Lionel Messi - Family, Stats & Facts

Lionel Messi is a professional soccer player who competes for Paris Saint-Germain and Argentina’s national team. A path that led him to worldwide prominence as one of the best soccer players was paved by setting records for goals scored and winning individual honours.

Who Is Lionel Messi?

Messi, whose full name is Luis Lionel Andres “Leo” Messi, is an Argentine soccer player who plays forward for the FC Barcelona club and the Argentina national team. His nickname, is “Leo know Messi.” After FC Barcelona agreed to cover the costs of his medical treatments when he was 13 years old, Lionel Messi relocated from Argentina to Spain.

There, he became known as one of the best players in the history of the sport, and he did it by assisting his club in winning over twenty league titles and tournaments. In 2012, he broke the record for the most goals scored in a single calendar year, and in 2019 was when he won Europe’s Ballon d’Or for the sixth time.

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Early Life

Messi was born in Rosario, Argentina, on June 24, 1987. His hometown is Rosario. When he was a little lad, Messi was never scared by the larger guys that played soccer with his two elder brothers and their friends. He tagged along with them. At the age of eight, he was approached about participating in Newell’s Old Boys’ youth program, a club in Rosario.

Physicians later diagnosed Messi with a hormone shortage inhibiting his growth. This was eventually discovered after he was observed to be noticeably smaller than the majority of kids in his age group. Messi’s parents, Jorge and Ceclia, decided to give their son growth hormone injections every night before bed. However, it quickly became clear that they could not afford the prescription, which cost several hundred dollars monthly.

Therefore, when Lionel Messi was offered the opportunity to train at the youth academy of soccer powerhouse FC Barcelona, known as La Masia, at the age of 13, along with having his medical bills covered by the team, Messi’s family packed up their belongings and moved across the Atlantic Ocean to start a new life in Spain. Messi advanced rapidly through the junior system tiers even though he frequently felt homesick in his new homeland.

In the end, similarities to another great Argentine player, Diego Maradona, have been made between Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona due to Messi’s tiny stature (5 feet, 7 inches), mixed with his speed and aggressive attacking style.

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Soccer Career and Teams

FC Barcelona and Argentina

Messi has only ever played for FC Barcelona, where he signed his first professional contract when he was 13. Additionally, he is a member of the Argentina national squad.

Messi made his first appearance for FC Barcelona when he was 16. On May 1, 2005, he set a record for being the youngest player to score a goal for the franchise, becoming the youngest player ever to do so. In the same year, he led Argentina to victory in the under-20 World Cup, scoring on two penalties kicks to drive the side to victory over Nigeria. In that tournament, Argentina won the title.

Messi led Barcelona to great success, the pinnacle of which came in 2009, when the left-club footer’s won the Champions League, La Liga, and the Spanish Super Cup. Messi is credited as being the driving force behind all of this achievement. That same year, following two straight finishes in second place, he won the FIFA “World Player of the Year” accolade and the Ballon d’Or trophy for the first time.

Even the legendary Maradona had nothing but praise for his fellow Argentinian. The former footballer, who is now retired, said to the BBC, “I view him as quite similar to me.” “He is a leader who is now giving instruction in the art of beautiful football. He possesses something that no other player in the world does or can replicate.”

Unbelievably, the soccer magician continued to grow, finding new methods to avoid opponents while leading Barcelona to titles in La Liga and the Spanish Super Cup in 2010 and 2011, as well as the triumph in the 2011 Champions League.

2012 marked the beginning of Messi’s all-out attack on the record books. Early in March, he made history by being the first player to score five goals in a Champions League match. A few weeks later, he overtook Cesar Rodriguez’s previous club record of 232 goals to become Barcelona’s all-time best scorer.

Messi had scored an astonishing 91 goals in club and international play by the time the calendar year 2012 came to a close, surpassing the 85 goals that Gerd Muller had scored in a single calendar year back in 1972. When he was awarded the FIFA Ballon d’Or for a record-tying fourth time in January 2013, it was only fitting that he set a new record in the process.

