Lionel Messi is an Argentine footballer who currently plays for La Liga's Barcelona and the Argentine national team. Messi is considered to be one of the best football players of his generation.
Messi is the only football player in history to win 4 FIFA Ballons d'Or ( 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015) and the first player to win three European Golden Shoes (2010, 2011, 2012).
At 22 years old, Messi won the Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year award by record voting margins.
With Barcelona he has won eight La Liga titles and four UEFA Champions League titles, as well as four Copas del Rey. Both a prolific goalscorer and a creative playmaker, Messi holds the records for most goals scored in La Liga, a La Liga season (50), a football season (82), and a calendar year (91), as well as those for most assists made in La Liga and the Copa América.
He has scored 563 senior career goals for club (507) and country (56) (on 21 October 2016).
La Liga (8): 2004-05, 2005-06, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2012-13, 2014-15, 2015-16
Copa del Rey (4): 2008-09, 2011-12, 2014-15, 2015-16
UEFA Champions League (4): 2005-06, 2008-09, 2010-11, 2014-15
Supercopa de España (7): 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016
UEFA Super Cup (3): 2009, 2011, 2015
FIFA Club World Cup (3): 2009, 2011, 2015
FIFA U-20 World Cup: 1 2005
Copa América, second place 2007
Olympic Gold Medal: 1 2008
European Golden Shoe (3): 2010, 2012, 2013
UEFA Best Player in Europe Award: 2010-11, 2014-15
UEFA Club Footballer of the Year: 2009
UEFA Goal of the Season: 2014-15
FIFA Club World Cup Golden Ball (2): 2009, 2011
UEFA Champions League Top Goalscorer (5): 2009, 2010,2011, 2012, 2015
FIFA Ballon d'Or (4): 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015
Ballon d'Or: 2009
FIFA World Player of the Year: 2009
World Soccer Player of the Year (3): 2009, 2011, 2012
World Soccer Greatest XI of All Time: 2013
Current club: Barcelona (ESP)
Quick Stats: 2016 / 2017 UEFA Champions League
His Argentinian striker's footballing career started in 1995 at Newell's Old Boys, who were based in his home city Rosario and where he played until the year 2000.
In the 2003-2004 season, when he was still only 16, Messi made his unofficial debut for the first team against FC Porto on November 16, 2003.
A year later he made his official debut against Espanyol on October 16, 2004 at the Olympic Stadium (0-1), becoming the third-youngest player ever to play for FC Barcelona and youngest club player who played in La Liga.
On May 1, 2005, when Messi was only 17 years, 10 months and 7 days old, he scored his first senior goal for the club against Albacete Balompié and became the youngest player ever to score a league goal for FC Barcelona.
In June 2005, at the FIFA World Youth Championship in Holland, Messi won the title with Argentina. He was the top scorer with six goals, including two in the final game of the Besides he was named the best player in the tournament.
On 17 August 2005 he played his first game for the Argentine senior national team against Hungary.
Lionel got the Spanish citizenship in 2005, this year he also received the Golden Boy award for best young player given by the Italian magazine Tuttosport.
In his debut season 2005-06, Barcelona won La Liga, and a double of the league and UEFA Champions League. Messi played a total of 17 league games, 6 in the Champions League and 2 in the Copa del Rey. Messi scored eight goals.
Messi was a member of Argentina's 2006 World Cup team. He became the youngest Argentine to play in the FIFA World Cup.
In 2006–07 season he became a first team regular, scoring a hat-trick in El Clásico and finishing with 14 goals in 26 league games
In summer 2007 he won a runners-up medal at the Copa América.
He continued to develop in the 2007-08 campaign, when he scored 16 goals and gave 10 assists in the 40 games he played in.
In 2008 he also went to the Olympic Games in Beijing, where Argentina Olympic football team won Olympic gold medal
His most successful season was the 2008–09 season, in which Messi managed to stay injury free all season, and played 51 games, scoring 38 goals to play an integral part in a treble winning campaign.
In 2009 he helped Barcelona win a rare triple: the Copa del Rey, Spain's La Liga championship, and the Champions League. Winning the 2009 World Player of the Year award after scoring 47 goals in 53 starts during the season.
In the 2009–10 season Lionel during one week, netted eight goals. In March, he became the first player in club history to score back-to-back hat tricks in league games.
