Lionel Messi is an Argentine footballer and is one of the modern soccer greats.
This article will tell you about his bio, quick facts, childhood, early life, career, philanthropic works, awards and achievements, trivia, personal life, rare facts, and net worth.
|Full Name||Lionel Andrés|
|Nick Name||Atomic Flea|
|Famous for||Football Player|
|Date of Birth||June 24, 1987 AD|
|Age||34 Years (as of 2021)|
|Mother||Celia María Cuccittini|
|Siblings||Matias Messi, Maria Sol Messi, Rodrigo Messi|
|Spouse||Antonella Roccuzzo (m. 2017)|
|Children||Thiago Messi, Mateo Messi, Ciro Messi Roccuzz|
|Net Worth||$700 million (estimated in 2021)|
Lionel Messi is a former Argentine professional footballer and among the best in the world in football history. The only player in history to win five FIFA Ballon d’Or, and he was also the first player to win three European Golden Shoes. During his football career, he broke several world records and currently holds the records for the most goals scored in the Spanish League, the La Liga season (50), a calendar year (91), one season (73), and a match in the Champions League (5), among several others.
Lionel Messi joined Newell’s Old Boys’ youth team as a kid and started playing for the FC Barcelona Under-14 team when he was 13 years old. After making his competitive debut at the age of 17, Messi quickly established himself as an all-around player for F.C.B. His first major success came in the 2008-09 season, helping Barcelona achieve their first hat-trick in Spanish football. He announced to retire in 2016 after Argentina’s defeat to Chile in the Copa America Centennial Final. But a campaign began urging him to change his mind, and Messi later reversed his decision.
Childhood and Early Life:
Lionel Messi was born to Jorge Messi and Celia Celia María Cuccittini in Rosario, Argentina. He has three brothers, two older brothers, Rodrigo and Matias, and a sister, Maria Sol. His father was a steelworker and his mother was a part-time cleaner. At the age of 8, he was playing for Newell’s Old Boys and the group was extremely talented, evidenced by the fact that they only lost one match in the next four years. Unfortunately, Messi was diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency when he was eleven years old. Although he was extremely talented, local clubs did not offer him any help and were not prepared to pay for his treatment. At this juncture, Carles Rexach, Barcelona’s sporting director, came to their aid. He promised to help Messi by paying the medical bills only if the latter moved to Spain. Messi was registered in the Barcelona youth academy.
Messi’s career began in 2000 when he played in the lower ranks of the system. He quickly became the only player to play for five different teams. His superiority in the game was evident in the fact that Messi quickly passed through the ranks of the youth system to make his league debut on October 16, 2004, against RCD Espanyol. His first goal came the following year, on May 1, 2005, against Albacete. He made history by being the youngest player to score in a La Liga match with Barcelona. He gained Spanish citizenship in September 2005, which finally enabled Messi to make his debut in the Champions League. Messi’s first match in the Champions League was against Italian club “Udinese”. Although he entered the field as a substitute, he played great football with Ronaldinho, as they had good chemistry in passing and receiving the ball.
Of the 17 league matches he played, Lionel Messi has scored six goals. In the 2006-07 season, he stopped being a substitute. He found himself included on the eleven-member team. In 26 starts, he managed to score the ball fourteen times. He even scored a hat-trick in El Clásico, thus becoming the youngest player to score in this match. Messi’s goal-scoring job was very similar to Maradona, which is why he was nicknamed “Messidona”. For one goal, in particular, he ran roughly the same distance, 62 meters (203 feet), beat the same number of players (six, including the goalkeeper), scored from a very similar position, and ran towards the corner flag exactly as Maradona did in the 1986 World Cup match against England in 1986.
From 2007 to 2011:
On February 27, 2007, Lionel Messi played his 100th game for Barcelona against Valencia. In the Champions League, Messi scored 6 goals and provided one pass before leaving prematurely due to a muscle strain. Overall in the season, Messi has scored 16 goals and assists in 13 goals in all competitions. 2009 was a successful year for Messi as he not only won the Copa del Rey for the first time but helped his team win the Spanish League and the UEFA Champions League eventually. With three victories for their team in one year, Barcelona became the first Spanish club to win the treble. Messi scored a hat-trick multiple times. He finished the season with a record number of 38 goals and 18 assists.
