Lionel Messi Net Worth, Wife, Age and Biography

Lionel Messi Net Worth,  Wife, Age and Biography


Detail Information
Full Name Lionel Andrés Messi

Lionel Messi Age

34
Date of Birth (DOB) June 24, 1987
Born At Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina
Nationality Argentine
Lionel Messi Education NA
Profession Professional Footballer
Status of Marriage Married
Spouse Antonela Roccuzzo
Lionel Messi Children 3
Lionel Messi Children Names Thiago Messi, Mateo Messi, Ciro Messi
Lionel Messi Net Worth $400 million (estimated)
Lionel Messi Height 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)
Lionel Messi Current Team Paris Saint-Germain (PSG)
Lionel Messi Club FC Barcelona (2000-2021), Paris Saint-Germain (2021-present)
Played for FC Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Argentina National Team
Total Goals Scored 700+ (club and international)
Lionel Messi Position Forward
Jersey Number 30 (Paris Saint-Germain)
Preferred Foot Left
Lionel Messi Debut October 16, 2004 (FC Barcelona)
Retirement Still Active
Position in Team Captain (Argentina National Team)
Awards Multiple Ballon d'Or awards, Golden Shoes, FIFA World Cup Golden Ball, Copa América MVP, etc.
Lionel Messi Records Various records including most goals in a calendar year, most goals for a single club, etc.

Early Life Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi

Born on June 24, 1987, in Rosario, Santa Fe, Lionel Messi emerged as the third child in a family of four to Jorge Messi, a manager at a steel factory, and his wife Celia Cuccittini, who worked in a magnet manufacturing workshop. His lineage encompassed Italian and Spanish roots from his father's side, tracing back to immigrants from the Italian region of Adriatic Marche, and primarily Italian ancestry from his mother's side. Growing up in a closely-knit family with a shared love for football, young "Leo" ignited his passion for the sport from an early age. He found his playground with his older brothers, Rodrigo and Matías, and cousins Maximiliano and Emanuel Biancucchi, both of whom later pursued careers in professional football.

As early as four years old, Messi joined his local club, Grandoli, under the guidance of his father. Yet, it was his maternal grandmother, Celia, who had the most significant influence on his early years as a player. Tragically, her passing shortly before his eleventh birthday deeply impacted him. As a devout Roman Catholic, Messi began a tradition of pointing skywards in tribute to his grandmother whenever he scored a goal.


The young Messi's potential was evident even to the skeptics. As his youth coach, Adrián Coria, recollects, initial impressions gave way to the realization that Messi possessed extraordinary talent, defying his size and stature.

His allegiance to Newell's Old Boys, his hometown team, was unwavering. Joining the club at the age of six, Messi contributed remarkably to the youth side known as "The Machine of '87." This formidable team, named after their birth year, showcased Messi's extraordinary skills and saw him amass nearly 500 goals. He captivated audiences by exhibiting ball tricks during halftime of the senior team's matches.

However, his path to professional football was marred by a challenge. Diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency at the age of 10, Messi faced an uncertain future. With his father's health insurance covering only two years of the necessary treatment, which carried a hefty price tag, Newell's initial agreement to assist with the costs later fell through. River Plate, a Buenos Aires club that Messi admired, declined to support his treatment.


Barcelona emerged as a beacon of hope. Relatives in Catalonia facilitated a trial opportunity in September 2000. Despite initial hesitation from the board of directors due to his age, Charly Rexach, the first team director, recognized Messi's potential and offered him a contract—etched on a paper napkin. In February 2001, Messi and his family relocated to Barcelona, where he embarked on a transformative journey.

During his early days in Spain, Messi's integration was marked by challenges. Hindered by a transfer conflict with Newell's, he found limited opportunities to play. Battling homesickness, he struggled to adjust to his new surroundings, even as his on-field prowess began to shine.

After a year at Barcelona's renowned youth academy, La Masia, Messi was formally enrolled in the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) in February 2002. Now an active participant in various competitions, he bonded with teammates such as Cesc Fàbregas and Gerard Piqué. Following his growth hormone treatment, he joined the illustrious "Baby Dream Team," a youth side celebrated in Barcelona's history. His initial full season saw him as the top scorer for the Cadetes A, securing an unprecedented treble of league and both Spanish and Catalan cups.

Notably, Messi's resilience shone during the Copa Catalunya final, which came to be known as the "partido de la máscara" (final of the mask). Recovering from a broken cheekbone, he played wearing a protective mask and went on to score two goals in just 10 minutes.

