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Lionel Messi's tattoos: What do they signify?

Nicolai Nayak
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 07:49 IST
Lionel Messi’s tattoos have deep implications

Footballers are icons for millions worldwide and fans love to imitate them and continue to follow the trends their idols set. A footballer is not only characterised by his skills and intensity on the football pitch but also by his appealing off-field aspects, two of the most interesting being haircuts and tattoos.

We currently live in an era where almost every footballer is getting tattooed. Some tattoos have a story or a meaning behind it while others are just meant to be. To share the stories of their life with fans or to show their affinity towards something, footballers prefer to cover their body with ink instead of expressing them in other ways. 

Despite failing to win a silverware for his country and facing scandals off the pitch, the Argentine is acknowledged as the prime footballer in this generation. Messi is now among the growing list of footballers to follow the tattoo trend, but the symbols on his body share a deep secret.

Also read: David Beckham’s tattoos and what do they signify? 

The Barcelona talisman has now collected some awe-inspiring ink on his back, arm and leg. Each of his tattoos holds a personal significance for him. 

Here’s a look at Lionel Messi’s tattoos and their meanings: 

1) Messi's tattoo on the back

Messi’s portrait of his mother shows the respect he has for her

The first tattoo that Lionel Messi decided to get was of his mother on his left shoulder. Messi’s mother was his moral support since childhood and has been the primary reason Messi was able to achieve his dream. Paying tribute to her, he got his mother’s face tattooed on his back which symbolizes what an important role she plays in his life.

Messi was alone with his dad while he was still small and making his name with Barcelona. He was far away from his mother and other members of his family, who were in Rosario. Maybe this tattoo helped him keep a close bond with her even after they were separated physically. 

This tattoo was done in the year 2010. It is an interesting fact that Messi was so reluctant to get it done, that he brought his girlfriend Antonella Roccuzzo with him and Messi’s tattoo artist first inked her. And later, when she expressed no pain, Messi finally agreed to sit down and got his first tattoo.


Messi wasn’t a fan of tattoos initially and agreed to get a tattoo after being chaffed by teammate Dani Alves, who is popular for tattoos all over his body. Messi liked the ink on the Brazilian so much that he wanted to get more of them and from there, the Argentine would go on to set another trend.

Also read: Lionel Messi’s house with photos

2) Messi's tattoo on his calf

Thiago shares a huge place in his daddy’s heart

Like Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi too shares a deep connection with his son. The second tattoo was of another important person in his life, Messi’s first child Thiago. The Argentine forward decided to get the tattoo inked on the back his left foot, which is his strongest and from which he has been scoring goals with throughout the years.

Messi got Thiago’s handprints engraved along with his name below in the shape of a heart. There were many views initially, that the hands represented Maradona's 'Hand of God' goal, but the rumors soon faded away after Thiago’s name was inscribed.

Also view: Lionel Messi wallpapers

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Published 24 Aug 2016, 16:58 IST
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