Messi | A Living Legend
BIOGRAPHY AND EARLY LIFE
Lionel Andrés Messi, aged 25, was born on June 24th 1987 in Rosario, Argentina. This living legend in the football world currently plays for FC Barcelona in the Spanish division of football La Liga as a forward. He also fulfills his duties as the captain of the national team of Argentina, his homeland country. His father, Jorge Horácio Messi was a worker in a steel factory and Celia María Cuccittini is his mother who was a part-time cleaner. Messi started his football passion at the age of 5 for a small club, Grandoli. Further, in 1995, he joined the Newell’s Old Boys, which was present in Rosario, his native city.
By the age of 11, Messi was diagnosed to have a growth hormone deficiency, which is caused due to lack of HGH (Human Growth Hormone). A local club named “River Plate” was keen to have Messi on board but they were incapable of providing funds needed for the treatment of the deficiency which was $900/month. The sporting director FC Barcelona was, Carles Rexach. He was acknowledged about the hidden, potential talent within this youth. A trial was arranged to assess Messi for his qualities. Predictably Rexach signed up Messi, at the time Rexach he had no official papers at hand so he made the contract on a paper napkin! It was agreed that if Messi moved to Barcelona then the club will finance the medical expenses for Messi. Soon after, Messi along with his father moved to Barcelona and Messi enrolled in the Youth Acedemy of the club.
STYLE OF PLAY
Messi, with a mere height of just 5”7 (1.69m) and body weight of 67kg, is often known as the little master due to his mind-blowing incredible on-ball expertise. His style of play reflects the play of Diego Maradona because of their similar playing style. He has a low height than most players and a moderate weight which helps him to maintain his balance and make quick and short turns so that he has more agility which accounts for his superb ball control. Instant acceleration over small distances is a very useful capability of Messi, his short but strong legs allow him to provide with the energy and also maintains his balance with the ball at high speeds. It is reported that Pep Guardiola said “Messi is the only player that runs faster with the ball than he does without it. Like Maradona, Messi is a gifted left footed player. He uses the outside of his left foot to dribble and the inside of his left to strike and pass his team mates. Messi is known to have great command at individual attacks which he usually loves to attack solo on counterattacks and also from the right side of the pitch, which benefits him so that he can have a good shot at goal from his left foot. Not only is he clinical finisher but also frequently it is seen that the combines with the team very well, Xavi and Iniesta in particular. He is rightfully credited to knit the play of the team by accurate passing and also in providing wonderful assists as he has a brilliant long sight for providing long through balls and killer passes to open up the opposition and turn the tide of the game in seconds and produce a goal out of nothing. He is also a very expert penalty taker and is also making his name in set pieces which is making him parallel to Cristiano Ronaldo in this part of the game. Most commentators and top players including; Maradona, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gerd Müller acknowledge him as being the greatest player in the world.
At the beginning of his career, Messi was a left winger and a forward. But he was later positioned as a right winger by the former FC Barcelona manager Frank Rijkaard. Messi is considered as a free soul footballer, which means that he plays as a multi-tasked player either as a free form attacker or as a playmaker since he has the qualities of controlled dribbling, excellent finishing, great pace, wonderful vision and superb passing.
Messi also has been the center of attention for the media. He was featured on the front covers of the video games Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 and 2011. Messi and Fernando Torres were chosen as the face of the game PES 10 and were also included in the game’s trailer and motion capture. In November 2011, Messi was chosen for the face of the upcoming FIFA 12’s FIFA Street. He was also confirmed to be displayed on FIFA 13’s front cover. He also sponsored by the German brand of sportswear, Adidas and is also contracted to feature in their motion advertisements.
- While Messi was at FC Barcelona, the team won the league titles of La Liga in 2004–05, 2005–06, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11.
- The team also had success in the Spanish Cup campaigns of Copa del Rey in 2008–09, 2011–12 and was runner-up in 2010–11.
- The team won Supercopa de España in the years of 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011 and was runner-up in 2012.
- FC Barcelona has a strong profile in the European competition, it won UEFA Champions League in the years of 2005–06, 2008–09, 2010–11.
- It also won UEFA Super Cup of 2009, 2011 and was runner-up in 2006.
- FC Barcelona won FIFA Club World Cup of 2009 and 2011.
- Argentina won the Olympic Gold Medal: 2008
- It also won theFIFA U-20 World Cup: 2005
- and was runner-up in Copa America: 2007 and secured third place in U20 South American Youth Championship: 2005
- Most goals scored in a year (national team): 12 goals (shared with Batistuta)
- FIFA World Player of the Year,
- Ballon d'Or
- The Pichichi Trophy
- European Golden Boot
- UEFA Best Player in Europe Award
- Bravo Award
- Marca Leyenda
- UEFA Club Footballer of the Year
- Trofeo Alfredo di Stéfano,
- Player of the Year of Argentina,
- Olimpia Award
- Best International Athlete ESPY Award
- L'Équipe Champion of Champions
- Golden Boy Award
- La Liga Foreign Player of the Year
- World Soccer Young Player of the Year
- UEFAChampions League Final Man of the Match
- LFP Best Player
- FIFPro World Young Player of the Year
- Trofeo EFE Best Ibero-American Soccer Player of the Spanish League
- LFP Best Forward
- FIFA Ballon d'Or
- World Soccer Player of the Year
- FIFA U-20 World Cup Golden Ball Award
- UEFA Champions League Forward of the Year
- Onze d'Or
- Messi made a name in the Guinness World Records title for the most goals in a year: 91 goals.
- He also earned the most international goals in a year (club and national team): 25 goals (shared with Vivian Woodward).
- Also most goals scored in FIFA Club World Cup: 4 goals (held jointly with Denilson and Mohamed Aboutrika).
- He scored the highest number of goals in a season (club) 73 goals.
- He scored the highest number of goals in a year (club) 79 goals.
- He was awarded for scoring the highest number of goals in a European Cup season that is 14 goals (award shared by José Altafini).
- He was the top scorer for the most European Cup top scorer, 4 awards were presented (shared with Gerd Müller).
- He was also awarded for scoring the highest number of goals in a single European Cup match of 5 goals (also shared with 10 other players)
- He was the top scorer in La Liga in a season with 50 goals.
- He was awarded to have made the most hat-tricks in La Liga in a season with 8 hat-tricks.
- He scored the highest number of goals in the Supercopa de España with 10 goals.
- He was awarded for most consecutive La Liga matches scored in with 10 matches (shared with Ronaldo and Mariano Martín).
- He is the top scorer in official competitions with 288 goals.
- He is the top scorer in La Liga with 195 goals.
- He is the top scorer in UEFA Champions League with 56 goals.
- He is the top scorer in European Competitions with 57 goals.
- He is the top scorer in international Competitions with 61 goals.
- He has the highest number of all competitions hat-tricks with an overall of 21 goals.
- He has the highest number of La Liga hat-tricks with an overall of 15 goals.
Messi currently is widely accepted as the best player in the world. He continues to be in excellent form with many successful years to come since he is just 25 and he has much time to make his name go down in the history of football. By carrying this pace and momentum with him he will actually overcome every limit and barrier to this wonderful game of football as he himself at this very stage, is living legend himself in the world of football.