Lionel Messi is a professional Argentine footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish club FC Barcelona. He is considered the best player in the world at the moment, and some even rate him as the greatest footballer to have ever played this beautiful game.
Messi was born and raised in central Argentina, but relocated to Spain to join Barcelona’s youth academy at the age of 13. He was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency as a child, but the Catalan club agreed to pay for his medical treatment upon signing him. Leo progressed rapidly through the youth ranks at the club, and made his competitive debut for them on October 2004, at the age of 17.
Messi has since helped Barca win numerous trophies, including 8 La Liga titles, 4 Copa Del Rey trophies, 6 Supercopa de España titles, 4 UEFA Champions Leagues, 3 UEFA Super Cups, and 3 FIFA Club World Cups.
His international career, however, hasn’t been as successful in terms of trophies. He made his debut for his country against Paraguay in June 2004, at the age of 17, and subsequently led the Argentine youth side to a FIFA World Youth Championship triumph.
Soonafter, he made his senior debut for Argentina at the age of 18 in a friendly against Hungary, in which he was sent off two minutes after coming on as a substitute. Now the captain of his national team, Messi has managed to take his team through to numerous finals, but a FIFA U20 World Cup and an Olympic Gold Medal remain the only international honours in his collection.
Although on an individual level, only a handful of footballers will ever come close to achieving what this little genius has.
He is the only player in the game’s history to win 5 FIFA Ballon D’Or awards, four of which were consecutive victories. He is also the first player to win 3 European Golden Shoes, and has numerous records to his name – most goals scored in La Liga, most goals scored in a single La Liga season (50), most goals scored in a club football season in Europe (73), most assists made in La Liga, and most assists made in the Copa America, to name a few.
He has scored more than 500 career goals for club and country, and is, at present, the leading goalscorer for Barcelona as well as the Argentine National Team.
Lionel Messi is known not only for the sheer number of goals he scores, but also for his magnificent ball control and dribbling skills. Many describe his performances on the pitch as magical, whilst some even believe his footballing skills to be beyond human capabilities. The man continues to create history each and every day, and he will forever be remembered as the greatest football player of not only his generation, but of all time.