Lionel Messi, a legendry footballer
Lionel Andrés Messi also known as Leo Messi, an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward and captains both Spanish club Barcelona and the Argentina national team. Who was named Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) world player of the year five times (2009–12 and 2015)?
He considered the best player in the world and widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, Messi has won a record six Ballon d’Or awards, a record six European Golden Shoes, and in 2020 was named to the Ballon d’Or Dream Team.
Messi was born on 24 June 1987 in Rosario, Argentina. He started playing football as a boy and in 1995 joined the youth team of Newell’s Old Boys (a Rosario-based top-division football club). Messi’s phenomenal skills garnered the attention of prestigious clubs on both sides of the Atlantic. At age 13 Messi and his family relocated to Barcelona, and he began playing for FC Barcelona’s under-14 team. After a year at Barcelona’s youth academy, La Masia, Messi was finally enrolled in the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) in February 2002. Now playing in all competitions, he befriended his teammates, among whom were Cesc Fàbregas and Gerard Piqué. After completing his growth hormone treatment aged 14, Messi became an integral part of the “Baby Dream Team“, Barcelona’s greatest-ever youth side. During his first full season (2002–03), he was top scorer with 36 goals in 30 games for the Cadetes A, who won an unprecedented treble of the league and both the Spanish and Catalan cups, and he quickly graduated through the higher-level teams until at age 16 he was given his informal debut with FC Barcelona in a friendly match. In the 2004–05 season Messi, then 17, became the youngest official player and goal scorer in the Spanish La Liga.
Messi’s play continued to rapidly improve over the years, and by 2008 he was one of the most dominant players in the world, finishing second to Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo in the voting for the 2008 FIFA World Player of the Year. The team won the La Liga championship, the Copa del Rey (Spain’s major domestic cup), and the Champions League title. He scored 38 goals in 51 matches during that season, and he beat Ronaldo in the balloting for FIFA World Player of the Year honours by a record margin. During the 2009–10 season Messi scored 34 goals in domestic games as Barcelona repeated as La Liga champions. He earned the Golden Shoe award as Europe’s leading scorer, and he was named the 2010 world player of the year.
Awards and Honours
Lionel Messi, regarded by many as the greatest player of all time, has received six Ballon d’Or awards, the most for any football player, as well as the 2009 FIFA World Player of the Year and 2019 The Best FIFA Men’s Player. Messi holds the record for most goals in La Liga (474), the Supercopa de España, the UEFA Super Cup and is the player with the most official recorded assists in football history. He has scored 774 goals for club and country throughout his professional career and is also the first player in history to win five and six European Golden Shoes.