Lionel Messi is an Argentine professional football player who plays as a forward for Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain and captains the Argentina national team. He is considered to be one of greatest footballers of all time.
Messi has seven Ballon d’Or awards to his name, the most in football history. A versatile attacker, Messi plays on the right-wing or as a center-forward. Nicknamed ‘La Pulga’, he has scored 799 senior career goals in 1015 appearances for club and country in all competitions.
Messi was born on June 24, 1987, in Rosario, Argentina. He showed an early interest and talent for football and started playing for a local club, Grandoli, at the age of five. He later joined Rosario's Newell's Old Boys youth academy, where he trained and developed his skills.
Messi was diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency as a child, which affected his height and physical development. To support his treatment, his family had to move to Spain when he was just 13 years old. In 2003, when Messi was just 13 years old, FC Barcelona offered him a place in their youth academy, La Masia. Messi and his family moved to Spain to take advantage of the opportunity, and he began playing for Barcelona's youth teams.
He became a Spanish citizen in 2005, which allowed him to play for Barcelona as a European player instead of being classified as a foreigner.
He moved to the first team in the 2004-05 season, making his debut against Barca's city rivals Espanyol on 16 October 2004, aged 17 years, three months, and 22 days old. He became the club’s youngest-ever player to play in an official match. On 1 May 2005, Messi scored his first goal against Albacete at the age of 17 years, 10 months, and seven days, making him the club's youngest-ever Liga scorer.
He quickly became a regular, establishing himself as one of the best players in the world. He played at the highest level at Barcelona for the next 16 seasons, winning every trophy possible. During this time, he scored 672 goals in 778 appearances in all competitions.
Messi has won 10 La Liga titles with Barcelona, the most recent being in the 2018-2019 season. He has also won the Pichichi Trophy, awarded to the top scorer in La Liga, seven times. He has also won the UEFA Champions League with Barcelona four times, in 2006, 2009, 2011, and 2015. He has also been the top scorer in the tournament seven times and has scored more than 120 goals in the competition.
On August 10th, 2021, Messi joined Paris Saint-Germain on a two-year deal until June 2023, with the option for another year. Messi made his debut for the club on 29 August, coming on as a substitute in the second half of a 2–0 away win over Reims in Ligue 1.
He struggled to settle in during the 2021-22 season, however he discovered his form in the 2022-23 season and is on course to win his second Ligue 1 title this year. In his 65 appearances, he has scored 29 goals so far.
Messi's first appearance for the Albiceleste came against Hungary on August 17, 2005, but he was sent off within two minutes of coming on for elbowing an opponent. He was featured at the 2006 World Cup in Germany but coach Jose Pekerman was reluctant to hand him free rein and he started just one match. Barcelona did not want Messi to play in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing but an agreement was reached and he duly helped his country win the gold medal.
There was a perception among some critics that Messi underperformed at the 2010 World Cup, as Argentina reached the quarter-finals. He did not score (doing everything but) but demonstrated his sublime talents against Nigeria and South Korea in the group stages. He may not have been at his very best, but the 2010 World Cup was by no means a write-off for Messi who often shone in his position behind the strikers. Messi performed better at the 2014 World Cup, where he guided Argentina to the final, before losing agonizingly to Germany in extra time.
Messi scored just once in the 2015 Copa America but helped his side through to the final only to suffer more heartbreak in the form of a penalty shoot-out defeat to hosts Chile. A year later, in a repeat of the previous year’s final, Argentina once again lost to Chile on penalties. Messi retired right after the game, having lost his fourth final leading Argentina. He reversed this decision and returned to international football one week later.
Despite not being able to win the 2018 FIFA World Cup or 2019 Copa America, Messi finally tasted success with his country. On July 10th, 2021, Argentina defeated Brazil 1-0 in the Copa America final, Messi was subsequently named Player of the Tournament and finished as the tournament’s top scorer.
In the 2022 Finalissima, the third edition of the CONMEBOL–UEFA Cup of Champions, at Wembley on 2 June 2022, Messi assisted twice in a 3–0 victory against Italy and was named player of the match, securing his second trophy for Argentina at the senior level.
Messi also led Argentina to World Cup glory in 2022 after scoring a brace in the final, defeating France 4-2 on penalties after the game had ended 3-3 in normal time. He received the Golden Ball, for player of the tournament, becoming the first player to win it twice.
Most Ballon d'Or Awards: Messi has won the Ballon d'Or award for the best player in the world seven times, more than any other player in history.
Most Goals Scored in a Calendar Year: In 2012, Messi scored 91 goals in all competitions for club and country, breaking the previous record of 85 goals set by Gerd Muller in 1972.
