‘I Played for Barcelona With Messi as a Youngster – They Used to Talk About me More’

‘I Played for Barcelona With Messi as a Youngster – They Used to Talk About me More’

 

Lionel Messi with a generic player silhouette next to him and Barcelona theme

There is little doubt around the globe and throughout Europe that Lionel Messi is Barcelona’s greatest-ever player. Others may also describe him as the finest footballer to have played the sport, end of.

The ‘Little Magician’ was a phenom throughout world football, breaking and re-setting records every single season and marking himself out as one of history’s very best, through his remarkable goalscoring ability and outstanding natural talent.

It may come as a surprise, then, to hear of one of his former cohorts allegedly being touted as a higher talent than the Argentine icon. As it is, though, Victor Vasquez has claimed that he was the man with all the hype when coming through the club’s fables La Masia academy, saying:

And whilst it may seem the boldest of statements, it was authentically true with Cesc Fabregas once adding that, the pair were “by far the best players on our team.”

Who is Victor Vasquez

La Masia star touted as a higher prospect than Messi


On the books at Barcelona since the age of 11, Victor Vasquez was widely regarded, at one point, as the jewel in the crown of La Masia. With an early reputation for his dazzling skills and goalscoring prowess, Vasquez was dubbed as the next big thing to be produced by the famous Catalan academy.

However, while a selection of his teammates went on to become world-renowned players in every position, Vasquez would find himself struggling to break through consistently into his early 20s, by which point he had amassed a meagre three senior appearances. He did manage to find the back of the net on one of these occasions, though, sliding home his first-ever senior goal against Rubin Kazan in the Champions League in December 2010.

Two of his senior appearances did also come in the 08/09 and the 10/11 Champions League campaigns, which resulted in tournament success for Barcelona and a pair of winner’s medals for Vasquez. It was not to be at Barca for him, however, having lost his trademark quickness and mobility, and he was told to seek a new employer by manager Pep Guardiola the season after.

Vasquez vs Messi

Messi became one of the greatest footballers of all time

Lionel Messi of Barcelona celebrates scoring vs Manchester United

Whereas Messi would go on to become one of the most well-respected and decorated players in the history of the sport, Vasquez would not hit the heights that were projected for him and met by his former colleague.

Messi broke through into Barcelona’s first team in 2004, as a fresh-faced 17-year-old promoted into the senior side by manager Frank Rijkaard.

Such a rise to prominence would not await Vasquez, although it may have been bookmarked for him. His senior bow did not come until much later, namely in 2008 at the age of 21, after being on the books of the club for just over a decade.

By that point, Messi’s stock had risen to the point where he was already listed as one of the very best in the world, despite only being around a similar age to Vasquez at the time. In fact, the 8-time Balon Dor recipient had already knocked home 41 senior club goals in all competitions for the club by the time the boy listed as his superior at a time secured his first-team debut.

 

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