Lionel Messi is a 5-time Ballon d’Or winner, 4-time FIFA World Player of the Year, and 3-time European Golden Shoe. His club career has featured a win/loss average of more than 70% when he’s been on the field. It’s been said that if he were born in another time, he would have been an athlete in Ancient Greece. Whether you’re a diehard fan or just starting to learn about him, here are some facts about one of the most successful athletes in history:
Section 1: The Early Years
Lionel Messi was born in 1987 in Rosario, Argentina. In terms of sports, Messi was a massive soccer fan and showed great promise in the sport from an early age. As young as seven, Messi would kick a soccer ball with a broomstick in his backyard. His father, Jorge, was one of the founders of a youth soccer league called Blaugrana de Previnas, named after Barcelona’s famous club. It was there that he met other aspiring players like Angel Di Maria, who would go on to form a great friendship with Messi.
He always wanted to be like his hero, Diego Maradona, who led Argentina to the 1986 World Cup championship. When Messi was 9, he got a chance to score a goal for Argentina against England, which he described as one of his greatest moments.
His Successful Career
While he was growing up in Argentina, Messi didn’t even know who Messi de Mena was, so he just went by “Lionel.” He had a great deal of support as he grew up, as his father was the captain of the Argentine national soccer team. His brother and sister, Rodrigo and Isidora, also played soccer, and both had successful careers.
In 2005, when Messi was only 14, Barcelona signed him to a contract that would last through 2014. The following year, he was signed to a 10-year extension. After his rookie season with the team, he scored 31 goals.
He has won 6 La Liga championships, 4 Copa Del Rey titles, and 1 Spanish Super Cup. He has scored over 550 goals in 783 games in all competitions.
Why Is He So Successful?
The good news is that Messi’s career statistics are stacked up there with the best players of all time. The bad news is that the bad news is that most of those stats aren’t even close. As a matter of fact, they’re almost double the best numbers players of the same age are able to put up, and he’s done it without the normal physical advantages that come from having a higher BMI and less muscle mass. One of the reasons why he’s so good at everything he does is because he’s always had the exact same regimen for everything he does. He’s never had to work hard to get stronger, he never had to deal with the morning schedule of getting up earlier to train and he’s never had to worry about things like food and sleep or even getting a meal at dinner time.
What’s Next For Him?
2018 was Messi’s last year of playing in the Spanish top flight. In 2019, he will play for FC Barcelona in the Segunda División. His brother and agent, Jorge, admitted that Barcelona was “dealing with” Messi’s request to move from La Liga.
“It’s not like we’re trying to push him to stay or push him to leave. It’s football; there’s not much to say. There are two sides to every story. He came to us and said he doesn’t want to play in Spain. Of course we know he loves Barcelona, but he doesn’t want to play in the Spanish league. He wants to play for another team in Spain, or in Italy, or in France, where he can be on the grass and feel the grass on his feet. So that’s where we are.
Messi’s leadership on and off the field is legendary. He sets a high standard for young soccer players. If he could coach, his style would include ball possession, positional play, passing with accuracy, and meticulous ball control.