Amid foreign offers, Messi opted to remain loyal to Barcelona, choosing a path that would etch his name in football history.


Club Career of Lionel Messi

**Barcelona: 2003–2005 - The Rising Star**

In the 2003–04 season, Messi's ascent within Barcelona's ranks was swift and remarkable. In this single campaign, he made his mark across four different youth teams. Notably, he earned the title of player of the tournament in various international pre-season competitions with the Juveniles B. After showcasing his skills with them, he advanced to the Juveniles A, where he netted an impressive 18 goals in 11 league games. His potential was so evident that he was called up to bolster the depleted first team during an international break. In his first senior training session, he left a lasting impression, capturing the attention of players and coaches alike with his extraordinary abilities.

Messi's debut for the senior team arrived on November 16, 2003, during a friendly against Porto. At just 16 years and 23 days old, he marked his presence, creating chances and registering a shot on goal. Following this, he commenced regular training with Barcelona B and weekly sessions with the first team. Messi's rapid progress was evident, leading Ronaldinho to predict that the young talent would surpass even his own capabilities. Messi's connection with Ronaldinho facilitated his integration into the first team setup.

Lionel Messi's journey at Barcelona took him through various stages. At this point, we see his emergence as a prodigious talent, training with the senior squad and leaving a lasting impression on coaches and teammates. The next part of his Barcelona journey will delve deeper into his role as a first-team player and his growth in the following years.

**2008–2009: The First Treble**

After two less successful seasons, Barcelona underwent changes with the departure of Rijkaard and Ronaldinho. Messi was given the iconic number 10 shirt and signed a new contract, becoming the club's highest-paid player. His continuous struggle with muscular injuries prompted the club to implement new training methods and personal care, leading to an injury-free period that allowed him to fully realize his potential.

In the 2008–09 season, Messi's influence grew significantly. He scored an impressive 38 goals in 51 games, contributing to a club-record 100 goals across all competitions. Under Pep Guardiola's management, Messi adapted to different roles, sometimes on the right wing and later as a false nine. His versatility was highlighted in games like the Clásico against Real Madrid, where he played as a centre-forward and orchestrated a memorable 6–2 victory. Barcelona secured the La Liga title, Copa del Rey, and UEFA Champions League, marking the club's first-ever treble. Messi's pivotal role in this achievement was rewarded with a new contract that extended his commitment to the club.

**2009–2010: First Ballon d'Or**

Continuing his upward trajectory, Messi became an essential part of Barcelona's historic sextuple-winning year, earning victories in the Supercopa de España, UEFA Super Cup, and FIFA Club World Cup. At 22 years old, he won his first Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards by a substantial margin. Despite a successful club year, Barcelona faced early elimination from the Copa del Rey, and Messi's adaptability saw him shift from the right wing to a false nine role. This transition elevated his importance within Guardiola's tactical setup, leading to an impressive season with 47 goals in all competitions, equaling the club record.

**2010–2011: La Liga Title and Champions League Triumph**

Messi's impact remained consistent as he played a pivotal role in Barcelona's success during the 2010–11 season. He secured the Supercopa de España with a hat-trick and starred in a historic 5–0 victory over Real Madrid. His performances contributed to a record-breaking 16 consecutive league victories and culminated in his first FIFA Ballon d'Or award, although this was met with some controversy due to Argentina's World Cup performance. He played a crucial part in the Champions League semi-finals and final, leading Barcelona to their third consecutive La Liga title and further solidifying his position as a football icon.

**2011–2012: Record-breaking Achievements**

During the 2011–12 season, Messi's versatility and remarkable skillset shone brightly. He scored an astonishing 73 goals and provided 29 assists in all competitions, breaking records and achieving remarkable feats. His contributions helped Barcelona win the Spanish and European Super Cups and secure the FIFA Club World Cup. Messi's remarkable performance led to his third consecutive FIFA Ballon d'Or and the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award. He firmly established himself among the greatest footballers in history, alongside legends like Diego Maradona and Pelé.

**2012: A Record-Breaking Year**

In 2012, Lionel Messi continued his remarkable goalscoring form and broke several significant records. He achieved a historic feat by scoring five goals in a single Champions League match against Bayer Leverkusen, an unprecedented accomplishment in the tournament's history. This stellar performance added to his tally of 14 goals, making him the top scorer in the Champions League that season. He also tied the record for most goals in the Champions League for four campaigns.

Furthermore, on 20 March 2012, Messi became the all-time top scorer for Barcelona at the age of 24, surpassing a 57-year record previously held by César Rodríguez. This achievement was marked by a hat-trick against Granada. 

