Lionel Andrés “Leo” Messi, was born June 24th, 1987 in Rosario, Argentina. He is an Argentine professional soccer player who plays as a forward and or mid-forward for La Liga’s Spanish club FC Barcelona and the Argentina national team. Considered as the best player in the world and rated by many in the sport as the greatest of all time, Lionel Messi is the only soccer player in history to win the FIFA World Player of the Year/FIFA Ballon d’Or 5 times, 4 of which he won consecutively, and the first player to win 3 European Golden Shoes. With FC Barcelona he has won 10 La Liga titles and 4 UEFA Champions League titles, as well as 6 Copa del Rey titles. A prolific goalscorer, Lionel Messi holds the records for most goals scored in La Liga, a La Liga season (50), a calendar year (91), a single season (73), a Champions League match (5), and most Champions League seasons (5).
Born and raised in Rosario, Argentina, Lionel Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency as a child. At the age of 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, Lionel Messi made his competitive debut at the age of 17 in October 2004. Despite being injury-prone during his early career, he established himself as an integral player for the club within the next 3 years, finishing 2007 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 campaign came in the 2008–09 season, during which he helped FC Barcelona achieve the first treble in Spanish soccer. At 22 years old, Lionel Messi won the Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year award by record voting margins.