In Pictures: Lionel Messi over the years

At 31, Barcelona captain Lionel Messi has nothing much left to achieve, except for maybe international glory, but that too is subject to a never-ending debate.

The little Argentine started playing professional football for Barcelona at the age of 17, and ever since, he has never looked back. The world has been seeing him score goals after goals week-in, week-out, winning tens of individual and team awards throughout the years.

From a youthful and energetic Messi to a pioneer of the sport itself, the superstar has evolved into an unstoppable force. He has, however, had to make great sacrifices, and put a lot of blood and sweat to achieve what he has.

Here is how Lionel Messi evolved throughout the years


2005 – Lionel Messi in his first year as a professional footballer with Barcelona


2007 – Remember his hat-trick against Real Madrid and his goal against Getafe? That was the year.


2008 – Barcelona won the treble this year and Messi was right at the peak of his powers


2010 – Remember Messi’s super hat-trick against Arsenal?


2011 – You must remember his goals against Manchester United and Real Madrid in the UCL


2012 – 91 goals in a calendar year


2013 – Not his best year but still 50 odd goals


2015 – Another year, another treble


2016 – The Blonde Messi


2017 – Dawn of the Bearded Messi


2018 – Rocking the beard

And sure, there will be many more years of Lionel Messi to come, we hope. Genius such as the little Leo is rare and all we can do is enjoy while it lasts.