Lionel Messi, whose full name is Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini, is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward and captain for both Spanish club Barcelona and Argentina national team. Messi often considered the best player in the world and widely regarded as the greatest player of all time, Lionel has won a record 6 Ballon d’Or awards and a record 6 European Golden Shoes. Messi has spent his entire professional career with Barcelona club, where he has won a club-record thirty-four trophies, ten(10) La Liga titles, four(4) UEFA Champions League titles and six(6) Copas del Rey. He holds the records for most goals in La Liga (441 goals) and European league season (50 goals), most hat-tricks in La Liga (36) and the UEFA Champions League (8), and most assists in La Liga (181) and the Copa América (12) ( he is a prolific goalscorer and a creative playmaker). Messi has scored more than 700 senior career goals for club and country.
He was born in 1987, in central Argentina. He was relocated to Spain where he joined Barcelona at the age of 13.
Messi is the third born in a family of four. His father is Jorge Messi who is a steel factory manager and his mother is Celia Cuccittini who worked in a magnet manufacturing workshop. His father is of Italian and Spanish descent, the great-grandson of immigrants from the northcentral Adriatic Marche region of Italy and Catalonia while his mother is purely an Italian ancestry. The football star developed a passion for the sport from an early age, playing constantly with his older brothers, Rodrigo and Matías, and his cousins, Maximiliano and Emanuel Biancucchi, both of whom became professional footballers since he grew up in a tight-knit and football-loving family. Messi joined local club Grandoli, while still young that’s at the age of four, where he was coached by his father, though his earliest influence as a player came from his maternal grandmother, who accompanied him to training and matches. Messi was greatly affected by her death, shortly before attaining 11 years since then, Messi has celebrated his goals by looking up and pointing to the sky in tribute of his grandmother, as a devout Catholic.
He has been in a relationship with Antonella Roccuzzo, a fellow native of Rosario, since 2008. Messi has known her since he was five years old, as she is the cousin of his best friend, Lucas Scaglia, who is also a football player, since childhood. He first confirmed their romance in an interview in January 2009, after keeping their relationship private for a year, before going to public a month later during a carnival in Sitges after the derby of Barcelona-Espanyol. The two have been blessed with three sons namely Thiago who was born in 2012, Mateo who was born in 2015 and Ciro who was born in 2018.
Messi first signed at FC Barcelona when he was 13 years where he plays till now and also plays for the Argentina national team. Messi made his first appearance for the FC Barcelona, when he was 16 years old, putting himself in the record books on 1st May 2005, as the youngest player ever to score a goal for the franchise. In 2005, Messi led Argentina to the title in the under-20 World Cup, scoring on a pair of penalty kicks to propel the team over Nigeria team.
The most notably in 2009, he steered FC Barcelona to a wealth of success when the left-footer’s team captured the titles like Champions League, La Liga and Spanish Super Cup. After two consecutive runner-up finishes, that same year, Messi took his first FIFA ‘World Player of the Year’ honor/Ballon d’Or award. Messi’s soccer wizard continued to improve, coming up with new ways to elude defenders while leading his team to La Liga and Spanish Super Cup championships in the year 2010 and 2011, and also the 2011 Champions League title. In 2012, he embarked on an all-out assault on the record books. In early March, Messi became the first player to score 5 goals in a Champions League match. Few weeks later, Messi surpassed Cesar Rodriguez’s club-record 232 goals to become all-time top scorer of Barcelona.
He had accumulated an astounding 91 goals in FC Barcelona by the end of 2012 and international play, eclipsing the 85 netted in a single calendar year by Muller in the year 1972. In January 2013, Messi broke another record when he was named the FIFA Ballon d’Or winner for the fourth time. Messi came back to earth somewhat that year due to the persistence of hamstring injuries, though he regained his record-breaking form by becoming the all-time leading scorer, in matches played in late 2014, in both La Liga and Champions League.