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Lionel Messi
Messi playing for Barcelona at the 2011 FIFA Club
World Cup
Personal information
Full name Lionel Andrs Messi
[1]
Date of birth 24 June 1987
[1]
Place of birth Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina
[1]
Height 1.69 m (5 ft 7 in)
[1]
Playing position Forward
Club information
Current team Barcelona
Number 10
Youth career
19952000 Newell's Old Boys
20002003 Barcelona
Senior career*
Years Team Apps

(Gls)

20032004 Barcelona C 10 (5)


20042005 Barcelona B 22 (6)
2004 Barcelona 277 (243)
National team
20042005 Argentina U20 18 (14)
20072008 Argentina U23 5 (2)
2005 Argentina 92 (42)
Lionel Messi
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Lionel Andrs "Leo" Messi (Spanish pronunciation: [ljo
nel andes mesi] ( ); born 24 June 1987) is an
Argentine footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish
club FC Barcelona and the Argentina national team. He
serves as the captain of his country's national football
team.
By the age of 21, Messi had received Ballon d'Or and
FIFA World Player of the Year nominations. The
following year, in 2009, he won his first Ballon d'Or and
FIFA World Player of the Year awards. He followed this
up by winning the inaugural FIFA Ballon d'Or in 2010,
and then again in 2011 and 2012. He also won the 2010
11 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award. At the age of
24, Messi became Barcelona's all-time top scorer in all
official club competitions. At age 25, Messi became the
youngest player to score 200 goals in La Liga.
Commonly ranked as the best player in the world and
rated by some in the sport as the greatest of all
time,
[2][3][4][5][6][7]
Messi is the first football player in
history to win four FIFA/Ballons d'Or, all of which he
won consecutively, as well as the first to win three
European Golden Shoe awards. With Barcelona, Messi
has won six La Ligas, two Copas del Rey, six
Supercopas de Espaa, three UEFA Champions
Leagues, two UEFA Super Cups and two Club World
Cups.
Messi is the first and only player to top-score in four
consecutive Champions League campaigns, and also
holds the record for the most hat-tricks scored (4) in the
competition. In March 2012, Messi made Champions
League history by becoming the first player to score five
goals in one match. He also matched Jos Altafini's
record of 14 goals in a single Champions League season.
Messi set the European record for most goals scored in a
season during the 201112 season, with 73 goals. In the
same season, he set the current goalscoring record in a
single La Liga season, scoring 50 goals. Also in that
season, Messi became the first player ever to score and
assist in six different official competitions in one season.
On 16 February 2013, Messi scored his 300th Barcelona
goal. On 30 March 2013, Messi scored in his 19th
consecutive La Liga game, becoming the first footballer in
history to net in consecutive matches against every team in
a professional football league. He extended his record
Honours
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Competitor for Argentina
Men's Football
Olympic Games
Gold 2008 Beijing Olympic Team
Copa Amrica
Runner-up 2007 Venezuela Team
FIFA U-20 World Cup
Winner 2005 Netherlands U-20 Team
U-20 South American Championship
Third 2005 Colombia U-20 Team
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the
domestic league only and correct as of 01:38, 17 May
2014 (UTC).
Appearances (Goals).
National team caps and goals correct as of 9 July
2014
scoring streak to 21 consecutive league matches, and the
run came to a halt only when he sustained a hamstring
injury. In March 2014, with a hat-trick against Real
Madrid, Messi became the player with the most goals and
most hat-tricks in the history of El Clsico.
Messi helped Argentina win the 2005 FIFA U-20 World
Cup, finishing as both the best player and the top scorer
(with 6 goals). In 2006, he became the youngest
Argentine to play and score in the FIFA World Cup, and
won a runners-up medal at the Copa Amrica in 2007, in
which he was named young player of the tournament. In
2008, he won an Olympic Gold Medal with the Argentina
Olympic football team. In 2013, SportsPro rated him the
second-most marketable athlete in the world.
[8]
His
playing style and stature have drawn comparisons to
compatriot Diego Maradona, who himself declared Messi
his "successor".
