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Sports - December 21, 2022

10 Things You Don’t Know About Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi is arguably one of the greatest player of all time. The diminutive football wizard has won both the FIFA 2022 World Cup and the Copa America 2021 with Argentina, giving him one of the most prestigious and trophy-filled careers of all time.

The 35-year-old is the only player in football history to have won seven Ballon d’Or trophies.

Messi relocated from Argentina to Spain when he was just 13 years old after FC Barcelona agreed to cover the cost of his medical care.

His club won more than two dozen league titles and competitions during his time there, solidifying his reputation as one of the best players in history.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at ten things you don’t know about Lionel Messi.


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1. Diagnosis of growth hormone deficiency and his love for Coke

Messi was born in Rosario, the same city as the illustrious revolutionary Che Guevara.

He needed costly medication to treat a growth hormone deficit he experienced when he was young. Many people think Barcelona paid for this therapy when the Catalan giants signed him in 2001.

Contrary to popular assumption, the Argentinian social security system paid for his medication.

Messi joined Barcelona when he was just 13 years old, and despite his health issues, he had a weakness for cola drinks like any other adolescent. 

All the soda machines in La Masia had to be taken out because he loved aerated beverages so much and they were endangering his health.

2. Signed a deal on a paper napkin

With his goal-scoring prowess, Messi has changed the majority of football’s record books, but it all began when Barcelona’s technical secretary Carles Rexach was enthralled by the talent of the then 13-year-old.

Due to the lack of a contract at the time, Rexach opted to seal the transaction on the nearest piece of paper, in this case a paper napkin, because he was so mesmerised by what he had witnessed.

The paper napkin, which symbolises a new period in FC Barcelona’s history, has been preserved for all time in a frame.

3. His first Argentina game was messy 

At the age of 18, Messi made his international debut for Argentina on August 17, 2005, replacing Lisandro Lopez in the 63rd minute of a friendly match against Hungary.

Messi entered the game for barely 43 seconds, but as soon as he did, he was in possession of the ball.

Vilmos Vanczak, a representative of Hungary, grabbed the 18-year-old by his shirt. Messi elbowed Vanczak in the face while attempting to shake him off, and the referee called it intentional.

Before anyone could see him, the kid got his marching orders and returned to the changing room!

4. His leg is insured with $900 million

Messi’s left foot is covered by a staggering $900 million in insurance, surpassing Cristiano Ronaldo’s $99 million coverage for both legs and David Beckham’s $175 million coverage for his face and legs, according to Total Sport.

It has been found that Argentina captain Lionel Messi has the most costly insurance in sports, making his left foot more expensive than other clubs.

5. Like father like son

Thiago Messi, Messi’s third child, was accepted into the Newell Old Boys official fans club just 72 hours after his birth and currently has a contract with the supporters club at the exact first team his father played for.

Before Messi was even born, his father, Jorge, arranged an agreement that required the Argentinian team to fly all the way to Barcelona with a contract and a replica jersey bearing the name “Messi” across the back.

6. A goalscorer from day one

We all know how frequently Messi scores for Barcelona, but the diminutive forward was already a goalscoring legend before even setting foot on Spanish land.

Messi was a member of the “The Machine of ’87” youth team at his boyhood club, Newell’s Old Boys, which was almost invincible. 

The exceptional player from Rosario scored about 500 goals during his six years there, and it became evident very early on that he was headed for the very top of the game.

7. A UNICEF Ambassador

Messi was appointed a UNICEF Children’s Ambassador in 2010, suggesting that he has subsequently used his enormous influence to advance the organisation’s crucial initiative.

He travelled to many different nations as part of this mission to raise awareness of the pressing issues involving children, which is the first step in creating the momentum for effective activity by governments, various associations, and surprisingly residents.

8. Replica of his golden foot

Using solid gold, a Japanese jeweller named Ginza Takana created a 25kg duplicate of Messi’s distinctive left foot (55 lb). 

It was priced at $5.25 million and put up for sale in Japan in March 2013 to help the victims of the 2011 Thoku earthquake and tsunami.

9. He met his wife at an early age 

Love between Lionel Messi and Antonela Roccuzzo was unaffected by their separation.

The professional soccer player and Roccuzzo first met when they were kids, and even though Messi subsequently left Argentina to pursue his sport, the two eventually reconnected over a tragedy and fell in love.

They had two sons together before getting married in 2017. The couple’s third son was born the following year thanks to Roccuzzo.

10. A devout Roman Catholic 

Messi is an ardent Catholic. One of Messi’s greatest days came in 2013, when he met Pope Francis at the Vatican.


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