BIO: Lionel Andrés Messi is an Argentine football player who plays for FC Barcelona as a forward and is also the captain of the Argentina national team. Messi started his football career by playing for Barcelona's junior teams from the season 2000 to 2003. In the following years, Barcelona announced an update to Messi's contract, playing him as a first team member, and later extended the contract until June 2014. Messi was the top scorer at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship with six goals, two of which came in the final game. Shortly thereafter, Lionel became an established member of Argentina's senior international team and the youngest Argentine to play in the FIFA World Cup as well. He won a runners-up medal at the Copa América tournament the following year. In the season 2008-09, he won his first international honour, an Olympic gold medal with the Argentina Olympic football team. He won the Ballon d'Or award in 2009, and he also won the FIFA World Player of the Year that year. He has since gone on to win the Ballon d'Or award a further 3 times, becoming the first player in history to win 4 Ballon d'Or awards.