Lionel Messi is a great little giant in Spanish football, now qualified along with Cristiano Ronaldo as one of the best players in the world. Read on to know more about Lionel, photos and video below.
Lionel Messi was born in Argentina in July of 1987, his passion for football began with a small local team when he was just 5 years old, many thought that his father is the reason why Lionel got involved in football at such an early age, but it was his grandmother (with whom he has a very special relationship), who took him to train at a field near their home.
Later he played with a youth team called Newell’s Old Boys, his coach tells how Messi’s playing style defied physics which had only before been seen in the Argentine star Diego Armando Maradona.
Afterward he tried to enter in River Plate and even though the coaches were amazed with him; they didn’t accept him, because the medical exam revealed a hormonal problem that affected his growth.
Treatment at that time was very expensive and took a long period of time, in the beginning his father paid for treatment but then their economic condition was shaken so he choose to speak with relatives who lived in Spain, who offered to help him on making more money and this was how Lionel and his family left their beloved Argentina and traveled to Spain.
When Lionel came to Spain he was thirteen and tried his luck at FC Barcelona, he played with young boys up to two years older than him but not even their differences on age, physical strength and height kept Lionel from earning the admiration between the boys and the coach (Carles Rexach), he talked to the club directives about Lionel’s medical condition and agreed to pay the cost of treatment for Lionel.
Messi started to make his mark in various juvenile categories of the Barcelona team, and it was until he was 17 years old that he started in the official club. Barcelona won the championship in Spain and the Champions League, with players like Ronaldinho and Samuel E’to (Although they are no longer with Barcelona they remain really close friends).
After participating in the World U-20 in 2005 in which he made some incredible performances he ended up winning the Ballon d’Or and the Golden Shoe and the FC Barcelona club extended his contract until 2010 for 150 million Euros, today his contract is until 2014.
Lionel got the Spanish citizenship in 2005, this year he also received the Golden Boy award for best young player given by the Italian magazine Tuttosport. The next year he suffered an injury that kept him sidelined after having scored 6 goals in 17 games.
After recovering from a second injury, he scored very important goals in his career and even though his beloved Barcelona didn’t win any championship title, Lionel was named Best Player in the Iberoamerican Spanish League.
In February of this year Messi scored the 5,000 goal for FC Barcelona, then in May along with his teammates won the title of UEFA Champion League against Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo then competed against Lionel to see who would win the Ballon d’Or . Messi won the Ballon d’ Or and the Onze d’ Or given by The French magazine Onze Mondial.
On Sunday fate brought him back to face against another big football player, Cristiano Ronaldo, both players have incredible skills but in the end just one team was victorious, Lionel didn’t score a goal for Barcelona but his moves were followed by every fan around the world. Which brings us to wonder who will win this time the Ballon d’ Or? Photos and news of the two players are everywhere.
Check out his incredible Video with some of Lionel’s fantastic goals and skills.
Lionel Messi Video
Photos: WENN, www.WENN.com.