Written By:
Shrilata Patwa

Much like many other people to figure out their talents was extremely hard, Lionel Messi found it easy since his passion for sports has been clear from his childhood.

Lionel Messi Childhood and Early Life

Lionel Messi was born on 24 June 1987 in Rosario, Argentina. With his extremely zealous behavior for football that has been coming from his maternal grandmother, as it was she who accompanied him for training and matches from his childhood. He was so pompous by her death that he always celebrated his goals by looking up and pointing to the sky in tribute for her.

Messi's childhood struggle:

At the age of 4, he joined a local club Grandoli where he was trained by his coached father. At the age of 6, he joined the  Rosario club in which he scored almost 500 goals as a member of "The Machine of '87'", where crowds of the stadium had always been entertained by his ball tricks performance. But soon the dreams of becoming a professional player started fading when he was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency. At the age of 13 years, due to physical limitations and financial restrictions he drives to Spain to join FC Barcelona, who agreed to pay for his medical treatment. His initial stage in Spain was quite hard since due to transfer conflict as a foreigner, also through homesickness. After his mother moved with his brother, sister and he has to stay with his father in Barcelona.

At the age of 13, he first signed for FC Barcelona and played for them. On May 1, 2005, he framed himself in the record book as the youngest player at the age of 16 to ever score a goal for the franchise and in the same year gave the title of under-20 World Cup to Argentina.

Ultimately, Messi's short height (5 feet,7 inches), help him to give the attacking style with his speed that helps to win the major title for Argentina's national team. At age 16, 2003, he made his first-team debut where he came in the 75th minute during a friendly match against José Mourinho's Porto. His first training session with the senior squad, squad Barça's new star player, Ronaldinho, that soon befriended with Messi, whom he called "little brother", which greatly eased his transition into the first team where he believed him that he would become an even better player than himself.

In 2005, Lionel Messi step in his first International debut against Hungary, where he only spent 47 seconds as he was shown a red card. In 2009 it was a successful year for Messi as he not only help his team to win La Liga, but help to achieve Copa del Rey, and finally the Champions League. Barcelona with three victories in a single year became the first-ever Spanish club to win the treble where Messi completed the season with an overall 38 goals and 18 assists record. After that, there is no one to stop to achieve the smallest boy for his biggest dreams. In 2010 the "Spanish Super Cup championships" and in next year "11 Champions League title" with that in 2012 he became "the second-highest goal scorer" with 194 goals in all official competitions and in January 2013 he was named the "FIFA Ballon d'Or winner" for the fourth time. No one could have predicted that after 17 years and 114 days the Argentinian footballer, Lionel Messi, would be playing for his national team and FC Barcelona with non-stop faith and with so much dedication,

He announced his retirement from international football on 26 June 2016 after missed a penalty in the final shootout in the Copa America Final and Argentina lost to Chile. But, Later he reverses his decision of retirement and led his country to qualify the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and last but not least Messi recently awarded the Forward of the Season award for the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League campaign. Lionel Messi pushed over his boundaries to go from being the "smallest player from all other teammates on the pitch” to one of the worldwide recognition as one of the topmost goal scorers in the world" with five Golden Balls and three European Golden Shoes.

Lionel Messi Personal Life

On June 30, 2017, Messi married his childhood friend Antonella Roccuzzo whom he knows from the age of 5. They gave birth to their 1st son Thiago in 2012, their 2nd son Mateo in 2015, and last Ciro in 2018. He has been always involved with charitable activities throughout his career and he was appointed as a UNICEF Ambassador in March 2010. He also has his own charitable organization "Leo Messi Foundation" which supports education, health, and sports for children.

"You have to fight to reach your dream. You have to sacrifice and work hard for it.

Lionel Messi"

Lionel Messi Controversies:
Affairs: Lionel Messi never involved in any affairs controversy. He only dated model Antonella Roccuzzo and now they are married.
Tax fraud controversy: In 2013 Messi was suspected for tax evasion. Messi and his father were both found guilty of tax fraud and were handed suspended 21-month prison sentences and respectively ordered to pay €1.7 million and €1.4 million in fines. [Source]

Messi and Brazil coach Tite controversy: During match due to some argument, Messi said Brazil coach Tite to "Shut Up". [Source]

Messi and Gary Medel: During the match, the situation got ugly when the fight started between Chile captain Gary Medel and Messi. [Source]

Spatting on Malaga winger Duda: During La Liga match in 2008, Messi lost his temper and spat at Malaga winger Duda. [Source]

Messi vs Darijo Srna: In 2009 during a match in frustration for a missing goal, Messi pushed Darijo Srna from the back. [Source]

Messi vs Weligton Oliveira: During a match in 2008, Messi has an argument and fight with Weligton Oliveira. [Source]

Messi and Pepe,  Raldes, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Valencia Fans: During the match, Messi had an argument fight with PepeRaldes, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, and Valencia Fans. [Source] [Source][Source][Source]
Messi Vs Cristiano Ronaldo: Fans always compare Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Always tries to show someone better, but Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo never mentioned competition in between them. They both always seen as friends instead of competitors.