Despite Messi's individual brilliance, Barcelona's era of success under Pep Guardiola came to an end during this period. While they won the Copa del Rey against Athletic Bilbao, they faced challenges in the league and were eliminated in the Champions League semi-finals by Chelsea. Messi's contribution remained exceptional, and he finished the season as the top scorer in La Liga and Europe, with a remarkable total of 50 goals in the league, setting a new La Liga record.

**2013-2014: Challenges and Messidependencia**

The 2013-2014 season saw Messi face injuries and challenges that affected both his form and Barcelona's performance. Despite injuries that disrupted his continuity, he continued to break records. He became Barcelona's all-time top scorer in La Liga, surpassing César Rodríguez's record. Additionally, he broke Gerd Müller's longstanding record for most goals scored in a calendar year, achieving this feat in December 2013.

During this season, Barcelona faced difficulties, and Messi's absence due to injuries highlighted the team's perceived dependency on him, often referred to as "Messidependencia." Despite his injuries, he remained a top player and finished the season as the top scorer in La Liga and Europe for the second consecutive year.

**2014-2015: Second Treble**

Under new manager Luis Enrique, Messi's form improved, and he played a crucial role in Barcelona's success during the 2014-2015 season. The "MSN" attacking trio, consisting of Messi, Luis Suárez, and Neymar, became highly effective and set records for the most goals scored by an attacking trio in Spanish football history.

Messi broke multiple records during this season, including becoming Barcelona's all-time top scorer in all competitions, overtaking Telmo Zarra's record. He also became the all-time top scorer in the Derbi barceloní against Espanyol.

Barcelona's performance improved significantly, and they secured the La Liga title, Copa del Rey, and UEFA Champions League, completing their second treble. Messi's contribution remained vital, and he was instrumental in the team's victories. He continued to excel as both a scorer and an assist provider, cementing his status as one of the greatest footballers in history.
For his remarkable contributions during this period, Messi received the UEFA Best Player in Europe award for the second time, solidifying his position among the sport's elite players.

**2015–16: Domestic Success**

In the 2015–16 season, Lionel Messi continued to demonstrate his exceptional skills and leadership on the field. He started the season by scoring two goals from free kicks in Barcelona's victory over Sevilla in the UEFA Super Cup. He also reached his 100th appearance in the UEFA Champions League and returned from a knee injury to make a significant impact in important matches.

Messi played a crucial role in Barcelona's victories, including their triumph in the 2015 FIFA Club World Cup final against River Plate. He also reached a milestone by scoring on his 500th appearance for the club. His performances earned him the FIFA Ballon d'Or for a record fifth time.

Throughout the season, Messi continued to break records and showcase his talent. He scored impressive goals, including his 500th senior career goal. Barcelona's attacking trio, consisting of Messi, Luis Suárez, and Neymar, set a Spanish record for the most goals scored by an attacking trio in a single season.

**2016–17: Fourth Golden Boot**

In the 2016–17 season, Messi's incredible form and contributions to Barcelona remained exceptional. He scored numerous goals, including a remarkable free-kick goal for his 100th UEFA club competition goal. He reached milestones such as his 600th appearance for the club and surpassed Carles Puyol's appearance record. He also became the second player to score 100 Champions League goals.

Messi's prolific goal-scoring continued, and he secured his fourth Golden Boot award. He scored a hat-trick against Leganés, equalling Ronaldinho's record for most free-kick goals in a season. His remarkable performances helped Barcelona secure their 25th La Liga title.

**2017–18: Domestic Double and a Record Sixth Golden Boot**

As the new captain of Barcelona, Messi led the team to success in the 2017–18 season. He scored goals consistently, including his 6000th La Liga goal for the club. He achieved milestones like becoming the third-highest appearance maker in the club's history and surpassing Ronald Koeman as the club's all-time top scorer from free kicks.

Messi's contributions were vital as Barcelona won both the La Liga title and the Copa del Rey. He scored key goals in crucial matches and achieved records like his 400th La Liga goal. His remarkable performances earned him his sixth Golden Boot award and solidified his status as one of football's greatest players.

**2018–19: Captaincy, 10th La Liga Title, and a Record Sixth Golden Boot**

With the departure of Andrés Iniesta, Messi was named Barcelona's captain for the 2018–19 season. He continued to shine, scoring important goals and setting records. He scored his 400th La Liga goal and led Barcelona to victory in the Supercopa de España. He also reached milestones like his 6000th goal in La Liga.