[9]
Contents
1 Early life
2 Club career
2.1 Barcelona
2.1.1 200506 season
2.1.2 200607 season
2.1.3 200708 season
2.1.4 200809 season
2.1.5 200910 season
2.1.6 201011 season
2.1.7 201112 season
2.1.8 201213 season
2.1.9 201314 season
3 International career
3.1 2006 World Cup
3.2 2007 Copa Amrica
3.3 2008 Summer Olympics
3.4 2010 World Cup qualification
3.5 2010 World Cup
3.6 2011 Copa Amrica
3.7 2014 World Cup qualification
3.8 2014 World Cup
Honours
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4 Style of play
5 Outside football
5.1 Personal life
5.2 Charity
5.3 Wealth
5.4 Salary
5.5 Sponsorships
5.6 Media
6 Career statistics
6.1 Club
6.2 International
6.2.1 International appearances
6.2.2 International goals
7 Honours
7.1 Barcelona
7.2 Argentina
7.3 Individual
7.4 Records
7.4.1 World
7.4.2 Europe
7.4.3 Argentina
7.4.4 Spain
7.4.5 Barcelona
8 See also
9 References
10 External links
Early life
Messi was born in Rosario, Santa Fe Province, to parents Jorge Horcio Messi, a factory steel worker, and
Celia Mara Cuccittini, a part-time cleaner.
[10][11][12][13]
His paternal family originates from the Italian city of
Ancona, from where his ancestor, Angelo Messi, emigrated to Argentina in 1883.
[14][15]
He has two older
brothers, Rodrigo and Matas, and a sister, Mara Sol.
[16]
At the age of five, Messi started playing football for
Grandoli, a local club coached by his father Jorge.
[17]
In 1995, Messi switched to Newell's Old Boys who were
based in his home city Rosario.
[17]
He became part of a local youth powerhouse that lost only one match in the
next four years and became locally known as "The Machine of '87", from the year of their birth.
[18]
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Diego Maradona on the 18-year-old
Messi, February 2006.
[32]
At the age of 11, Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency.
[19]
Local team River Plate showed
interest in Messi's progress, but were not willing to pay for treatment for his condition, which cost $900 a
month.
[13]
Carles Rexach, the sporting director of FC Barcelona, was made aware of his talent as Messi had
relatives in Lleida in western Catalonia, and Messi and his father were able to arrange a trial with the team.
[13]
Rexach, with no other paper at hand, offered Messi a contract written on a paper napkin.
[20][21]
Barcelona
offered to pay Messi's medical bills on the condition that he moved to Spain. Messi and his father duly moved to
Barcelona, where Messi enrolled in the club's youth academy.
[17][21]
Club career
Barcelona
Messi played in Barcelona's junior Infantil B and Cadete B & A teams from 2000 to 2003 (scoring 37 goals in
30 matches in Cadete A). He was nearly released from the club in 2003 because of financial constraints, but his
youth coaches convinced management to keep him (Cesc Fabregas was released during this purge).
[22]
Season
200304 saw him on a record five different teams:
[23]
He started one match in Juvenil B (one goal) and got
promoted to Juvenil A (14 matches, 21 goals). Later, he debuted for the FC Barcelona C team (Tercera
Divisin) on 29 November 2003 and for FC Barcelona B (Segunda Divisin B) on 6 March 2004. He played
for both teams during the season (10 matches, five goals and five matches, zero goals, respectively).
[24][25][26]
Even before these two debuts, Messi made his official debut for the first-team on 16 November 2003 aged 16
years and 145 days, in a friendly match against Porto.
[27][28]
Less than a year after his start, Frank Rijkaard gave him his league debut against RCD Espanyol on 16 October
2004 (at 17 years and 114 days), becoming the third-youngest player ever to play for Barcelona and youngest
club player to play in La Liga, which would be broken by Bojan Krki in September 2007. When he scored his
first senior goal for the club against Albacete Balompi on 1 May 2005, Messi was 17 years, ten months and
seven days old, becoming the youngest to ever score in a La Liga game for Barcelona
[29]
until the record was
broken by Bojan Krki in 2007, scoring from a Messi assist.
[30]
Messi said about his ex-coach Rijkaard: "I'll
never forget the fact that he launched my career, that he had confidence in me while I was only sixteen or
seventeen."
