Who Is Lionel Messi - The Best Player In The World?
Updated: Dec 13, 2020
Barcelona’s Lionel Messi is currently the best football player in the world. The 33 year old magician shows no signs of slowing down, He's currently the Captain of Barcelona and Argentina, His fast paced dribbling skills help create chances out of nothing for himself and his teammates, Just hearing the name Lionel Messi makes the opposing players nervous, making him the best player of the 21st century.
Lionel Messi was born in Rosario, Argentina and has both Argentine and Spanish nationality, As a Roman Catholic, he has a great love for his family. He has always celebrated his victories looking up at the sky, a tribute to his grandmother.
Jorge Messi and Celia María Cuccittini are Lionel's parents and he is the youngest of 4 children, He has 2 older brothers Rodrigo, Matias and a sister called Maria.
In 2009 he openly confirmed his relationship with Antonella Roccuzzo, a childhood friend from his youth in Rosario, they got married on 30 June 2017 in Rosario and are now blessed with three children named; Thiago, Mateo, and Ciro.
When Messi was a kid he had huge potential; he always had the urge to become better than everyone else, He started playing football at an academy named Grandoli in Rosario, Argentina which was coached by his father Jorge.
In 1995, Messi joined Newell's Old Boys youth team but he was much smaller in size than his teammates and he was diagnosed with Growth Hormone Deficiency but the club didn't want to pay for the treatment.
Barcelona coach Carles Rexach spotted young Messi's potential and asked his family to sign a napkin contract as he didn’t want to lose a gem like Messi, In 2000, Messi joined Barcelona’s famous La Masia Youth Academy who later paid for his Growth Hormone Deficiency Treatment and the rest is history.
In 2003, At the age of 16, Messi was one of several youth players called up to the Barcelona first team squad to cover for injuries, he quickly caught the eye of the more senior players who realised how much talent the youngster had.
Messi continued to play for Barcelona at all levels to gain match experience, He played for the Juveniles and Barcelona B & C Teams before making the full team debut as a 75 minute substitute in a friendly against Jose Mourinho's Porto.
A few months later he was promoted to the senior squad after impressing for the Barcelona B team, At the tender age of 17 years and 3 months old he was the youngest player to represent Barcelona in an official competition, a league match against Espanyol, Since that day Lionel Messi has become the best player in the world by scoring goals, making assists and winning all competitions available to him with the help of his world class Barcelona teammates.
Appearances: 687 / Goals: 603 / Assists: 251 / Chances created: 348
10 x La Liga Titles / 6 x Copa Del Rey / 4 x Champions League Titles / 8 x Spanish Super Cups
3 x UEFA Super Cups / 3 x FIFA Club World Cups
6 x FIFA's Player of the Year
6 x European Golden Shoe
6 x Ballon d'Or
Despite his dual citizenship, Messi remained loyal to his homeland by choosing to play for his native Argentina instead of Spain.
Messi is Argentina's all time leading goalscorer with 71 goals in 139 games putting him above fellow Argentina legends Gabriel Batistuta, Sergio Aguero, Hernam Crespo and Diego Maradona.
Youth Level Trophies
2005 FIFA World Youth Championship + Golden Ball & Golden Shoe Winner
2008 Olympic Gold Medal Winner
Made his full team debut in August 2005 and became the youngest Argentina player to score in the 2006 World Cup.
2007 - Reached the Copa America Final & Won player of the tournament.
2011 - Named Argentina Captain
2014 - Reached World Cup Final & Won the Golden Ball
2015 - Reached Copa America Final losing to Chile on penalties
2016 - Reached Copa America Final losing to Chile on penalties
2018 - Reached the Round of 16 & knocked out by France
2019 - 3rd Placed Finish in Copa America
Football is a team game and Messi has been surrounded by some of the worlds best players throughout his playing career with Barcelona & Argentina, Let's take a look at some of his most famous teammates.
Ronaldinho is the Brazilian legend, who made 207 appearances for Barcelona, scoring 94 goals & creating 71 assists, Ronaldinho mentored Messi in the early days. He even offered his jersey number to the Argentina superstar and Messi always acknowledges him for his mentorship.
Ronaldinho Also played for AC Milan & PSG
Xavi is considered one of the best football players in the history of Spanish football, says Messi. Xavi proved to be a tireless engine for Messi, and due to him, Barcelona and Messi enjoyed their most spectacular time from 2008-2015. They both have played 399 games together.
Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi played together for over 14 years in the 1st team totalling 489 games, They have won 32 trophies together and Messi has often spoken about Andres's role in Barcelona's success.
Dani Alves joined Barcelona in 2008 and played 391 games scoring 21 goals from a right back position, Alves had incredible stamina to cover the defensive responsibilities of Messi. Messi misses him, and so do Barcelona.
Carlos Puyol, Played for Barcelona his entire career and was their inspirational leader on and off the pitch, He played for Barcelona C & B between 1996 - 1999 and was then promoted to the senior team and went on to play 392 games, scoring 12 goals & leading the team to 21 titles. He also won 2 major honours at international level playing for Spain, 2008 European Championships & 2010 World Cup
Frank Rijkaard is one of the managers who oversaw Messi's early career; he joined Barcelona in the summer of 2003-2004 and made sure that Messi continued to learn and develop into the player he is today
He left in 2008 when Messi was just emerging as a global star.
Pep Guardiola was promoted from his position as Barcelona B Team Manager to the Senior Manager in 2008, He is the most successful coach in Barcelona's history and has greatly influenced Messi's football career.
He won 14 major honours in his 4 years at Barcelona before stepping down as Manager in 2012.
Luis Enrique was appointed Barcelona Manager in May 2014. During his time, he trained Messi and introduced him to counter-attack techniques.
Luis won 9 major honours as Barcelona Manager over 3 seasons.
Messi has ongoing sponsorships with multiple brands like:
Dolce & Gabbana
He has a life-long sponsorship deal with Adidas, which he signed in 2017. The money he earns from his contracts and endorsements has helped him become a billionaire.
Messi’s Best Years
It has been 20 years since Messi came to Barcelona, and he's been breaking all the records ever since. Here are some of the best years of Messi's career:
2006-2007 proved very influential for 19 years old Messi. As with his breath-taking performances, Messi & the rest of the La Masia graduates have become the first choice of Barcelona.
2012 had been the greatest year for Messi, as he scored his 91st goal and broke the record of 85 goals by Muller.
Troubles On & Off The Pitch
Messi is a great player but no footballer is flawless, Here are Messi’s flaws.
Leadership: As La Masia's & Barcelona’s best ever player Messi focuses on the arena more than talking to the media, which has helped him in Barcelona because Xavi was a good leader and speaker, Messi is often criticized for his lack of leadership skills despite his abilities on the pitch
Tactical Flexibility: We all know that Messi is left-footed, he can do anything with his left foot, yet he avoids using his right foot. This results in a lack of tactical flexibility and flexibility in attacks.
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