All facts were correct as of March 2020.
There’s no denying that Lionel Messi is one of the greatest football players of our time. Starting his footballing career at the age of just 13, Messi didn’t let his short stature get in the way of him becoming the greatest footballer of all time, and from earning a whopping 34 trophies during his time with Barcelona. Keep on reading to learn 50 facts about Lionel Messi.
Fact 1: Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini was born on June 24, 1987.
Fact 2: Messi is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward, a right-sided winger, or an attacking midfielder.
Fact 3: Messi captains Spanish club team Barcelona and the Argentine national team.
Fact 4: He has been named Fédération Internationale de Football Association world player of the year five times. 4 times between 2009 and 2012 and then a fifth time in 2015.
Fact 5: Messi is left-footed and can often be seen cutting in from the right-hand side of the pitch to the edge of the penalty area where he attempts to curl shots into the goal with his left foot’s instep. And more often than not, he succeeds.
Fact 6: Messi has, so far, spent his entire professional career with Barcelona, winning more than 30 trophies!
Fact 7: He has won 34 trophies, including ten La Liga titles, four UEFA Champions League titles and six Copas del Rey.
Fact 8: He started his professional football career at the age of just 13.
Fact 9: Messi started playing football as a young boy and in 1995 joined the youth team of Newell’s Old Boys, a club in Argentina.
Fact 10: As of March 2020, Messi has played in a total of 856 professional matches.
Fact 11: Of those 856 matches, 697 of them were played for the Barcelona first team.
Fact 12: He was born in Rosario, in the central Argentine province of Santa Fe.
Fact 13: In March 2012, he scored his 233rd goal for Barcelona. In doing so, he became the club’s all-time leading scorer in La Liga games when he was only 24 years old.
Fact 14: Lionel holds the La Liga record for the most number of hat-tricks by a single player. As of March 2020, he has smashed in 35 Hat-Tricks. For a total of 105 goals.
Fact 15: He holds the record for the most goals in La Liga history. He’s banged in a colossal 438 goals in La Liga. And he achieved that it only 474 appearances.
Fact 16: His rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, has scored 28 more goals throughout his career. However, Ronaldo has played in 144 more matches than Messi.
Fact 17: He has produced 289 assists in his career. So he has been directly involved in the scoring of 944 goals.
Fact 18: Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency as a child.
Fact 19: At age 13, Messi and his family relocated to Barcelona, and he began playing for FC Barcelona’s under-14 team. He scored 21 goals in 14 games for the junior team, and at age 16 he was given his informal debut with FC Barcelona in a friendly match.
Fact 20: When he first joined Barcelona as a young teenager, he was quiet and shy, the other kids thought he was mute.
Fact 21: At the age of just 22 years old, Messi won the 2009 Ballon d’Or and the 2009 FIFA World Player of the Year award.
Fact 22: He then won three consecutive FIFA Ballons d’Or, including an unprecedented fourth in the next three seasons.
Fact 23: During the 2011–12 season, Messi set the La Liga and European records for most goals scored in a single season during the 2011-2012 season. He smashed in a mesmerizing, a seemingly impossible 73 goals, yes 73, in just 60 games.
Fact 24: His landmark season led to his being named the 2012 world player of the year, which made Messi the first player to win the honor four times.
Fact 25: Messi is Argentina’s all-time leading goalscorer. He has scored 86 goals for his country.
Fact 26: At youth level, he won the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship, finishing the tournament with both the Golden Ball and Golden Shoe, and an Olympic gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Fact 27: In 2016, Messi was involved in a tax fraud case in Spain for avoiding income tax between 2007 and 2009. His 21-month sentence was cut to a $250,000 fine.
Fact 28: Messi has two cousins who play professional football. Maximiliano Daniel Biancucchi Cuccittini plays as a striker for Paraguayan side Club Rubio Nu. His other cousin, Emanuel Biancucchi Cuccittini, plays as a midfielder for Argentine team Newell’s Old Boys.
Fact 29: His growth hormone deficiency stunted his normal growth rate at just a tender age of 11. It wasn’t until he was 14 years old that he was completely over the condition.
Fact 30: This was a condition that stunted growth and required expensive medical treatment, including the use of the drug Human growth hormone which cost around $1000 a month.
Fact 31: Messi’s first contract with Barcelona was written out on a paper napkin.
Fact 32: On 24 June 2005, his 18th birthday, Messi signed his first contract as a senior team player which made him a Barcelona player until 2010.
Fact 33: He grew up in Argentina with his parents Jorge and Celia Messi. Jorge was a steel factory manager. Celia worked in a magnet manufacturing workshop.
Fact 34: He has 2 older brothers, Rodrigo Messi, Matías Messi, and one younger sister, María Sol Messi.
Fact 35: On June 30, 2017, Messi married his longtime girlfriend, Antonella Roccuzzo.
Fact 36: Roccuzzo was the cousin of his best friend and fellow soccer player Lucas Scaglia.
Fact 37: Messi has 3 children with Roccuzzo. Thiago, who was born in 2012. Mateo who was born in 2015. And Ciro who was born in 2018.
Fact 38: He founded the Leo Messi Foundation which aims to improve healthcare and education for children.
Fact 39: In 2010, he was also named a UNICEF ambassador. Through his charitable foundation, the Lionel Messi Foundation, the superstar soccer player donated a massive 4,500,000 Argentinian pesos to the organization. That’s about 70,000 US Dollars.
Fact 40: Messi is ranked No. 1 on Forbes’ annual list of the world’s highest-paid athletes, with estimated total earnings from wages, sponsors, and other income, of $127 million.
Fact 41: According to Celebrity Net Worth, Messi current net worth is an astonishing $400 million.
Fact 42: Messi is most often compared and contrasted with Argentine forward Diego Maradona. They were both comparably short and, because of their natural low center of gravity, they were both phenomenal dribblers of the ball.
Fact 43: During the six years he played for Newell’s Old Boys youth team, Messi scored nearly 500 goals. That’s over 80 goals a season! No wonder Barcelona wanted to sign him!
Fact 44: Messi was given the nickname “The Flea” because of his short stature.
Fact 45: Though only 5 feet 7 inches (1.7 meters) tall and weighing 148 pounds (67 kg), he was strong, well-balanced, and versatile. Naturally left-footed, quick, and precise in control of the ball, Messi was a keen pass distributor and could readily thread his way through packed defenses.
Fact 46: His current Barcelona contract pays him over $80 million each year.
Fact 47: In November 2017, he agreed to a contract extension with Barcelona to stay with the club through the 2020–21 season. Messi also has a lifetime deal with Adidas.
Fact 48: He has been Barcelona’s highest-paid player since 2008.
Fact 49: His salary increased incrementally from €7.8 million to €13 million over the five years since 2008. His new 2017 contract earns him a staggering $667,000 per week in wages.
Fact 50: After a teenage Messi moved to Barcelona he started feeling extreme homesickness after his mother and sister moved back home leaving him with his father.