February 27, 2024
Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi: On the way of become GOAT

Lionel Messi is a football player. He plays for Barcelona and Argentina. Messi is widely considered to be the best football (soccer) player of all time.

Lionel Messi has scored over 600 goals in club play, and 80 goals with the national team (Argentina). At 22 years old, he was also the youngest person to ever receive four FIFA Ballons d’Or as well as being the youngest top goalscorer in La Liga’s history at age 18 years, 216 days old.

About Lionel Messi

Lionel Andrés Messi is an Argentine football player. He plays for Barcelona and the Argentina national team as a striker or winger, and is also the captain of the Argentina national team. Messi quickly became a star in his home country, becoming known by his first name by 2003–04. He scored over 50 goals for Argentina in no less than 14 consecutive years between 2005–06 and 2015–16, breaking many scoring records in Latin American football. He won four successive golden boots awards from 2009 to 2012 and again in 2015.

Life of Messi

His birth

Lionel Messi was born in Rosario, Argentina. He is the son of Jorge Horacio Messi who is a former career military officer. His father died in 1998 due to kidney disorder. He was enrolled at Newell’s Old Boys, one of the most popular and successful football academies in Argentina, but his parents made him move to Europe to play professionally.

His education

In order to be able to play at the highest level, he made a long sea journey from Rosario, Argentina to Newell’s Old Boys. His parents took him out of school before reaching the seventh grade. When he was 13 years old, Messi started to study at the prestigious FC Barcelona’s youth academy. At only 14 years old, he was signed by Barcelona in 2001 and made his debut on 22 May 2002 against Albacete Balompié in La Liga.

His personal life

He was married to his high school sweetheart Antonella Roccuzzo in June 2005. They have two sons, Thiago (born on 2 November 2012) and Mateo (born on 2 September 2015), and a daughter, Ciro (born in June 2018). He has another son called Rodrigo who was born out of wedlock from a previous relationship.

Messi is a devout Christian who says he tries to lead as normal a life as possible.

His career

One of the best football players in the world, Lionel Messi has played for various teams since his first team start in 2002 with Barcelona. After playing for Barcelona from 2002 to 2009, he moved to Italian club, Milan in July 2009. In 2011, he transferred to Spanish side, Barcelona for a transfer fee of €200 million (£160 million).

Club career
2003–2005: Rise to the first team

Lionel Messi joined the first team squad of Barcelona in October 2003 at the age of 16, and was given the number 31 jersey. He made his Champions League debut on 17 October 2003 against Spanish club Deportivo de La Coruña, but was substituted for Ludovic Giuly in a 0–3 loss. A month later, on 1 November 2003, Messi made his league debut against RCD Espanyol and scored two goals in the match, including one with an individual effort which marked a turning point in his initial rise at Barcelona.

2005–2008: Becoming a starting eleven player

On 20 February 2005, at the age of 18, Lionel Messi made his first appearance in the UEFA Champions League as a substitute against Galatasaray. He scored the last goal in an 3–2 win for Barcelona. On 14 May 2005, he came on as a substitute in Barcelona’s 4–1 victory over Alavés and assisted Giuly’s goal in the 90th minute with a through ball. This was his first league game as a starter. The result helped Barcelona to become champions of La Liga, winning the title with a nine-point margin over second-placed Real Madrid. Messi finished the season with five goals and twelve assists in 24 matches as Barcelona won 23 games and lost one. On 12 May 2006, Messi was awarded the FIFA Ballon d’Or award in recognition of his play during the 2005–06 season.

2008–09: First treble

On 26 June 2008, Lionel Messi scored the winning goal in the UEFA Champion League against Chelsea, which officially confirmed Barcelona’s victory in the final against Manchester United. He became one of only three people to score a hat trick in the European Cup and Champions League competitions as well as winning a treble. The other two are Alfredo Di Stefano and Paulo Futre, who both did it for Real Madrid.

He scored a total of 38 goals during the 2008–09 season for Barcelona, as the club won a second La Liga title in three years and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League (losing to Arsenal). On 30 September 2009, Messi scored four goals in five minutes during Barcelona’s 6–1 victory over Sevilla. This was the second fastest hat trick ever recorded by Messi.

2009–10: First Ballon d’Or

On 23 November 2009, Lionel Messi scored the first hat trick at Camp Nou when he scored three goals against Racing de Santander during a 6–1 win. In May 2010, Messi signed a new contract with Barcelona until June 2018. The same month, he won his first FIFA Ballon d’Or, awarded to the best player in the world in December 2009, beating Cristiano Ronaldo.

On 13 November 2009, Messi made his 100th appearance for Barcelona by starting against Málaga in La Liga.

