Lionel Andres Messi is an Argentine footballer, a player for Spanish FC Barcelona since 2003. With the Barcelona, Messi became the Spanish champion five times, won the Super Cup, three times was the winner of the Champions League (2006, 2009, 2011), and twice – UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup winner (2009, 2011). In the national team of Argentina, Lionel is a winner and the best player of the world junior championship in 2005, in addition, he became the Olympic champion in 2008.
Messi repeatedly became the top scorer in Spain (2010) and Champions League (2009-2011), in 2012 he became the most productive hitter in the history of Barcelona. Winner of numerous football awards, including two Golden Goals Cup ( 2010, 2011 ), Golden Ball (2009), Diamond Ball (2009), award to the best international striker version FIFPro (2007-2010).
Lionel Messi was born 24 June, 1987 in Rosario the province of Santa Fe, Argentina. His father, a descendant of immigrants from Italy, was a factory worker, mother was a cleaner. In the age of five, Messi played in the local team Grandoli, coached by his father. In 1995, Messi began to play for Newell’s Old Boys – the second club in Rosario, in which Diego Maradona was playing a year before.
When 11-years-old, Messi was diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency. This disorder required expensive treatment that neither the parents nor already manifested interest in young player Argentine first division club River Plate could afford. The Messi family then moved to Catalonia, where their families lived, and the young player had the opportunity to showcase his talent to the coaches of the Barcelona. Successfully passing the test, Messi signed his first contract with the Catalan club, who took over the payment for Messi’s treatment.
In November 2003, Messi played his first match for the Barcelona against the Portuguese football club Porto, and in October 2004, he made his debut in the championship of Spain during a meeting with Espanyol and became the youngest player in the history of the championship.
In May 2005, 17-year-old Messi scored his first adult goal for the Barcelona in a match with the Spanish Albacete. In June of the same year, he won the World Youth Championship in the Netherlands as a part of the Argentina national team, scoring both goals from the penalty spot in the final match against Nigeria (2-1). In total, Messi scored six goals and was the top scorer of the tournament. In August 2005, he first appeared on the football field as a part of the national team of Argentina in a friendly match against Hungary.
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