Over the past decade, Leo Messi has forged a career that, should it end tomorrow, would still live long in the memory of almost every football fan around the world. This year, the four-time Ballon d'Or winner celebrates ten years with Icons.com
Title after title, honour after honour, record after record, Barcelona and Argentina superstar Leo Messi has written his way into the history books as one of the greatest to ever play the game. In that space of time, Messi has won four Champions Leagues, seven La Liga titles, three Spanish Cups and two FIFA Club World Cups, among various other honours. Add to that his four straight Ballon d’Or awards between 2009 and 2012 and countless golden boots.
In 2014-15, the 28-year-old teamed up with Luis Suarez and Neymar Jr to form the world’s most deadly attacking trio. Together they claimed the treble with Barcelona, culminating in a 3-1 defeat of Juventus in a typically ruthless display at the showpiece Champions League final in Berlin. It was a fitting way for Messi to mark ten years in the red and blue of Barcelona.
Having made his debut for the club back in October 2004, he was soon showing fans the sort of flair that would come to exemplify his electric playing style. The 2005-06 season would be Messi’s breakthrough year, as he played a significant role in Barcelona’s league and Champions League double. Records would soon tumble, as Messi emerged as the club's most talented young star. The world at large began to notice his immeasurable talent in the 2006-07 season after he scored a number of marvellous goals, including an incredible solo effort against Getafe at the Camp Nou.
Barca were Champions League winners again in 2009, with Messi scoring the second goal in a 2-0 defeat of Manchester United in Rome. By now the world was in awe of Messi and his Barcelona teammates Xavi and Andres Iniesta. It was also to be the year that Messi would win his first of four consecutive Ballon d'Ors. A year later he would equal Ronaldo's record for league goals in a single season as Barca secured the second of what would be three back-to-back La Liga titles.
But many will argue that 2010-11 was the ultimate season for Messi and Barcelona. Under Pep Guardiola, Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, David Villa and co. added to their league title with a third Champions League triumph in six years. Their Wembley coronation came after another defeat of Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United and, just as in 2009, Messi was on hand to score a vital goal – a swerving shot from just outside the box that bamboozled United keeper Edwin van der Sar and put Barcelona 2-1 up.
In 2011-12 Messi became Barcelona's all-time leading scorer, amassing more goals than Cesar Rodriguez's 232 following a superb hat-trick against Granada. It came just two days after he'd scored five in one match against Bayer Leverkusen in a remarkable Champions League victory. He ended 2012 with a record for most goals in a calendar year, having notched 91 for club and country, eclipsing Gerd Muller's long-established benchmark of 85.
As of last season, Leo was showing little sign of slowing down, having finally overtaken Raul to become the Champions League's all-time leading goalscorer and surpassing Telmo Zarra's mark as La Liga's most prolific marksman. Thanks in no small part to the explosive and unstoppable front three of Messi, Suarez and Neymar Jr, Barcelona swept aside all before them to complete their second ever treble-winning campaign.
At the time of writing, Messi has accumulated 24 club titles, 412 goals in 482 games for Barcelona and is just ten shy of becoming Argentina's all-time topscorer. Whatever the future holds for this mercurial genius, Leo Messi has in a single decade broken more records and won more honours and awards than almost any other footballer in the history of the sport.
We at Icons are immensely proud to be celebrating ten years of signings with Leo Messi. Every piece of official Messi-signed merchandise is created under license by Icons Shop Ltd and now comes with an official Messi signed merchandise Certificate of Authenticity, which carries an image of Leo signing the product line.
The full range is exclusively available on Icons.com.
Follow Icons on Twitter for all the latest football news, chat and competitions: @icons_football