He has scored over senior career goals for club and country. Born and raised in central Argentina, Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency as a child. At age 13, he relocated to Spain to join Barcelona, who agreed to pay for his medical treatment. After a fast progression through Barcelona's youth academy, Messi made his competitive debut aged 17 in October Despite being injury-prone during his early career, he established himself as an integral player for the club within the next three years, finishing as a finalist for both the Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year award, a feat he repeated the following year.
His first uninterrupted season was —09, during which he helped Barcelona achieve the first treble in Spanish football. During the —12 codings da alcool in Donetskhe set the La Liga and European records for most goals scored in a single season, while establishing himself as Barcelona's all-time top scorer in official competitions in March The following two seasons, Messi finished twice second for the Ballon d'Or behind Cristiano Ronaldohis perceived career rival.
Messi regained his best form during the —15 campaign, breaking the codings da alcool in Donetsk goalscoring records in both La Liga and the Champions League in November[note 3] and leading Barcelona to a historic second treble. An Argentine international, Messi is his country's all-time leading goalscorer. His style of play as a diminutive, left-footed dribbler drew comparisons with his compatriot Diego Maradonawho described Messi as his successor. After his senior debut in AugustMessi became the youngest Argentine to play and score in a FIFA World Cup during the editionand reached the final of the Copa Américawhere he was named young player of the tournament.
After announcing his international retirement inhe reversed his decision and led his country to qualification for the FIFA World Cupand a third-place finish at the Copa América.
According to France FootballMessi was the world's highest-paid footballer for five years out of six between andand was ranked the world's highest-paid athlete by Forbes in He codings da alcool in Donetsk among Time 's most influential people in the world in and One of the most famous athletes in codings da alcool in Donetsk world, Messi has been sponsored by sportswear company Adidas since and has established himself as their leading brand endorser.
Lionel Andrés Messi was born on 24 June in Rosariothe third of the four children of Jorge Messi, a steel factory manager, and his wife Celia Cuccittini, who worked in a magnet manufacturing workshop. On his father's side, he is of Italian and Spanish descent, the great-grandson of immigrants codings da alcool in Donetsk the northcentral Adriatic Marche region of Italy and Cataloniaand on his mother's side, he has primarily Italian ancestry.
During the six years he played for Newell's, he scored almost goals as a member of "The Machine of '87", the near-unbeatable youth side named for the year of their birth, and regularly entertained crowds by performing ball tricks during half-time of the first team's home games.
As the Messi family had relatives in Catalonia, they sought to arrange a trial with Barcelona in September First team director Charly Rexach immediately wanted to sign him, but the board of directors hesitated; at the time it was highly unusual for European clubs to sign foreign players of such a young age. On 14 December, an ultimatum was issued for Barcelona to prove their commitment, and Rexach, with no other paper at hand, offered a contract on a paper napkin.
During his first year in Spain, Messi rarely played with the Infantiles due to a transfer conflict with Newell's; as a foreigner, he could only be fielded in friendlies and the Catalan league. Without football, he struggled to integrate into the team; already reserved by nature, he was so quiet that his teammates initially believed he was mute. At home, he suffered from homesickness after his codings da alcool in Donetsk moved back to Rosario with his brothers and little sister, María Sol, while he stayed in Barcelona with his father.
Now codings da alcool in Donetsk in all competitions, he befriended his teammates, among whom were Cesc Fàbregas and Gerard Piqué. During his first full season —03he was top scorer with 36 goals in 30 games for the Cadetes A, who won an unprecedented treble of the league and both the Spanish and Catalan cups. A week after suffering a broken cheekbone during a league match, Messi was allowed to start the game on the condition that he wear a plastic protector; soon hindered by the mask, he took it off and scored two goals in 10 minutes before codings da alcool in Donetsk substitution.
During the —04 seasonhis fourth with Barcelona, Messi rapidly progressed through the club's ranks, debuting for a record five teams in a single campaign.
After being named player of the tournament in four international pre-season competitions with the Juveniles B, he played only one official match with the team before being promoted to the Juveniles Awhere he scored 18 goals in 11 league games. French winger Ludovic Giuly explained how a teenage Leo caught the eye in a training session with Frank Rijkaard 's first team: "He destroyed us all They were kicking him all over the place to avoid being ridiculed by this kid, he just got up and kept on playing.
He would dribble past four players and score a goal. Even the team's starting centre-backs were nervous. He was an alien.
