Player Profile – Lionel MessiMay 23, 2007
Birthplace: Santa Fe, Argentina
Date of Birth: 24th June 1987
Grandoli, Argentina; Newell’s Old Boys, Argentina
National Squad/Number of Appearances: Argentina/12+
Lionel Messi joined Barcelona in 2000 at the age of 13. Initially playing for the Under 14s, Messi moved up the ranks through the club’s Youth, C and B teams before joining the first team squad in record time. At the time of his first team debut in a friendly match in the 2003-4 season he was just 16 years of age.
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- Messi became the youngest player ever to score a league goal for Barça in 2005 in a match against Albacete – aged just 17 years, 10 months and 7 days.
- At 18 Messi played for Argentina in the Under 20 World Cup and won the title. He was also voted best player of the tournament and was its leading goal scorer.
- Argentinean great Maradona has named Messi as his natural successor. The Spanish press have nicknamed him ‘Messidona’.
- Messi is a left-footed player comfortable in the middle, on the wings or in a centre forward position.
- As a child Messi suffered from a hormonal problem that was preventing him from growing as normal. Barcelona tempted him to Spain by offering to help with his medical bills.
- Messi’s nickname with the Barcelona fans is Leo.
- He was asked to play his national football for Spain but chose to wait for a call up from Argentina.
- His first senior call up to the Argentinean team ended in disaster – he was sent off after 40 seconds.
- When he came on to the pitch against Serbia and Montenegro in the 2006 World Cup, Messi became the youngest player to play for Argentina in a World Cup tournament. His goal in this match made him the youngest scorer of this World Cup and the sixth youngest scorer in the history of the tournament.
- He has won two Spanish Supercups (2005-6/2006-7), two League Titles (2004-5/2005-6) and the Champions League (2005-6) with Barcelona.
- Messi is contracted to stay with Barcelona until 2014.
Categorised in: Player Profile