[31]
During the season, Messi played also in Barcelona B (Segunda Divisin B) scoring 6 goals in 17
matches.
200506 season
On 16 September, for the second time in three months, Barcelona
announced an update to Messi's contract; this time it was improved
to pay him as a first team member and extended until June 2014.
[17]
Messi obtained Spanish citizenship on 26 September 2005
[33]
and
was finally able to make his debut in the season's Spanish First
Division. Messi's first home outing in the Champions League came on
27 September against Italian club Udinese.
[27]
Fans at Barcelona's
stadium, the Camp Nou, gave Messi a standing ovation upon his
substitution, as his composure on the ball and passing combinations with Ronaldinho had paid dividends for
Barcelona.
[34]
I have seen the player who
will inherit my place in
Argentinian football and his
name is Messi.

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Messi in a match against Rangers in
2007
Messi shortly before scoring a goal
against Getafe
Messi netted six goals in 17 league appearances, and scored one Champions League goal in six. His season
ended prematurely on 7 March 2006, however, when he suffered a muscle tear in his right thigh during the
second leg of the second round Champions League tie against Chelsea.
[35]
Rijkaard's Barcelona ended the
season as champions of Spain and Europe.
[36][37]
200607 season
In the 200607 season, Messi established himself as a regular first
team player, scoring 14 times in 26 matches.
[38]
On 12 November, in
the game against Real Zaragoza, Messi suffered a broken metatarsal,
ruling him out for three months.
[39][40]
On 10 March, El Clsico saw
Messi in top form, scoring a hat-trick to earn 10-man Barcelona a 3
3 draw, equalising three times, with the final equaliser coming in injury
time.
[41]
In doing so he became the first player since Ivn Zamorano
(for Real Madrid in the 199495 season) to score a hat-trick in El
Clsico.
[42]
Messi is also the youngest player ever to have scored in
this fixture. Towards the end of the season he began finding the net
more often; 11 of his 14 league goals for the season came from the last 13 games.
[43]
Regularly compared to Maradona, Messi proved the comparison was
not all hype by nearly replicating the former player's most famous
goals in the space of the single season.
[44]
On 18 April 2007, he
scored two goals during a 2006-07 Copa del Rey semi-final against
Getafe CF, one of which was very similar to Maradona's famous goal
against England at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, known as the
Goal of the Century.
[45]
The world's sports press drew comparisons
with Maradona, and the Spanish press labelled Messi as
"Messidona".
[46]
He ran about the same distance, 62 metres (203 ft),
beat the same number of players (six, including the goalkeeper),
scored from a very similar position, and ran towards the corner flag
just as Maradona did in Mexico 21 years before.
[44]
In a press conference after the game, Messi's team-mate
Deco said: "It was the best goal I have ever seen in my life."
[47]
Against RCD Espanyol Messi also scored a
goal which was remarkably similar to Maradona's 'Hand of God' goal against England in the World Cup
quarter-finals. Messi launched himself at the ball and connected with his hand to guide the ball past the
goalkeeper Carlos Kameni.
[48]
Despite protests by Espanyol players and replays showing it was clear handball,
the goal stood.
[48]
During his time at FC Barcelona, manager Frank Rijkaard decided to move Messi from the
left flank onto the right wing, initially against the player's wishes, allowing him to cut into the centre of the pitch
and shoot or cross with his left foot.
[49]
200708 season
Messi was nominated for a FIFPro World XI Player Award under the category of Forward.
[50]
A poll
conducted in the online edition of the Spanish newspaper Marca had him as the best player in the world with 77
percent of the vote.
[51]
Columnists from Barcelona-based newspapers El Mundo Deportivo and Sport stated
that the Ballon d'Or should be given to Messi, a view supported by Franz Beckenbauer.
[52]
Football
personalities such as Francesco Totti have declared that they consider Messi to be one of the current best
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Messi takes Barcelona to 20
against Sevilla at Camp Nou
on 22 September 2007
Messi in action against Manchester
United in the 2009 UEFA Champions
League Final
footballers in the world.