Messi's performances were exceptional throughout the season, and he secured his sixth Golden Boot award. He helped Barcelona win their 10th La Liga title under his captaincy. He continued to break records and showcase his talent, solidifying his position as one of the most iconic footballers in history.

**2019–20: Record Sixth Ballon d'Or**

In the 2019–20 season, Lionel Messi faced challenges both on and off the field. He sustained a right calf injury that caused him to miss Barcelona's US tour and a portion of the season's opening games. Despite these setbacks, he continued to demonstrate his exceptional skills and achieved significant milestones.

Messi scored his first goal of the season from a free kick against Sevilla. This goal marked his 420th goal in La Liga, surpassing Cristiano Ronaldo's record of 419 goals scored in Europe's top five leagues. He also continued his impressive Champions League performance by becoming the first player to score in 15 consecutive Champions League seasons.

Throughout the season, Messi's performance remained outstanding, and he broke records such as equaling Raúl and Cristiano Ronaldo's shared record for most sides scored against in the Champions League. He was nominated for various awards and received the Best FIFA Men's Player Award for the sixth time.

Messi's remarkable goal-scoring continued, and he reached his 700th career goal in a match against Atlético Madrid. He also won his seventh Pichichi trophy as La Liga's top scorer and achieved numerous milestones, solidifying his status as one of football's greatest players.

**August 2020: Desire to Leave Barcelona**

During this period, Messi's relationship with Barcelona became strained. He expressed his desire to leave the club due to dissatisfaction with its direction and decisions. The situation escalated when Messi announced his intention to leave, leading to a legal and public dispute over his contract terms and the validity of his release clause. Ultimately, Messi announced in an interview that he would stay at Barcelona for the final year of his contract to avoid a legal dispute with the club.

**2020–21: Final Season at Barcelona**

Messi's final season at Barcelona was marked by both individual achievements and challenges. He continued to excel on the field, breaking records and achieving milestones. He became the player with the most goals scored for a single club, surpassing Pelé's record. He also expressed criticism of the club's decisions, including the departure of Luis Suárez.

Messi's season included significant achievements, such as scoring in his 16th consecutive Champions League season and scoring his 30th league goal of the campaign. He received the Pichichi trophy for a record eighth time, solidifying his reputation as a top goalscorer. However, Barcelona's performance faced challenges, including elimination from the Champions League.

Messi's departure from Barcelona was announced in August 2021. Despite both parties reaching an agreement on a new contract, financial and structural obstacles prevented Messi from staying at the club. He tearfully confirmed his departure in a press conference, marking the end of his legendary career at Barcelona.

**2021–22: First Season at Paris Saint-Germain**

In August 2021, Lionel Messi made a surprising move to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) after leaving Barcelona. He signed a two-year deal with an option for an extra year, choosing to wear the number 30 jersey, the same number he wore as a teenager at Barcelona. Messi quickly integrated into the team and made his debut for PSG in a Ligue 1 match against Reims, coming on as a substitute. He made his first start and Champions League debut against Club Brugge, and shortly after, he scored his first goal for PSG in a Champions League group stage match against Manchester City.

As the season progressed, Messi continued to adapt to his new team and surroundings. He scored his first Ligue 1 goal for PSG in a match against Nantes. His performances on the field, coupled with his contribution to Argentina winning the 2021 Copa América, earned him a record seventh Ballon d'Or award.

**2022–23: Return to Form and Departure**

In the 2022–23 season, Messi, under new coach Christophe Galtier, regained his form and settled into his preferred attacking role. He formed a potent attacking trident with Neymar and Kylian Mbappé, helping PSG win the Trophée des Champions and securing their 10th Ligue 1 title. Messi continued to set records, including becoming the highest goalscorer in European club football and registering his 300th career assist.

Despite his impressive performances, Messi was not nominated for the Ballon d'Or award for the first time in many years. He remained focused on his performance and contributed significantly to PSG's success throughout the season. Messi also faced challenges, such as a suspension for an unauthorized trip to Saudi Arabia and criticism from some PSG fans after the team's Champions League elimination.

Amidst these ups and downs, Messi confirmed his departure from PSG at the end of the season, following the expiration of his contract. He finished his second season with the club on a high note, winning his second consecutive Ligue 1 title and becoming the player with the most goals in the history of Europe's top five leagues.