Before the end of the year, Barcelona had another win in the 2009 Club World Cup by beating Estudiantes, bringing the title they won this year to six. 2010 was Messi’s hat-trick, as he scored against CD Tenerife, Valencia, and Real Zaragoza, thus becoming the first Barcelona player to score back-to-back hat-tricks in the Spanish League. In the 2010 Copa del Rey final, Barcelona faced arch-foe Real Madrid. Despite losing the defending champion in his match against Real Madrid, Lionel Messi was nonetheless the tournament’s top scorer, alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, with 7 goals. As for the Champions League, Barcelona beat Real Madrid 2-0 in the semi-finals, and Messi scored the two goals. He also scored the winning goal in the final to give Barcelona their third title in six years and the fourth overall. Messi finished 2010–11 seasons with 53 goals and 24 assists in all competitions combined.
The 2011-12 season was a reflection of Messi’s previous seasons, as he broke the record after the record to emerge as a key player for Barcelona and the world at large. He became the second top scorer by defeating Laszlo Kubala with 194 goals in all official competitions. In addition, he ranked second in the La Liga goalscorers list, with 132 goals. He became Barcelona’s top scorer in all official competitions, beating legend Cesar Rodriguez. While the hat-trick and quadruples became popular for Messi, the story was created when he scored five goals in a match against Bayer Leverkusen, which Barcelona won 7-1. Thus, he became the first player to score five goals in the UEFA Champions League match. While Barcelona successfully defended their Copa del Rey title, they were defeated by Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals and failed to win the La Liga title as well.
On the other hand, Lionel Messi achieved the best year or season in his career so far, as he became the top scorer in the Spanish League for the second time, scoring 50 goals in the league. He was the second-best assists maker in La Liga that season with 16 assists, after Mesut Ozil who had 17. This talented man also finished the season as the top scorer in the UEFA Champions League for the fourth time in a row, with 14 goals. He was one of the tournament’s best assistants with 5 assists and finished the season with 73 goals and 29 assists in all club competitions, with more goals and assists than any other player in the game’s history. In 2012, Messi’s number of goals was 91 in a calendar year, the highest in history, surpassing Gerd Muller’s 85 goals.
The supremely outstanding performance of Lionel Messi led to Barcelona renewing its contract with this ace footballer until the year 2018. In the March of 2013, Messi scored for the 19th consecutive La Liga game, thus becoming the first footballer in history to score in consecutive matches against every team in the league. Following this, Messi appeared in the match against Paris Saint-Germain and later against Atletico Madrid. However, he left both of them mid-way due to suffering from a hamstring problem. As a result of his injury, it is anticipated that Messi could miss all the matches for the rest of the season. His persistent injuries posed a threat to his career but he bounced back in 2014 and had a good start to the 2014–15 season. By the end of the year, he had successfully broken three longstanding records.
Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick against Sevilla in November which made him the all-time top scorer in La Liga. He performed superbly alongside teammates Luis Suarez and Neymar, scoring a total of 122 goals in all competitions that season, a record in Spanish football. Messi himself scored 58 goals out of 122. Continuing his series of successes in 2016, Messi scored two goals and assisted in the 4-1 victory over Espanyol at Camp Nou in the first leg of the knockout stage in the 2015-16 Copa del Rey in January 2016. In February of the same year, he reached his 300th goal in the league, beating a 1-3 victory over Sporting Gijon. He scored his 500th goal for the club and the country on 17 April 2016 in Barcelona’s 2–1 home loss to Valencia.
In the 2015-2016 season, Lionel Messi scored 41 goals and provided 23 assists. On June 26, 2016, Argentina lost a match to Chile and after that, he announced his retirement. After his retirement decision, a campaign was raised to urge Messi to change his decision. On 12 August 2016, it was announced that Messi had withdrawn his decision to retire and would be part of Argentina’s campaign in the 2018 World Cup. In the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Messi scored a goal in the final match of the group stage for Argentina against Nigeria and helped their team to a 2-1 victory.
In the process, Lionel Messi became the first player to score in the World Cup in his teens, twenties, and thirties, and the third Argentine after Diego Maradona and Gabriel Batistuta to score in three different World Cups. Argentina’s performance in the 2018 World Cup was modest and was ruled out when they lost to France in the Round of 16. After the World Cup defeat, Messi was expected to retire from international football again. However, in March 2019 he was part of the Argentine national team for the friendly matches against Venezuela and Morocco. Messi returned internationally on March 22, 2019, in a friendly match against Venezuela in Madrid. Argentina lost the match 3–1.
In the year 2007, Lionel Messi founded the Leo Messi Foundation that supports children for healthcare and education. This was in response to Messi’s medical ailments he faced as a child. The foundation works to provide children diagnosed with illnesses in Spain with treatment funds that cover transportation, hospitalization, and recovery costs. Most of the money the organization raised is through Messi’s own efforts with a little help from Herbalife. Messi was a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 2010. He worked to support children’s rights. In 2013, Messi donated 600,000 euros to restore a children’s hospital called the Victor J Vilela Children’s Hospital, in his hometown of Rosario, Argentina. The donated amount was mainly used to rehabilitate the hospital’s oncology unit and pay for the doctors’ travel to Barcelona for training.
