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Team sports played by kicking a ball to varying degrees and scoring goals are generally categorized into the family of football.
The family of football includes six forms of team sports, namely, Gaelic football, Gridiron (American or Canadian) football, Rugby Union, Australian Rules Football, Rugby League, and Association football. These football games have common origins and are called 'football codes'.
Various football codes based on some common elements can be grouped mainly into two types, carrying codes and kicking codes. American football, Canadian football, Australian football, rugby union, and rugby league that is played by holding the ball in hands and thrown are grouped as carrying codes. Association football and Gaelic football, which are played with feet and handling is strictly prohibited, are known as 'kicking codes'. Among the varying types of football codes, Association football is generally referred to as merely 'football' or 'soccer'. In 1863, the rules of Association football were established by the Football Association, the governing body of association football in England. The oldest football association in the world is the Football Association, also referred to as the FA.
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Association football is a part of the culture of the country of Argentina, officially known as the Argentine Republic. British immigrants of the 19th century introduced football to Argentinians. Lionel Messi, also known as Leo Messi, is an Argentinian footballer who led Argentina into the finals of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, 2015, and 2016 Copa America in three consecutive years.
Lionel Messi started playing football at the early age of four. His first club was Grandoli FC, a local club near his birthplace in Rosario, Argentina. When he was six, Lionel Messi joined Club Atlético Newell's Old Boys, a sports club in Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina, and was a member of 'The Machine of '87', the nearly unbeatable youth team of the club. Lionel Messi scored almost 500 goals during his six-year stint at Newell's. This team used to entertain the crowds during half-times with their ball tricks performances. According to Adrian Coria, his coach at Newell's, the first impression one has of him is that he is too fragile, a dwarf, and cannot play football. But he also says that it was easy and fast to realize that he was born different, a phenomenon, and will do something very impressive.
Lionel Messi has a premium lifeline clothing brand called 'The Messi Brand' that is believed to be a direct reflection of Messi's qualities in and out of the pitch. The chief goal of 'The Messi Brand' is extending Messi's vision, sportsmanship, and values. The 'Messi Store' is the official source of 'The Messi Brand'.
From 951 games played so far, Messi has scored 758 goals and assisted on 319, 55 of them being hat-tricks and 102 penalties. Of the total goals Messi scored, 83% were left-footed goals and 13% were right-footed. He has 188 opening goals and 396 Camp Nou goals to his credit. Messi missed 28 penalties.
Messi's official debut was in a derby. It was for La Liga and against Espanyol, and he became the third-youngest player for FC Barcelona. During those days, he alternated between Barca B & C and Juvenile B. The first goal Messi scored was by faking a power shot, with the ball chipped over to him by Ronaldinho, and lobbying it over the goalkeeper. This was a goal scored by the youngest soccer player of the club at that point in time. For the first time in six years, FC Barcelona won the La Liga title that year.
The first contract offered to Messi was signed by Charly Rexach, in the capacity of the technical director of FC Barcelona, in a paper napkin on December 14, 2000.
Diego Maradona himself has named Messi the 'New Maradona'. Many often compare Messi with Maradona due to the similarities in their stature, playing style, and skillsets.
Messi's formal education is said to be limited to the secondary school level in Spain.
It was said that Messi held the record for the soccer player who scored the most goals for a single club, with 644 goals for FC Barcelona. It is also a well-known fact that this was disputed by the club Santos, the club for which Pele scored the highest number of goals.
The credit of being the all-time top goal scorer for FC Barcelona, the all-time top goalscorer in La Liga as well as in El Clasico, is claimed to be in the name of Lionel Messi. He also claims to be the second-top goal scorer of the 21st century.
In playing against Real Sociedad, he set a club record of 768 appearances in a Barca jersey. He played for FC Barcelona 511 times in the Spanish La Liga, 149 in the Champions League, 79 in the Copa del Rey, 20 times in the Spanish Super Club, five times in the Club World Cup, and four times in European Super Cup. In the 2015-16 season, Lionel Messi scored 41 goals for FC Barcelona, securing the La Liga title and the Copa del Rey.