[53]
Messi finished third in the 2007 Ballon d'Or, behind Kak and Cristiano Ronaldo,
and finished second in the 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year award, once again behind Kak. He also came
in third in the IFFHS World's Best Playmaker Award, once again behind Kak and Andrea Pirlo.
[54]
On 27 February, Messi played in his 100th official match for Barcelona against Valencia CF
[55]
but only a few
days later he was sidelined for six weeks following an injury on 4 March when
he suffered a muscle tear in his left thigh during a Champions League match
against Celtic FC. It was the fourth time in three seasons that Messi suffered
this type of injury.
[56]
Messi scored 6 goals and provided 1 assist during the
Champions League that season, as Barcelona were knocked out in the semi-
finals, to the eventual winners Manchester United. When the season was over
Messi had managed to score 16 goals and assisted 13 times in all
competitions.
200809 season
Upon Ronaldinho's departure from the club, Messi inherited his number 10
jersey. During this season he placed second in the 2008 FIFA World Player
of the Year awards with 678 points and third in the 2008 IFFHS World's
Best Playmaker Award for the second consecutive year.
[57]
Messi scored his first hat-trick of 2009 in a Copa del Rey tie against
Atltico Madrid which Barcelona won 31.
[58]
Messi scored another
important double on 1 February 2009, coming on as a second half
substitute to help Barcelona defeat Racing Santander 12 after being
10 down. The second of the two strikes was Barcelona's 5000th
league goal.
[59]
On 8 April 2009, he scored twice against Bayern
Munich in the Champions League, setting a personal record of eight
goals in the competition.
[60]
As Barcelona's season was drawing to a close, Messi scored twice
(his 35th and 36th goals in all competitions) to cap a 62 win over
Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabu
[61]
in what was Real's heaviest
defeat since 1930. He won his first Copa del Rey on 13 May, scoring one goal and assisting another two, in a
41 victory over Athletic Bilbao.
[62]
He helped his team win the double by winning La Liga. On 27 May he
helped Barcelona win the Champions League by scoring a second goal in the 70th minute giving Barcelona a
two goal lead; he also became the top scorer in the Champions League, the youngest in the tournament's history,
with nine goals.
[63]
Messi also won the UEFA Club Forward of the Year and the UEFA Club Footballer of the
Year rounding off a spectacular year in Europe.
[64]
Barcelona had won the Copa del Rey, La Liga and
Champions League in one season;
[65]
it was the first time a Spanish club had ever won the treble.
[66]
Messi
finished the season with 38 goals and 18 assists in all competitions.
200910 season
After winning the 2009 UEFA Super Cup, Barcelona manager Pep
Guardiola asserted that Messi was probably the best player he had
ever seen.
[68]
This would also be the season in which Guardiola
Once he's on a run with the
ball he's unstoppable[...]
He's [like] a PlayStation. He

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Arsenal manager Arsne Wenger,
after Barcelona defeated Arsenal 41, 6
April 2010
[67]
Messi at the 2009 FIFA Club World
Cup
Former Barcelona manager Pep
Guardiola.
[90]
would first move Messi from the position of right winger into his now
iconic "false-9" role in the centre of the front line at Barcelona.
[69]
On
18 September, Messi signed a new contract with Barcelona, running
until 2016 and with a buy-out clause of 250 million included, making
Messi, then along with Zlatan Ibrahimovi, the highest paid players in
La Liga, with earnings of around 9.5 million yearly.
[70][71]
Messi was named winner of the 2009 Ballon d'Or on 1 December
2009, beating runner-up Cristiano Ronaldo by largest ever margin of
473 to 233.
[72][73][74]
He also placed 2nd in the 2009 IFFHS
World's Best Playmaker Award.
[75]
behind team mate Xavi.
On 19 December, Messi scored the winner in the final of the 2009
Club World Cup against Estudiantes in Abu Dhabi, giving the club
their sixth title of the year.
[76]
Two days later, he was given the FIFA
World Player of the Year award, beating Cristiano Ronaldo, Xavi,
Kak and Andrs Iniesta.
[77]
This was the first time he had won the
award, and he became the first Argentinian to ever receive this
honour.
[78]
On 10 January 2010, Messi scored his first hat-trick in 2010 and his first hat-trick of the season
against CD Tenerife in the 05 victory, and on 17 January he scored his 100th goal for the club in the 40
victory over Sevilla FC.
