Messi moved to Barcelona from his native town of Rosario as an 11-year-old, with the club's willingness to pay for expensive growth hormone treatments well-documented.
Those injections helped Messi to develop like any other child would have and, although he remained more diminutive than many of his contemporaries, his physical stature eventually stopped being a weakness and he blossomed in La Masia.
He has since gone on to win a record five Ballons d'Or and become arguably the greatest player of all time, while he his record of 542 official goals for the club is 310 more than anyone else has ever managed at Barca.
But, at the age of 30, Messi is approaching the twilight of his career and his thoughts of what to do upon retirement have started to take root, even if he remains entirely undecided on absolutely everything.
"Everyone says it is very difficult and I have no doubt about that," he said during an appearance on America TV's La Cornisa .
"It is very difficult not to have the routine of training, playing. I do not know what I'm going to do, where to live.
"I would like to do everything that I could not, but I do not know if it's going to be in Barcelona, Rosario. I do not know what I'm going to do."
Part of Messi's uncertainty appears to stem from the current social problems in Argentina.
"I suffer and I feel sorry that today Argentina is as it is," he added. "The reality of the country, the insecurity.
"I look at the future, I think about being able to return to Rosario and enjoying my city because I could not do so as a kid, I had to come here, something I do not regret, but I'm worried.
"Robberies are all over the world, but it's crazy that something more could happen to you.
"I know it's impossible [these days], but I remember that I went out all day to the street and nothing would happen."