A year and four days had passed. The glory, tears, and beauty of the recent World Cup were still fresh. Argentina had recently won their second World Cup on the foot of the greatest soccer player at the time, Diego Armando Maradona Franco. In Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina a small town of hard working and happy families a new light in Argentina was born. Leonel Andres Messi was born on June, 24, 1987. Little does the Messi family know that they have just given birth to the new hope for Argentinians. From his birth to five years Leo was a smiling and happy kid until he found a soccer ball. From that point on, thanks to his grandmother’s insistence and support, Leo fell in love with the game. Messi has become up to date the greatest player alive (with the apologies to Cristiano Ronaldo) he has become the true image of the game, simplicity and excellence. Messi represents much more; it reminds everyone it’s not about the business of the game is about the love to the game. His shyness and humbleness shows us that he is just a kid having fun the ball; these qualities inspire every kid in the world.
Any ordinary family lives with its defects. The Messi family noticed that Leo wasn’t growing at the same speed as other kids his age. The diagnosis: growth hormone deficiency. The explanation: “The glands aren’t making any growth hormone,” says Schwarsztein, the doctor who diagnosed Messi (Caioli 42). Messi had a difficult childhood, the treatment was expensive and his family could not afford it, Newell’s Old Boys Messi’s base football club close the door on the the young promising football player. They stopped paying for his treatment. Then came FC Barcelona who open their doors and gave the young player a chance and took care of the expenses of his growth treatment. “At first we thought he was mute,” says Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas, who was his team-mate at the time. “Then, thanks to PlayStation and a trip to Italy, we discovered that he knew how to talk.” (Caioli 66). Dealing with his growth problem was not all, Leo is really shy and due to his shyness he had trouble interacting with his team-mates. “Because he wasn’t timid at all on the pitch,” says Vilanova(Former FC Barcelona Coach). “When he played it was like watching Maradona when he was his age.” (Caioli 67) In the pitch Leo transformed, he became a leader in the pitch and a great interacting team-mate. Thanks to football he was able to overcome the barriers of his shyness and interact more with his team-mates.
Ever since his debut as a professional football player Messi has only had success in his mind, He got a few major and minor injuries, but that was not enough to stop who was about to become the greatest football player on earth. Messi made his official debut for FC Barcelona as a reserve player in 2004 when he was just 17 years old. In 2005 he scored his first official goal, making him the youngest player ever to score for the team in a league game to that date (“Lionel Messi”). Then came a short period of time in which Messi emulated Maradonas’s most famous goals of all time, the ones he scored against England in the 1986 World Cup. Time passed and people stopped comparing Leo with Maradona instead, they started calling him the Messiah. In Argentina few knew about him and few liked him as much as they liked the other players who had played in Argentine football, the reason being that Leo didn’t play in Argentina. They felt he did not give a hundred percent in every International Game he played. Leo came from Spain he came formed as a footballer under FC Barcelona, he played different, he saw the game different, and people did not understand that at the time. Messi became committed with the national team by 2011 he became Argentina’s Captain. (“Lionel Messi”). Messi won the prestigious FIFA Ballon d’Or award in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 (“Lionel Messi”), making him the only player who has won them consecutively, and only with 25 years of age. He is now the maximum winner with four to his name. Messi has set the world record for goals in a single calendar year, with a grand total of 91, beating the previous all-time best 85 set in 1972 by Germany and Bayern’s Gert Müller. The Argentinian got 79 goals for Barça and another 12 for his national team (“Messi Ends”). He shatter a record that had been unbroken for over forty years, Messi has recently been called the devourer of records. Messi is just a humble boy enjoying the fun. He has never bragged or showed off his awards to make other players feel bad. He has always been a humble boy making it big.
Outside the field Messi is a family man. He has his family to help him and provides him with support. He has recently become the father to his first newborn Thiago Messi, his new love apart from his girlfriend and the love he has for the game. Messi is associated with many of good deeds towards the less fortunate and needy, like he was one day. Leo Messi Foundation has originated as an initiative of Lionel Messi with the support of all his family and with the idea that all children have the same opportunities for making their dreams come true. These are the basics that motivate Leo Messi Foundation. Since 2007, the Foundation has been working in a tireless way on carrying out its Mission. The mission is to act in favor of kids and adolescents who are in a risky situation. The prospects are: to work on actions, not only in Argentina, but also abroad and together with other institutions which develop projects in alignment with the ideals of the Foundation (“Fundacion Leo”). Messi has also been a Goodwill Ambassador for Unicef since 2010 (“Lionel Messi”). He has become the ambassador in many events and friendly matches for the benefits of The Leo Messi Foundation and the Unicef Foundation. He has become the image of countless brands but his most admirable action outside the field is his charity work.
Around the world Lionel Andres Messi is either loved or hated. One thing anyone can’t disagree with his skills. The best football player in the world right now is however the most humble and shy kid who dreamed of making it, and ended up making history. His charity work his humble attitude towards his fans and his personality is probably what calls the attention the most. Many say he puts an act to appear humble so he can hog all the awards. He replies by simply outstepping his previous performances, by doing the unbelievable every single game. The love he has for his family, his club team and the national team is admirable. His dedication to what he does is indeed his most outstanding quality. Fans are witnessing history in the making every time he steps out in the field, in a few years after his retirement the achievements will be even bigger. The World Cup is coming this summer and we all expect a phenomenal Messi taking the biggest football trophy home with Argentina.
Caioli, L. Messi: The inside Story of the Boy Who Became a Legend. London: Corinthian, 2012.
“Lionel Messi.” Gale Biography in Context. Detroit: Gale, 2011. Biography In Context. Web. 7
“Messi Ends 2012 with 91 Goals.” Official FC Barcelona Web Site. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Oct.
“Fundacion Leo Messi.” Fundacion Leo Messi. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Oct. 2013