CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DEBUT: 2004
What else can we say about the little man from Rosario that hasn't been said already? Messi is magic—a genius of the highest order who routinely transforms big, can't miss Champions League nights into his own personal showcase. Messi's skill and wizardry with the ball at his feet are as breathtaking as they are effective. His slaloming runs and astonishing finishing ability have the greatest pundits mentioning Pele and Maradona as his only equals. Already in the top 10 of the Champions League's all-time scoring list, Messi has one CL crown to his credit (he was injured for the '06 final against Arsenal) and will play for his second Saturday in London. Oh, and he's only 23. Let that sink in a bit. Already a two-time FIFA World Player of the Year, "La Pulga" hasn't been able to duplicate his club form for his country...yet. But when it comes to the CL, only one man has put on a better overall show this century. Arsenal fans, look away.