Lionel Messi- Biography

 

Messi was born on 24 June 1987 in Rosario Santa Fe, the third of four children of Jorge Messi, a steel factory manager, and his wife Celia Cuccittini, who worked in a magnet manufacturing workshop. On his father’s side, he is of Italian and Spanish descent, the great-grandson of immigrants from the northcentral Adriatic Marche region of Italy and Catalonia, and on his mother’s side, he has primarily Italian ancestry.



Growing up in a tight-knit, football-loving family, “Leo” developed a passion for the sport from an early age, playing constantly with his older brothers, Rodrigo and Matías, and his cousins, Maximiliano and Emmanuel Biancucchi, both of whom became professional footballers.

At the age of four, he joined a 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. 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 to his grandmother.



However, his future as a professional player was threatened when, at age 10, he was diagnosed with a growth deficiency hormone. 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.

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 the 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.

Soccer career (club)

Barcelona

After being named player of the tournament in four international pre-season competitions with the Juveniles B, he played only one official match with the team before being promoted to Juveniles A, where he scored 18 goals in 11 league games.

To gain further match experience, Messi joined Barcelona C in addition to the Juveniles A, playing his first game for the third team on 29 November. He helped save them from the relegation zone of the Tercera Division, scoring five goals in ten games, including a hat-trick in eight minutes during a Copa del Rey match while man-marked by Sevilla’s Sergio Ramos

On 24 June, his 18th birthday, Messi signed his first contract as a senior team player. It made him a Barcelona player until 2010, two years less than his previous contract, but his buyout clause increased to €150 million. After Ronaldinho lost form, Messi became Barça’s new star player at only 20 years old, receiving the nickname “Messiah” from the Spanish media.

His efforts in 2007 also earned him award recognition; journalists voted him the third-best player of the year for the 20007 Ballon d’Or, behind Kaka and runner-up Christiano Ronaldo, while international managers and national team captains voted him second for the FIFA World Player Of The Year award, again behind Kaká.

Achievements In Barcelona

Argentinian footballer Lionel Messi, regarded by many as the greatest player of all time, has received seven 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 Espana (14), the UEFA Super Cup (3) and is the player with the most official recorded assists in football history (315).He has scored 782 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

Trophies

Trophy No. of titles
La Liga 10
Copa del Rey 7
Spanish Super Cups 8
Champions League 4
European Super Cups 3
Club World Cups 3
Total 45

Individual awards

Award Years
Golden Ball 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019
UEFA Men’s Player of the Award 2009, 2011, 2015
European Golden Shoe 2010, 2012, 2013, 2017, 2018, 2019
Pichichi Trophy 2010, 2012, 2013, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
Champions League top scorer 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019
Best striker in Champions League 2019
La Liga Player of the Year 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015
Best Player in Club World Cup 2009, 2011
Club World Cup Golden Boot 2011
FIFA The Best 2019
Total 40

Paris Saint-Germain

Messi playing for Paris Saint- Germain in 2021

On 10 August, Messi joined French club Paris Saint- Germain He signed a two-year deal until June 2023 with an option for an extra year. Messi chose 30 as his squad number, the same he wore as a teenager when he made his senior debut for Barcelona.

Messi made his debut for the club on 29 August, coming on as a substitute in the second half of a 2–0 away win over Reims in Ligue. He made his first start and UEFA Champions League debut for the club in a 1–1 away draw against Club Brugge on 15 September. Four days later, Messi made his home debut for PSG in a 2–1 win over Lyon. On 28 September, Messi scored his first goal for the club, a strike from the edge of the 18-yard box after playing a one-two with Kylian Mbappe, in a 2–0 Champions League group stage win over Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.

On 21 November, Messi scored his first Ligue 1 goal in a 3–1 home victory over Nantes. On 28 November, Messi provided a hat-trick of assists for the fifth time in his career as PSG beat Saint- Etienne 3–1 away from home.

International Career

As a dual Argentine-Spanish national, Messi was eligible to play for the national team of both countries. Selectors for Spain’s Under-17 squad began pursuing him in 2003 after Barcelona’s director of football, Carles Rexach, alerted the Royal Spanish Football Federation to their young player. Messi declined the offer, having aspired to represent La Albiceleste since childhood

During the World Cup in Germany, Messi witnessed their opening match victory against the Ivory Coast from the substitutes’ bench. In the next match, against Serbia and Montenegro, he became the youngest player to represent Argentina at a FIFA World Cup when he came on as a substitute in the 74th minute. He assisted their fourth strike within minutes and scored the final goal in their 6–0 victory, making him the youngest scorer in the tournament and the sixth-youngest goal scorer in the history of the World Cup. As their progression to the knockout phase was secured, several starters were rested during the last group match. Messi consequently started the game against the Netherlands, a 0–0 draw, as they won their group on goal differential. In the round of 16 match against Mexico, played on his 19th birthday, Messi came on in the 84th minute, with the score tied at 1–1. He appeared to score a goal, but it was contentiously ruled offside, with the team needing a late goal in extra time to proceed. He did not play in the quarter-final against Germany, during which Argentina were eliminated 4–2 in a penalty shootout.Back home, Pékerman’s decision to leave him on the bench against Germany led to widespread criticism from those who believed Messi could have changed the outcome of the match in Argentina’s favour.

