Lionel Messi is one footballer who needs no introduction as his exploits in the football industry speaks for him. From the beginning of his professional career till today, Messi has remained with the Spanish club FC Barcelona, winning a club-record 32 trophies, 5 Ballon d’Or awards, and 5 European Golden Shoes. Following his achievements in football, many people consider the player to be not just the world’s best footballer, but also one of the greatest football players that have walked the surface of the earth.
Lionel Messi’s Age and Bio
Born Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini on 24 June 1987, in Rosario, central Argentina, the superstar footballer fell in love with the sport at a very young age due to the fact that he was born into a close-knit family that loves football a lot. At that tender age, he would always play football with his older brothers and cousins.
When he was four years old, he became a part of a local club, Grandoli, and there, his father was his coach. Though his father influenced him as a player, Celia, his maternal grandmother, who always went with him to training and matches, is said to be his earliest influence. Sadly, she died not too long before he turned 11. However, the player still acknowledges her by looking up and pointing to the sky as a way of celebrating his goals.
At the age of six, Lionel Messi joined Newell’s Old Boys, and spent six years there during which he recorded nearly 500 goals playing for the youth team known as “The Machine of ’87”. His dream of becoming a professional football player was threatened after it was discovered that he had a growth hormone deficiency at the age of ten. Although his father’s health insurance covered his treatment for two years, all attempt to raise the remaining funds needed to complete his treatment proved abortive.
In September 2000, Messi, with the help of his relatives in Catalonia, got a chance for a trial with Barcelona but was not signed until an ultimatum was issued on 14 December for the club to prove that they wanted him. The following year, his family moved to Barcelona where they lived in an apartment that was close to Camp Nou, the club’s stadium. However, due to some transfer conflict, Lionel Messi only played in friendly matches and the Catalan league during the first year of his stay in Spain. Meanwhile, his family later went back to Rosario, leaving Messi and his father behind.
After spending one year at La Masia, Barcelona’s youth academy, the Argentine eventually got enrolled in the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) in February 2002 and began playing in all competitions. He became a member of the Barcelona’s youth side, “Baby Dream Team”, having completed his growth hormone treatment in 2001.
His total of 36 goals in 30 games during the 2002-2003 season, made Lionel Messi the highest goal scorer for the Cadetes A and at the end of the season, he received his first offer to join the foreign club, Arsenal, but he decided to stick with Barcelona. He played in the league in 2004 at the age of 17, becoming the youngest footballer to play in La Liga at the time.
One of the world’s best footballers, Lionel Messi is now FC Barcelona’s forward and captain of Argentina’s national football team. He has gone on to thrill the world with his rare talents in many international games, joining the list of highest goal scorers in international games.
What to know about his family
The star football player is the third of his parent’s four children. His father, Jorge Messi worked as a manager in a steel factory while his mother, Celia Cuccittini, worked in a magnet manufacturing workshop. He has two older brothers, Rodrigo and Matías, and a younger sister named María Sol.
Apart from his talent, Messi’s successful career is as a result of his very close relationship with the immediate members of his family, most especially his mother. Matters that concern his professional career are handled as a family business.
While his father has remained his agent from the time he was 14 years old, Rodrigo, his oldest brother takes care of his daily program as well as his publicity. His mother and another of his brother named Matías, on the other hand, manages the Leo Messi Foundation in addition to being responsible for sorting out his personal and professional matters in Rosario.
His Wife and Sons
Lionel Messi’s love life is as interesting as his football career. In 2008, the then 20-year-old star started dating fellow Rosario native, Antonella Roccuzzo, whom he had known since he was a 5-year-old child. The football player had known Antonella that long due to the fact that she is the cousin of his best friend, Lucas Scaglia (also a football player) with whom he has been best of since from childhood.
8 years after dating, the couple decided to make their relationship official. They got married in June 2017 at a luxury hotel in Rosario, Argentina. The ceremony described by many as the wedding of the century was attended by football stars in addition to other celebrities who made up their 260 guests.
On October 15, 2017, Messi’s wife, via an Instagram post, announced that their third child was on the way and on the 10th of March, 2018, the celebrity couple welcomed their third son named Ciro.
Details of his Net Worth
As of the first quarter of 2019, Messi’s net worth is estimated to be roughly $400 million. The footballer has risen to the peak of his professional football career and has, for many years, enjoyed the level of stardom that many of his peers have not enjoyed. This is largely due to his aggressive plays which stands him out among other players in any football field. In addition to basking in the fame which his talent launched him into, Lionel Messi has also received a huge amount of money as salary.
In November 2017, he signed a contract extension with Barcelona which will keep him in the club through the 2020-21 season and pay him a yearly salary and bonus which will make him the highest-paid footballer in the world as confirmed by a report published on L’Equipe in February 2019. According to the report, Messi receives €8.3 Million every month, which is the largest chunk of monthly wages among football stars in Europe.
As of July 2018, he was listed at number 8 on Forbes Celebrity 100 Earnings with an income of $111 million.
In addition to his heavy salary, Messi also has a life-long contract with Adidas coupled with other deals with Gatorade, Pepsi, Ooredoo, Huawei and Hawkers, from which he also makes millions of dollars yearly. In 2020, a theme park named Messi Experience Park will be opened in the Chinese city of Nanjing.
Weight & Height
The Rosario-born international footballer is 5 feet 7 inches tall (1.70 m) and weighs 67 kg (143 lbs). He has a body measurement of – chest: 40 inches, waist: 32 inches and biceps: 12 inches. Lionel Messi also has brown hair/eyes and wears shoe size 10 (US).