5 Things You Might Not Know About Soccer Superstar Lionel Messi


Soccer superstar Lionel Messi plays for French club Paris Saint-Germain and also represents the Argentina Men's National Team as the most capped players for his country.

Here are five things you might not know about Lionel Messi.

1. Hormone Deficiency: Most people who have watched Messi play soccer know that he is short in stature. Fans may be surprised to learn that the 5-foot, 7-inch footballer suffered from a hormone deficiency that restricted his growth.

Messi’s parents paid for nightly growth hormone injections. FC Barcelona offered to pay for his medical treatments, which prompted a move of Messi’s family from Argentina to Spain at the age of 13.

2. Playing for Barcelona: At the age of 16, Messi made his first appearance for Barcelona, one of the most recognizable Spanish soccer teams. Messi became the youngest FC Barcelona goal scorer at the time scoring a goal in a 2005 match at the age of 17 years, 10 months and 7 days. The feat has since been passed but many of Messi’s Barcelona records will be tough to break.

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3. Goal Scoring Records: One thing Messi is known best for is his goal-scoring abilities. Messi broke the record for most goals scored with one club with his 644th Barcelona goal in 2020.

The goal broke a long-standing record by soccer great Pele who had 643 goals for Brazilian club Santos.

Messi broke a record in 2012 with 91 goals scored, the most all-time in a calendar year, breaking a 1972 record from Gerd Muller.

Messi scored 672 goals as a member of Barcelona across 17 seasons and over 700 matches played. Messi is also the top goal scorer in Argentina's international history with 96 goals scored.

Messi is one of only six soccer players to score over 700 career goals: He ranks second on the list with 764 goals all-time, trailing only Cristiano Ronaldo (783).

4. Ballon d’Or: Each year, the Ballon d’Or (Golden Ball) is awarded to the top soccer player in Europe and is recognized as one of the top individual honors a soccer player can win.

Messi has won more Ballon d’Ors than any other player with seven total wins of the highly coveted trophy. 

Messi won seven times, was runner-up five times and placed third once. Messi won the title four straight years from 2009 through 2012. Messi won his last title in 2021 as the top player in Europe.

5. Endorsements: Messi is considered one of the most marketable athletes in the world given his dominance in soccer.

In 2021, Messi signed as the first athlete to land a deal with the Hard Rock International company in a campaign to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

Messi has more than $55 million in annual endorsements that include Adidas ADR ADDYY, PepsiCo, Inc. PEP owned Gatorade and Anheuser Busch InBev SA BUD.

Budweiser launched a campaign to celebrate Messi’s record-breaking 644 goals at Barcelona by sending a commemorative beer bottle to each of the 160 goalies Messi scored on while playing for Barcelona.

Photo: Asatur Yesayants via shutterstock

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Posted In: EducationSportsGeneralBarcelonaCristiano RonaldoFC BarcelonafootballGatoradeICYMILionel MessiParis Saint-Germainsoccer
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