On 14 June 2021, Messi scored from a free kick in a 1–1 draw against Chile in Argentina’s opening group match of the 2021 Copa America in Brazil. On 21 June, Messi played in his 147th match as he equaled Javier Mascherano’s record for most appearances for Argentina in a 1–0 win over Paraguay in their third game of the tournament. A week later, he broke the record for most appearances in an Argentina shirt when he featured in a 4–1 win against Bolivia in his team’s final group match, assisting Papu Gomez’s opening goal and later scoring two. On 3 July, Messi assisted twice and scored from a free-kick in a 3–0 win over Ecuador in the quarter-finals of the competition. On 6 July, in a 1–1 draw in the semi-finals against Colombia, Messi made his 150th appearance for his country and registered his fifth assist of the tournament, a cut-back for ‘Lautaro Matinez, matching his record of nine goal contributions in a single tournament from five years earlier; he later netted his spot kick in Argentina’s eventual 3–2 penalty shoot-out victory to progress to his fifth international final.

On 10 July, Argentina defeated hosts Brazil 1–0 in the final, giving Messi his first major international title and Argentina’s first since 1993, as well as his nation’s joint record 15th Copa América overall. Messi was directly involved in 9 out of the 12 goals scored by Argentina, scoring four and assisting five; he was named the player of the tournament for his performances, an honor he shared with Neymar. He also finished as the tournament’s top scorer with four goals tied with Colombia’s Luis Diaz, although the Golden Boot was awarded to Messi as he had more assists.

 

Personal life

Family and relationships

Messi and Roccuzzo have three sons: Thiago (born 2012), Mateo (born 2015) and Ciro (born 2018). To celebrate his partner’s first pregnancy, Messi placed the ball under his shirt after scoring in Argentina’s 4–0 win against Ecuador on 2 June 2012, before confirming the pregnancy in an interview two weeks later.

Thiago was born in Barcelona on 2 November 2012, with Messi attending the birth after being given permission by Barcelona to miss training. Thiago’s name and handprints are tattooed on his left calf. In April 2015, Messi confirmed that they were expecting another child. He missed training ahead of a match against Atlético Madrid to attend the birth of his second son, Mateo, on 11 September 2015 in Barcelona.

On 30 June 2017, he married Roccuzzo at a luxury hotel named Hotel City Center in Rosario with about 260 guests attending his wedding. On 15 October 2017, his wife announced they were expecting their third child. On 10 March 2018, Messi skipped the match against Málaga after Ciro was born

Philanthropy

Throughout his career, Messi has been involved in charitable efforts aimed at vulnerable children, a commitment that stems in part from the medical difficulties he faced in his own childhood. Since 2004, he has contributed his time and finances to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), an organisation with which Barcelona also has a strong association. Messi has served as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador since his appointment in March 2010, completing his first field mission for the organization four months later as he traveled to Haiti to bring public awareness to the plight of the country’s children in the wake of the recent earthquake. He has since participated in UNICEF campaigns targeting HIV prevention, education, and the social inclusion of disabled children. To celebrate his son’s first birthday, in November 2013, Messi and Thiago were part of a publicity campaign to raise awareness of mortality rates among disadvantaged children

Fraud Saga

Messi’s financial affairs came under investigation in 2013 for suspected tax evation. Offshore companies in tax havens Uruguay and Belize were used to evade €4.1 million in taxes related to sponsorship earnings between 2007 and 2009. An unrelated shell company in Panama set up in 2012 was subsequently identified as belonging to the Messi’s in the Panama Papers data leak.

Messi, who pleaded ignorance of the alleged scheme, voluntarily paid arrears of €5.1 million in August 2013. On 6 July 2016, Messi and his father were both found guilty of tax fraud and were handed suspended 21-month prison sentences and respectively ordered to pay €1.7 million and €1.4 million in fines. Facing the judge, he said, “I just played football. I signed the contracts because I trusted my dad and the lawyers and we had decided that they would take charge of those things

Comparison to Christiano Ronaldo

Although Messi has at times denied any rivalry, they are widely believed to push one another in their aim to be the best player in the world: since 2008, Messi has won seven Ballons d’Or to Ronaldo’s five, six FIFA World’s Best Player awards to Ronaldo’s five, and six European Golden Shoes to Ronaldo’s four. Pundits and fans regularly argue the individual merits of both players; beyond their playing styles, the debate also revolves around their differing physiques – Ronaldo is 1.87 m (6 ft 1+12 in) with a muscular build – and contrasting public personalities, with Ronaldo’s self-confidence and theatrics a foil to Messi’s humility.

From 2009–10 to 2017–18, Messi faced Ronaldo at least twice every season in El Clasico, which ranks among the world’s most viewed annual sports events. Off the pitch, Ronaldo is his direct competitor in terms of salary, sponsorships, and social media fanbase

Salary and Net Worth

Free-agent superstar Lionel Messi joined French side Paris Saint-Germain in the most high-profile player move of the summer in Europe. Reports state that Messi’s two-year contract with PSG gives him a $41 million annual net salary, including bonuses. The contract also contemplates an option for a third year. It is believed that Messi’s net worth is around $600 million and, understandably, most of that has been grown during his long and distinguished career at FC Barcelona, although it has certainly not been harmed by the PSG switch

 

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