Lionel Messi: Player History, Teams, and Honors
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2022 Qatar World Cup Round of 16
Lionel Messi History and Highlights
The most talented football player of all time, according to many, Lionel Messi spearheaded multiple iterations of star-studded Barcelona lineups and now dances his way through the defenses of Ligue 1 in France. Messi’s international career with Argentina has also been nothing short of breathtaking.
It was clear that Messi had talent as soon as he started playing football with his family in Argentina. He joined Argentinian titans Newell’s Old Boys at just six years old. Even from that age, he was clearly a special player, being the star player of a famously talented generation that came through their academy, all born in 1987.
By the age of 10, though, it became clear that his physicality didn’t match his technique as he was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency.
Unfortunately, funding the treatment Messi needed if he was ever to realize his potential was outside of his family’s capability, and Argentinian teams couldn’t bring themselves to pay.
Move to Europe
Barcelona eventually stepped up to the plate when Lionel Messi was 13, moving his family to Spain and agreeing to fund his treatment.
It soon became clear to the Catalan club that they had made the right choice. Despite his minutes for the youth team being restricted by being a foreign player of such young age, Messi quickly became the star of another glittering youth side that included Cesc Fabregas and Gerard Pique.
Becoming the Greatest of All Time
Messi’s attention through Barcelona’s youth teams was unprecedented, debuting for five different levels of the youth teams in the 2003-04 season. He was only 16 years old when he made his first-team debut, and by 2005 he was a regular starter.
In 2009 Messi won his first Ballon d’Or and, under Pep Guardiola’s tutelage, started evolving into a “false nine,” a role that soon became a template for many top sides across Europe. Barcelona won the Champions League in that year and in 2011, marking a period that many consider to be the best club side in footballing history, and Messi was their focal point.
While Barcelona’s success couldn’t remain at that level forever – although they were still one of Europe’s best sides – Messi’s goalscoring exploits continued throughout the decade as he won award after award. This is how he cemented his place as one of the best players to step foot onto the pitch.
In 2021 Barcelona’s financial problems started to catch up with them, and all of a sudden, Lionel Messi found himself being forced out of La Liga’s strict financial rules. So, after much excitement, he ended up signing for Paris St Germain, where he leads one of the most talented strike forces in the world.
His first season in Paris was steady, but he has begun the 2022-23 season seemingly back to his material best. 2022 offers possibly his last opportunity to win the only major trophy missing from his cabinet, the elusive World Cup.
Lionel Messi Trivia
- In the 2011-12 campaign, Messi scored an amazing 73 goals and provided 29 assists in all competitions, a tally that may never be matched.
- Messi was only 24 when he broke Barcelona’s goalscoring record. Cesar Rodriguez had held the title for 57 years.
- Messi has the record for the fastest player to score a century of Champions League goals.
- This year is Messi’s last chance to win the 2022 Qatar World Cup Final.
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