[79]
Messi scored a hat-trick against Valencia CF in a 30 home win,
[80]
and finally he scored another hat-trick
against Real Zaragoza in a 42 away win,
[81]
becoming the first Barcelona player to score back-to-back hat-
tricks in La Liga.
[82]
He played his 200th official match for Barcelona against CA Osasuna on 24 March
2010.
[83]
On 6 April 2010, for the first time in Messi's career he scored four goals in a single match, netting the lot in a 4
1 home win over Arsenal in the Champions League quarter-final second leg.
[84][85]
This also saw him overtake
Rivaldo as Barcelona's all time greatest scorer in the competition.
[86]
In the final league match of the season
against Valladolid, he scored two goals in the second half to tie Ronaldo's club record of 34 goals in a single
league season, set in 199697, and to finish four goals behind the all-time record held by Telmo Zarra.
[87]
He
was named La Liga player of the year for the second year in a row on 3 June 2010.
[88]
He finished the season
with 47 goals in all competitions, tying Ronaldo's record from the 199697 season, and he provided 11
assists.
[89]
201011 season
On 21 August 2010, Messi scored a hat-trick in his first start of the
season in a 40 victory over Sevilla FC in the Supercopa de Espaa,
helping Barcelona secure their first trophy of the season after a 13
first leg loss.
On 19 September 2010, Messi suffered an ankle injury due to an ill-
advised tackle by Atltico Madrid defender Tom Ujfalui in the
92nd minute of their Round 3 match at the Vicente Caldern
Stadium. At first sight it was feared that Messi suffered a broken
can take advantage of every
mistake we make.

I feel sorry for those who
want to compete for Messi's
throne its impossible,
this kid is unique.

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Messi playing against Real Madrid in a
Champions League match
ankle that could have kept the star player away from the pitch for a minimum of six months, but MRI performed
the next day in Barcelona showed he suffered a sprain in the internal and external ligaments of his right ankle.
[91]
Team-mate David Villa stated "the tackle on Messi was brutal" after watching the video of the play and also
added that he believed the Atltico defender "didn't go into the tackle to hurt".
[92]
The incident caused
widespread media attention and brought up the debate of equality in protecting all players in the game. Against
UD Almera Messi scored his second hat-trick of the season in an impressive 80 away win, the second of
which was his 100th La Liga goal.
[93]
Messi won the 2010 FIFA Ballon d'Or, beating his Barcelona
teammates Xavi and Iniesta.
[94]
Messi had been nominated for the
awards for the fourth consecutive year.
[95]
On 5 February, Barcelona
broke the record for most consecutive league wins with 16 victories
after they defeated Atltico Madrid 30 at the Camp Nou.
[96]
Lionel
Messi scored a hat-trick to ensure the victory for his side and after
the match he stated, "it's an honor to be able to pass a record set by a
great like "Di Stfano" and "if the record has been around for so long
is because it's very complicated to achieve and we have reached it by
defeating a very difficult team who's going through a bad situation,
which makes it even more difficult."
[97]
After failing to score for a month he scored a brace against UD Almera; the second goal was his 47th of the
season, equalling his club record return of the previous season.
[98]
He surpassed his record on 12 April 2011 by
scoring the winner against Shakhtar Donetsk in a UEFA Champions League game, which put him in the record
book as all time top scorer in a single season for Barcelona.
[99]
He scored his eighth goal on El Clsico on a 1
1 tie at the Santiago Bernabu Stadium. On 23 April, Messi scored his 50th goal of the season against CA
Osasuna in a 20 home victory which he came on as a substitute in the 60th minute.
[100]
He finished the season
by winning La Liga and scoring 31 goals as he finished runner-up in the Pichichi trophy to Cristiano Ronaldo,
who had managed to score 40. Messi finished the league season as the top assist provider with 18 assists.
On 20 April, Barcelona were defeated by arch-rivals Real Madrid in the 2011 Copa del Rey Final. Messi set
up a goal for Pedro, which was however ruled offside. Cristiano Ronaldo scored the only goal of the match in
extra time. Messi was however the joint top-scorer of the tournament along with Cristiano Ronaldo, with 7
goals.
