Every football/soccer fan is keen to know some impressive and interesting facts about Lionel Messi, one of the greatest players the world has ever seen.
The diminutive Argentine prodigy is known the world across as one of the greatest footballers of all time, if not the best. With a record 5 Ballon d’Or, Lionel Messi is the record goal-scorer for both Argentina and Barcelona.
He is the captain of the Barcelona football club and his national team and holds multiple footballing records to his name. In 2019, Forbes named him the highest-paid footballer in the world.
Here are 20 interesting facts about Lionel Messi – one of the greatest football players of all time:
Interesting Facts About Lionel Messi
1. The Guevara connect
Lionel Messi shares his birthplace of Rosario, Argentina with the revolutionary Che Guevara.
2. Growth hormone deficiency syndrome
At the age of 11, Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency syndrome (GHDS).
3. Paper napkin contract
After Messi’s trial with Barcelona at the age of 13, the Barcelona Sporting Director Carles Rexach was left nonplussed by his sublime skills. In haste to sign him and get him a Barcelona contract, they used napkin paper for Messi’s signature in the absence of paper.
4. Messi and The Gunners
Messi was offered a contract by English giants Arsenal FC in 2002, with Messi aged 15.
5. International Debut Lasted Only 47 seconds
His much-hyped international debut for Argentina lasted only 47 seconds in the pitch, ending with a straight red card.
6. FIFA Ballon d’Or
Lionel Messi became the first recipient of the inaugural FIFA Ballon D’Or in 2010. The award has currently been discontinued.
Along with English great Vivian Woodward, Lionel Messi is the only player to have scored 25 goals in a calendar year with international competition, comprising both club and country.
8. The Spanish offer
Lionel Messi was offered a place in the national football team of Spain. Messi declined in favor of Argentina.
9. The Flea
Lionel Messi is nicknamed ‘The Flea’ due to his speed and agility both on and off the ball.
10. Samba and Cumbia
Lionel Messi likes listening to music. His favorite genres are Samba and Cumbia.
11. Second highest-paid athlete on the planet
Yes, that’s Lionel Messi.
He is also the highest-paid footballer. In 2018, he earned $111 million.
12. Lionel Messi theme park
A Lionel Messi theme park, called the ‘Messi experience park’, is scheduled to open in Nanjing, China, in 2020.
13. 50 goal marathon
Lionel Messi is the youngest player ever to score 50 goals in the prestigious UEFA Champions League.
14. The religious angle
Lionel Messi is very religious and a devout Catholic.
15. The left foot
Ginza Takana, a famous Japanese jeweler, used a cast of Messi’s famous left foot to create a solid gold replica. It weighed around 55 pounds and went on sale in Japan in March 2013 to help raise funds for victims of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. It was valued at $5.25 million.
16. The Goodwill Ambassador
Lionel Messi is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. His other philanthropic activities include his work within support of people, especially children, suffering from a form of autism called Fragile X syndrome.
17. Ode to grandmother
Whenever Messi scores a goal, he raises his arms towards heaven in celebration. It is an ode to his grandmother, to whom he was very close, and who died when Messi was aged just 10.
18. Baby Dream Team
Lionel Messi was a part of the Baby Dream Team, Barcelona’s greatest-ever youth team. Apart from Messi, it boasted players like Gerard Pique and Cesc Fabregas.
19. Inter Milan
According to erstwhile Barcelona President Joan Laporta, the only time Lionel Messi came close to leaving Barcelona was when Inter Milan bid for him.
20. The Messiah
At just 20 years old, on the back of spectacular performances, Lionel Messi was nicknamed ‘Messiah’ by the Spanish press.
So, these were some interesting facts about Lionel Messi.
Lionel Messi became the highest ever scorer for Barcelona, aged just 24. He is also the fastest player to score 100 goals in the UEFA champions league. One of the most decorated players in history, he has won 34 honors with Barcelona, as well as an Olympic gold medal with Argentina in 2008.
With a good couple of years of football ahead of him, he is sure to break more records and win many trophies.
Which one of these interesting facts about Lionel Messi did you already know? Let us know in the comment section below!
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