Considered to be one of the best footballers of all time, Lionel Messi has been a name to reckon with even for non football-enthusiasts. He started playing football aged 6 and there has been no looking back since. Here are few facts about Lionel Messi which you may not have heard before.
#17 Everything has a Reason
Have you ever noticed, after every goal, Messi looks up in the sky and points his fingers? It is his way of paying tribute to his grandmother whom he lost before his eleventh birthday.
#16 Messi’s Tattoo
Lionel Messi had his boy’s name and hand-prints tattooed on his left calf. This is cutest thing done by a dad for his son.
#15 He had a rather rough childhood
He was diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency at the age of 11 because of which he suffered a height problem, lower immunity and poor vision. He had to undergo treatment that involved injecting human growth hormone externally through a needle.
#14 It was a piece of napkin that started Lionel Messi’s career at Barca
Messi signed his first contract with Barca at age 13 on a napkin due to the non availability of paper at that instant. This was because the Barca’s Sporting Director was so impressed by Messi that he wanted to sign him then and there.
#13 Lionel Messi’s International debut was not so rosy
Messi came on as a substitute against Hungary in 2005 but was given a red card after he allegedly elbowed Vanczak after just 47 seconds. Messi was reportedly found crying in the changing room later.
#12 Messi is a food lover
Messi is a food lover and his unbalanced diet continued even during his initial days at Barca. He was dubbed Messi “the star of porcelain” for his unhealthy lifestyle related injuries. A Coca-Cola vending machine, that the team had in their training center, had to be removed to prevent Messi from being around it.
#11 Messi has been featured
Messi has been featured on the covers of Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 and Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 video games. He was one of the face of Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 video game.
#10 Offer For Messi
Messi was once offered a chance to play for the Spanish national team but he refused.
#9 He has carved a niche for himself
He stands to be the only soccer player to have won the Ballon d’Or a record five times in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015 and the European Golden Shoe award three times for 2009-10, 2011-12 and 2012-13.
He is Argentina’s all – time leading goal scorer with 55 goals to his name and became the youngest player to play for Argentina in a FIFA World Cup when he made his debut in 2006 at 18 years and 357 days. He also has the record for scoring the most goals in La Liga history (312 goals) and is the top goal scorer in FC Barcelona’s history (453 goals). He is also the proud holder of a Guinness World Record for most goals scored in a year (91 goals in 2012).
#8 UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador
Messi was appointed as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. Thereafter he visited Argentina, Haiti and Costa Rica to raise awareness and support for UNICEF’s work. Leo Messi also celebrated his son’s first birthday with UNICEF.
#7 Messi is a philanthropist
He has used his name and wealth to help those less fortunate than him. He established the Leo Messi Foundation in 2007 which works for the betterment of unhealthy children and funds their treatment and food expenses. Messi also dedicatedly works for people suffering from autism.
#6 Messi met Antonella Roccuzzo, his better half when he was just five years old.
Antonella Roccuzzo is Messi’s best friend’s cousin. They both started dating when Messi was 20 years old. They married on 30th June, 2017.
#5 Messi, A Shy Character
Messi has always been a shy person since his childhood till now. It is very difficult to make him talk on phone. Even for important information, messages are delivered and received from him from SMS or mails.
#4 He has been cast in gold
A solid gold cast of his foot was created by Tokyo jeweler Ginza Tanaka to celebrate the Argentinian’s fourth Ballon d’Or. It was used to raise funds for the victims of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in 2011.
#3 He can do it all
He scored against every other team in La Liga consecutively. Messi has shown that he can score against them all unlike others.
#2 He is the richest footballer
With an annual income of 74m Euros = Rs 558 crore, he is the world’s richest footballer ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo whose annual income as per Forbes is 67.4m Euros = Rs 508 crore.
#1 His full name
Yes, many of you still don’t know his full name that is Luis Lionel Andres Messi.
Image Source: Google Images