[101]
In the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals, he gave a memorable performance, scoring twice against
Real Madrid in a 20 win, the second goal (a dribble past several players) being acclaimed as one of the best
ever at that stage of the competition.
[102][103]
At the Champions League Final at Wembley, Messi scored the
eventual game-clinching goal to give Barcelona their third title in six years and fourth overall.
[104]
This was also
Messi's 12th goal in the Champions League that season, which allowed him to tie Ruud Van Nistelrooy's record
of 12 goals in a single European Cup season, after it was re-established as the UEFA Champions League, in
1992. The overall record of goals scored in a single European Cup Season, is Jos Altafini's record of 14 goals,
which Messi did however equal in the following season. Messi finished the 201011 season with 53 goals and
24 assists in all competitions combined.
201112 season
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Barcelona and Messi celebrate
winning the 2011 FIFA Club World
Cup.
Messi (centre) playing at the 2011
FIFA Club World Cup.
Messi started the season by lifting the Spanish Supercup with Barcelona, scoring three goals and providing two
assists in a 54 aggregate win against Real Madrid.
[105]
His vital interventions continued in the next official
match played against Porto when he scored again following a weak
back pass from Fredy Guarn before setting up Cesc Fbregas to give
Barcelona a 20 victory and the UEFA Super Cup,
[106]
then the only
official competition that remained for him to score in.
[107]
In August, Messi became the second highest goalscorer surpassing
Lszl Kubala on 194 goals, being behind only to Csar Rodrguez
on 232 goals in all official competitions.
[108]
On 28 September, Messi scored his first two Champions League
goals of the season against BATE Borisov,
[109]
becoming Barcelona's
second highest goalscorer in its history, tying Lszl Kubala, at 194
goals in all official competitions.
[110]
He surpassed that record when
he scored two goals against Racing Santander.
[111]
He became second in Barcelona's La Liga goalscorers list
with 132 goals, one more than Kubala.
[112]
He scored his 200th Barcelona goal and two more as part of a hat-
trick in his next game against Viktoria Plze in the Champions League.
[113]
Messi scored a brace in the Club World Cup Final against Santos FC
and was recognized as the man of the match and also awarded the
Golden Ball for his performance during the tournament.
[114]
Messi won the 2011 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award, beating his
Barcelona team-mate Xavi and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo.
Messi won the 2011 FIFA Ballon d'Or, again beating his team-mate
Xavi and Cristiano Ronaldo. By winning the FIFA Ballon d'Or again,
Messi become the fourth player to win three Ballons d'Or, after Johan
Cruyff, Michel Platini and Marco Van Basten and the second player
to win three consecutive Ballons d'Or, after Michel Platini (although
two of his Ballons d'Or are FIFA Ballons d'Or, which he won
consecutively). Messi also won the IFFHS World's Top Goal Scorer
award, with 19 goals in 2011.
[115]
On 19 February 2012, Messi, on his 200th La Liga appearance, scored four goals against Valencia CF in a 5
1 win.
[116]
On 7 March, Messi became the first player to score five goals in an UEFA Champions League
match since the tournament's re-establishment in 1992, helping the defending champions Barcelona win 71
against Bayer Leverkusen.
[116]
On 20 March, Messi scored three goals against Granada, making
him FC Barcelona's leading goalscorer in official competitions,
surpassing club legend Csar Rodrguez, who had previously held the
record with 232.
[117]
On 3 April, Messi scored two goals from penalty kicks against Milan
in the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final, allowing him
to surpass his personal record, joint with Ruud van Nistelrooy, of 12
goals in a single UEFA Champions League season. These goals
allowed him to tie Jos Altafini's record of 14 goals in a single
For the world of football, he
[Messi] is a treasure because
he is a role model for
children around the world.
In the space of half a metre,
he can move right or left - it
is like he has the ball
attached to his body.
Maradona was also a little bit

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Dutch legend Johan Cruyff after
Messi set a new goal-scoring record
for Barcelona, March 2012.
[117]
Messi playing against Real
Madrid during the 201112
Copa del Rey
European Cup season in the 196263 season, before the
tournament's re-establishment as the UEFA Champions League in
1992.
