Lionel Messi is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish club FC Barcelona and the Argentina national team. Often considered the best player in the world and rated by many in the sport as the greatest of all time.
Let’s learn some interesting facts about the star!
1.Lionel Andrés “Leo” Messi was born on the 24th June, 1987, in Rosario, Santa Fe.
2.He is the third of four children of Jorge Messi, a steel factory manager, and his wife Celia Cuccittini, who worked in a magnet manufacturing workshop.
3.On his father’s side, he is of Italian and Spanish heritage, the great-grandson of immigrants from Marche and Catalonia, and on his mother’s side, he is of primarily Italian descent.
4.Growing up in a tight-knit, football-loving family, Messi 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.
5.At the age of four years, he joined local club Grandoli, where he was coached by his father, though his earliest influence as a player came from his maternal grandmother, Celia, who accompanied him to training and matches.
6.He was greatly affected by her death, shortly before his eleventh birthday; since then, as a devout Catholic, he has celebrated his goals by looking up and pointing to the sky in tribute of his grandmother.
7.Messi joined the Rosario club when he was six years old
8.During the six years he played for Newell’s, he scored almost 500 goals as a member of “The Machine of ’87”, the near-unbeatable youth side named for the year of their birth, and regularly entertained crowds by performing ball tricks during half-time of the first team’s home games.
9.his future as a professional player was threatened when, at age 10, he was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency.
10.As his father’s health insurance covered only two years of growth hormone treatment, which cost at least $1,000 per month, Newell’s agreed to contribute, but later reneged on their promise.
11.He was scouted by Buenos Aires club River Plate, whose playmaker, Pablo Aimar, he idolised, but they were also unable to pay for his treatment due to the country’s economic collapse.
12.As the Messi family had relatives in Catalonia, they sought to arrange a trial with Barcelona in September 2000.
13.First team director Charly Rexach immediately wanted to sign him, but the board of directors hesitated; at the time it was highly unusual for European clubs to sign foreign players of such a young age.
14.On 14 December, an ultimatum was issued for Barcelona to prove their commitment, and Rexach, with no other paper at hand, offered a contract on a paper napkin.
15.In February 2001, the family relocated to Barcelona, where they moved into an apartment near the club’s stadium, Camp Nou.
16.During his first year in Spain, Messi rarely played with the Infantiles due to a transfer conflict with Newell’s; as a foreigner, he could only be fielded in friendlies and the Catalan league.
17.Without football, he struggled to integrate into the team; already reserved by nature, he was so quiet that his teammates initially believed he was mute.
18.At home, he suffered from homesickness after his mother moved back to Rosario with his brothers and little sister, María Sol, while he stayed in Barcelona with his father.
19.During the 2005-2006 season, Messi began being paid as a first team member.
20.Messi holds two passports – Argentina’s and Spain’s. He became a Spanish citizen in September 2005.
21.When he was just five years old, Messi met Antonella Roccuzzo, a family friend who would turn out to be much more than that. Despite Messi moving to Spain, the two kept in contact and struck up a relationship in 2009.
22.Their son, Thiago Messi, was born in 2012, and is already showing signs that he will continue his father’s legacy.
23.Antonella is, unsurprisingly, a model, but the couple try to avoid too much media attention.
24.Lionel Messi became the youngest player to score 200 goals in the Spanish La Liga at the age of 25.
25.He is the first football player in the World to win three European Golden Shoe awards.
26.Messi inherited the No. 10 Barca jersey from another great footballer Ronaldinho in the summer of 2008.
27.His infant son is already an official member of the Newell’s Old Boys’ supporters club. When Messi’s son Thiago was just 72 hours old, Newell’s Old Boys which was Messi’s original club, was first in line and managed to sign the infant to a supporters club contract.
28.Messi shares his birthplace with the Argentinian revolutionary Che Guevera.
29.Lionel Messi is 5′ 7″ tall (1.69 metres).
30.Messi has also dated a hometown girl Macarena Lemos and has also been linked to Luciana Salazar, a model of Argentina.
31.Messi is a devout Roman Catholic and he met Pope francis at the Vatican in 2013. “Without a doubt, today was one of the most special days of my life. We have to excel on and off the field,” Messi said about the meeting.
32.Lionel Messi is considered by most football experts to be the best footballer of his generation.
33.Messi ranked second behind Neymar in SportsPro magazine’s 2013 list of the world’s most marketable athletes.
34.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.
35.In September 2012, Messi became the global brand ambassador of Turkish Airlines. Messi shot a commercial for the airline with NBA star Kobe Bryant.
36.Messi has been a very shy person right from his childhood and this trait continues to until even now. Apparently, it is very difficult to make him talk on the phone. Most the important messages that have to be delivered to him and received from him take place through SMS.
37.His favorite pastimes include relaxing with his girlfriend and playing with his son, Thiago. He is also an avid PlayStation player.
38.Lionel Messi does not like to watch highlights of himself.
39.Messi is also the Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF.
40.Two of the musical genres that Messi enjoys listening to are Samba and Cumbi.
41.Lionel Messi 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.
42.Between his contract and endorsements, he makes about $128,000 per day.