Most Goals Scored in a Single European Club Season: In the 2011-2012 season, Messi scored 73 goals in all competitions for FC Barcelona, breaking the previous record of 67 goals set by Gerd Muller in 1973-1974.
Most Hat-Tricks in La Liga: Messi has scored 36 hat-tricks in La Liga, the most in the league's history.
Most Goals Scored in a Single La Liga Season: In the 2011-2012 season, Messi scored 50 goals in La Liga, breaking the previous record of 47 goals set by Cristiano Ronaldo in 2010-2011.
Awards and Achievements
|Barcelona||La Liga: 2004–05, 2005–06, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2012–13, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2017–18, 2018–19|
|Copa del Rey: 2008–09, 2011–12, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17, 2017–18, 2020–21|
|Supercopa de España: 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016, 2018|
|UEFA Champions League: 2005–06, 2008–09, 2010–11, 2014–15|
|UEFA Super Cup: 2009, 2011, 2015|
|FIFA Club World Cup: 2009, 2011, 2015|
|Paris Saint-Germain||Ligue 1: 2021–22|
|Trophée des Champions: 2022|
|Argentina U20||FIFA World Youth Championship: 2005|
|Summer Olympics: 2008|
|Argentina||FIFA World Cup: 2022|
|Copa América: 2021|
|CONMEBOL–UEFA Cup of Champions: 2022|
|Individual||Ballon d'Or/FIFA Ballon d'Or: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019, 2021|
|FIFA World Player of the Year: 2009|
|The Best FIFA Men's Player: 2019, 2022|
|European Golden Shoe: 2009–10, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2016–17, 2017–18, 2018–19|
|FIFA World Cup Golden Ball: 2014, 2022|
|FIFA World Cup Silver Boot: 2022|
|FIFA Club World Cup Golden Ball: 2009, 2011|
|FIFA U-20 World Cup Golden Ball: 2005|
|FIFA U-20 World Cup Golden Boot: 2005|
|Copa América Best Player: 2015, 2021|
|Copa América Top Goalscorer: 2021|
|La Liga Best Player: 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2014–15|
|Pichichi Trophy: 2009−10, 2011–12, 2012−13, 2016–17, 2017−18, 2018–19, 2019–20, 2020–21|
|Laureus World Sportsman of the Year: 2020|
|Argentine Footballer of the Year: 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022|
Messi is known for his private and low-profile personal life. He is known for his love of football, but he also enjoys playing video games, listening to music, and spending time with his family. He is also involved in various charitable activities through his foundation, the Leo Messi Foundation, which he founded in 2007. The foundation aims to provide education and health care to children in need.
Messi is one of the most marketable athletes in the world, and he has endorsement deals with several major brands, including Adidas, PepsiCo, and Huawei. Messi has had some legal issues in the past, including a tax fraud case in which he was found guilty and sentenced to 21 months in prison (which he did not have to serve due to Spanish laws allowing for suspended sentences for first-time offenders).
As of 2023, his net worth is estimated to be over $620 million, which makes him one of the wealthiest footballers in the world.
Messi's father, Jorge Messi, is a factory steel worker, and his mother, Celia Cuccittini, worked in a magnet manufacturing workshop. They have always been supportive of Messi's football career, and Jorge has often been seen attending his son's matches. He has two older brothers, Rodrigo and Matias, and a younger sister, Maria Sol. Rodrigo and Matias have both played football professionally, but neither achieved the level of success that Messi has.
Messi is married to Antonella Roccuzzo, whom he has known since he was five years old. They got married in a lavish ceremony in their hometown of Rosario in 2017. Antonella is also from Rosario, and the couple has been together for more than 20 years. They have three children together: Thiago, Mateo, and Ciro.
Here are some details about his properties:
Barcelona: Messi has a luxurious house in the Castelldefels area of Barcelona, which is located near the Mediterranean coast. The house features a large outdoor pool, a football pitch, and stunning views of the sea. Messi lived in this house with his family while playing for FC Barcelona.
Rosario: Messi also has a house in his hometown of Rosario, Argentina. The house is located in a gated community and features a large garden, a swimming pool, and a soccer field.
Paris: After signing with Paris Saint-Germain in 2021, Messi reportedly purchased a penthouse apartment in the exclusive 16th arrondissement of Paris. The apartment features a large terrace with stunning views of the Eiffel Tower.
Castelldefels: In addition to his house in Barcelona, Messi also owns a second property in Castelldefels, which is located near his primary residence. The house is situated on a large plot of land and features a gym, a spa, and a home theater.