In recent Era of Football, Lionel Messi is arguably the best footballer in the world. Often he is compared to the legends like Pele and Diego Maradona and it won’t be a surprise if Messi overtakes them soon. He has become the most popular football figure in world football. Being a legend is not easy and there always goes something behind it. Here we are to bring you 10 unknown facts about the legend Lionel Messi.
10 unknown facts about Lionel Messi:
1. The birth of a star:
Lionel Messi was born on June 24, 1987 in Rosario, Argentina and it’s the birthplace of Argentinian revolutionary Che Guevera. His family is of middle class with Italian origin. His father, Jorge worked as a steelworker to make living. But the football gene was within him as he also coached local youth football team.
2. The rough childhood:
Like the other boys around, he was not as healthy and nutritious. Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency at the age of 11. His treatment cost was $900 a month, which is not affordable for his middle class family.
3. The contract:
Messi’s passion for football was never stopped. He was so skillful from his very childhood with football like he is today. FC Barcelona’s sporting director Carles Rexach was so impressed watching his footballing skills that he made Messi at the age of 13, signed for Barcelona on a napkin paper! He wanted to make the deal immediately and at that time there was no paper available on that place. Meanwhile Barcelona took the responsibility to pay his medical bills.
4. At Barcelona:
Messi made his league debut at the age of 17 against RCD Espanyol and became the third youngest player ever to play for Barcelona. That’s not all. He made himself the youngest player ever for Barcelona to score.
During 2005/06 season, Lionel Messi began being paid as a first team member in Barcelona. In his Spanish first division League appearance, he scored six goals in 17 matches.
In the summer 2008, Messi inherited No 10 Barca jersey from another great footballer Ronaldinho.
5. His achievements:
Lionel Messi is an Olympic gold medalist in 2008, Beijing along with Argentina football team. For Barcelona he has won six La Ligas, two copas Del Rey, five Supercups, three UEFA Champions Leagues, two Club World Cups and two UEFA Super Cups.
He won record four times FIFA Ballon d’Or in 2009,10,11 and 2012. In 2009, Messi was awarded FIFA World Player of the Year. He also won three European Golden shoe awards.
Messi has become the only player to have scored 25 goals in a calendar year both for his club and his country.
6. His humanitarian activities:
He is the Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF for many years. Messi also works for the people suffering from autism. On March 2013, he donated $812,000 towards the refurbishment of a children’s hospital in his hometown Rosario, Argentina. The child oncology unit at that hospital was renovated with that money. The money was also paying for doctors to travel to Barcelona for better training.
7. His comparisons to legend
Lionel Messi’s stature and playing style have drawn comparisons to the Argentine legend Diego Maradona. Maradona has already declared Messi as his successor. But it was lionel Messi as the first Argentine ever to be named FIFA Player of the year, NOT Maradona! However, the award was created in 1991 and at that point the downfall of Maradona had begun after he picked the World Cup in 1986.
8. His family, his son:
His son Thiago Messi was born on November 2, 2012. Thiago is already an official member of the Newell’s old Boys’ supporters club at the age of 72 hours!
Messi loves this kid so much that he tattooed Thiago’s name and handprints on his left calf. Messi spends most of his pastimes playing with Thiago and his wife Antonella Roccuzzo.
9. He is modest:
Lionel Messi has been a very shy person right from his childhood. This trait of his character continues to until even now. Apparently, he rarely talks on the phone. The most important messages delivered to him and received by him take place through SMS.
10. His goal celebration:
We saw him raising both hands in the air after scoring a goal as a part of his celebration. This gesture is to pay tribute and thanks to his grandmother who were very much close to him. He lost his grandma at the age of 10. He always believes she is up there and watching him from above. That’s his way of showing that he would always be grateful to her.