2010–11: Fifth La Liga title and third Champions League

On 17 February 2011, Lionel Messi scored his 100th Barcelona goal in a 3–1 victory over Real Madrid. Five days later, he scored his first hat-trick in the Champions League in a group stage match against Marseille to ensure qualification to the knockout phase of the competition and reached 69 goals, equaling Raúl’s record number of goals with the club.

2012: A record-breaking year

On 11 March 2012, Messi scored a hat-trick in Barcelona’s 3–1 win over Granada. He scored his 300th goal in all competitions for Barcelona on 17 March, overtaking César as the club’s highest scoring foreigner. After scoring his first goal against Milan on 6 April, he drew level with Pelé as the top scorer in the UEFA Champions League with 14 goals.

2013–14: Messidependencia

In 2013, Messi won his second consecutive FIFA Ballon d’Or, becoming the first player to do so since Ronaldo in 2008–09. By the end of the season, he had scored 50 goals for Barcelona (49 in La Liga and 1 in the Champions League). He won his second consecutive European Golden Shoe and became the only player to win both awards at least twice.

2014–15: Second treble

On 23 May 2014, Lionel Messi scored twice as Barcelona became the first club to complete a treble of La Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions League titles with a 6–1 win over Sevilla in the 2015 UEFA Champions League Final. On 20 September, the Argentinian scored twice to help Barcelona win the Club World Cup final against River Plate 4–0.

2015–16: Domestic success

On 3 May, Messi scored a hat-trick to help Barcelona become the first club in European football to win 50 league games in a single season, with the final game of the 2015–16 season against Athletic Bilbao. In doing so, he became the first player to score at least 50 La Liga goals in three consecutive seasons. The previous record was held by former Barcelona and Argentina forward Gabriel Batistuta, who managed it in four consecutive La Liga campaigns (1996–97 through 1998–99).

2016–17: Fourth Golden Boot

On 4 October 2016, Messi signed a new contract with Barcelona to keep him at the club until 2018. On 10 December, Messi scored a hat-trick in a 6–1 win against rivals Real Madrid. In January 2017, he was announced as the winner of the BBC African Footballer of the Year award for the third consecutive time after beating competition from Riyad Mahrez and Sadio Mané.

2017–18: Domestic double and a record fifth Golden Boot

On 27 April, Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick in a 4–0 win over Villarreal and later was named Man of the Match. The following week, he scored twice in Barcelona’s 4–3 loss to Real Madrid. On 3 May, he scored four goals in Barcelona’s 6–1 win over Getafe, including a five-minute hat trick with two penalty kicks to bring his total tally to 50 goals for the season.

2018–19: Captain, 10th La Liga title, and a record sixth Golden Boot

On 16 May, Messi scored a hat-trick in Barcelona’s 5–1 win over Celta Vigo, marking it as the first time he had scored three in a La Liga match. On 27 May, he scored twice as Barcelona beat Sevilla 4–1 to win the 2018 Copa del Rey. The following day, Messi lifted his sixth Golden Boot as well as his fourth consecutive FIFA Ballon d’Or.

2019–20: A record sixth Ballon d’Or

On 23 August, Messi scored four goals against Apoel Nicosia in the first leg of a Champions League qualifying play-off, making him the all-time leading scorer in European club competitions. On 3 September, Messi won his sixth Ballon d’Or, tying the record he set earlier with Ronaldo and only behind Pelé.

August 2020: Desire to leave Barcelona

On 3 August 2020, Lionel Messi made his 500th appearance for Barcelona in a La Liga match against Huesca. He finished the campaign with 34 goals and 10 assists as Barcelona won the treble.

On 22 August 2020, pundits began to speculate about the possibility of a Messi transfer. On 3 September, Leo Messi announced that he is leaving FC Barcelona which shocked the whole world and football fans around the globe.

2020–21: Final season at Barcelona

On 7 September, Barcelona announced that they were fine with Messi’s decision and accepted his request. On 17 September, Messi made his 500th appearance for Barcelona in all competitions (including friendlies). Coming on as a late substitute for Ousmane Dembélé in a 2–0 loss to Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League. On 27 September, Messi scored his first hat-trick of the season against Sevilla in the 2019–20 La Liga season.

2021–22: Seventh Ballon d’Or and adjusting to life in Paris

On 20 December 2021, Lionel Messi scored his 300th El Clásico goal in a 4-1 win over Real Madrid. He finished the season with 43 goals and 15 assists as Barcelona won their eighth La Liga title in a row, but failed to claim the Champions League for the first time since 2012. In his final match for Barcelona on 16 June 2022, Messi scored a hat-trick as Barcelona defeated Málaga 5–0.

Lionel Messi

International career
2004–05: Success at youth level

Before Messi even made his official debut for the Argentina national team, he was tipped to become a future star on the international scene. He represented his country at every youth level, including under-20, under-21, and three times at the senior level. In August 2005, he scored four goals for Argentina in the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship held in the Netherlands, defeating United States 5–0 and Portugal 6–0 en route to the final. In the final against Nigeria, he scored his fifth goal of the tournament in a 4–3 win that secured Argentina’s first ever World Youth Championship.

