Lionel Messi is in the news because of his retirement from international football. The 5 time Ballon D’or winner decided to end his international career after the loss against Chile in the Copa America Centenario 2016. Taking a break from the gloom of his retirement, here are some interesting facts about Lionel Messi!
Messi’s first contract with Barcelona was detailed out on a paper napkin! FC Barcelona sporting director Carles Rexach was so impressed with Messi’s skills that he wanted to make a contract immediately and there was no paper available at that time.
CHE GUEVERA CONNECTION!
Messi was born on June 24, 1987 in Rosario, Argentina. Messi shares his birthplace and his birth month with the Argentinian revolutionary Che Guevera.
GROWTH HORMONE DEFICIENCY
Messi was not very healthy and nutritious in his childhood days like the other boys around. He was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency which was stopping his normal growth rate at a tender age of 11. His parents could not afford his treatment, which was $900 a month, which Barcelona paid for after signing him.
Lionel Messi comes middle-class Italian origin. His father, Jorge, was a steelworker, and he also coached the local youth football team.
OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST!
He won an Olympic gold medal, along with the Argentinian football team, at the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing.
Messi is also the Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF.
HE WAS ASKED TO PLAY FOR THE SPANISH NATIONAL TEAM!
Messi holds passports for both Spain and his native Argentina, and turned down an opportunity to play with the Spanish national team because he sees himself as Argentinian, despite spending many of his formative years in Spain.
BARCELONA’S ALL-TIME TOP SCORER!
In 2012, Messi became the all-time leading scorer for Barcelona in all club competitions, at the age of 24!
MOST GOALS AND ASSISTS IN EL CLASICO HISTORY!
Lionel Messi currently holds the record for most goals and assists in El Clasico (Real Madrid vs Barcelona) history.
MOST GOALS IN A CALENDAR YEAR!
In 2012, Messi broke the record of the most number goals scored in a calendar year, which was previously held by Gerd Muller with 85 in 1972.
His 2005 international debut lasted 47 seconds when he received a red card after coming on as a substitute against Hungary!
ALL TIME TOP SCORER FOR ARGENTINA!
Lionel Messi became his country’s all-time top scorer when he scored in the Copa America 2016 semi-final against the United States to take his international tally to 55 goals.
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