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50 interesting facts about Lionel Messi: had a growth hormone deficiency problem as a boy, most wealthiest soccer player of 2014

Jun 13, 2014 06:22 PM EDT

Source: Flickr / 2 Top

Source: Flickr / 2 Top

Lionel Messi is arguably the best footballer in the world at the moment. He is often compared to football legends like Pele and Maradona and it won't be a surprise if he overtakes them soon. Here are 50 interesting facts about Lionel Messi.

  1. His full name is Luis Lionel Andres Messi.

  2. Messi was born on June 24, 1987 in Rosario, Argentina.

  3. Messi shares his birthplace with the Argentinian revolutionary Che Guevera.

  4. His family is of middle-class Italian origin. His father, Jorge, was a steelworker, and he also coached the local youth football team.

  5. Messi was not very healthy and nutritious in his childhood days like the other boys around. He was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency which was stopping his normal growth rate at a tender age of 11. His parents could not afford his treatment, which was $900 a month.

  6. At the age of 17, he made his league debut against RCD Espanyol and became the third youngest person ever to play on Barcelona. At that time he was also the youngest player to ever score for Barcelona.

  7. Messi's first contract with Barcelona was detailed out on a paper napkin! FC Barcelona sporting director Carles Rexach was so impressed with Messi's skills that he wanted to make a contract immediately and there was no paper available at that time.

  8. Barcelona was so impressed with Messi's footskills that they offered to pay his medical bills and move the family to Spain just to sign him when he was 13. That probably explains why the contract was first signed on a napkin.
  9. During the 2005-2006 season, Messi began being paid as a first team member.

  10. Messi holds two passports - Argentina's and Spain's. He became a Spanish citizen in September 2005.

  11. Lionel Messi also made his debut in the Spanish First Division league. Out of his seventeen League appearances he scored six goals. He scored one goal in six for the Champions League.

    Source: Tumblr /moreawesomewithfootball
    Source: Tumblr /moreawesomewithfootball
  12. His 2005 international debut lasted 47 seconds when he received a red card after coming on as a substitute.
  13. He won an Olympic gold medal, along with the Argentinian football team, at the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing.

  14. Messi inherited the No. 10 Barca jersey from another great footballer Ronaldinho in the summer of 2008.

    Source: Wikipedia / Christopher Johnson
    Source: Wikipedia / Christopher Johnson
  15. In 2009, he won his first Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards. He followed this up by winning the inaugural FIFA Ballon d'Or in 2010, and then again in 2011 and 2012.

  16. Messi has won six La Ligas, two Copas del Rey, five Supercopas de España, three UEFA Champions Leagues, two UEFA Super Cups and two Club World Cups.

  17. Along with England's Vivian Woodward (who accomplished the feat in the early 1900s), Messi is the only player to have scored 25 goals in a calendar year during international competition with both his club and his country.

    Source: Tumblr / puyols
    Source: Tumblr / puyols
  18. He was offered a place in the national team by Spain which he did not accept.

  19. Messi is the sixth youngest soccer player to score a goal in a World Cup games.

  20. One of Lionel's nicknames is "The Flea" due to his speed and agility.

  21. Clearly, impressive soccer skills runs in his family. Lionel's cousins Emanuel and Maxi Biancucchi both play for solid clubs in South America, although neither had made the leap to a premier club or senior national team.

    Source: Wikipedia / Laia
    Source: Wikipedia / Laia
  22. If for whatever reason, Barcelona decides to cancel their contract with Lionel Messi, they will have to cough up over $330 million for a breach in contract.

  23. Two of the musical genres that Messi enjoys listening to are Samba and Cumbi.

  24. Lionel Messi is the second richest soccer player in the world with a net worth of $180 million. The most wealthiest is Cristiano Ronaldo who is worth $230 million.
  25. Between his contract and endorsements, he makes about $128,000 per day.
    Source: Tumblr / cescfabregs
    Source: Tumblr / cescfabregs
  26. Messi has been featured on the covers of the Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 and Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 video games. He and Fernando Torres are the faces of the Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 video game and helped out with the trailer and motion capturing.

  27. Messi is not only a great soccer player, but he's a really good person. Messi is the founder of the organization, Leo Messi Foundation, which helps give children the best opportunities for education and health care. His foundation, with the help of Herbalife, helps to pay for medical treatment, transportation and recuperation for children diagnosed with major medical problems.

  28. Messi is also the Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF.

    Source: Tumblr / cescfabregs
    Source: Tumblr / cescfabregs
  29. He also works for people suffering from Fragile X Syndrome (a disease related to autism).

  30. On March 2013, Lionel Messi donated €600,000 ($812,000) towards the refurbishment of a children's hospital in his hometown of Rosario, Argentina. The money was used to renovate the oncology unit at the Victor J Vilela Children's Hospital, as well as paying for doctors to travel to Barcelona for training

  31. His playing style and stature have drawn comparisons to compatriot Diego Maradona, who himself declared Messi his "successor".

    Source: Wikipedia/ Alexandr Mysyakin
    Source: Wikipedia/ Alexandr Mysyakin
  32. Messi was was the first Argentinian ever to be named FIFA World Player of the Year, not Diego Maradona. However, this is due to a technicality because the award was created in 1991, at which point Maradona had begun his downward spiral after he peaked in the 1986 World Cup.

  33. Messi appeared in a 2012 television advert for Japanese face wash Scalp-D.

  34. In September 2012, Messi became the global brand ambassador of Turkish Airlines. Messi shot a commercial for the airline with NBA star Kobe Bryant.

  35. He has been dating his Argentine-born girlfriend and mother of his child - Antonella Roccuzzo - since 2009.

  36. His son, Thiago, was born on November 2, 2012. "Today I am the happiest man in the world, my son was born and thanks to God for this gift!" he wrote on his Facebook page.

    Source: Tumblr / aaronjramseys
    Source: Tumblr / aaronjramseys
  37. His infant son is already an official member of the Newell's Old Boys' supporters club. When Messi's son Thiago was just 72 hours old, Newell's Old Boys which was Messi's original club, was first in line and managed to sign the infant to a supporters club contract.

  38. Lionel Messi also had the boy's name and handprints tattooed on his left calf.

  39. Messi has also dated a hometown girl Macarena Lemos and has also been linked to Luciana Salazar, a model of Argentina.

    Source: Tumblr / vamos-barcelona
    Source: Tumblr / vamos-barcelona
  40. Messi is a devout Roman Catholic and he met Pope francis at the Vatican in 2013. "Without a doubt, today was one of the most special days of my life. We have to excel on and off the field," Messi said about the meeting.

  41. Lionel Messi is considered by most football experts to be the best footballer of his generation.

    Source: Tumblr / mandzukics
    Source: Tumblr / mandzukics
  42. In September 2012, Messi became the global brand ambassador of Turkish Airlines. Messi shot a commercial for the airline with NBA star Kobe Bryant.

  43. Messi ranked second behind Neymar in SportsPro magazine's 2013 list of the world's most marketable athletes.

  44. Messi is the first football player in history to win four FIFA/Ballons d'Or, all of which he won consecutively, as well as the first to win three European Golden Shoe awards

    Source: Tumblr / cescfabregs
    Source: Tumblr / cescfabregs
  45. Lionel Messi is 5′ 7″ tall (1.69 metres).

  46. Messi has been a very shy person right from his childhood and this trait continues to until even now. Apparently, it is very difficult to make him talk on the phone. Most the important messages that have to be delivered to him and received from him take place through SMS.

    Source: Tumblr / aaronjramseys
    Source: Tumblr / aaronjramseys
  47. After scoring a goal, Messi typically celebrates in a calm and composed manner by simply raising both hands in the air. This gesture is to thank and pay tribute to his grandmother who was very close to him and passed away when he was 10. Messi believes she is up there and watching her from above and this is his way of showing that he would always be grateful to her.

  48. His favorite pastimes include relaxing with his girlfriend and playing with his son, Thiago. He is also an avid PlayStation player.

    Source: Wikipedia / Darz Mol
    Source: Wikipedia / Darz Mol
  49. Lionel Messi does not like to watch highlights of himself.

  50. Japanese jeweller Ginza Takana used a cast of Messi's left foot to create a solid gold replica, weighing 25 kilograms (55 lb), which went on sale in Japan in March 2013 to raise funds for victims of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. It was valued at $5.25 million.


(click photo to check price)
The Flea - The Amazing Story of Leo Messi (Click Link to Check Price on Amazon)
Editor's Rating : 8.9 out of 10

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Lionel Messi facts

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