Lionel Messi is one of the biggest names in the game of football and is often touted as the greatest footballer of his generation. He is a football legend, model and great player who has achieved so much and carted home so many awards and titles. This article is about Lionel Messi biography, career, net worth and other exciting facts about him.
Lionel Messi Early Life
Lionel was born on the 24th of June 1987 in Argentina to Jorge Messi (his father) and Celia Cuccittini (his mother). His full name at birth was Lionel Andres Leo Messi. He is the third child in a family of four children and his father was a factory steel worker while his mother was a cleaner.
Messi began his romance with the game of football at a tender age of 4 and soon joined a local club coached by his father by named “Grandoi”. His maternal grandmother greatly influenced his football career as she always accompanied him while going for trainings and scheduled matches. His older brothers (Rodrigo and Matias) and cousins (Maximiliano and Emmanuel) also played a part in deepening his passion for the game and they were always available for him to play with.
Unfortunately, Messi got diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency (GHD) at 11 and it was at about this time also that he lost his beloved maternal grandmother, and this really affected him.
Luck however smiled on him when he relocated to Spain at 13 to join Barcelona Football Club who also agreed to bear the cost of his medical treatment. On completion of his growth hormone deficiency treatment at 14, he became fully focused on his football career, becoming an integral part of the “Baby Dream Team”, which is Barcelona’s greatest ever youthful side.
On February 2001, Lionel Messi signed up for the Barcelona youth academy also known as “La Masia” as a junior football player and also enrolled at the Royal Spanish Football Federation in February 2002.
Messi celebrates his goals whenever he scores by looking up and pointing towards the sky as a tribute to his beloved grandmother and also because of his Roman Catholic faith.
Lionel Messi Career
Messi’s football career has been extremely successful since his debut. His career began fully in 2002 – 2003 and he ended up as the top goal scorer with 36 goals in 30 matches for the Cadetes A, and practically won the Spanish and Catalan cups. He was so phenomenal during his first year that he didn’t go unnoticed, with Arsene Wenger of Arsenal Football club offering him a deal, which he rejected and offered to stay at Barcelona, a decision he hasn’t changed till date.
He got moved to the Barcelona senior team at the age of 17 in 2004 after a very successful time at the youth academy and established himself within a short while as the best player for the club despite battling lots of injuries.
Lionel Messi won his first Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Best Player of the Year Award in 2007 at the age of 22.
Lionel Messi Awards
Lionel has won so many top Football Awards both personally and with his club, Barcelona. He has more than 30 trophies with his club including 9 La Liga titles, 4 UEFA Champions League titles and 5 Copas Del Rel.
He has also won 5 Ballon d’Or and holds the record of the highest number of goals scored in football history.
Lionel Messi Personal Life
Messi is married to the love of his life Antonella Roccuzzo and together they have three children.
Lionel Messi Endorsements
As a phenomenal football star with millions of fans, he has been courted by lots of top brands who have signed endorsement deals with him. He has deals with the likes of Pepsi, Addidas, Huawei, Ooredoo, Gatorade, Konami, Mastercard, Hawkers and several others.
Lionel Messi Controversies
Messi and his father in 2013 were involved in a tax evasion scandal with the Spanish government. This resulted in their being convicted in 2016 on three counts of tax fraud and subsequently fined 1.7 million and 1.4 million euros respectively.
Lionel Messi Net worth
Lionel Messi is one of the best players that have graced the game of football. This has brought him a lot of fame and fortune. In addition to record contract by his club, he also has lucrative endorsement deals with multinationals. Lionel Messi net worth is estimated at $400 million.