It's 10 years since the Argentine forward first appeared for the Blaugrana's senior side and he has insisted he's been living the dream ever sinceLionel Messi has nothing but fond memories of his Barcelona debut as he is set to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of his first appearance for the Catalans.
The prolific attacker made his first-team debut in the friendly game against Porto on November 16, 2003, and he has stressed that it was a dream come true for him to join up with the senior side at the tender age of 16.
"November 16 2003 is a very important date for me, because that’s when I was able to make my childhood dream come true," Messi told Barca TV.
"It was a very happy day for me. I’d fought hard to make that moment happen and it was really special.
"I remember that we were training with the Juvenil A team and, when it finished, [academy co-ordinator] Josep Colomer talked to me about a few things and then told me that I would be travelling with the first team.
"He told me that I should just go and enjoy the game and the experience, but when I came back I should concentrate on the Juvenil A team."
Messi has since gone on to develop into Barcelona's undisputed star player, yet he has stressed that his success has not changed him.
"I think that I continue to be the same person. I see things in the same way, though I have grown and learnt how to value things."
The Argentina international, 26, is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury and is set to be out of action for the remainder of 2013.