“It will surely be my last World Cup, the last chance to achieve what we all want”said Lionel Messi just a few weeks before to embark for the World Cup Qatar 2022 as captain of the Argentine National Team.
However, it is still possible that one of the best footballers in history, the top scorer of the 21st century and one of the highest paid in the tournament, will reach the next 2026 World Cup in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
The footballer, also known as ‘The flea’has shown extraordinary qualities on the court from a very young age, to the point that he is considered a “sports genius”. In 2011 she received the title of Historical Sports Heritage of Humanitytogether with the Brazilian Pele and the mexican Hugo Sanchez.
At 35 years old, he belongs to the select group of players who have played five world cups: Germany 2006, South Africa 2010, Brazil 2014, Russia 2018 Y Qatar 2022.
During his career he has received countless awards, titles and recognitions, which include 7 Ballon d’Ors. He only needs one big milestone to reach: to be crowned champion in the World Cup together with the Argentine National Team. And this could be his last chance.
I would change my personal achievements just to be world champion with the senior team, I always said it, it would not be compared to anything. We all want to win and I more than anyone, because I have been fighting for this dream that we all have: winning the World Cup with the National Team.
– Lionel Messi on his official website.
This is how the history of the Argentine star began
Lionel Andres Messi Cuticcini He was born on June 24, 1987 at the Garibaldi Italian Hospital in Rosario, Santa Fe province, Argentina. He is the son of Jorge Horace Messi Y Celia Maria Cuccittinibeing the third of four brothers: Rodrigo Y matiasolder than him, and Maria Solthe minor.
His career began even before attending preschool and almost by chance, according to Halftime. One day, while his older brothers were playing soccer, little ‘Leo’ was with his mother and his grandmother, kicking a ball against the wall. Then, a man came up to ask them if the boy could come onto the field for a few minutes, because he was missing a player. At first they hesitated, since the other children were older, but in the end they let him go.
that man was Salvador Ricardo Apariciowho immediately saw his potential and became his first coach, signing him to the local team Standard Bearer Grandioli. “At the age of four I was playing in a neighborhood club,” says Messi in his biography.
At only 8 years old, in 1994, he entered the lower divisions of the Newell’s Old Boyswhere they nicknamed him ‘Piqui’because of his short stature. According to the specialized portal “his game technique was spectacular and from the beginning he took center stage in the children’s team.”
In 1997, his parents noticed that their 11-year-old son was not as tall as other boys his age. The doctor diagnosed growth hormone deficiencywhat delayed the development of their bones, they say from the International Olympic Committee.
The little soccer player started a hormonal treatment that was very expensive for his family: about 900 dollars a month. They managed to afford it with the help of charitable foundations, but the high cost of it soon dried up support.
And to think that he was about to play for River Plate…
Looking for Leo’s sports development and resources to pay for therapy, his father took him to do tests with the River Plate. His talent conquered the renowned Argentine club and they offered him a place in their ranks, in addition to committing to finance the treatment.
“I went to test myself at the River school, in Rosario. One of the guys who was going told me to go and I said yes. Later they brought me to Buenos Aires. They were category 85, all bigger. I played fifteen or twenty minutes. They told me to come back in ten days with my category. I came back and scored three or four goals and they told me that I had to stay, that I had to carry the pass. They were going to take charge of the treatment”, Lionel Messi related in 2019 to Fox Sports.
Sadly, the pass could not be finalized. Newell’s refused to release him, even though they could not offer to cover his medical expenses.
“My old woman reneged and it was complicated at that time. My old man made a huge effort to pay for my treatment. In River they told me to take the pass, and when I went to Newell’s they took me shitting out. We fought and we fought, but the pass was never given to me. They never gave me the pass. Then everything from Barcelona came out ”, added the striker.
Destiny by Lionel Messi in Barcelona it was written on a napkin
At the age of 12, measuring only 1.40 meters tall, Leo traveled to Barcelona with his father to test himself in the Camp Nou, headquarters of Barça. The former coach Josep Maria Minguellawho was an agent for soccer players, insisted that Carlos Rexach Y Joan Gaspart They saw the young promise.
