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Biographies of famous sportsmen

Lionel Messi Biography (part 2)

International Career

Brought up in Spain, Messi has Spanish nationality since he was 11 years old. In 2004, Messi was invited to play for Spain’s U20 side, but he decided to play for the country of his birth, Argentina. He led his homeland to victory in the 2005 FIFA Youth Championship. The young star made his official international debut in August 2005, during a friendly match against Hungary. In his first match, Messi was sent off for allegedly elbowing a player. The decision of the referee was contentious and not in keeping with Messi’s style which is generally clean and fair play. In fact, he has rarely been accused of diving.

In 2006, he played in the World Cup, becoming the youngest player of Argentina to play in this great tournament. However, Argentina were eliminated in the quarter-finals. Two years later, he won an Olympic gold medal for his nation in football at the Beijing Olympics. Although Barcelona had not allowed him to play, new coach Pep Guardiola allowed him time off.

In the 2010 World Cup, wearing the number 10 shirt, Messi played well to help Argentina reach the quarter-finals, but then he struggled to score, and Argentina disappointingly lost 4-0 to Germany. Messi has admitted that he is desperate to play in a world cup final. Success in the World Cup would be the last test of his greatness.

The Argentinian superstar is worldwidely regarded as one of the most exciting players of the modern age. He has a great ability to dribble and take on opponents. Maradona has described Messi’s ball control as supremely good. Messi has said that he wishes to retain the joy of how a child plays football.

Messi and Ronaldo

Although Messi has usually been compared to famous Real Madrid goalscorer Christiano Ronaldo, both have been keen to downplay the rivalry.

Categories
Biographies of famous sportsmen

Lionel Messi Biography (part 1)

Lionel Messi (Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini) is an Argentinian football player who plays as a forward and captains both the Argentina national team and Spanish club Barcelona. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of the modern generation. He has won FIFA world player of the year for 4 times. He has usually been described as Diego Maradona’s successor thanks to his ability to dribble past opponents and prolific goal-scoring record.

Short Biography of Lionel Messi

Messi was born on 24 June 1987, in Rosario, Argentina to a working-class family. His mother was a cleaner and his father was a factory steelworker.

Messi started playing football from an early age, and then his talent was soon apparent. However, he was diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency (GHD) at the age of 11. This was a condition that stunted growth and also required expensive medical treatment, especially the use of the drug Human growth hormone.

His local club, River Plate, was interested in signing him, though, didn’t want to pay for his expensive medical treatment. However, Messi was given a trial with FC Barcelona, and coach Carles Rexach was impressed. He offered Messi a contract (written on a paper napkin!), including paying for his treatment in Spain. Messi moved to FC Barcelona with his father and became part of the prestigious Barcelona youth academy.

He progressed through the ranks and was given the chance of his first appearance in the 2004/05 season, which made him become the youngest player to score a league goal. In 2006, he was part of the double-winning team that won both Champions League and La Liga (Spanish League). By next season (2006-07) when aged just 20, Messi was the first choice striker and an essential part of the FC Barcelona – scoring 14 goals in total 26 league games.

In the 2009-10 season, he scored 47 goals in all competitions, equaling to Ronaldo’s record total for Barcelona. Messi kept improving and breaking his own records as the seasons have progressed. In 2012, he broke the world record of all time for most goals scored in a calendar year. His final total of goals in that year was 91 – beating the previous record of 85 by Gerd Muller from German, and Pele’s milestone of 75 in 1958.