**Inter Miami and Leagues Cup Victory**

Following his departure from PSG, Messi was linked to several potential destinations, including a return to Barcelona. However, he ultimately chose to sign with Major League Soccer (MLS) club Inter Miami. He made his debut for the club in a Leagues Cup match against Cruz Azul, scoring a free-kick in stoppage time for a dramatic victory. Messi continued his scoring streak, and he played a pivotal role in Inter Miami's Leagues Cup victory, scoring in the final and helping the team secure their first-ever trophy.

Messi's impact extended to MLS as well, as he made his league debut and scored a late goal in a win against New York Red Bulls, breaking Inter Miami's winless streak. His move to Inter Miami marked a new chapter in his illustrious career, and he quickly became an integral part of the team's success.

International Career of Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi's international career has been marked by various phases, challenges, and successes. Here's a breakdown of his journey with the Argentine national team:

**2004–2005: Success at Youth Level**

- Messi had the option to play for either Argentina or Spain at the youth level due to his dual Argentine-Spanish nationality.

- He chose to represent Argentina and made his debut for the U-20 team in June 2004 after organizers arranged friendly matches to solidify his status as an Argentina player.

- He made his debut for the senior national team against Paraguay in June 2004, scoring a goal and providing two assists.

- Messi's performance helped Argentina qualify for the FIFA World Youth Championship.

- He played a crucial role in Argentina's victory at the World Youth Championship, scoring goals and being named the tournament's best player.

**2005–2006: Senior and World Cup Debuts**

- Messi made his senior national team debut against Hungary in August 2005.

- He participated in Argentina's World Cup qualification matches and played his first full 90-minute match against Peru.

- Despite some controversies and injuries, Messi was included in the squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.

- Messi scored his first goal for the senior national team in a friendly against Croatia in March 2006.

- During the World Cup, Messi played a significant role, scoring a goal and providing an assist against Serbia and Montenegro.

- Argentina was eliminated in the quarter-finals by Germany, and Messi received praise for his performances from FIFA.

**2007–2008: Copa América Final and Olympic Gold**

- Messi played in the 2007 Copa América in Venezuela and helped Argentina reach the final, where they lost to Brazil.

- He played a crucial role in Argentina's gold-medal-winning campaign at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

- Despite Barcelona's initial resistance, Messi joined the Olympic squad and played a decisive role in Argentina's success.

- He scored crucial goals, assisted his teammates, and was a standout player in the tournament.

**2008–2011: Collective Decline and Leadership Role**

- Argentina faced challenges during the 2010 World Cup qualification under manager Diego Maradona.

- Maradona's tactical decisions and Messi's lack of goals for the national team led to criticism.

- Messi played in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, but Argentina was eliminated in the quarter-finals by Germany.

- Messi's role and performance with the national team were often compared to his success with Barcelona.

- Alejandro Sabella took over as manager, and Messi was named the team captain alongside Javier Mascherano.

- Messi's goal drought ended under Sabella's leadership, and he became a key player for the team.

**2011–2013: Assuming the Captaincy and Improved Performances**

- Sabella's appointment marked a turning point for Messi's international career.

- Messi was given the captaincy and led by example on the field.

- His goal-scoring rate increased significantly, and he began to find the back of the net regularly.

- Messi scored multiple hat-tricks and set records for goals scored in a calendar year for Argentina.

- He played a vital role in helping Argentina qualify for the 2014 World Cup.

- Messi's relationship with his compatriots improved, and he became more positively perceived in Argentina.

Lionel Messi's international journey has been a mix of personal accomplishments, team successes, and challenges. From his early successes at the youth level to assuming the captaincy and leading by example, Messi's impact on the Argentine national team has been significant.

**2014–2015: World Cup and Copa América Finals**

**2014 FIFA World Cup:**

- Messi's form was doubted ahead of the World Cup in Brazil due to an injury-plagued season with Barcelona.

- He performed well in the tournament, being elected man of the match in the first four matches.

- Messi scored his first goal of the tournament against Bosnia and Herzegovina, leading Argentina to a 2–1 victory.

- He scored a crucial injury-time goal against Iran from 25 yards out to secure a 1–0 win and qualification to the knockout phase.

- Messi scored twice in the group match against Nigeria, helping Argentina finish as group winners.

- He played a role in the knockout stage matches, including scoring the team's first penalty in a shootout against the Netherlands.

- Argentina reached the World Cup final, but Messi and the team were defeated by Germany, with Messi winning the Golden Ball as the best player of the tournament.

**2015 Copa América:**

- Under Gerardo Martino's management, Argentina entered the 2015 Copa América as contenders due to their World Cup performance.

