Lionel Messi is a professional footballer from the South American country of Argentina that has produced footballers such as Diego Maradona, Mario Kempes and the likes, who currently plies his trade for one of the greatest ever club sides in the history of football, the Spanish giants Football Club Barcelona.
Messi is also the captain of the Argentine national football team and his preferred position on the field is that of a striker but he has also played on the left wing, the right wing, down the centre as a central attacking midfielder and also behind the lone striker.
Such is his brilliance with the ball on the field that Lionel Messi had already been nominated for the FIFA World Player of the Year as well as the European Footballer of the Year Awards on many occasions before he had even turned 21 years old and by the time he was 23 years old, he was voted as the best player in the world in 2009 and 2010 by an expert panel of national team coaches and captains of all of FIFA’s member nations, making him the youngest player in the history of the awards to win them at such a tender age.
Messi has been given many nicknames including Boy Wonder, The Magician, The Little Argentine and his style of play and ability to carry his team on his own shoulders have drawn comparisons with the legendary Diego Maradona, who, in the mind of many people, was the greatest ever footballer to grace the field of football. Even Maradona himself has proclaimed Lionel Messi as his successor for the national team and announced before the 2010 FIFA World Cup that Messi has the capability to single handedly win the World Cup for Argentina.
Messi began to play football at a very young age and joined the academy of one of Argentina’s top clubs, Newell’s Old Boys, but before long, Barcelona came along and took him to Europe in 2000, when he was just 12 years old. At that time, Messi was suffering from a growth hormone problem and it was only after the club had offered to pay for his treatments that the family moved to Spain. Since then, Barcelona spent an estimated € 13 million for his treatment and that money was duly paid back by the performances of Lionel Messi since he made his first team debut for the Catalan side.
Messi played his first senior game for Barcelona in a 2004 match in the Spanish League and since then, he has gone on to break record after record for The Blaugrana. He is already the second highest scorer in the history of Barcelona, having won five Spanish League titles, three UEFA Champions League titles, one Copa Del Rey and two UEFA Super Cups as well as a FIFA Club World Cup and an Olympics Gold Medal, all at the age of 24 years. Lionel Messi has the world at his feet at the moment and if he continues to break records as he is doing at the moment, he will definitely be regarded as one of the greatest footballers to have graced The Beautiful Game.