Lionel Messi Fast Facts

Here is a look at the life of soccer player Lionel “Leo” Messi, who plays for FC Barcelona and Argentina’s national team.

Personal:
Birth date: June 24, 1987

Birth place: Rosario, Argentina
Birth name: Lionel Andrés Messi
Father: Jorge Messi, factory worker
Mother: Celia Cuccittini de Messi
Marriage: Antonela Roccuzzo (June 30, 2017-present)
Children: Ciro,Mateo and Thiago
Other Facts:
As a young boy, Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency. At age 13, he signed with Futbol Club Barcelona and moved to Spain. As part of the contract, FC Barcelona agreed to pay for Messi’s hormone treatments.
All-time leading scorer of FC Barcelona and Spanish soccer league La Liga.
Winner of the Ballon d’Or, or footballer of the year, a record five times: a record four consecutive years (2009-2012) and again for 2015.
Won the European Golden Shoe award six times: 2009-10, 2011-12, 2012-13, 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19.
Timeline:
1995-2000 – Plays for the local club team, Newell’s Old Boys, in Rosario, Argentina.
2000-2003 – Signs with FC Barcelona and works his way up through Barca’s youth squads.
November 16, 2003 – Makes his team debut, as a replacement in a friendly match against FC Porto.
October 16, 2004 – Makes his official debut for FC Barcelona against Espanyol. Barca wins 1-0.
2007 – Establishes the Leo Messi Foundation, working to improve access to education and health care for children.
August 2008 – Leads Argentina’s soccer team to a gold medal at the Summer Olympics in Beijing.
March 11, 2010 – Messi is announced as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
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