- Messi scored a penalty goal against Paraguay in the opening match, but the match ended in a 2–2 draw.

- He earned his 100th cap for Argentina during the group stage.

- Messi led Argentina to the knockout stage as group winners.

- He played a significant role in the quarter-final victory over Colombia, assisting and scoring a penalty.

- In the semi-final against Paraguay, Messi excelled as a playmaker, providing three assists in a 6–1 win.

- Argentina reached the final but was defeated by Chile in a penalty shootout, leading to Messi's temporary retirement from international football.

**2016–2017: Third Copa América Final, Retirement, and Return**

- Messi's place in the Copa América Centenario squad was uncertain due to a back injury.

- He played a key role in the tournament, including scoring a hat-trick in a match against Panama.

- Messi equaled and then broke Gabriel Batistuta's national record for goals in official international matches.

- Argentina reached the final but lost to Chile in a penalty shootout, leading Messi to announce his retirement from international football.

- A campaign began to persuade Messi to change his mind about retiring.

- Messi reversed his decision and returned to the national team for World Cup qualifiers.

- He scored a crucial hat-trick in the final World Cup qualifier against Ecuador to secure Argentina's qualification for the 2018 World Cup.

- Messi was suspended for insulting an assistant referee in a game against Chile, but the ban was later lifted.

- He became the joint all-time leading scorer in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers with 21 goals.

Lionel Messi's international journey during this period was marked by strong performances in World Cup and Copa América tournaments, reaching finals, facing defeats, temporary retirement, and eventual return to lead his national team's efforts.

**2018 FIFA World Cup:**

- Argentina had a poor qualification campaign and low expectations going into the World Cup.

- In the opening group match against Iceland, Messi missed a penalty in a 1–1 draw.

- Argentina suffered a 3–0 defeat to Croatia, raising questions about the team's quality.

- Messi scored a crucial goal against Nigeria in the final group match, becoming the third Argentine to score in three different World Cups.

- In the round of 16, Argentina faced France and Messi assisted two goals in a 4–3 defeat.

- Argentina was eliminated from the World Cup in the round of 16.

- After the World Cup, there were speculations about Messi's international retirement, but he later returned to the national team for friendlies.

**2019–2020: Copa América Third Place and Suspension**

- Messi participated in the 2019 Copa América, where Argentina finished third.

- He scored from a penalty against Paraguay and played a crucial role in the knockout stages.

- Messi was critical of the tournament's refereeing and alleged bias towards Brazil.

- He was sent off in the third-place match against Chile and refused to collect his medal.

- Messi was fined and banned for three months from international football due to his comments.

- He returned to the national team after the suspension and continued to play in World Cup qualifiers.

**2021–2022: Copa América and World Cup Triumphs**

- Messi played in the 2021 Copa América, leading Argentina to victory.

- He scored from a free kick in the opening match and equalled Javier Mascherano's appearance record.

- Messi broke the appearance record and scored in the group stage, assisting and scoring in later matches.

- Argentina defeated Brazil in the final, securing Messi's first major international title.

- He continued his record-breaking performance in friendlies and official matches.

- Messi participated in the 2022 World Cup and had a significant impact.

- He scored goals and provided assists, leading Argentina to the final.

- In the final, Messi scored twice, helping Argentina win the World Cup for the first time in 36 years.

- Messi received the Golden Ball for the second time as the tournament's best player.

**2023–present: 100 International Goals**

- Messi scored his 99th international goal with a free-kick against Panama in a friendly.

- In the next match against Curaçao, he scored a hat-trick, reaching the milestone of 100 international goals.

Lionel Messi's journey with the Argentine national team continued with highs and lows, including triumphs in the Copa América and the FIFA World Cup, becoming the top scorer, and achieving the milestone of 100 international goals.

Reception and Comparisons to Diego Maradona

- Messi's prodigious talent as a teenager led to comparisons with Diego Maradona.

- Maradona considered the young Messi to be the best player in the world alongside Ronaldinho.

- Messi's playing style and skills led to comparisons with Maradona, especially due to their similar dribbling abilities and left-footed nature.

- As Messi's career progressed, he established himself as one of the greatest players in history.

- Many pundits, managers, players, and fans regarded Messi as one of the greatest footballers of all time.

- Comparisons to Maradona persisted, with Messi often being seen as Maradona's successor as the best player from Argentina.

- Messi received dismissals from critics due to his lack of international trophies, which changed when he won the Copa América in 2021.

Comparisons with Cristiano Ronaldo - Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo

- Messi has a long-standing rivalry with Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo.