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The persistent hamstring ailments brought the soccer great down to earth a little bit that year, but he quickly regained his record-breaking form by becoming the all-time leading scorer in La Liga and Champions League play in the late 2014 season.

In recognition of his contributions to Barcelona’s historic achievement of a second triple in 2015, he was awarded the FIFA Ballon d’Or for the fifth time. After winning another La Liga championship and then going on to win his sixth Ballon d’Or, Messi once again set a new benchmark for brilliance in the sport of soccer.

Messi officially signed with the French club Paris Saint-Germain on August 10, 2021. On August 29th, he made his first appearance for the club.

Criticism of Argentina National Team Performance

Despite all of Messi’s achievements with Barcelona, he has been criticized for his inability to lead Argentina to a major trophy during his time with the national team. Even though Germany defeated his team in the World Cup final, he was awarded the tournament’s best player and led Argentina’s national team to the championship game.

In 2016, after Chile had defeated Argentina in the final of the Copa America competition for the second year in a row, Lionel Messi stated that he would no longer be playing for Argentina’s national side.

The soccer legend reconsidered his choice, but participating in the 2018 World Cup did not produce that elusive title, as planned. After Messi scored an early goal in a 2-1 win over Nigeria that helped his team move from the group stage, he was mainly kept in check by France, his two assists not enough to stave off a 4-3 defeat sent Argentina home.

The following year, Messi was handed a three-game suspension by the South American Football Confederation for his outspoken criticism of the referees following Argentina’s 2-0 loss to Brazil in the Copa America semifinals. Messi’s comments came in the aftermath of Argentina’s elimination from the tournament.

Stats

As of August 2019, Messi’s career highlights for FC Barcelona are as follows:

  • Appearances: 687
  • Goals: 603
  • Assists: 251
  • Shot accuracy: 48%
  • Chances created: 348

Messi has been honoured on six occasions with the FIFA Player of the Year award. Additionally, he has been awarded the European Golden Shoe for best scorer six times, giving him a lead of two over his closest competitor, Cristiano Ronaldo.

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Tax Fraud Scandal

A court in Barcelona found Messi and his father guilty of three tax fraud charges in July 2016, dealing a blow to Messi’s reputation unrelated to his success on the soccer pitch. During the trial, which lasted for four days, Messi and his father both denied breaching the law and stated that they were unaware of any tax illegalities that had been committed.

On the other hand, each received a prison sentence of 21 months. They did not go to jail since, according to Spanish legislation, sentences for first offences under two years are postponed. As a result, they were not punished by going to jail; nonetheless, Messi was sentenced to pay a fine of 2 million euros. It was needed that his father paid one and a half million euros.

Personal Life

Antonella Roccuzzo, Messi’s longstanding girlfriend and the cousin of his best friend and fellow soccer star Lucas Scaglia, was the bride on Messi’s wedding day, which took place on June 30, 2017. Thiago was born in November 2012, Mateo in September 2015, and Ciro in March 2018 are Messi and Roccuzzo’s three children together. Thiago was born in November 2012, Mateo in September 2015, and Ciro in March 2018.

When Messi was only 5 years old, he was introduced to Roccuzzo in their shared hometown of Rosario. Their marriage, a civil ceremony that was billed by Argentina’s Clar newspaper as the “wedding of the century,” was conducted at a fancy hotel in Rosario, with some other notable soccer players as well as Colombian pop diva Shakira on the guest list for the 260 people in attendance.

Charity and UNICEF

Messi has quietly assisted those in need, even though he is notoriously private off the pitch. In 2007, he established the Leo Messi Foundation to extend chances to underprivileged young people. At the beginning of 2010, UNICEF appointed him as a goodwill ambassador, and his primary responsibility was to advocate for the rights of children all around the world.

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