[118]
Messi was unable to score in the semi-finals, although he
provided an assist in the second leg, as Barcelona were knocked out
to eventual winners Chelsea. During the second leg match, Messi
missed an important penalty, hitting the crossbar. The goal would
have put Barcelona ahead on aggregate.
On 11 April, Messi scored his 61st goal of the season against Getafe CF, and made two assists.
[119]
On 2
May, Messi scored a hat-trick against Mlaga CF surpassing Gerd Mller's record (67 goals in 197273) with
68 goals, and thus becoming the best goalscorer in history in one season in Europe.
[120]
It was the 21st multi-
goal game of the season for Messi and his seventh La Liga hat-trick.
[121]
He then scored four goals on 5 May
against RCD Espanyol to take his tally to an unprecedented 72 goals, in the process becoming only the second
player to pass 70 goals in a first division season since Archie Stark of Bethlehem Steel in the American Soccer
League in 192425.
[122]
On 25 May, he scored again in the 2012 Copa del Rey Final, helping
Barcelona win their 26th Spanish Cup title, and increasing his seasonal
goalscoring record to an unmatched 73 goals in all competitions.
[123]
This was
also Guardiola's last match as Barcelona's manager, and the Cup win marked
Messi's second Copa del Rey title, after losing the final the year before, as
well as his 14th Barcelona trophy during Guardiola's four seasons at the club.
Although Barcelona failed to win their 4th consecutive Liga title under
Guardiola, finishing runners up to arch-rivals Real Madrid, Messi finished the
201112 season as the top goalscorer in La Liga for a second time, with a
Liga record of 50 goals. He was the second best assist provider in La Liga
that season with 16 assists, after Mesut zil, who managed 17. He also ended
the season as the UEFA Champions' League Top Scorer for a fourth
consecutive time, with 14 goals.
[123]
He was one of the top assist providers of
the tournament with 5 assists and finished the season with 73 goals and 29
assists in all club competitions, with more goals and assists than any other
player.
201213 season
During Barcelona's first game of the season against Real Sociedad, Messi
continued his goalscoring run with a brace in a 51 win at the Camp Nou.
Messi added another goal from a penalty in a 32 win against rivals Real
Madrid in the first leg of the 2012 Supercopa de Espaa in Barcelona on 23
August.
[124]
He added another brace against CA Osasuna as Barcelona came from behind away from home to
beat them 21. Messi added another goal from a free kick in the second leg of the Supercopa de Espaa, as
Barcelona, down to ten men, were defeated by Real Madrid on away goals.
[125]
This marked his 15th goal in
the El Clsico Real Madrid-Barcelona derby, which made him Barcelona's top scorer in Clasico matches,
putting him tied with Ral, behind only Alfredo Di Stefano, with 18 goals.
[126]
Messi placed second along with
Cristiano Ronaldo in the 2012 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award, with 17 votes each. The award was won
by Messi's Barcelona team mate Andrs Iniesta.
[127]
In his third league appearance on 2 September against
Valencia CF, Messi assisted the only goal of the match, by team mate Adriano, from a short corner. Messi
like this, and it could be
because they are both low
centre of gravity.

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scored two more goals in a win against Getafe on 15 September
[128]
and added another brace in his first
Champions League match of the season against Spartak Moscow on 20 September, ending in a 32 win to
Barcelona, also marking his tenth goal of the season.
[129]
On 11 November, Messi scored twice at RCD Mallorca, his 75th and 76th goals in 2012, surpassing Pel's
milestone of 75 goals (1958) in a calendar year, and moved within nine of German legend Gerd Mller's all-time
Guinness World Records title.
[130]
His 77th and 78th goals came against Real Zaragoza at Camp Nou which
moved Messi seven goals away from the record.
[131]
On 20 November, Messi scored twice at Spartak
Moscow, his 79th and 80th goals of 2012 and moved to within five goals of the record.
[132]
Messi continued his
scoring run against Levante UD on 25 November with his 81st and 82nd goals of the year which moved him
within three goals of Mller.
