|Full Name||Lionel Andrés Messi|
|Nickname(s)||Leo, Atomic Flea, La Pulga, La Pulga Atomica, Messidona|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters– 170 cm
in meters– 1.70 m
in feet inches– 5’ 7”
|Debut||International– On 17 August, 2005 for Argentina against Hungary
Club– On 16 October, 2004 for FC Barcelona against Espanyol
|Club||• Paris Saint-Germain (2021-present)
• FC Barcelona (2004-2021)
• Barcelona B (2004-2005)
• Barcelona C (2003-2004)
• Newell’s Old Boys (1995-2000)
• Grandoli (1992-1995)
|Jersey Number||#10 (FC Barcelona)
|Coach/Mentor||• Salvador Aparicio (Messi’s first coach when he was a child)
• Frank Rijkaard
• Pep Guardiola
|Records (main ones)||• Youngest two-time and three-time FIFA Ballon d’Or winner (23 and 24 years old).
• Most UEFA Best Player in Europe awards (2009, 2011, 2015).
• Most La Liga Best Player awards (2009-2013, 2015).
• Top goalscorer for country and club in a calendar year (91 goals in 2012).
• Top goalscorer in La Liga (312 goals).
• Top goalscorer in the FIFA Club World Cup (shared with Luis Suárez and César Delgado).
• Most hat-tricks scored in a La Liga season (8 in 2011-2012, shared with Cristiano Ronaldo).
• The only player to score consecutively against all opposition teams in La Liga (30 goals in 19 matches in 2012–13).
• The only player to have won the FIFA Club World Cup Golden Ball Award more than once.
• In 2013, he became the youngest player to score 200 goals in La Liga.
• The only player to become the top-scorer in 5 UEFA Champions League seasons (2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014, and 2015).
• Record of the most hat-tricks in the UEFA Champions League- five hat-tricks.
• Youngest player to make 100 appearances in the UEFA Champions League: 28 years, 84 days in 2015).
• All-time top-goalscorer of Argentina.
• All-time record scorer for a single club; after he scored his 644th goal to surpass Pele in December 2020. The Hindu
• On 1 June 2022, he equalled Cristiano Ronaldo‘s haul of international trophies after guiding Argentina to victory in Finalissima clash against Italy. Mirror
|Awards, Honours, Achievements||• FIFA World Player of the Year: 2009
• FIFA Ballon d’Or: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019
• European Golden Boot: 2010, 2012, 2013, 2017, 2018
• FIFA World Cup Golden Ball: 2014
• UEFA Men’s Player of the Year Award: 2011, 2015
• La Liga Best Player: 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2014–15
• FIFA Club World Cup Golden Ball: 2009, 2011
• FIFA Club World Cup Final Most Valuable Player (MVP): 2009, 2011
• UEFA Goal of the Season: 2006–07, 2014–15, 2015–16
Note: He has many other awards, honours, and achievements to his name.
|Career Turning Point||In 2007, when he scored a hat-trick against Real Madrid and ended the match with a draw while playing for Barcelona.|
|Date of Birth||24 June 1987 (Wednesday)|
|Age (as of 2022)||35 Years|
|Hometown||Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina|
|School||Did Not Attend|
|College/University||Did Not Attend|
|Address||Messi lives in a small area called Bellamar, a prestigious and expensive suburb of Castelldefels, Barcelona
|Hobbies||Playing Video Games, Listening to Music|
|Controversies||• In 2013, he was investigated for his suspected tax evasion.
• In 2016, his name appeared in the Panama Papers Data Leak.
|Girls, Affairs & More|
|Affairs/Girlfriends||Antonella Roccuzzo (Model and Dietician) (2007-2017)
|Marriage Date||June 30, 2017
|Wife/Spouse||Antonella Roccuzzo (Model and Dietician)
• Thiago Messi Roccuzzo
• Mateo Messi Roccuzzo
• Ciro Messi Roccuzzo
|Parents||Father– Jorge Horácio Messi (Steel Factory Worker)
Mother– Celia María Cuccittini
• Rodrigo Messi (Elder; Messi’s business manager)
• Matías Messi (Elder; Manager of Messi’s professional brands)
|Food(s)||Salad, Escalope Milanese|
|Book||El Martin Fierro by Jorge Luis Borges|
|Film||Baby’s Day Out (1994)|
|Cars Collection||• Ferrari 335S Scaglietti Spider
• Ferrari F430 Spider
• Maserati Granturismo
• Audi Q7
• Audi R8
• Audi R8 GT
• Mini Cooper S Cabriolet
• Dodge Charger SRT8
• Range Rover Velar
• Toyota Prius
|Salary (approx.)||$80 million (as of 2018)|
|Net Worth (approx.)||$835 million (his buyout clause with FC Barcelona that commits him to Camp Nou through the 2020-21 season)|
Some Lesser Known Facts About Lionel Messi
- Lionel Messi is one of the most celebrated players in the world of football. He is considered one of the greatest football players of all time. He plays for the Argentina national football team and the Spanish football club “FC Barcelona.”