Messi won the FIFA Ballon d'Or award six times, in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, and 2019. He tops the nominees' list for the year 2021, announced on October 8, 2021, with 613 points. France Football, a French weekly magazine, conducted an internet poll to select a football dream team, Ballon d'Or Dream Team, in October 2020. Messi secured the right-winger position in the first dream team.
On December 21, 2009, Messi won the 2009 FIFA World Player of the Year award with 1073 points, beating Cristiano Ronaldo to second place, who could secure only 352 points. He also won the Best FIFA Men's Player award in 2019, a title formerly known as FIFA World Player of the Year, and merged with the Ballon d'Or, while he lost the title to Cristiano Ronaldo in 2016 and 2017. He also won the FIFA World Cup Golden Ball in 2014, which is presented to the best player at every FIFA World Cup from a list shortlisted by the FIFA technical committee and voted for the winner by the media representatives.
At age 31, Messi has the honor of having scored the most UEFA Champions League group stage goals, most UEFA Champions League round of 16 goals, and most UEFA Champions League goals for a single club. Messi also stands in the second position among the top UEFA club competition scorers and the top UEFA Champions League/European Cup scorers. Leo made 100 appearances as the youngest player in the UEFA Champions League match.
Lionel Messi holds the records for most Argentina caps (158), most Argentina goals (80), most South American goals (80), and youngest Argentinian to score in a World Cup (18 years and 357 days).
For many years, Messi has won the European Golden Shoe (in 2009–2010, 2011–2012, 2012–2013, 2016–2017, 2017–20, and 2018–2019), as well as La Liga Best Player.
Born and raised in Rosario, Santa Fe, Leo Messi relocated to Spain in September 2000, at the age of 13, and joined FC Barcelona.
In 2003, at the age of 16, Frank Rijkaard selected Messi for a friendly match against Porto, which was coached by Jose Mourinho, which was considered his debut. However, his official first match for Barcelona was on October 16, 2004, at the age of 17.
In 2005, on his birthday, Messi signed, as a senior player, his first contract. Messi made his senior debut for the Argentina National Team in August 2005 against Hungary in a friendly match but was sent off by the referee for a perceived foul. In 2005, Messi was selected by the U-20 Argentina National Team to participate in the 2005 South American Youth Championship, held in Columbia. Due to injury, Messi missed the finals against Arsenal in the 2006 Champions League, though the title was won by his team. It was his first Champions League win. However, plagued by injuries, a metatarsal fracture kept him out of the game towards the end of the game. At the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Messi played for the Argentina national team and became the youngest football player to represent Argentina National team.
The first hat-trick was scored by Messi on March 10, 2007, in a match with Real Madrid, the first soccer player to do it in 12 years. In 2008, Messi was given Jersey No. 10 by FC Barcelona. He also signed a new contract in July 2008 and became the club's highest-paid player.
The 2008-2009 season was an uninterrupted one for Messi, with 38 goals scored in 51 games. The second half of 2009 was marked by Barcelona's bagging of a sextuple, winning six top-tier trophies in a single year. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, with the mediation of Pep Guardiola, Barcelona permitted Messi to represent the Argentina National Team.
Though 2010 was not a good year for his club, Messi helped with a second consecutive La Liga trophy win for Barcelona.
The 2010–2011 season witnessed the second hat-trick by Messi. He was instrumental in achieving 16 league victories in consecutive years for his team, which was another record in Spanish football. He scored one more hat-trick in February 2011 against Atletico Madrid.
2012 was a record-breaking year for Messi. Scoring five times in the Champions League's last 16-round match was an unprecedented event in the history of the Champions League. At the age of 24, Messi broke the 57-year-old record of Cesar Rodriguez and became Barcelona's top goal scorer. It was in 2012 that Messi overtook the 1972 record of the highest goals scored for the club and country in a single year, set by Gerd Mueller, by netting 91 goals for Barcelona and Argentina.
