went into Kameni’s goal.

Number 30. Messi donned the number 30 on his back when he came in with 8 minutes to go before the end of the match.

Deco. The Portuguese midfielder was the man to come off for the Argentinean.

17 years, 3 months and 22 days. This is how old Messi was when he featured in his first match for the senior side, he was the second-youngest player to ever don the Blaugrana colours for the first team (The record holder is Paulino Alcántara).

Rightwing forward. This is the position that Messi played in this first match for FC Barcelona. He played in this position for the following five years.

Survivors. Valdés, Puyol, Xavi and Iniesta are the only Barça players that played for the team in Montjuïc eight years ago that continue to play for the first team today.

7 and a half months. That’s how long it took Messi to score his first official goal for the Club. It was in La Liga’s Week 34, on May 1 of 2005, against Albacete at the Camp Nou.

77 minutes. That’s how many minutes Messi played for the first team in the 2004/05 season.

Fontàs loan move to Mallorca

Fontàs, new player of Real Mallorca / FOTO: RCD MALLORCA.
Barça’s young centre half was officially presented this Monday at his new club Mallorca, where he will stay on loan until June 30th

Andreu Fontàs will spend the rest of this season on loan at Mallorca. The defender travelled to Palma de Mallorca this Monday morning for a medical prior to signing the deal and was then presented as the newest member of Joaquín Caparrós’ squad.

Fontàs, who will be 23 in November, was yet to make his debut for the first team this season in an official game and after the serious knee injury he suffered last year he explained: “right now I need to be playing. This is a very good opportunity and I am very keen to take it up”.

At Mallorca, Fontàs will wear the number 24 shirt and occupy the place in the squad vacated by Joao Victor, who picked up a long term injury in the team’s last league fixture.

 

@LUISENRIQUE21: “We are going through Barça’s best ever era”

Luis Enrique va ser rebut a la Llotja del Miniestadi pel directiu Jordi Mestre on també va coincidir amb el president de l'Sporting de Gijón Manuel Vega-Arango, entre d'altres / FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
The ex-Barça B coach and first team player watched the B team beat Sporting Gijon 3-0 at the weekend and we caught up with him to talk about the first team’s current state

“I’m only interested in Barça – we are doing so well that we don’t need to look at the other teams”

Luis Enrique spoke to Barça TV and www.fcbarcelona.com after the Barça B and Sporting game and explained his belief that: “We are going through Barça’s best ever era and we have to enjoy that”. The ex-Barça B coach also spoke about the change of manager in the summer, claiming: “Tito will follow the same line – there’ll be some small specific changes I guess but the style and the identity of the team will keep making the fans happy”. Asked about the league so far, Luis Enrique insisted: “I’m only interested in Barça – we are doing so well that we don’t need to look at the other teams”.

“It’s strange for me to see Sporting at the Mini Estadi”

Luis Enrique’s always made it clear that Sporting are the team closest to his heart and he didn’t want to lose the opportunity to miss them up against Barça B at the weekend: “it seems strange to see them playing at the Mini Estadi – I’d prefer to see them at the Camp Nou, but every team has their own sporting and economic situation”.

Thumbs up for Eusebio’s Barça B

Luis Enrique spent three seasons in charge of Barça B and he was full of praise for the latest crop of youngsters to be playing at the moment: “Eusebio and his staff are doing a great job, with a good system of rotations. You can see the good work out on the pitch and I’ve seen few teams at this level better than this Barça B side. I hope they do even better than my teams did”.

Andreu Fontàs, road to Mallorca

Andreu Fontàs.
The catalan player has been givern permission by the Club to travel this morning to Palma de Mallorca for a medical check up ahead of his loan to RCB Mallorca until the end of the season

The catalan player has been givern permission by the Club to travel this morning to Palma de Mallorca for a medical check up ahead of his loan to RCB Mallorca until the end of the season.

Week marked by return of international players and match against Deportivo

Andrés Iniesta / PHOTO: ARXIU FCB
FC Barcelona’s week will be marked by the return of its international players and Saturday’s match against Deportivo

The first team players, who will start the week with a day off this Monday, will spend the rest of the week training at the Ciutat Esportiva – all of the sessions will be closed to the public. On Saturday, Tito Vilanova’s men will travel to La Coruña to face Deportivo at Riazor. After the match, the team will return to Barcelona and begin preparing for the Champions League match against Celtic.

Monday, October 15

Day off

Tuesday, October 16

11.00. Training session at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper

Wednesday, October 17

18.00. Training session at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper

Thursday, October 18

18.00. Training session at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper

Friday, October 19

11.00. Training session at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper

Satruday, October 20

22.00. Deportivo La Coruña – FC Barcelona

Sunday, October 21

12.00. Training session at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper

Monday, October 22

18.00. Training session at the Camp Nou