- Both players are often compared and contrasted in terms of their achievements and playing styles.

- They have pushed each other to excel and be the best player in the world.

- Messi has won more Ballon d'Or awards and other individual accolades compared to Ronaldo.

- Their differing physiques and personalities contribute to the debate between the two players.

- Their rivalry was intensified by their frequent clashes in El Clásico matches between Barcelona and Real Madrid.

- Off the pitch, they are also competitors in terms of salary, sponsorships, and social media popularity.

**2022 FIFA World Cup Victory**

- Messi's victory in the 2022 FIFA World Cup led many to believe he settled the debate between him and Ronaldo.

- Critics, commentators, and players have opined that Messi's World Cup victory elevates his status in the comparison.

- The victory added weight to Messi's claim as one of the greatest players in football history.

Popularity and Influence

- Messi has been one of the highest-paid footballers and athletes in the world.

- He was the world's highest-paid footballer for multiple years, earning substantial income from his salary, bonuses, and endorsements.

- Messi was ranked among the most marketable athletes globally due to his endorsements.

- His main sponsor is Adidas, and he has had signature collections of boots with the company.

- He has also been associated with brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Audemars Piguet, Gillette, Turkish Airlines, Ooredoo, and Tata Motors.

- Messi appeared on the covers of video games like Pro Evolution Soccer and FIFA, making him a prominent figure in the gaming world.

- His influence extends to social media, with a massive following on Facebook and Instagram.

- He has been recognized as one of the world's most influential people by Time magazine.

- Messi's economic impact on his city has been significant, with his presence being compared to a tourist attraction.

Cultural Impact

- Messi's presence in popular culture is highlighted by events like his wax sculpture at Madame Tussauds and a gold replica of his foot for charity.

- A Turkish Airlines advertisement featuring Messi was the most-watched ad on YouTube in its release year and was voted the best advertisement of the 2005–15 decade.

- A photograph of Messi facing the World Cup trophy was selected as the best sports image by World Press Photo in 2014.

- A documentary about Messi's life, titled "Messi," premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2014.

- Messi became an ambassador for the Hard Rock Cafe brand, emphasizing the connection between sports and music.

- He also became the tourism ambassador for Saudi Arabia, although this decision drew criticism due to the country's human rights record.

- Messi was featured in the Thrissur Pooram festival in India, with illuminated cut-outs of him displayed on elephants during the ceremony.

Popularity and Influence

- Messi has been one of the highest-paid footballers and athletes in the world.

- He was the world's highest-paid footballer for multiple years, earning substantial income from his salary, bonuses, and endorsements.

- Messi was ranked among the most marketable athletes globally due to his endorsements.

- His main sponsor is Adidas, and he has had signature collections of boots with the company.

- He has also been associated with brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Audemars Piguet, Gillette, Turkish Airlines, Ooredoo, and Tata Motors.

- Messi appeared on the covers of video games like Pro Evolution Soccer and FIFA, making him a prominent figure in the gaming world.

- His influence extends to social media, with a massive following on Facebook and Instagram.

- He has been recognized as one of the world's most influential people by Time magazine.

- Messi's economic impact on his city has been significant, with his presence being compared to a tourist attraction.

Cultural Impact

- Messi's presence in popular culture is highlighted by events like his wax sculpture at Madame Tussauds and a gold replica of his foot for charity.

- A Turkish Airlines advertisement featuring Messi was the most-watched ad on YouTube in its release year and was voted the best advertisement of the 2005–15 decade.

- A photograph of Messi facing the World Cup trophy was selected as the best sports image by World Press Photo in 2014.

- A documentary about Messi's life, titled "Messi," premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2014.

- Messi became an ambassador for the Hard Rock Cafe brand, emphasizing the connection between sports and music.

- He also became the tourism ambassador for Saudi Arabia, although this decision drew criticism due to the country's human rights record.

- Messi was featured in the Thrissur Pooram festival in India, with illuminated cut-outs of him displayed on elephants during the ceremony.

Personal Life of Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi's Storied Journey: A Trailblazing Career in Football

At just 21 years old, he garnered numerous nominations for the Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year. His exceptional playing style and talents led to comparisons with football legend Diego Maradona, who anointed Messi as his rightful successor.

