The Story of Lionel Messi Who Beat a Rare Disease and Became One of the Greatest Soccer Players in the World
The star of FC Barcelona and the Argentina national team recently won the World Cup in Qatar. Lionel Messi’s path to success was full of hardship, but his courage and strength helped him become a world-famous soccer player. We would like to share a few facts about Messi’s life with you that prove him to be incredibly strong and one of the greatest athletes around.
- One of the best soccer players in history, Lionel Andrés Messi, was born in Argentina in 1987. His father worked at a steel factory, and his mother worked in a magnet manufacturing workshop.
- Messi began playing soccer at the age of 4. He was diagnosed with a serious disease during his childhood years, and only thanks to his grandmother’s efforts did he become a soccer player — she accompanied him to training and games. Later, he began to celebrate his goals by looking up and pointing to the sky in tribute to his grandmother, and he even got a tattoo of her face.
- Messi was so quiet that other boys from his team thought he was mute. However, this didn’t prevent him from playing exceptionally well and surprising everyone with his technique.
- Even though Messi dreamt of becoming a professional soccer player, he was diagnosed with a serious disease, a growth hormone deficiency, at the age of 11. His soccer career was at risk because Messi was much shorter than his peers due to this deficiency.
- But a miracle happened — he was spotted by the representatives of FC Barcelona. They not only agreed to pay for his expensive treatment but also signed a contract with him, which was highly unusual, as European clubs don’t typically sign with a foreign player of such a young age.
- Messi’s first contract with FC Barcelona was written on a paper napkin, but it became a pivotal moment in his life.
- In FC Barcelona, Messi revealed his talent to the fullest: he won 10 La Liga titles together with his team, became the best shooter in the history of FC Barcelona and the Argentina national team, and won a record-breaking 7 Ballon d’Or awards.
- Messi is often called “The Flea” for his speed and agility. And these skills helped Messi earn $180 million, making him the second-richest player in the world after Cristiano Ronaldo.
- It’s also worth noting that Ronaldo is Messi’s longtime rival. Their competition gained momentum when Ronaldo won the Ballon d’Or award, which Messi thought was his. But Messi didn’t give up and obtained all of the silver awards that were up for grabs in the Champions League.
- There is one opinion that Ronaldo is an unbeatable rival to Messi, but this only motivates the athlete to work harder. And Ronaldo confirmed this in an interview by saying, “I think we push each other sometimes in the competition, this is why the competition is so high.” However, Messi denies any rivalry between them.
- Messi is an athlete and philanthropist. He helps people all over the world by serving as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador, and he also founded his own charitable organization that supports access to health care and sports for children.
- Messi is married to his childhood friend, Antonela Roccuzzo, who he’s known since the age of 5.
- The couple tied the knot in 2017 and are raising 3 sons, Thiago, Mateo, and Ciro. Messi once revealed that fatherhood changed his views on life and helped him grow as a person.
- But Messi’s fans are more interested in whether the athlete really plans to finish his professional career this year, and whether one of his sons will follow in their father’s footsteps.
- Despite all the hardships that Lionel Messi had to face as a child, the athlete achieved success and has become a role model for many people around the world, even for those who have nothing to do with soccer.
Are you a soccer fan? Who do you like more — Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo?