Magical Messi scores 500th GOAL for Barcelona
how Lionel Messi overcame all odds, even after being diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency, to become one of the best footballers in the world representing his country and club
'Messi does not need his right foot. He only uses the left and he's still the best in the world. Imagine if he also used his right foot, Then we would have serious problems." – Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Luis Lionel Andres Messi, the Argentinian masterpiece and football God was born on June 24, 1987, in Santa Fe, to father Jorge Messi who worked for a steel factory, and mother Celia Cuccittini, who worked in a magnet manufacturing workshop, was a passionate football player since he was 5-years-old. His love for the game was hindered after being diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency, whilst playing for Newell, it made wealthy recruiters like River Plate sceptical about his performance so they dropped him but to his luck, he was discovered by coach Carles Rexach who offered him a contract that was signed on a napkin! Messi and his family moved from the Atlantic to Spain after being promised by FC Barcelona's Youth Academy to foot the bill for his medical treatment.
He is definitely someone who hasn't mixed up his career and personal life, he has kept his personal life away from the attention of the media and on the down low.
Many must have googled "Messi's wife" and seen a picture of his long time girlfriend Antonella Roccuzzo, just to clear the air, they are not married but he was introduced to the love of his life, Antonella by her cousin, Scaglia, who played football with him in his early Santa Fe days. In 2008, he made their relationship public and has been blessed with 2 sons. Thiago Messi, his first born was introduced to the world through a Facebook post in 2012 and Mateo Messi was born in 2015.
'La Pulga Atomica' a well-deserved nickname for the 5 time Ballon D'or winner was homesick for a while after moving to a new country but soon rose to fame after becoming the youngest ever player to score a goal for the FCB franchise in 2005, a record eventually beaten by Krkic. In the 2003-2004 season, when Leo was still only 16, he made his first-team debut in a friendly, with that he marked the rise of a football legend and the world knew his kicks were packed with exuberance also it showcased through the array of spectacular play displayed on the field. Messi made his first appearance in an official match on October 16, 2004, in Barcelona's derby win against Espanyol (1-0) at the Olympic Stadium. Messi became a regular team player after that since a few of the first team players were injured.
Along with his rising club career, Messi bagged Argentina a win at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship which took place in the Netherlands and became one of the most wanted players in the game. He started delivering at a high and fast rate especially at the Stamford Bridge, Champions League game against Chelsea. He was injured for the latter half of the season but that did not stop the beast from scoring eight goals for his team. His skills stem from his great vision. With his tactical approach, he constantly processes the game and predicts when to play midfield and drags his opponent with him away from a space or forms an overload centrally. The thing about Messi that makes him exceptional is his ability to dribble only when it counts and almost never gives away the ball even without hogging the ball which makes him a team player involving the other players - the quality of a star. 'Flea', is small but mighty as he can steal the show even with big defenders around him who simply don't know what he is going to do next. His fantastic shoulder work, body feints, and cognition is what makes him so dangerous. He now actually covers less ground than most of his team-mates. Less brawn, more brain.
The thing about Messi that makes him exceptional is his ability to dribble only when it counts and almost never gives away the ball even without hogging the ball which makes him a team player involving the other players - the quality of a star. 'Flea', is small but mighty as he can steal the show even with big defenders around him who simply don't know what he is going to do next. His fantastic shoulder work, body feints, and cognition is what makes him so dangerous. He now actually covers less ground than most of his team-mates. Less brawn, more brain.
"Leo Messi is the best player in the world. Technically perfect, he brings together unselfishness, pace, composure, and goals to make him number one"- FC Barcelona
The Atomic Flea's life hasn't been a bed of roses considering the 2008 Celtic match when he broke down as a result of a torn muscle in his left leg and it was his 7th injury in the span of 2 years. The star's career was in danger, as Deco and Ronaldinho's off-the-pitch partying was leading Messi astray. After the entry of Guardiola, when the Brazilian forwards were out of the picture, things changed. Messi had rarely paid attention to diet and hadn't given up his love for Argentine food but it changed when the backstage crew of the club prepared his staple diet and, each morning, he would consume a special set of vitamins prepared and left for him in a small container at the club's training ground. "A lot of people help him daily, for example, the physical trainers. The work we do with Leo is long term and we managed to consolidate him," said Juanjo Brau, Barca's physiotherapist. Messi also improved his position play with Xavi and Iniesta by his side and gained maturity on and off the field which helped him in ways that cannot be explained. He has faced more intense injuries since 2008, in 2013 his muscle tear kept him away from the field for 60 days, but he came bouncing back.
"A lot of people help him daily, for example, the physical trainers. The work we do with Leo is long term and we managed to consolidate him," said Juanjo Brau, Barca's physiotherapist. Messi also improved his position play with Xavi and Iniesta by his side and gained maturity on and off the field which helped him in ways that cannot be explained. He has faced more intense injuries since 2008, in 2013 his muscle tear kept him away from the field for 60 days, but he came bouncing back.
In 2016, after Messi missed the penalty shootout against Chile in the Copa America final, he decided to pack his bags and announced his retirement from international football to focus on his club career as he believed he was letting his country down due to his untimely injuries, especially when Argentina lost to Germany in 2014 FIFA finals. The highest honours Messi has received in international football is a gold medal in the Beijing Olympics 2008 and the 2005 FIFA win. The fans were shocked and in dismay but after that announcement, he did not miss a single international match and delivered for his country, beating Uruguay 1-0.
"A lot of things went through my mind on the night of the final and I gave serious thought to quitting, but my love for my country and this shirt is too great," he said.
The Argentine forward was found guilty by a Barcelona court last July on three counts of tax fraud between 2007 and 2009, resulting in a suspended 21-month prison sentence and fine of €2million (£1.75m). Messi and his father created a lot of shell companies to avoid paying taxes.
This UNICEF Goodwill ambassador broke all records in 2012 by scoring more goals in all club competitions in a single season (73) and across a calendar year (79) which made him an all star player. He scored his 500th goal for the club in the match against Madrid (3-2) recently leaving his main Portuguese rival, Ronaldo fuming at his teammates. He has been awarded a special FIFA 17 Ultimate team card for his performance in the April El Clasico.
Messidona is skillful fast, hard working, passionate, excels in vision, makes space during the game for his team members, he controls the field like nobody else and it's only a matter of time before he leads his country to glory like he did with his club. The role of Iniesta, Xavi, Guardiola, Maradona, Suarez, Neymar and many other add to his reign. What makes him a fan favourite is not only his Maradona (U) certificate qualities but also the edge he shows on the field. Messi is the best and it's not an opinion but a fact backed by statistics
"I feel sorry for those who want to compete for Messi's throne because it's impossible, as this kid is unique," Pep Guardiola.