Lionel Messi Career

2005-06 season

On September 16, for the second time in three months, Barcelona announced an update to Messi's contract - this time improved to pay him as a first team member and extended till June 2014.[3][12] Messi obtained Spanish citizenship on September 25 and was finally able to make his d├ębut in this season's Spanish First Division. He had previously been unable to play because FC Barcelona had filled their quota of non-EU players. Messi's first home outing in the UEFA Champions League came on September 27 against Italian club Udinese.[13] He impressed with some great passing and a seemingly telepathic relationship with Ronaldinho that earned him a standing ovation from the 70,000-odd Nou Camp faithful.[14] In December of that year, the Italian newspaper Tuttosport awarded him the Golden Boy 2005 title for the best under-21 player in Europe, ahead of Wayne Rooney, Lukas Podolski, and Cristiano Ronaldo.[15]

Messi netted 6 goals from 17 league appearances and scored 1 Champions League goal from the 6 games he featured in. His reputation for big match temperament was helped by performances in Barcelona's important away leg victories against Real Madrid and Chelsea in the league and Champions League respectively, each considered his best of the respective campaign.[16][5] Messi's season ended prematurely on 7 March 2006, when he tore a muscle in his right thigh during the second leg of the second round Champions League tie against Chelsea.[17] Barcelona ended the season as champions of Spain and Europe.

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