In an interview with Spanish newspaper AS, Barcelona’s legendary midfielder Xavi Hernandez recalled how he was taken aback by Lionel Messi’s talent when the Argentine broke into the Barca first team .
Xavvi was already informed about Messi as many coaches and players who saw him had talked to Xavi about the Argentine during his formative years when Xavi was already running the Barcelona midfield.
"They'd already told me about this kid, I'd been warned that there was this young Argentinean kid coming through who was very good. They'd even mentioned his name but I'd forgotten.”
Barcelona first team had many legendary players over the years and when Messi came to training he showed his mettle immediately. Xavi was blown away by how Messi took on seasoned veterans at his very first training session with the first team.
“There was a training drill we used to do in which players are one-on-one against [Lillian] Thuram, and [Carles] Puyol... I saw Messi take on those two and couldn't believe my eyes,” Xavi recalled.
“I thought: 'Blimey, here this kid who's only 16 years old, dodging past professional defenders, internationals. Even then you could tell that he was different. It's obvious that he has an innate talent when he is one-against-one, he'0s fast, he scores goals, he's passes, shoots... He's amazing,” Xavi said.