Meet Lionel Messi, Argentinian Superstar Ahead of His Final World Cup


Lionel Messi is regarded as one of the greatest soccer players of all time.

The 35-year-old from Argentina holds the national record for appearances and is also the country’s leader in scored goals of all time, however, Messi announced in October that the 2022 World Cup will be the last of his career.

Besides Messi’s decorated career, he is also known for his accomplishments off the field.

Ahead of Argentina’s first match at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, here’s everything you need to know about the soccer star:

Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency

When Messi was 11, he was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency, and his doctor predicted he would grow to 4 feet 7 inches tall without intervention.

FC Barcelona signed him when he was 13, and they paid for his hormone treatments, which cost $900 per month.

Messi set the world record for goals in 2012

In a single calendar year, Messi set the world record for goals with 91 total in 2012.

The soccer star is also the all-time leading scorer of FC Barcelona and La Liga, the Spanish soccer league.

He was the winner of the Ballon d’Or, or football player of the year, a record seven times and a record four consecutive years (2009-2012) and again in 2015, 2019 and 2021.

Messi is married to Antonella Roccuzzo and they have three kids together

Messi and Roccuzzo have been in a relationship since 2008 and got married in 2017. 

Roccuzzo is the cousin of Messi’s childhood friend, and the pair have known each other since they were five.

The couple have three sons together, Mateo, Thiago and Circo.

Messi was charged with a 21-month prison sentence that was later changed to a fine

Messi and his father Jorge were found guilty of defrauding Spain of $4.68 million from image rights between 2007 and 2009.

Instead of serving the prison sentence, Messi had to pay $404.59 for every day of the 21-month sentence, totaling $288,000.

His father’s 15-month sentence was lifted with a $182,015 fine.

Messi points to sky when he scores to honor late grandmother

There’s a touching reason Messi points his fingers to the sky almost every time he scores.

The celebration is to honor his grandmother, Celia, who passed away in 1998.

“I am doing this because I dedicate my goals to my grandmother. She took me to football but now she can’t see how far I have come. Nevertheless, she continues to help me and my family,” Messi said a few years ago.

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