We're accustomed to seeing Lionel Messi steal the headlines, most recently with his two goals in Barcelona's 3-0 win over Manchester United in the Champions League on Tuesday, for his magic on the pitch. But he was already attracting media in his native Rosario 19 years ago.
A questionnaire that the future Argentina captain answered for newspaper La Capital has been unearthed by Twitter user @ARGIsabella and has gone viral. In it, a 13-year-old Messi reveals his favourite things, his outlook on life and his hopes for the future.
A black-and-white photograph of a smiling Messi, proudly wearing his Newell's jersey is accompanied with the headline: "Introducing Lionel Andres Messi" followed by the intro: "Lionel Messi is a player in the 10th division and is the team's enganche [link between midfield and attack].
"He is not only one of the most promising players in the Newell's academy but has a huge future ahead of him. Despite his height, he can run past one, two, dribble and score goals -- but above all, he enjoys himself with the ball and today we are introducing him to the world."
While most of the answers are not much more enlightening than he would give now, after two decades of media training, they give an endearing glimpse into the young mind of a future superstar which reminds us that everyone was a kid once.
The Q&A was published on Sept. 3, 2000, when Messi was starring for Newell's Old Boys' youth teams. Soon afterward, he departed for Barcelona, starting out on the road that has so far led him to four Champions Leagues, five Ballon d'Ors and multiple other titles and personal accolades.