His paternal family originated from the Italian city of Ancona, where His forefather, Angelo Messi, immigrated to Argentina in 1883. He has two older brothers, Rodrigo & Messi, and a sister, María Sol. At the age of five, Messi moved to his father Jorge He started playing football for a local club, Grandoli, being coached by Dr. In 1995;Messi started playing for Newell Old Boys based in his home town of Rosario.
Initiating his football journey from a young age, Messi's potential was swiftly acknowledged by Barcelona. Departing from Newell's Old Boys youth team in Rosario in 2000, he and his family moved to Europe, facilitated by Barcelona's offer to address his growth hormone deficiency.

Marking his debut in the 2004-05 season, he shattered records in La Liga as the youngest player to grace the league and the youngest to score a league goal. His inaugural season coincided with Barcelona clinching the La Liga title, sparking the onset of significant achievements. Notably, the 2006 season witnessed a dual victory as Barcelona secured both the league and the UEFA Champions League title. The breakthrough occurred in 2006–07, where he cemented his place in the first team, notching up three consecutive goals in El Clásico and ending the season with 14 goals in 26 league appearances. A pinnacle was reached during the 2008–09 season, with Messi's integral role in the Treble-winning campaign highlighted by his impressive tally of 38 goals.

In 2005, Messi's prowess took center stage when he emerged as the leading scorer in the FIFA World Youth Championship, netting six goals, including two in the final match. Swiftly thereafter, he ascended to Argentina's senior international team. The year 2006 ushered in new records, as he became the youngest player to represent Argentina in the FIFA World Cup, followed by a runner-up finish in the Copa América tournament the following year. The year 2008 brought his first international accolade - coveted Olympic gold medal in Beijing as a key member of Argentina's Olympic soccer team. In 2012, Lionel Messi secured a place in the Guinness World Records for his astonishing feat of scoring the most goals in a calendar year, an impressive tally of 91 goals. His remarkable journey continued in 2021, where he clinched an unprecedented seventh Ballon d'Or award, etching his name as the sole player in football history to achieve this milestone. Moreover, in 2020, he surpassed Pele's record by netting his 644th goal for Barcelona, solidifying his status as the all-time leading scorer for a single club.

The year 2021 marked a significant turning point as Messi bid farewell to Barcelona Football Club, embarking on a new chapter with PSG. After the culmination of his contract with Barcelona, Messi became the most sought-after player in football history, underscoring his enduring legacy.

Philanthropy

- Messi's charitable efforts are focused on vulnerable children, influenced by his own medical challenges during childhood.

- He has been associated with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) since 2004 and became a UNICEF goodwill ambassador in 2010. He has participated in various campaigns to support HIV prevention, education, and disabled children's inclusion.

- In 2007, Messi established the Leo Messi Foundation, aiming to provide access to healthcare, education, and sports opportunities for children. The foundation supports medical centers, research, and education projects globally.

- Messi's foundation receives financial support from companies that he endorses, with Adidas being a primary sponsor.

- He has invested in youth football in Argentina by supporting clubs like Sarmiento, Newell's Old Boys, Rosario Central, River Plate, and Boca Juniors. He also funded the construction of facilities and dormitories.

- Messi made a donation of €65,000 to Médecins Sans Frontières after winning a libel case. - He donated €1 million to fight the spread of COVID-19, distributed between a hospital in Barcelona and Argentina.

- During the 2020 coronavirus emergency, Messi and his FC Barcelona teammates took a 70% cut in salaries to support club employees. - He paid the salaries of three security staff members of the Argentine national team who hadn't been paid for six months.

- Messi donated his Adidas shoes worn during his record-breaking goal to a museum, and they were auctioned for charity. - For the 2021 Copa América, Messi donated signed shirts to a Chinese pharmaceutical firm in exchange for COVID-19 vaccine doses to vaccinate South American football players, generated both admiration and controversy.

Lionel Messi Tax Fraud

- In 2013, Messi's financial affairs were investigated for potential tax evasion. It was alleged that he used offshore companies in Uruguay and Belize to evade €4.1 million in taxes related to sponsorship earnings from 2007 to 2009. 
- An additional shell company in Panama, established in 2012, was revealed to be associated with the Messis in the Panama Papers data leak. 
- Messi claimed that he was unaware of the alleged tax evasion scheme and voluntarily paid €5.1 million in back taxes in August 2013. 
- On July 6, 2016, both Messi and his father were found guilty of tax fraud. They were given suspended prison sentences of 21 months each and were required to pay fines of €1.7 million and €1.4 million, respectively. 
- During the trial, Messi expressed that he trusted his father and lawyers to handle his financial matters, stating, "I just played football. I signed the contracts because I trusted my dad and the lawyers and we had decided that they would take charge of those things."

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