Awards and Achievements:
Messi’s excellence on the field around the world has been praised by the many awards, honors, and achievements bestowed on him. Messi won the coveted Ballon d’Or on five occasions. Messi won several awards in the Young Player of the Year category. They include the best young player of the year in the world, the best young player of the year in FIFPro, and the best young player in the Copa America Young Player of the Tournament. Messi has won 20 Player of the Year awards, including Best Player in the World (1), Best Football Player in the World (3), Best Player on Goal.com (2), Best UEFA Player in Europe (1), UEFA Footballer of the Year (1), Best Player in the FIFA U-20 World Cup (1), Best Player in La Liga (3), Best Foreign Player in La Liga (3) and La Liga Ibero-American Player of the Year (5).
For his ability to get the ball into the goal, Lionel Messi has been awarded the top scorer on numerous occasions. These include the IFFHS top division goal scorer, IFFHS top goal scorer, UEFA Champions League top scorer, FIFA U-20 World Cup top scorer, and Copa del Rey top scorer. Messi has been honored with the European Golden Shoe three times, in 2010, 2011, and 2012. He won the FIFA Club World Cup Golden Ball twice, in 2009 and 2011, and was named the European Golden Boy of 2005. He was part of the Argentine, soccer team that won the gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Family and Personal Life:
Lionel Messi had quite a few romantic engagements before settling with his wife Antonella Roccuzzo. He was first linked with Macarena Lemos, a woman from his hometown, Rosario, who was introduced to Messi by former’s father while recovering from his injury before the 2006 World Cup. He has even been said to have a love affair with the model of Argentinian glamor Luciana Salazar. Messi is first seen with his wife Roccuzzo at the Carnival in Sitges after the Barcelona-Espanyol derby. Roccuzzo, born in Rosario, gave birth to their first child, Thiago, on November 2, 2012, and their second son, Mateo, on September 11, 2015. After several years of relationship with Roccuzzo, he married her on June 30, 2017. Their wedding took place at a luxury hotel called Hotel City Center in Rosario. Messi and Roccuzzo welcomed their third child, Ciro Messi Roccuzz, in 2018.
Messi’s first contract was not on any stamp paper or official bond paper. Instead, Barcelona’s sporting director Carles Rexach offered him to play for the club under a contract written on a paper napkin. Rexach was so impressed that he wanted to enter into a contract at that time and there. He was offered to play for the Spanish U-20 national team at the international level, but he turned down the offer due to his Argentine heritage and later secured a place in the Argentina U-20 national team. Since his league debut with Barcelona in 2004, thanks to his excellence in the game and his perfect knowledge of the technique, he has set many records.
Currently, Lionel Messi is Barcelona’s top scorer in the Spanish League, Champions League, European and international competitions. He also has the most hat-tricks scored by any Barcelona player. The Guinness World Record holds the most goals in a calendar year – 91 goals. Moreover, he is the only player in the world to have scored in 19 consecutive league matches, and his number of goals is 30. He has a style similar to that of Maradona. On two occasions, in the 2006-07 seasons, he replicated Maradona’s goal style perfectly. Over the years, his actions showed the same character as Maradona, who himself declared this talented footballer to be his successor.
Top 10 facts about Lionel Messi:
Although Lionel Messi holds Spanish citizenship, he is of Italian descent. His family is from Ancona, Italy, in the Marche region. It shares the same hometown, Rosario, with Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara. Despite his fame, he still maintains close ties with the people of Rosario, his hometown. He is also the international ambassador of Rosario. Messi has his own version of the Hand of God goal. On October 4, 2006, in a match against Recreativo de Huelva, he scored a goal with his own hand. He has been cited by “SportsPro” as one of the most marketable athletes in the world every year since 2010.
One of the highest-paid soccer players in the world, Lionel Messi was the first player to exceed the € 40 million standards. On his left shoulder, he has a tattoo of his mother’s face. He is the only player to have won four FIFA Ballon d’Or and three European Golden Shoe Awards. In addition, he has won the Golden Ball award twice and the European Golden Boy award once. Messi holds the record for the most hat-tricks (four in total) in the UEFA Champions League. Lionel Messi is known for his extreme love of food and his favorite dish is escalope Milanese.
Lionel Messi has an estimated net worth of almost $700 million (estimated in 2021).