Messi suffered injuries all through the year 2013. However, Messi's sporadic performances substantiated Barcelona's notion of 'Messidependencia', the tactical and psychological dependency on Messi.
Rumors were in the air towards the second half of the 2013-2014 season that Messi was preparing himself for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Though he managed to surpass two longstanding records within seven days, his contribution has dropped considerably compared to the previous seasons.
In 2014–15, Messi experienced a relatively injury-free start to the season. The world witnessed a couple more hat-tricks by him, and he replaced two more long-standing records with his name: all-time top scorer in La Liga and all-time top scorer in the Derby Barcelona. 2015 started with another rumor that Messi was leaving Barcelona. He regained his form after returning to his old position on the right-wing from the five-year-long central position. With 58 goals by Messi, the trio, Messi, Suarez, and Neymar, scored a total of 122 goals in all competitions that season and set another record in Spanish football.
The 2015-2016 season was a period of domestic success. The season started with two free-kick goals in the UEFA Super Cup. 2015 ended with defeating River Plate by 3-0 in the FIFA Club World Cup. In 2016, the record of securing the FIFA Ballon d'Or for the fifth time was broken. Messi also scored his 300th league goal and 10,000th goal in the official competition for Barcelona. Finding him guilty of tax fraud in Spain, Messi was sentenced to 21 months in prison, while his father was sentenced to 15. However, the sentence was waived off on the ground that they were first-time offenders.
In 2017, Messi renewed his contract with Barcelona and capped off the title of the highest-paid person in world sports. He received both the Pichichi and the European Golden Boot Awards for the fourth time in 2017. The 2016–17 season ended with 54 goals and 16 assists by Messi.
2017-18 was the year of the domestic double and a record fifth Golden Boot Award. In his 122nd European club football appearance, Messi became the second soccer player to score 97 UEFA Champions League goals and 100 goals in all UEFA club competitions. However, he achieved this milestone in 21 fewer appearances than Cristiano Ronaldo.
After the departure of Andrés Iniesta from Barcelona in May 2018, Messi took over the title of 'Captain' for the 2018-19 season.
2019 again troubled Messi with injuries. However, he managed to win the 2019 Best FIFA Men's Player Award and was nominated for the 2019 FIFA Puskás Award.
In 2020, Barcelona officially announced the desire of Messi to leave the club. However, he decided to stay back at the club for the 2020-2021 season, which was his last season with Barcelona.
In August 2021, Messi joined Paris Saint-Germain with a two-year contract and chose 30 as his squad number. In November 2021, he received his seventh Ballon d'Or by scoring 40 goals at club and international level for the calendar year. He also contributed to the 2021 Copa América win by Argentina.
Lionel Andres Messi was born on June 24, 1987, as the third child of his parents. Learn more about his family here.
Leo's parents are Jorge Messi and Celia Cuccittini, and he has a younger sister, Maria Sol. He has Spanish and Italian descent from his father's side and Spanish from his mother's side. He was coached by his father when he joined his first local club at the age of four. However, it was his maternal grandmother who influenced him to become a soccer player. Though she departed the world just before his 11th birthday, it is said that Messi celebrates his goals with her by looking up and pointing to the sky as a tribute to the elderly lady.
At the age of 10, Messi suffered from a growth hormone deficiency, and his parents were not in a position to afford his treatment. With his familial connection in Catalonia, they were able to arrange a trial at FC Barcelona.
Married to Antonella Roccuzzo on June 30, 2017, the 34-year-old is blessed with three sons: Thiago, Mateo, and Ciro.
His father has been his manager since he was 14. Rodrigo handles his publicity and daily schedule. His mother and elder brother Matias manage his charitable organization, namely, the Leo Messi Foundation.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 191 Lionel Messi facts that every soccer fan will love, then why not take a look at Andre the Giant facts or Argentina soccer facts?
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