2005–06: Senior and World Cup debuts

Lionel Messi made his senior international debut in a friendly against Hungary on 10 August 2005. At the age of 18. Three days later, he became the youngest player to represent Argentina in an official FIFA match. When he came on as a substitute in a goalless draw against Guatemala. He scored his first goal for them and was selected to start in the next match against Columbia. Which ended in defeat at the hands of Mexico 4–0.

2007–08: Copa América final and Olympic gold

On 7 July 2007, Messi scored a hat-trick in Argentina’s final group match. At the 2007 Copa América against Honduras. Which secured their passage to the knockout stage as group winners. Following an injury to Nicolás Burdisso during the quarter-final match against Colombia. Messi came on as a substitute and scored twice in extra time to secure Argentina a semi-final berth against Uruguay.

2008–2011: Collective decline

After the 2008 Olympics, Messi suffered a number of health problems. His first injury was a strained ligament in his left knee in December 2008. And he would miss Argentina’s World Cup qualifying matches against Peru and Uruguay in January. On 2 April 2009, it was announced that Messi had been diagnosed with a “patellar tendinitis”. In his left leg, which would hinder him for the rest of the season.

2011–2013: Assuming the captaincy

Following the 2010 World Cup, Messi started to assume the captaincy of the national team. The first time he took it on was during Argentina’s friendly against Colombia in August 2011. But he only managed to play for 21 minutes as a substitute. He scored his first goal as captain in a 1–1 draw against Colombia on 10 September 2011. And his second goal came in a 4–1 victory over Bolivia on 16 October.

2014–15: World Cup and Copa América finals

For the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, Messi was in fine form as he helped Argentina win their fourth consecutive CONMEBOL qualification. On 14 November 2013, Messi scored twice and had an assist in a 5–0 victory over Ecuador. To keep his country’s hopes of qualifying for the World Cup alive. After it had dropped points against Colombia and Chile.

2016–17: Third Copa América final, retirement, and return

Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick in the first round of the 2018 World Cup qualification. Which kept his country’s hopes alive. On 12 November 2016, Messi scored two goals in a 6–2 friendly win over Australia at ANZ Stadium in Sydney. Becoming the all-time leading scorer for his national team.

On 11 July 2017, Messi announced on social media that he would be retiring from international football after Argentina lost to eventual champions France in the 2018 FIFA World Cup final.

2018: World Cup

After Argentina’s runner-up finish at the 2018 World Cup, Messi announced his return to international football on 15 August. Víctor Valdés was selected as the first captain under new coach Gerardo Martino.

On 6 September, Messi scored a goal during a 2018 World Cup qualifying match against Ecuador. To earn Argentina a 7–0 win. This was his first goal of the 2018 World Cup qualification. And took him to 49 goals for his country in 116 matches. Surpassing Gabriel Batistuta as Argentina’s all-time top goalscorer in international matches.

2019–20: Copa América third-place, suspension and Superclásico victory

On 26 June 2019, Messi scored a goal in Argentina’s 2–1 victory over Peru. Which was enough to see his country through to the knockout stage of the 2019 Copa América as Group B winners. On 4 July 2019, he scored a goal in Argentina’s 3–0 victory against Mexico. As they progressed to play Uruguay in the quarter-finals.

2021: Appearance record, Copa América victory, and South American top goalscorer

On 21 July 2021, Messi scored a hat-trick with the only goal of the match in a 4–2 win against Venezuela at home. The victory enabled Messi to overtake Alfredo Di Stéfano’s appearance record for the national team with his 167th game.

On 20 November 2021, he scored five goals in a 7–0 win over Bolivia. Breaking the South American record for goals by an individual player in a single match.

Style of play

Regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. Lionel Messi is an all-around attacking player. He possesses several techniques, such as dribbling, finishing, crossing, and playmaking. Messi is also a set-piece specialist. He is described as having a unique style of play. Messi has been compared with Diego Maradona who also played for Barcelona. Although he primarily plays as a forward. He is capable of attacking on either wing or through the center of the pitch. Messi has been praise in particular for his technical skills and creativity; due to his agility, pace, and dribbling ability, he is able to beat players when undertaking individual runs. His favored role when deployed as a false 9 is a traditional deep-lying forward. With a prolificacy in scoring from several meters out.

Awards and honor

Lionel Messi has won five Ballon d’Or awards. The most for a European player and is the only player to win three in a row. He has also been name UEFA Best Player in Europe by UEFA’s flagship publication, European Sports Magazines, three times. In 2011, he became the first player to win three consecutive FIFA Ballons d’Or. In 2012, he was runner-up to Cristiano Ronaldo after winning a record-breaking fourth Ballon d’Or in 2010.

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