Lionel Messi is one of the greatest players who rule the soccer field. He is the star player of Paris Saint-Germain and the Argentina national team. Messi is on the list of the top ten players in football history with his 759 goals.
So to pay tribute to the legendary player, we have compiled a list of things you need to know about Lionel Messi. So without further ado, let’s start!
On June 24, 1987, the Argentinian hero was born in Rosario and Argentina. Along with two older brothers and their friends, he started playing football. The love of the game was evident from the start, as the bigger boys never intimidated him. He became part of the youth system of Newell’s Old Boys, a Rosario-based club.
Life was not a bed of roses for Messi
Soon it became evident that Messi was smaller than the other boys his age. The check-up revealed that Messi was suffering from a hormone deficiency that restricted his growth. But due to the poor financial conditions, his parents were unable to carry out his medical treatment, for it cost several hundred dollars per month for the medication.
Training at La Masia
However, if you’re destined for greatness, opportunities arise beyond your belief. Messi got a chance to train at soccer powerhouse FC Barcelona’s youth academy, La Masia. The academy covered his medical bills, and the family also moved to Spain to help the child polish his talent. Messi had an immense natural skill and he swiftly moved through the junior system ranks.
Messi’s speed combined with this relentless attacking style became perfect with his short height (5 feet, 7 inches). People started noticing the young player, who later became a nightmare for the defenders.
Road to success
In September 2000, Messi got his first break. Director Charly Rexach of Barcelona was highly impressed by Messi’s skill and led Messi to sign his first contract on a paper napkin. However, he was hesitant to sign him as it was unusual for European clubs to sign foreign players at such a young age. Messi became part of the “Baby Dream Team,” Barcelona’s greatest-ever youth side.
Messi’s first official debut was at the age of 17 with Barac, after which nothing could stop Messi to become the great player he was destined to be.
Here are some of Messi’s achievements:
- Messi got his first FIFA World Player of the Year award at the young age of 22, and for the next three years in a row.
- He also won an Olympic gold medal as the Argentinian football team won the football gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
- Messi scored 200 goals in the Spanish football league La Liga at 25, making him the youngest player ever to achieve it.
- He is the first football player globally who has three European Golden Shoe Awards to his name.
- Messi also holds the record for the most number of goals in a year scoring 91 goals in 2012.
- His fans call him ‘The Flea’ due to his amazing speed.
- Apart from playing football, Messi also founded the Leo Messi Foundation, which supports access to health care, education, and sports for children.
- Here’s an interesting fact, Messi holds dual citizenship in Spain and Argentina. When he was granted Spanish citizenship, the Spanish hoped to play for Spain, but he stuck with Argentina and played for his home country.
- His last transfer was from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain in 2021 for the transfer value between €32M and €53M.
So here are a few things about the great athlete Lionel Messi as he continues to break more records. We promise we’ll keep adding them to this list as they happen!