Lionel "Leo" Messi is arguably the best soccer player in the world -- 6-time Ballon d'Or winner in: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015 & 2019!
Despite record goals scored with Argentina, Messi has always shined at FC Barcelona.
A brief history of Lionel Messi:
Did you know?!
- Lionel Andrés "Leo" Messi (born 06/24/87) in Rosario, Argentina
to father Jorge Messi (steel factory manager) and mother Celia Cuccittini (magnet factory worker.)
- Raised in a soccer-philic family, Leo flourished as a young player learning his craft from older brothers and cousins that became professional soccer players.
- From age 6 to 12, he scored almost 500 goals(!) for Newell's Old Boys.
- In 2000, Lionel was signed by Barcelona at age 13. He debuted with the first team in a friendly versus Porto on 11/16/03 at age 16.
- He scored his first Barcelona goal on 05/01/05 versus Alacete.
- Since 2005, Lionel has been a fixture in the Barcelona first team and innumerable awards and records have followed.
- Leo was signed by Barca on a paper napkin in 2000 at the tender age of 13!
- An offer to pay for his hormone-deficiency treatments motivated Leo's 2000 signing with Barcelona.
- Brazilian soccer star, Ronaldinho, assisted Messi on his first FC Barcelona goal.
- Messi's current contract pays about $33.6 million/year (or $646,000/week!)
- In 2007 he founded the Lionel Messi Foundation advocating for disadvantaged youths.