At 16 years, four months, and 23 days old, Messi made his first team debut when he came on in the 75th minute during a friendly against José Mourinho 's Porto on 16 November To gain further match experience, Messi joined Barcelona C in addition codings da alcool in Donetsk the Juveniles A, playing his first game for the third team codings da alcool in Donetsk 29 November.
He helped save them from the relegation zone of the Tercera Divisiónscoring five goals in codings da alcool in Donetsk games, including a hat-trick in eight minutes during a Copa del Rey match while man-marked by Sevilla 's Sergio Ramos. Towards the end of the season, he returned to both youth teams, helping the Juveniles B win the league. He finished the campaign having scored for four of his five teams with a total of 36 goals in all official competitions. During the —05 seasonMessi was a guaranteed starter for the B team, playing 17 games throughout the campaign and scoring on six occasions.
On 24 Junehis 18th birthday, Messi signed his first contract as a senior team player. A starter for the first time, he gave a well-received performance against Fabio Capello 's Juventusreceiving an ovation from the Camp Nou. Due to issues regarding his legal status in the Royal Spanish Football Federation, Messi missed the start of La Ligabut on 26 September, he acquired Spanish citizenship and became eligible to play. Messi worked to regain fitness in time for the Champions League finalbut on 17 May, the day of the final, he was eventually ruled out.
He was so disappointed that he did not celebrate his team's victory over Arsenal in Paris, something he later came to regret. While Barcelona began a gradual decline, the year-old Messi established himself as one of the best players in the world during the —07 campaign. Already frequently compared to compatriot Diego MaradonaMessi proved their similarity when he nearly replicated Maradona's two most famous goals in the span of three weeks.
After Ronaldinho lost form, Messi became Barça's new star player at only 20 years old, receiving the nickname "Messiah" from the Spanish media. Rijkaard had fielded him despite warning from the medical staff, leading captain Carles Puyol to criticise the Spanish media for pressuring Messi to play every match. After two unsuccessful seasons, Barcelona were in need of an overhaul, leading to the departure of Rijkaard and Ronaldinho. Upon the latter's departure, Messi was given the number 10 shirt.
To combat the problem, the club implemented new training, nutrition, and lifestyle regimens, and assigned him a personal physiotherapist, who would travel with him during call-ups for the Argentina national team. As a result, Messi remained virtually injury-free during the next four years, allowing him codings da alcool in Donetsk reach his full potential. In his first uninterrupted campaign, the —09 seasonhe scored 38 goals in 51 games, contributing alongside Eto'o and winger Thierry Henry to a total of goals in all competitions, a record at the time for the club.
During his first season under Barcelona's new manager, former captain Pep GuardiolaMessi played mainly on the right wing, like he had under Rijkaard, though this time as a false winger with the freedom to cut inside and roam the centre. He assisted his side's first goal and scored twice to end the match in an emphatic 6—2 victory, the team's greatest-ever score at Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.
As the season's Champions League top scorer with nine goals, the youngest in the tournament's history,  Messi scored two goals and assisted two more to ensure a 4—0 quarter-final victory over Bayern Munich. Barcelona were crowned champions of Europe codings da alcool in Donetsk winning the match 2—0, the second goal coming from a Messi header over goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar.
Barcelona thus achieved the first treble in the history of Spanish football. Unsatisfied with his position on the right wing, Messi resumed playing as a false nine in earlybeginning with a Champions League last round match against VfB Stuttgart. After a first-leg draw, Barcelona won the second leg 4—0 with two goals and an assist from Messi.
At that point, he effectively became the tactical focal point of Guardiola's team, and his goalscoring rate increased. Messi secured Barcelona's first trophy of the —11 campaignthe Supercopa de España, by scoring a hat-trick in his side's second-leg 4—0 victory over Sevilla, after a first-leg defeat.
A league match on 16 April ended in a draw after a penalty from Messi. After Barcelona lost the Copa del Rey final four days later, Messi scored both goals in his side's 2—0 win in the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals in Madrid, the second of which — a slaloming dribble past three Real players — was acclaimed as one of the best ever in the competition. As the competition's top scorer for the third consecutive year, with 12 goals, Messi gave a man-of-the-match performance at Wembley on 28 May, scoring the match-winning goal of Barça's 3—1 victory.
In addition to his 31 goals, Messi was also the league's top assist provider with As Messi developed into a combination of a number 8 a creatora 9 scorerand a 10 assistant he scored an unprecedented 73 goals and provided 29 assists in all club competitions during the —12 seasonproducing a hat-trick or more on 10 occasions. As Messi maintained his goalscoring form into the second half of the season, the year saw him break several longstanding records.
