Before Messi was king (Video)

Although Barcelona are now synonymous with their little Argentine striker, a few years previous saw him regularly used as a substitute out on the right wing. He was still a long haired teenager at the time and just finding his way in a star filled squad of world famous players. At the time there was another player who received all the accolades and love from the fans, completely different in both character and footballing style, but at his peak just as good as Messi.

 

Samuel Eto’o was the main man up front, closely supported by an attacking trio of Deco, Giuly and Ronaldinho. Although the Cameroon striker was a lethal finisher and greatly admired around the world, the Brazilian was undoubtedly the most famous name in football at the time and one of only a handful of players to have been applauded off the pitch at the Santiago Bernabeu, home of Barca’s fiercest rivals, Real Madrid.

Flash, quick, skilful, great eye for a pass, comfortable with both feet, and able to take a decent free kick, there wasn’t much that the No 10 couldn’t do. He won La Liga titles and a Champions League whilst in Spain and always played with a beaming smile on his face. Perhaps he knew that things would be left in very capable hands once he left the Camp Nou?

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