Lionel Messi was born on June 24, 1987 in Rosario, Argentina. Lionel Andres Messi is 27 years old and most people consider him to be the best soccer player of the decade. Other fans take it one step further and consider him as the best soccer player who has ever existed, being even better than Diego Maradona, Pele, Zinedine Zidane, and Cristiano Ronaldo.
His personal and team awards speak for him as blatant forms of accomplishments. Messi has won the FIFA Ballon d’Or award four years in a row, which is the ultimate individual award for any soccer player to win. Messi is not only a great player with his team, Barcelona, but he has won various awards alone like: the Liga (Spanish championship, the UEFA Champions League, the Copa Del Rey (the Spanish cup), the Supercopas (winner of the cup versus the winner of the championship), the Club World cup (Winners of all the Super cup of the different continents), and the UEFA super cup (Champions Leagues winner against the UEFA Europa Leagues).
This article is not about judging who the best soccer player is. This article is simply about interesting, surprising facts that many people probably didn’t know about this talented and admired player.
10. Messi’s Rise To Fame Isn’t What You Think
It is said that Messi went to Barcelona because he needed a special hormonal treatment, but this treatment was actually paid entirely by the Argentinian social security. The people that made Messi sign with Barcelona are Soldini and Montero, who are agents for other soccer players. However, people rarely hear about them because Messi cut them loose.
In fact, nowadays Messi is one of the most paid sportsmen in the world and fighting for first place on the soccer field against Cristiano Ronaldo, but those original people who made him play for Barcelona are now forgotten by Messi. Actually, Soldini and Montero who arranged the Messi’s signature with Barcelona at age thirteen, who paid for all the trips and hotels before the signature, are suing Messi because they never received a dime for their collaboration in the affair.
9. Messi Was Recruited By Barcelona Because Of A Video
Soldini, the agent mentioned above, came to Messi, gave him oranges and tennis balls and told him that in a week he would come back and record him. In the video, Messi juggled the oranges with his feet around 113 consecutive times and the tennis balls around 120 times. Following that recording, the agent sent the video to Barcelona. Barcelona asked the agent to bring Messi in as soon as possible and the coach at the time, signed an agreement of transfer on a paper towel. The story says that this coach had to fight in order to sign the youngster because of the financial trouble Barcelona was in at the time.
8. Messi Only Speaks Catalan When He Is Drunk
Even if Messi arrived in Barcelona at 13 years old, he does not speak the language very often. He has actually kept his Argentinian accent. The only time, he is recorded to have spoken Catalan is when Barcelona was celebrating the championship and he was supposedly drunk.
7. His Love For His Family And Country Is Endless
People could have thought that because he arrived in Spain at 13 years old, he was likely to have forgotten his home country. At a young age, the Spanish national team wanted him to play for them, yet he never wanted to. His country and family are very dear to Messi. In fact, he dedicates all of his goals to his dead grandmother by pointing a finger up to the sky in her honor. He still speaks about her a lot even though she passed away when he was only ten years old. He is also very caring about his mother, whom he has a tattoo of on his left shoulder blade.
6. Leonel Mecci Is The Name He Had When Argentina Selected Him
Due to his early arrival in Spain, Messi was not well-known in Argentina because he played in a foreign country. The first notification he received to be part of the under 20 Argentinian national team, sent by the Argentinian soccer federation, was under the name of Leonel Mecci. He was the only player who played outside of Argentina in the team, and was very proud to be part of it.
5. Messi Loves To Drink Coca-Cola
Messi is a gifted and hard-working player, but his cooperation with Pep Guardiola, the ex coach of Barcelona, is what made him become the superstar he is now. Guardiola assigned a physiotherapist to Messi, Juanjau Brau, and removed all of the soda machines in La Masia (the training center of Barcelona). So Messi’s favorite drink, coca-cola (even if he has a contract with Pepsi now), was no longer available to him.
4. Messi is Asocial
It is true that Messi is a discrete guy, lots of people have commented that in the locker room he is not much of a talker. However, he doesn’t like to be in someone elses light. Barcelona’s recruitment is always for players who can play with Messi, the others who don’t blend well with Messi are done away with like Ibrahimovic (who is now the star player of Paris Saint Germain). Eto’o, who scored the winning goal for Barcelona in the final of the champions league, also had to leave due to social issues with Messi. It is said that Messi even sent a text message to the coach at the time because he wanted Ibrahimovic traded.
3. “Inmessionante” Was Added To The Spanish Dictionary Which References Messi
In the Santinalla dictionary, the word “inmessionante” has recently been added. The actual definition is “1. Adjective which makes a reference to Lionel Messi, in his own way completed to play soccer, in his unlimited capacity to surpass itself. 2. An adjective to qualify the best soccer player of all time.” This creation has been pushed by the the head coach of Argentina and Pepsi, one of the sponsors for Messi.
2. Messi Is One Of The Few Players Who Doesn’t Have An Agent
In fact, the Messi family has created a company that takes care Messi’s image. His father and his older brother are the ones who take care of the company. They hired Pablo Negre, a consultant in sports marketing, to take care of the communication around and involving Messi.
1. Messi Can Sleep More Than 12 Hours Per Day
The young Messi had to sleep a lot when he was receiving the hormonal treatments because during his sleep, his cells regenerated. However, nowadays he plays soccer, eats, play video games and sleeps. His half-sister says “he is happy when he sleeps but when you ask him to get up, he gets annoyed, even going for a walk is tiresome”. Others have reported that the beloved soccer player loves to sleep. At one point it even becomes a source of worry inside Barcelona’s structure and a report has been made in 2002 concerning the issue.