Lionel Messi is widely regarded as one of the greatest football players of all time. He has broken numerous records and won countless awards during his illustrious career. However, there are many things about Messi that are not well-known to the general public.
In this article, we will explore 10 things you (maybe) didn’t know about Lionel Messi.
Messi was Diagnosed with a Growth Hormone Deficiency at a Young Age
When Messi was just 11 years old, he was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency. This meant that his body was not producing enough of the hormone needed for normal growth and development. As a result, Messi’s parents could not afford the treatment he needed, which cost over $900 a month. However, Barcelona FC’s sporting director at the time, Carles Rexach, saw Messi play and was impressed with his talent. Rexach offered to pay for Messi’s treatment if he joined Barcelona’s youth academy.
Messi’s First Contract with Barcelona was Written on a Napkin
When Messi joined Barcelona’s youth academy, he did not sign a formal contract. Instead, his first contract was written on a napkin. The contract was signed by Messi’s father, who acted as his agent, and a Barcelona official.
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He Holds the Record for the Most Goals in a Calendar Year In 2012
Messi scored 91 goals in a single calendar year, breaking the previous record of 85 goals set by Gerd Muller in 1972. He also achieved this feat by scoring an average of 1.1 goals per game.
Messi has Scored more Free-kicks than any Other Active Player
Messi is known for his exceptional free-kick taking ability. He has scored more free-kicks than any other active player, with a total of 58 goals from direct free-kicks.
Lionel Messi is the All-time top scorer for Barcelona
Messi is Barcelona’s all-time top scorer, with over 670 goals in all competitions. He has scored more goals for Barcelona than any other player in the club’s history.
Messi has won the Ballon d’Or award a record seven times
The Ballon d’Or is an annual football award presented by France Football magazine. It is awarded to the best male footballer in the world. He has also won the award a record seven times, in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019, and 2021.
Messi has a foundation that helps children in need
Messi has always been committed to giving back to his community. In 2007, he founded the Leo Messi Foundation, which aims to help children in need. The foundation focuses on providing access to education, healthcare, and sports for underprivileged children around the world.
Messi’s favorite food is Argentine Asado
Asado is a traditional Argentine barbecue that typically includes grilled meats, sausages, and vegetables. He has also said in interviews that it is his favorite food.
Messi’s nickname is “La Pulga” (The Flea)
Messi’s diminutive stature and quick movements on the field have earned him the nickname “La Pulga” (The Flea) in his home country of Argentina.
Messi almost left Barcelona in 2020
In August 2020, Messi sent a burofax (a formal document used in Spain to send urgent messages) to Barcelona stating his intention to leave the club. However, Messi ultimately decided to stay for another season, citing his love for the club and his desire to avoid a legal battle.