On 7 March, two weeks after scoring four goals in a league fixture against Valenciahe scored five times in a Champions League last round match against Bayer Leverkusenan unprecedented achievement in the history of codings da alcool in Donetsk competition.
Despite Messi's individual form, Barcelona's four-year cycle of success under Guardiola — one codings da alcool in Donetsk the greatest eras in the club's history — drew to an end.
Under manager Tito Vilanovawho had first coached him aged 14 at Codings da alcool in Donetsk MasiaMessi helped the club achieve its best-ever start to a La Liga season during the second half ofamassing 55 points by the competition's midway point, a record in Spanish football. Barcelona had virtually secured their La Liga title by the start ofeventually equalling Real Madrid's point record of the previous season. However, their performances deteriorated in the second half of the —13 campaignconcurrently with Vilanova's absence due to ill health.
After four largely injury-free seasons, the muscular injuries that had previously plagued Messi reoccurred. Codings da alcool in Donetsk he suffered a hamstring strain on 2 April, during the first quarter-final against Paris Saint-Germainhis appearances became sporadic.
In the second leg against PSG, with an underperforming Barcelona down a goal, Messi came off the bench in the second half and within nine minutes helped create their game-tying goal, which allowed them to progress to the semi-finals. Still unfit, he proved ineffective during the first leg against Bayern Munich and was unable to play at all during the second, as Barcelona were defeated 7—0 on aggregate by the eventual champions.
Messi continued to struggle with injury throughouteventually parting ways with his long-time personal physiotherapist. During the second half of the —14 season, doubts persisted over Messi's form, leading to a perception among the culés that he was reserving himself for the FIFA World Cup. Statistically, his contribution of goals, shots, and passes had dropped significantly compared to previous seasons.
Under new manager and former captain Luis EnriqueMessi experienced a largely injury-free start to the —15 seasonallowing him to break three more longstanding records towards the end of the year. At the start ofBarcelona were perceived to be headed for another disappointing end to codings da alcool in Donetsk season, with renewed speculation in the media that Messi was leaving the club.
Towards the end of the campaign, Messi scored in a 1—0 away win over Atlético Madrid on 17 May, securing the La Liga title. His opening goal was hailed as one of the greatest in his career; he collected the ball near the halfway line and beat four codings da alcool in Donetsk players, before feinting the goalkeeper to score in a tight space by the near post.
In the Champions LeagueMessi scored twice and assisted on another in their 3—0 semi-final victory over Bayern Munich, now under the stewardship of Guardiola. Some saw it as "a touch of genius", while others criticised it as being disrespectful to the opponent. The Celta players never complained and their coach defended the penalty, stating, "Barca's forwards are very respectful.
Cruyff himself was "very happy" with the play, insisting "it was legal and entertaining". On 17 February, Messi reached his codings da alcool in Donetsk league goal in a 1—3 away win against Sporting de Gijón.
Messi opened the —17 season codings da alcool in Donetsk lifting the Supercopa de España as Barcelona's captain in the absence of the injured Andrés Iniesta;  he set-up Munir 's goal in a 2—0 away win over Sevilla in the first leg on 14 August,  and subsequently scored and assisted in a 3—0 win in the return leg on 17 August.
A week later, Messi sustained a groin injury in a 1—1 draw against Atlético Madrid and was ruled out with injury for three weeks. On 4 FebruaryMessi scored his 27th free-kick for Barcelona in codings da alcool in Donetsk 3—0 home win over Athletic Bilbao in the league, overtaking Koeman as the club's all-time top-scorer from free-kicks.
His game-winning goal in stoppage codings da alcool in Donetsk was codings da alcool in Donetsk th for Barcelona. Messi opened the —18 season by converting a penalty in Barcelona's 1—3 first leg home defeat to Real Madrid in Supercopa de España.
On 4 March, he scored his th senior career goal from a free kick in a 1—0 home codings da alcool in Donetsk over Atlético Madrid, in La Liga. With the departure of former captain Andrés Iniesta in MayMessi was named the team's new captain for the following season. On 19 August, Messi scored twice in helping Barcelona defeat Alavés 3—0 in their first La Liga match of the seasonwith his first goal, a free kick that he rolled under the jumping Alavés wall, making history in being Barcelona's th goal in La Liga.