Whether or not you’re a football fan, you’ve heard of La Liga legend and global superstar, Lionel Messi. The man is an icon and there are thousands of young footballers who dream of growing up to be like him. Most gamblers who participate in Spanish La Liga betting will have him down as a top goal scorer, or his team, Barcelona as champions. The Argentine is a global household name, and his influence on the footballing community is remarkable. So much so that in his home town of Rosario, giving your child the first name Messi has been banned to protect his name.
If parents aren’t naming their children after the star, you can be sure that they’re buying his name on the back of a Barcelona or Argentina shirt. The footballer’s name is the most popular to get printed on the back of his club and home country’s shirt – even those who can’t afford a kit have replicated a version of their own.
Although he might be 32-years-old, he isn’t slowing down any time soon as he still captains both club and country. His career so far has been filled with tournament finals, silverware and breaking records.
Messi was born in Rosario, the third-largest city in Argentina. The footballer had a growth hormone deficiency as a child and at the age of 13, Barcelona offered to pay for his medical treatment if he joined the club – both he and his parents gladly accepted the huge opportunity. Messi quickly flew through the academy and made his competitive debut for the club at the age of 17. With every game he played, his future brightened.
As far as club achievements go, Messi is one of the most decorated footballers of all time with his club Barcelona. In total, he has lifted 30 trophies over the years including nine La Liga titles, four Champions League titles, six Copa del Rey titles, seven Supercopa de España titles as well as three UEFA Super Cups and three FIFA Club World Cups. The silverware doesn’t end there though, Messi has also won the FIFA U20 World Cup and a Gold Olympic medal with his Argentinian national team.
The footballer has achieved so much for his club and country, his attitude to the game has boosted the profile of the sport across the globe, but what about his personal success? There’s a reason why we see Messi’s name on the back of shirts, there’s a reason so many children are named after him. Messi has achieved the FIFA Ballon d’Or five times, claimed the European Golden Shoe six times, won UEFA’s Men’s Player of the Year award twice, as well as winning the Onze d’Or four times.
Messi also won the FIFA World Player of the Year award in 2009, the FIFA World Cup Golden Ball in 2014, UEFA’s Club Footballer of the Year in 2009, UEFA’s Club Forward of the Year 2009 as well as Globe Soccer Awards Best Player of the Year in 2015. In fact, Messi has received an astounding 66 awards across 37 different competitions/lists as well as claiming top goal scorer in five competitions 19 times. The man even holds a Guinness World Record for scoring the highest number of goals in one calendar year with 91 goals in 2012.
Honestly, if we were to list all of Messi’s achievements, you’d be reading them all day. The man is truly extraordinary, from trophies to titles, records to fans – can anyone ever beat Messi’s coveted greatness? We don’t think so.