CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Barcelona: when did Messi make his first Champions League appearance?

Lionel Messi faces PSG in the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday, in what could be the Argentine star's final game for Barcelona in the competition.

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Barcelona: when did Messi make his first Champions League appearance?
Gorka Leiza Diario AS

Lionel Messi faces Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday night in what could be his last ever Champions League appearance for Barcelona, amid uncertainty over the star’s future at the Camp Nou.

Messi, 33, is out of contract this summer and could leave Barça after a near 17-year spell in the first team which, so far, has seen him score a club-record 658 goals to help the Blaugrana to 33 trophies - a haul that includes 10 LaLigas, six Copas del Rey and four Champions Leagues.

Barça, Messi face tall order to win Champions League last-16 against PSG

Barça have reached the Copa del Rey final and could yet claim the 2020/21 LaLiga title, but Messi faces an uphill battle to add a fifth Champions League winners' medal this term, as his side go into their last-16 second leg against PSG 4-1 down from February's opener.

Messi's 27th-minute penalty actually gave Barça the lead in that first leg in Catalonia, but Ronald Koeman’s men were then blown away by a stunning Kylian Mbappé hat-trick, with Moise Kean also on target for PSG.

Barça have previously turned around a heavy first-leg loss to PSG in a Champions League knockout tie, of course, beating the Parisians 6-1 to come back from 4-0 down and win the sides’ last-16 tie in 2016/17.

However, they were roared on to that famous remontada by a packed Camp Nou. If history is to repeat itself on Wednesday, Barça must score at least four times at PSG’s Parc des Princes - against a side who last conceded that many goals in a home match in November 2006.

Messi (centre) celebrates wuth Luis Suárez (left) and Neymar during Barcelona's famous Champions League comeback against Paris Saint-Germain in 2017. The Catalan giants must pull off a similar feat if they are to knock PSG out of this season's competition.

When was Messi's first Champions League appearance for Barcelona?

Messi’s goal against PSG was his 119th in his 148th appearance for Barça in the Champions League - figures which make the Argentine the tournament's second-top scorer of all time - behind Cristiano Ronaldo’s total of 134 - and its fourth-highest appearance maker.

His very first outing in Europe's premier club competition came back on 7 December 2004, in a 2-0 group-stage defeat away to Shakhtar Donetsk, Nigerian striker Julius Aghahowa scoring both goals for the Ukrainians.

In what would be Messi’s only appearance for Barça in the Champions League that season, the then-17-year-old played the full 90 minutes at the RSC Olimpiyskiy stadium.

His first goal in the Champions League came the following season - a campaign that saw the Catalans clinch their second European crown - in a 5-0 group-stage thrashing of Greeks Panathinaikos on 2 November 2005.

PSG vs Barcelona: live with AS English

You can follow live-text coverage of PSG vs Barcelona in the 2020/21 Champions League last-16 second leg live with AS English. We’ll be building up from about an hour ahead of kick-off, before taking you through all the action in Paris.