- He had developed a passion for sports at an early age and joined a local football club “Grandoli” at the age of 4, where he was coached by his father.
- Messi was greatly affected by his grandmother’s death; as she used to accompany him to training and matches during his childhood. To pay her a tribute, Messi celebrates all his goals by looking up and pointing to the sky.
- Messi shares his birthplace (Rosario, Argentina) with the Argentine revolutionary, Che Guevara. Messi is also the international ambassador of Rasario.
- On 16 November 2003, he made his first-team debut at the age of 16 years, 4 months and 23 days, when he came in the 75th minute during a friendly match against “FC Porto.”
- After seeing Messi playing at the age of 16, Ronaldinho told his teammates- “Messi would become an even better player than me.”
- Messi holds passports of both Spain and Argentina. Even though he has spent a lot of time in Spain, he turned down the offer to play with the Spanish national team.
- Carles Rexach (Barcelona Coach) was so impressed with Messi that he wanted to sign him up without wasting any time, so, he signed a contract with Messi on a paper napkin; as at that time, Messi just had a napkin which could be used to write something.
- In 2005, he made his international debut against Hungary, but he lasted for only 47 seconds; as he was soon given a “Red Card.”
- Spanish Media calls him “La Pulga” (The Atomic Flea) as he has a low centre of gravity because of his short stature which gives him greater agility, allowing him to change directions quickly.
- He is the only player who runs faster with the ball than without it. He is predominantly a left-footed player.
- Messi is considered to be the best dribbler (a technique to propel the ball towards the opposition goal by traveling with the ball) in the world.
- Messi has been compared to Diego Maradona throughout his career.
- Messi does not sing the National Anthem of Argentina. Once, in an interview, he explained as to why he doesn’t sing it-
I get annoyed by the people who attack you without thinking, I won’t sing the national anthem on purpose. I don’t need to sing it to feel it. It reaches me, every person feels it in their own way. The Pumas cry, they feel it differently, and that’s ok. I play with the national team always as a priority and I want to win everything I play.”
- In 2015, Forbes magazine listed him as the world’s second-highest-paid athlete (after Cristiano Ronaldo).
- In March 2013, a solid gold replica of his left foot weighing 55 pounds (25 kg) worth $5.25 million went on sale in Japan to raise funds for the 2011 tsunami and earthquake victims. The gold foot has very fine detailing, which shows the blood vessels on his foot and also the swirls skin on the bottom of the foot.
- Filmmaker Álex de la Iglesia made a documentary “Messi” about his life. The documentary premiered at the “Venice Film Festival” in August 2014.
- Throughout his career, he has been involved with charitable activities, and he was also appointed as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in March 2010.
- He has also founded a charitable organization “Leo Messi Foundation,” which supports education, health, and sports for children.
- On 26 June 2016, when Messi missed a penalty in the final shootout in the “Copa America Final” and Argentina lost to Chile, he announced his retirement from international football. However, he reversed his decision later, and he led Argentina to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
- His longtime girlfriend-turned-wife, Antonella Roccuzzo is his cousin’s best friend, Lucas Scaglia, who is also a footballer.
- In 2018, Forbes listed him as the world’s highest-paid athlete (with $84 million salary/winnings) after Floyd Mayweather.
- In 2019, he was named as the Best Player of the Year for the sixth time, and he was awarded the “Ballon d’Or Award”. This also made him the player with the most number of Ballon d’Or awards, surpassing Cristiano Ronaldo, who has 5 awards. Megan Rapinoe was also named as the “Best Female Player of the Year” in the Ballon d’Or event.
- On 11 July 2021, Messi lifted his first trophy with Argentina by winning the Copa America 1-0 against Brazil in Rio de Janeiro; Messi had previously tasted defeat in one World Cup final and three Copa finals with Argentina. After the match, an emotional Messi told reporters –
I was close many times. I knew it would happen eventually. I am grateful to God for giving me this moment, in Brazil against Brazil. I think He was saving this moment for me.”
- In August 2021, Messi had to leave his favourite club Barcelona for which he won 35 trophies, including 10 league titles and four UEFA Champions League crowns. Messi’s exit from the club sent shock waves among his fans, and the reason cited behind his exit was the Spanish LaLiga’s financial fair-play rules, which are among the strictest in the world. On 8 August 2021, during a press conference, a teary-eyed Messi bid goodbye to his favourite club while telling the Catalan media that he had no choice but to leave. He said,
The club did not want to go into more debt.”