Salvador Aparicio, the man who discovered Messi: 'He was supernatural'
- The Argentinean's first football team was the local amateur side Grandoli.
- Messi was just five years old when their coach Aparicio noticed him.
- Aparicio recalled the first meeting with Messi and his supernatural abilities.
- He said back in 2008: "When I watch him play for Barcelona now, I cry."
We all know Lionel Messi's path to greatness. He was just a little boy when he started playing for the professional local football club Newell Old Boys. This happened in 1995 when Messi was just eight years old. Before that, the Argentinean played in the amateur team. He was five years old when he received the call from this side called Grandoli.
It was Salvador Aparicio who was the first man who ever coached Lionel Messi. He worked with Grandoli. Sadly, he passed away in 2008 but he caught a glimpse of Messi's incredible talent. Here are the best bits from Aparicio's interview he gave shortly before the death.
Aparicio recalls the first meeting with Messi:
"Messi and his family once came to watch the match. His brothers played here. I was one player short, so I told Messi to come to play. He was small. Very small. First time the ball came to him, he just let is pass by. The second time, he controlled it and started running across the pitch. He dribbled past everyone crossing his path."
What happened next?
"And I was screaming: "Shoot! Shoot! Shoot!" But he was so small to even do it. Since then he was part of my team. It was evident he was something special from that time. He scored 6 or 7 goals every match. Instead of waiting for the ball to come to him, he would go to his team-mate goalkeeper, take the ball from him and start dribbling all over the pitch. He was supernatural, simply put."
By the way, it was also Aparicio who said the famous line: "I'm going to take Messi to Newell's." He was determined to make a legend out of a local kid.
That's what Aparicio thinks of more mature Messi:
"When I watch him play for Barcelona now, I feel like just I do now. Cry. Do you understand? I get emotional. The other day, he scored a goal against Getafe, they say it was like Maradona against England in the World Cup, but I think Leo is better. I cry by just watching him. He is my special one. What can I say? I am proud."
Aparicio recalls the famous Getafe goal which was named the Best Barcelona Goal in History, as voted by the fans. Enjoy this magnificent strike.