Lionel Andres Messi (Spanish Lionel Andrés Messi) - Argentine footballer, striker of the Paris Saint-Germain football club, since 2011 - captain of the Argentina national team. Top scorer in Barcelona and Argentina history. Considered one of the best football players of our time and one of the best players of all time. Seven-time winner of the Golden Ball and the Golden Boot.
Place of Birth. Education. Lionel Messi was born on June 24, 1987 in Rosario, Argentina. Father - Jorge Horacio Messi, a factory worker at a steel mill, mother - Celia Maria Messi (maiden name Cuccittini), a part-time cleaner. His father's family comes from the Italian city of Ancona, from where his ancestor, Angelo Messi, emigrated to Argentina in 1883.
Career. Messi started playing football at the age of five, at the amateur club Grandoli, coached by his father Jorge. In 1995, he began to play for a professional club - Newell's Old Boys, and in 1997, being a player in this club, he won the Friendship Cup of Peru. At the age of 11, he was diagnosed with somatotropin (growth hormone) deficiency.
When Lionel was 13 years old, one of the shareholders of the Barcelona club found out about the young football player. September 17, 2000 Messi and his father arrived in Catalonia. The club's sports director, Carles Rexac, was so impressed with the player's talent that he persuaded the Blue Garnet board of directors to pay for the Messi family to move to Europe, as well as treatment, which cost 90,000 euros a year. Since then, he began to play in the youth team of the club. In his very first match, he scored "poker", and in just a season he scored 37 goals in 30 matches. Messi quickly found his game and began to appear frequently in the starting lineup of the second team, scoring a goal per game on average. At the age of 16, Fabio Capello noticed the game of Lionel; he offered the team's head coach, Frank Rijkaard, to take Messi on loan for a season at Juventus, but the Dutchman refused.
Messi made his debut for the main team on November 17, 2003 in a friendly game against Porto.
At the start of the 2009/10 season, Barcelona signed Messi to a new contract. The agreement with the 22-year-old Argentine striker was valid until 2016, and the release clause was 250 million euros. The previous contract with a release clause of 150 million euros ended in 2014.
On December 1, 2009, Lionel Messi received the Golden Ball with 473 points, and overtook the closest competitor, Cristiano Ronaldo, by a record 240 points. Messi scored 473 points out of 480 possible - 96 journalists from around the world almost unanimously recognized him as the best. He became the first Argentine to receive an honorary award from France Football magazine.
On December 21, 2009, Messi officially received the title of the best player in the world in 2009. At the FIFA Individual Awards Gala, the Argentine surpassed Cristiano Ronaldo, Xavi, Kaka and Andrés Iniesta by a wide margin, becoming the first Argentine in history to win the Diamond Ball (voted by the coaches and captains of the national teams playing under sponsored by FIFA).
On January 9, 2012, Lionel received the FIFA Golden Ball for the third time in a row, ahead of Xavi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Before him, only the Frenchman Michel Platini had received this award three times in a row.
On July 1, 2023, Lionel became a free agent after the end of his contract with FC Barcelona. Representatives of the club and Messi reached an agreement and planned to sign a new contract, but due to financial difficulties, they did not. August 10 Messi signed a contract with the French club "Paris Saint Germain" for a period of two years and the possibility of an extension for another year.
Team Achievements. A graduate of the Barcelona Football Academy, he has been playing in the first team since the age of 17. Since then, with the club, he has won eight Spanish league titles, four UEFA Champions Leagues, five Spanish Cups, seven Spanish Super Cups, three European Super Cups and three Club World Cups. Five times he became the top scorer of the Champions League and four times - the championship of Spain.
Argentina national team. In 2005 he made his debut for the Argentina national team. He is the youngest player to score a goal for Albiceleste in the World Cup. As part of the youth team, he became the world champion in 2005 (the best player and top scorer of the tournament) and the Olympic champion in 2008. As part of the national team - the silver medalist of the 2014 World Cup (the best player in the tournament). The best scorer in the history of the Argentina national team (61 goals). Included in the symbolic national team of Argentina of all time. Since 2011, he has been the captain of the Argentina national team.
Personal achievements. In 2005 and 2007-2013, 2015-2016 he was recognized as the best player of the year in Argentina, the last eight awards were presented as the best Argentinean abroad.
In 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011 he was recognized as the best player in the Spanish championship. In 2009, he was recognized as the best player of the year in European club football according to UEFA and the best striker of the Champions League. In the same year he received the "Golden Ball" as the best football player in Europe and the "Diamond Ball" as the best football player in the world according to FIFA.
The best football player in the world in 2010 (became the first owner of the FIFA Golden Ball, a combined prize from France Football and FIFA).
In 2011, Messi became the best player in Europe (the first winner of the prize for the best player of the year in Europe) and the owner of the FIFA Golden Ball. In 2012, he became the first player to win the FIFA Ballon d'Or three times. Four-time winner of the Golden Boot (2010, 2012, 2013, 2017).
Records. Now the top scorer in the history of Barcelona, during his performances in 2004-2017. (as of September 13, 2017) has 589 matches and 515 goals.
In March 2012, he set a performance record in all official matches for Barcelona - 234 goals scored. Also in the 2011/12 season, he set a performance record for the Spanish Championship - 50 goals per season.
In March 2014, he broke the 87-year-old record for the most goals scored in the history of Barcelona, bringing his score to 371 goals. On November 22, 2014, he broke the record for the number of goals in the Spanish Championship - 251 goals scored, which lasted 59 years. November 25, 2014 broke the record in the Champions League - 71 goals scored.
In April 2017, at the age of 29, he scored his 500th goal for Barcelona in official matches and became the only player in the history of Spanish football to overcome this mark for one club. Top scorer in El Clasico and Catalan derby history.
Problems with law. In early June 2013, Messi and his father Jorge were accused of tax evasion of more than 4 million euros. According to the Spanish authorities, Lionel hid information about his income to evade taxes from 2006 to 2009. In 2016, Messi and his father were sentenced to 21 months in prison. In accordance with Spanish law, they will not serve their sentence, but are required to pay heavy fines. On May 24, 2017, the Spanish Supreme Court upheld the sentence of Argentine striker Lionel Messi. The court also ordered the Barcelona striker to pay a fine of 2 million euros ($2.2 million).
Personal life. On November 2, 2012, a son was born to Lionel and Antonella Rokuzzo in a Barcelona hospital, who was named Thiago. On September 11, 2015, the couple had a second son, Mateo Messi. June 1, 2017 in the Argentine city of Rosario hosted the wedding ceremony of Lionel Messi and Antonella Roccuzzo. On March 11, 2018, Lionel Messi and Antonella Rokuzzo had their third son, who was named Ciro.
November 30, 2023