Lionel Messi

Argentine association football player

Lionel Andrés "Leo" Messi Cuccittini (Spanish pronunciation: [ljoˈnel anˈdɾes ˈmesi]) (born 24 June 1987) is an Argentine footballer.[5] He plays for Barcelona and the Argentina national team as a forward. He also has Spanish citizenship, meaning he can play for Spain. Messi is considered by many experts and critics as one of the greatest football players of all time while some even labelling as the greatest. Messi has 6 Ballon d'Or awards. Messi was awarded FIFA World Player of the Year in 2009.[6] His playing style and skills are very similar to the Argentine legend Diego Maradona. There is much competition between him and Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo because of their similar skill levels.

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi 20180626.jpg
Messi with Argentina during the 2018 FIFA World Cup
Personal information
Full name Lionel Andres Messi Cuccittini[1]
Date of birth (1987-06-24) 24 June 1987 (age 32)
Place of birth Rosario, Argentina
Height 1.69 m (5 ft 6 12 in)[2][3][4]
Playing position Forward
Club information
Current team
Number 10
Youth career
1995–2000 Newell's Old Boys
2000–2003 Barcelona
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2003–2004 Barcelona C 10 (0)
2004–2005 Barcelona B 22 (1)
2004– Barcelona 410 (374)
National team
2004–2005 Argentina U20 19 (0)
2007–2008 Argentina U23 5 (2)
2005– Argentina 123 (61)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 30 March 2018
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 30 March 2018

Early LifeEdit

Messi was born and raised in Rosario, Argentina. Messi is the third of four children of Jorge Messi and his wife Celia Cuccittini.


FC BarcelonaEdit

Messi began football at a young age and his potential was quickly seen by Barcelona. He left Newell's Old Boys' youth team in 2000 and moved with his family to Europe. They moved to Spain because Barcelona offered treatment for his growth hormone deficiency. He started in the 2004–05 season, and he scored his first goal on 1 May 2005 against Albacete from an assist by Ronaldinho. The goal made him a the youngest-ever scorer for the club at that time. Barcelona won La Liga that season for the first time in 6 years, and won the league for a second time in a row along with the Spanish Super Cup and UEFA Champions League in 2006. His first breakthrough season was in the 2006–07 season; he became a first team regular, by scoring a hat-trick in El Clásico. He scored 14 goals in 26 league games. Maybe his most successful season was the 2008–09 season. In this season, Messi scored 38 goals. In the following 2009–10 season, Messi scored 47 goals in all games. That equals to Ronaldo's (Brazilian) record total for Barcelona.


Messi decided to play for his homeland, Argentina, in 2005. He led the team to the final game of the 2005 U-20 World Cup against Nigeria, which ended in a 2–1 Argentine victory. Messi scored two penalties as his national team won the U-20 World Cup. In addition to the gold medal, Messi was awarded with the Golden Shoe for most goals scored (6), and Golden Ball for best player. Messi was made captain of the national team in 2011.


On 26 June, Argentina once again lost to Chile on penalties in the Copa América Centenario after a 0–0 tie. Messi missed his penalty in the penalty shootout. This was Messi's third consecutive defeat in a major tournament final with Argentina, and his fourth overall. A day after the match, Messi announced his retirement from international football.

He came out of retirement in October 2016 for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

Club career statisticsEdit

International careerEdit


As of 10 September 2017[7][8][9]
Team Year Apps Goals
Argentina 2005 5 0
2006 7 0
2007 14 1
2008 8 1
2009 10 0
2010 10 0
2011 13 1
2012 9 0
2013 7 0
2014 14 1
2015 11 0
2016 0 0
2017 16 4
Total 123 61

Personal lifeEdit


Messi has three children with his wife Antonella Roccuzzo. They are named Thiago Messi, Mateo Messi and Ciro Messi. Thiago was born on 2 November 2012, Mateo was born on 11 September 2015 and Ciro was born on 10 March 2018. On the bottom of Messi's cleats is the name of his first son, Thiago.

Messi and Antonella married in June 2017.[10]


When not playing on the field, Messi finds time to do charity work. He started the Leo Messi Foundation in 2007 which helps children in at-risk situations. Messi also opened a kids park for children living in a hospital in Barcelona.

Tax IssuesEdit

In July 2016 he was convicted of tax fraud and sentenced to spend 21 months in prison. Messi was also fined two million Euros.[11] Messi never went to prison and the problem was resolved.


  1. "2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil: List of Players" (PDF). FIFA. 11 June 2014. p. 2. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  2. "2014 World Cup Brazil: Player List" (PDF).
  3. "Lionel Messi". UEFA. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  4. "Players-Lionel Messi".
  5. "Lionel Messi Website".
  6. "The Best FIFA Football Awards". FIFA. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  7. "Lionel Andrés Messi – Goals in International Matches". RSSSF. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  8. "Lionel Messi: A Career in Numbers". Retrieved 24 May 2012.
  9. "Lionel Messi: Career Statistics". Retrieved 24 May 2012.
  10. "Lionel Messi married his childhood sweetheart, and the photos are stunning". For The Win. 2017-07-01. Retrieved 2018-03-30.
  11. "Lionel Messi handed jail terms in Spain for tax frauds".