Lionel Messi is probably the best player in the world today. He is one of the finest and most exciting footballing talents in the world. While he was born in Argentina, he spent the majority of his childhood in Europe, where he began playing for Spain’s FC Barcelona as a youngster. Messi joined Paris Saint-Germain in 2021, only his second club in his incredible career. Since 2010, Messi has also served as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. Lionel moved to Spain when he was only 13, but he built his life with someone he knew from his childhood in Rosario: Antonella Roccuzzo, longtime partner and eventual wife. Having known each other since they were five, they got together as teenagers when Messi was already in Barcelona. The couple has three kids: Thiago, Mateo, and Ciro.
Yet, if Barcelona had not taken Messi under its wing at a young age, his tale might have finished before it even began. Messi was raised in Rosario, Argentina, and as a youngster excelled at football. From the age of five, he played for Grandoli, a team that his father coached, before transferring to Newell’s Old Boys. He appeared to have a bright future in football, but at the age of 11, a growth hormone deficit was discovered that necessitated costly therapy.
Even though his parents couldn’t afford it, they chose to relocate to Spain after seeing some hesitant indications that Barcelona recognized Messi’s skill. Messi gave Barca a tryout, and the team was so satisfied that it decided to cover his medical bills.
He started out with FC Barcelona’s under-14 squad. On the youth squad, he scored 21 goals in 14 games. He advanced fast through the higher-level teams, and at the age of 16, he made his unofficial FC Barcelona debut in a friendly game. With the club’s first “treble”—winning three major European club championships in a single season—Messi closed off an outstanding 2008–09 campaign by assisting FC Barcelona in winning the Champions League, La Liga, and the Cup del Rey. He beat Ronaldo by a record margin in the voting for the Ballon d’Or and FIFA’s global player of the year during that season, scoring 38 goals in 51 games. Messi emerged as the new superstar of Barcelona. 2012 was a historic record year for Messi. After becoming the first player to score five goals in a single Champions League game, Messi surpassed Cesar Rodriguez (232 goals) as Barcelona’s all-time leading scorer by netting a hat-trick against Granada. That wonderful year earned Messi his fourth consecutive Ballon d’Or award, becoming the first player in history to win the prize on four occasions.
TOUGH YEARS WITH THE NATIONAL TEAM
Although Messi has gained worldwide recognition for his amazing performances at FC Barcelona, he hasn’t met the same love in his home country. Although Leo was admired by many Argentine fans, his lack of international success while he was enjoying success in Spain made him the focus of local media criticism. In addition, he was constantly compared to Diego Maradona.Frankly, no other team could match Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona. Either way, Messi became the scapegoat for Argentina’s failures in those years. He thrived as a Ballon d’Or winner in Barcelona but failed to reach his international level. Talking about the 2010 world cup, 2011 Copa America, and 2014 world cup, especially about 2014.
His image started to improve on the road to Brazil in 2014, getting on the scoresheet from the very first game and putting the team on his back-end route to the World Cup final. However, where Argentina then advanced to the World Cup final for the first time in 24 years. Argentina lost that contest 1–0 to Germany, but Messi nevertheless won the Golden Ball award as the tournament’s best player. Argentina’s heartbreaking loss to Germany meant that Messi had yet to silence his haters. Following to that After Argentina’s Copa final defeat – their third consecutive loss in a major tournament final – Messi said he would leave the national team, but his short-lived ‘retirement’ lasted less than two months before announcing his return to the Argentina team.
2013 was a difficult year for Messi. The football machine spent months with a hamstring injury on the touchline but found a way to come back stronger, becoming the all-time top scorer in La Liga and the Champions League in 2014.
The 2014/15 season was the last big season for Messi and Barcelona as the club repeated the treble with the impressive attacking trio of striker Luis Suarez, Messi and Neymar. Additionally, the Argentine footballer regained the FIFA Ballon d’Or after losing to Cristiano Ronaldo in 2013 and 2014. Barcelona endured a tough period from 2018-2020 and endured humiliating Champions League qualifiers in the years that followed. Roma, Liverpool and Bayern inflicted painful defeats on Barcelona and prevented them from reaching the final, The club also ran into financial problems with Josep Maria Bartomeu’s management. All these misfortunes combined almost pushed Messi out of Barcelona. The Argentine footballer looked set to leave as a free agent in 2020 but it turns out his contract would not allow it.
However, in a shocking turn of events, the club informed Messi that he could not be registered in La Liga due to salary caps. And just like that, Messi walked away. Barcelona was no longer his club, and he had many offers on the table. In the end, Lionel signed a two-year deal with Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2021. Ironically, during his toughest days at FC Barcelona, Messi finally found happiness in Argentina.
BACK ON NATIONAL DUTY
It took some time, but Messi changed the narrative with the Argentina national team. The mature Leo became the face of the team’s rebuild under Lionel Scaloni after the 2018 World Cup. The team finished third at the 2019 Copa America and there was no turning back. Argentina strengthens in South America with a positive start to qualification. A new generation of players is here, and Messi is more comfortable with them. Eventually, Argentina started to combine good results and turned out to be a point in the 2021 Copa America. Messi’s bid for the elusive international title came to a dramatic end as Argentina defeated their rivals and hosted Brazil in the Maracanã in the final. It ended a 28-year drought and Messi celebrated his first major success with the senior team Since then, Messi has received nothing but love from the Argentine community. Additionally, he guided the team towards a berth in Qatar in 2022 and the memorable Finalissima Trophy.
The inevitable finally happened in Qatar 2022: Lionel Messi lifted the coveted World Cup trophy. In one of the all-time best performances in the history of the tournament, the 35-year-old broke all possible records to emulate Maradona and lead Argentina back to the promised land. After beating France in the most dramatic penalty shoot. The GOAT debate may be dead for many: with this title, Messi is widely regarded as the greatest footballer of all time. And finally, football got completed. and most importantly he is the only player in the world to have 7 Ballondor. However, he is not a person who chases records and awards, he is a person who enjoys playing football with passion and a positive attitude.
Messi has certainly given reasons to be regarded as one of the greatest soccer players the game has ever seen.