Lionel Messi is arguably the best footballer in the world at the moment. He is often compared to football legends like Pele and Maradona and it won’t be a surprise if he overtakes them soon.Often considered the best player in the world and regarded by many as one of the greatest players of all time, Messi has won a record-tying five Ballon d’Or awards, four of which consecutively, and a record five European Golden Shoes. He has spent his entire professional career with Barcelona, where he has won a club-record 34 trophies, including 10 La Liga titles, four UEFA Champions League trophies and six Copas del Rey
1 Born and raised in central Argentina,
His full name is Luis Lionel Andres Messi. Messi was born on June 24, 1987 in Rosario, Argentina. He shares his birthplace with the Argentinian revolutionary Che Guevera. His family is of middle-class Italian origin. His father, Jorge, was a steelworker, and he also coached the local youth football team.On his father's side, he is of Italian and Spanish descent, the great-grandson of immigrants from the northcentral Adriatic Marche region of Italy and Catalonia, and on his mother's side, he has primarily Italian ancestry. Growing up in a tight-knit, football-loving family, "Leo" developed a passion for the sport from an early age, playing constantly with his older brothers, Rodrigo and Matías, and his cousins, Maximiliano and Emanuel Biancucchi, both of whom became professional footballers.[
2 Had a growth hormone deficiency problem as a boy
his future as a professional player was threatened when, at age 10, he was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency. As his father's health insurance covered only two years of growth hormone treatment, which cost at least $1,000 per month. At age 13, he relocated to Spain to join Barcelona, who agreed to pay for his medical treatment. After completing his growth hormone treatment aged 14, He became an integral part of the "Baby Dream Team", Barcelona's greatest-ever youth side.
3 Messi's first contract with Barcelona was detailed out on a paper napkin
FC Barcelona sporting director Carles Rexach was so impressed with Messi's skills that he wanted to make a contract immediately and there was no paper available at that time. Barcelona was so impressed with Messi's foot skills that they offered to pay his medical bills and move the family to Spain just to sign him when he was 13. That probably explains why the contract was first signed on a napkin.
4 He began being paid as a first team member
He became a Spanish citizen in September 2005. He also made his debut in the Spanish First Division league. Out of his seventeen League appearances, he scored six goals. He scored one goal in six for the Champions League. His 2005 international debut lasted 47 seconds when he received a red card after coming on as a substitute.
5 His achievements
In 2009, he won his first Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards. He followed this up by winning the inaugural FIFA Ballon d'Or in 2010, and then again in 2011 and 2012. He has won six La Ligas, two Copas del Rey, five Supercopas de España, three UEFA Champions Leagues, two UEFA Super Cups and two Club World Cups. Along with England's Vivian Woodward (who accomplished the feat in the early 1900s), Messi is the only player to have scored 25 goals in a calendar year during international competition with both his club and his country.
Along with England's Vivian Woodward (who accomplished the feat in the early 1900s), Messi is the only player to have scored 25 goals in a calendar year during international competition with both his club and his country. He was offered a place in the national team by Spain which he did not accept. He is also the sixth-youngest soccer player to score a goal in a World Cup games
6 in popular culture
Two of the musical genres that Messi enjoys listening to are Samba and Cumbi. He is the second richest soccer player in the world with a net worth of $180 million. The most wealthiest is Cristiano Ronaldo who is worth $230 million. Between his contract and endorsements, he makes about $128,000 per day. He has been featured on the covers of the Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 and Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 video games. He and Fernando Torres are the faces of the Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 video game and helped out with the trailer and motion capturing
7 Messi as a nobal person
He is not only a great soccer player, but he's a really good person. Messi is the founder of the organization, the Leo Messi Foundation, which helps give children the best opportunities for education and health care. His foundation, with the help of Herbalife, helps to pay for medical treatment, transportation, and recuperation for children diagnosed with major medical problems. Messi is also the Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF. He also works for people suffering from Fragile X Syndrome (a disease related to autism). On March 2013, Lionel Messi donated €600,000 ($812,000) towards the refurbishment of a children's hospital in his hometown of Rosario, Argentina. The money was used to renovate the oncology unit at the Victor J Vilela Children's Hospital, as well as paying for doctors to travel to Barcelona for training
8 They promise to be with each other all their life and they finally get married
Since 2008, Messi has been in a relationship with Antonella Roccuzzo, a fellow native of Rosario. He has known Roccuzzo since he was five years old, as she is the cousin of his best friend since childhood, Lucas Scaglia, who is also a football player. After keeping their relationship private for a year, Messi first confirmed their romance in an interview in January 2009, before going public a month later during a carnival in Sitges after the Barcelona–Espanyol derby.
Messi and Roccuzzo have three sons: Thiago (born 2012), Mateo (born 2015) and Ciro (born 2018). To celebrate his partner's first pregnancy, Messi placed the ball under his shirt after scoring in Argentina's 4–0 win against Ecuador on 2 June 2012, before confirming the pregnancy in an interview two weeks later.
9 Expressing gratitute
After scoring a goal, Messi typically celebrates in a calm and composed manner by simply raising both hands in the air. This gesture is to thank and pay tribute to his grandmother who was very close to him and passed away when he was 10. Messi believes she is up there and watching her from above and this is his way of showing that he would always be grateful to her.