In April, he had his first four-goal game, fueling a victory over Arsenal in a Champions League quarterfinal match.
He finished the year with 34 goals in La Liga play, matching the club record set in 1997 by Brazilian star Ronaldo. He was named the Spanish League’s top player for the second season in a row.
Three successful seasons followed, with Messi winning three consecutive FIFA Ballons d'Or.
During the 2011–12 season, Messi set the La Liga and European records for most goals scored in a single season: 73 goals and provided 29 assists in all club competitions producing a hat-trick or more on 10 occasions.
In the March of 2013, Messi scored for the 19th consecutive La Liga game.
Messi regained his best form during the 2014–15 campaign, breaking the all-time goalscoring records in both La Liga and the Champions League in November 2014.
In 2015 Messi received the UEFA Best Player in Europe award for a second time. He himself scored 58 of the 122 goals.
In February 2016 , he reached his 300th league goal. On September, Messi scored his first hat-trick of the season and his sixth hat-trick in the Champions League in the game Celtic in a 7–0 victory.
As the squad's captain from 2011, he led Argentina to three consecutive finals of the 2014 World Cup, for which he won the Golden Ball, and the 2015and 2016 Copas América.
He announced his retirement from international football following Argentina’s on 26 June 2016. On 12 August, Messi had reversed his decision on 1 September, in his for Argentina he scored the one goal.
Charity. In 2007 he established Fundacion Leo Messi, a charity supporting access to education and health care for vulnerable children. In an fansite interview, Messi said: “Being a bit famous now gives me the opportunity to help people who really need it, especially children."
In response to Messi’s own childhood medical difficulties, the Leo Messi Foundation supports Argentine children diagnosed with medical conditions by offering treatment in Spain and covering the transport, hospital and recuperation costs.
On 11 March 2010 Messi was announced as a Goodwill Ambassador by UNICEF with a focus on fighting for children's rights across the globe.
Messi is sponsored by the German sportswear company Adidas. In June 2010, Messi also signed a 3 year deal with Herbalife which further supports the Leo Messi Foundation.
In 2013, Messi donated a sum of €600,000 for the restoration of a children's hospital in his hometown of Rosario, Argentina.
Creative playing style. Messi is an unusual, smart, unique and highly creative player. He has amazing individual skill, stylish dribbling and outstanding ball control at speed. He is also a remarkable team player and is an excellent passer. He has cool-head , ability to keep the balance allowed him to change speed and direction in a beat. Moreover Messi has power and accuracy shot. He is always aware of the players around him and is good at creating space and new opportunities.
He is universal player, who is comfortable at any of the forward positions. But first of all Messi is an attacking, goal-scoring forward. He is strong, fast , incisive and fearless player. He could shoot with either foot, but was particularly adept with the left.
Salary. On June 27, 2005 Barcelona offered Lionel Messi a contract extension which would contain a buyout clause of 150 Million Euros (his conract is on 30 Million more than the talismanic Ronaldinho). In 2009 The team rewarded Lionel with a contract extension through 2016. In recent years Messi has become one of the game's highest paid players, earning an estimated $18 million a year. On 19 May 2014, Messi signed a new contract his salary increased to €20 million, or €36 million before taxes, the highest wage ever in the sport.
His Net Worth $230 million.
At the age of 11, he was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency, which would cast doubt over his entire career in the game. Primera División club River Plate showed interest in Messi's progress, but did not have enough money to pay for the treatment, as it cost $900 a month. His parents were unable to pay for the treatment in Argentina, and in 2000 they moved to Europe, as Barcelona offered treatment for his growth hormone deficiency.
At the age of 13, Lionel Messi crossed the Atlantic to try his luck in Barcelona, and joined the Under 14s. On September 25, 2005 Messi obtained a Spanish citizenship and was finally able to make his debut in this season's Spanish First Division.
His girlfriend Antonella Roccuzzo is a fellow native of Rosario. She is a former model, 28 years old and studied Nutrition. They have known each other since childhood and started dating one Christmas vacation when he went home in Rosario, Argentina. She often traveled whenever she can to Barcelona to be with him. In 2010 they announced that planned to marry. Antonella later shifted her base to her beau’s home in Barcelona.
Messi and Roccuzzo have two sons: Thiago (born November 2, 2012) and Mateo (born September 11, 2015).