After two weeks of examinations on the court, everything was clear. Rexach took Messi and his father to the club cafeteria to inform them that FC Barcelona decided to sign him and, as part of the contract, they would pay for her hormonal treatments.
At that time, on a napkin dated December 14, 2000, they drew up a draft of Messi’s first contract with the Blaugrana team. The Catalan club officially signed him on March 1 and the entire family left Rosario to move to Spain and support Leo.
‘La Pulga’ went through all of Barcelona’s minor leagues and in 2003 he joined the First Division team for the first time, during a friendly match. Shortly after turning 17, On October 16, 2004, he made his official debut with the Barcelona first teamalthough he entered the starting lineup until the 2006/2007 season.
The arrival of Pep Guardiola and the ‘boom’ of his career
Lionel Messi reached the pinnacle of success under the command of Josep ‘Pep’ Guardiolawho took over the reins of the team in May 2008. The new director made changes to the team, which included the departure of the Brazilian Ronaldinho, one of its biggest stars. Leo then received the number 10 jersey, which was proudly worn by his predecessor, friend and mentor.
Leo was a key player in one of the most invincible and iconic generations of Barça. Along with figures like Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta, Gerard Piqué Y Carles Puyolamong others, formed one of the best teams in history.
2009 was a particularly good year for the Catalan club and for the Argentine. As a team, they won six important titles: Champions League, European Super Cup, Club World Cup, Copa del Rey, League and Spanish Super Cup.
Leo was chosen as the best player in the Champions League and in September he became Barça’s highest paid footballer, although the figures and terms of the contract were not disclosed.
In December, at just 22 years old, Lionel Messi received his first Ballon d’Orrecognition awarded annually by the magazine French Football. That year, the Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo came in second, and since then they have been eternal rivals.
Lionel Messi and his time in five World Cups with the Argentine National Team
After migrating to Spain, the football idol never played for a team from his country again, at least until now. However, his undeniable qualities did not go unnoticed and he was summoned to join the Argentine National Teammaking his debut in 2005 with the albiceleste shirt.
Three years later, after a long and rough battle, FC Barcelona reached an agreement for the club to allow Messi to participate in the Olympic Games Beijing 2008. ‘La Pulga’ played 5 games in total, together with Argentine soccer promises such as Omen, gago Y mascherano. He also attended say mary to score the goal that gave them the gold medal in the final of the tournament.
Messi had his first participation in a FIFA Soccer World Cup in Germany 2006, where he played 3 games and scored his first World Cup goal. He was also called to South Africa 2010 by Diego Armando Maradonathen technical director of the National Team.
In Brazil 2014 he played captain of the team and they reached the final, where they lost to Germany. Still, he was named ‘Man of the Match’ in 4 matches and in the end received the ‘Golden Ball of the World Cup’, collect the COI. His fourth World Cup was Russia 2018where they only faced 4 games and were eliminated by France in the round of 16.
Lionel Messi is once again captain of the Argentina National Team in the World Cup in Qatar 2022his fifth participation in the FIFA tournament and possibly the last.
As we have seen, he himself has contemplated that any of his matches in this sports fair could mark his farewell. The sad thing is, if things don’t work out, the top scorer of the 21st century and one of the best soccer players in history, would retire without lifting the coveted trophy, the last milestone in his extraordinary career.
Mairem Del Rio Addicted to watching series and movies, doing (a little) exercise and changing my hair color. I am also a journalist, with more than 16 years of experience and dedicated 100% to digital media since 2011. I have been from a reporter and community manager, to an editor in various media and agencies. My areas of expertise are as diverse as they are contrasting: entertainment, travel, lifestyle, health, business, and finance. Now I am focused on the entrepreneurial ecosystem, cryptocurrencies, NFTs, metaverses and the promising cannabis industry in Mexico.