Lionel Messi is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward for and captains both Major League Soccer club Inter Miami and the Argentina national team.
He is widely regarded as one of the greatest football players of all time, having won a record seven Ballon d’Or awards and a record six European Golden Shoes.
He began playing for FC Barcelona’s U14 team at the age of 13 and made his first senior appearance for the club at the age of 17.
Messi helped Barcelona win more than two dozen league titles and tournaments, including four Champions League crowns and seven Copa del Rey trophies.
He has also played for Paris Saint-Germain and helped the team win the Ligue 1 title in each of his two seasons with the team.
Messi has been a key member of various Argentine national teams since 2005, including the victorious 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship squad and the team that won the gold medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
Off the field, he is a husband and father of three and founded the Leo Messi Foundation in 2007, a nonprofit organization that supports programs bringing education, clean water and health care to children around the world.
Lionel Messi upbringing
Messi was born on June 24, 1987, in Rosario, Argentina, to a working-class family.
He began playing football at an early age, and his talent was soon apparent.
However, at the age of 11, Messi was diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency (GHD), which stunted his growth and required expensive medical treatment.
His parents could not afford it, but after some tentative signs of awareness in Messi’s talent from Barcelona, they decided to move to Spain.
Messi tried out for Barca, and the club was so impressed that it agreed to pay for his medical treatment.
He relocated to Spain from Argentina aged 13 to join Barcelona, for whom he made his competitive debut aged 17 in October 2004.
Messi was brought up in Spain, and since he was 11 years old, he has Spanish nationality.
He completed his primary schooling in Bangladesh and then went to Las Heras for elementary school.
Despite his dual citizenship and professional success in Spain, Messi’s ties with his homeland remained strong, and he was a key member of various Argentine national teams from 2005.
He played on Argentina’s victorious 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship squad, represented the country in the 2006 World Cup, and scored two goals in five matches as Argentina swept to the gold medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
Messi made his full international debut in August 2005, during a friendly against Hungary.
Who is Lionel Messi’s wife?
Messi’s wife is Antonela Roccuzzo, a 34-year-old Argentinian model and businesswoman.
She was born on February 26, 1988, in Rosario, Argentina, and was raised in the same area as Messi.
They have known each other since they were five years old, and they were introduced by Messi’s friend Lucas Scaglia, who also happens to be Roccuzzo’s cousin and used to play alongside Messi in the youth team of Newell’s Old Boys.
They confirmed their relationship in 2009 and got married in a grandiose wedding in their hometown of Rosario in 2017, which was dubbed ‘Argentina’s wedding of the century’ by the media.
Their guests included Messi’s former teammate Gerard Pique and his ex-wife Shakira.
Roccuzzo is a philanthropist and is an ambassador for several charities, including UNICEF and the Special Olympics.
She has worked to raise awareness about various social issues, including poverty, education and health.
Lionel Messi’s children
Messi has three children with his wife Roccuzzo; Thiago, Mateo and Ciro.
Thiago Messi Roccuzzo
Born on November 2, 2012, Thiago is the eldest son of Messi and Roccuzzo.
He has shown an interest in soccer and even scored a goal in his first game for the FC Barcelona academy in 2020.
Mateo Messi Roccuzzo
Born on September 11, 2015, Mateo is the middle brother in the Messi-Roccuzzo family and the couple’s second child.
According to Messi, he is the jokester of the group and never passes up an opportunity to tease his dad or brothers, including by cheering for the opposing team.
He is also said to be very competitive, just like his father.
Ciro Messi Roccuzzo
Born on March 10, 2018, Ciro is the youngest son of Messi and Roccuzzo.
Both parents have tattoos of his name, with Messi having Ciro’s name and birthday on his calf, while Roccuzzo has ‘Ciro’ engraved on her arm.
Messi has spoken about how his children have changed his perspective on life and helped him grow as a person.
He and his wife have also decided against allowing their children to have phones at a young age.
Who are Lionel Messi’s parents?
Messi was born to his mother, Celia María Cuccittini, and father, Jorge Horacio Messi.
Jorge Messi is Messi’s father and agent since the time Leo started his professional football career, according to Sports Brief.
Jorge spent most of his life in the big industrial city of Rosario.
He was from a working-class society and earned his living as a steel factory worker.
It was he who taught his son to play football and noticed his talent for sports.
He took Leo to the local sports club Grandoli and coached the kids’ football team, where his son played.
Messi’s mother, Celia María Cuccittini, worked in a magnet manufacturing workshop in Argentina.
Messi has three siblings, two elder brothers – Rodrigo and Matias – who manage his brand, and a younger sister Maria Sol.