[133]
On 1 December, Messi scored twice against Athletic Bilbao, his 83rd and 84th
goals of the year, meaning he pulled to within one goal of Mller's record set in 1972. The two goals also meant
Messi equaled the record for Barcelona's all time leading goalscoring record in La Liga, which was held by
Csar Rodrguez with 190 goals.
[134]
On 9 December, Messi scored twice against Real Betis, his 85th and 86th
goals in 2012, surpassing Mller's milestone of 85 goals scored in a calendar year in 1972 with Bayern Munich
and the German national team, as well as surpassing Rodrguez's record for most league goals for
Barcelona.
[135][136]
Messi sent Mller a No.10 Barcelona shirt, signed "with respect and admiration", after
breaking his record.
[137]
On 12 December, Messi increased his record to 88, after scoring twice against
Crdoba CF in the first leg of a Copa del Rey game. On 16 December, Messi scored twice in a 41 Barcelona
victory against Atltico Madrid, increasing his record to 90 goals.
[138]
The tally found its end at 91 goals in a
year after Messi scored once against Real Valladolid. FIFA, however, refuses to acknowledge the record for
the most goals in a calendar year, citing verifiability issues.
[139]
On 18 December 2012, it was announced that
Barcelona would renew the contract of Messi, extending it until 30 June 2018.
[140]
The contract was signed 7
February 2013.
[141]
On 7 January 2013 odds-on favourite
[142]
Messi won the 2012 FIFA Ballon d'Or, again beating Cristiano
Ronaldo into second place with team-mate Andrs Iniesta third. In doing this, Messi became the only player in
history to win the Ballon d'Or four times.
[143]
Messi described receiving the accolade as "really quite
unbelievable" and "too great for words".
[144]
The achievement fuelled media comparison of Messi with former
greats of the sport such as Diego Maradona and Pel.
[145][146]
On 27 January 2013, Messi scored 4 goals in a 51 win against Osasuna, including his 200th goal in La Liga,
becoming the eighth and youngest player to do so.
[147]
This brought his La Liga tally for the season up to 33,
and his goalscoring total to 44 goals in all competitions. On 16 February 2013, Messi scored his 300th
Barcelona goal the La Liga match against Granada CF, later scoring again in the match to bring his tally to 301
goals in 365 official matches.
[148][149][150]
On 2 March 2013, Messi scored a goal against Real Madrid in a
match that Barcelona lost 21. With that goal, Lionel Messi equalled Alfredo Di Stefano's Clasico goals record
of 18.
[151]
On 9 March 2013, Messi scored after coming on as a substitute against Deportivo de La Corua,
scoring in his 17th consecutive league match and breaking the all-time world record.
[152]
Messi's record
goalscoring run of 33 goals in 21 games ended against Atletico Madrid.
[153]
On 12 March, Messi scored two goals, and helped create the fourth, to help Barcelona defeat A.C. Milan (4
0) in the 2nd leg of their Champions League game and reach the quarter-finals.
[154]
Messi's opening goal against
Milan once again drew further comparisons between himself and Diego Maradona, due to the similarity between
Messi's opening goal of the match and Maradona's famous goal against Greece in the 1994 World Cup. On 17
March 2013, in a match against Rayo Vallecano, Messi wore the captain's armband for the first time in an
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official match for Barcelona, taking over after Andrs Iniesta was substituted.
[155]
On 30 March, Messi scored
for the 19th consecutive La Liga game, netting Barcelona's second goal at Celta de Vigo and thus becoming the
first footballer in La Liga's history to score in consecutive matches against every team.
[156]
On 2 April 2013, after scoring a goal in a match against Paris Saint-Germain, Messi suffered from a hamstring
problem in his left leg and was substituted at half time.
[157]
Since then his first team appearances have been
irregular. On 13 May 2013, Messi was unable to finish the match against Atletico Madrid due to recurrence of
the hamstring injury in his left leg, he was forced to leave the field midway through the second half.
[158]
It was
later announced that he could miss the rest of the season due to the injury.
[159]
In the second leg of the
Champions League quarter-final against Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona were down a goal, and Messi was on
the bench due to a recurring injury problem. In the second half, Messi came off the bench and combined with
David Villa to help create Pedro's game tying goal for Barcelona, which allowed them to progress to the semi-
finals.
[160]
Barcelona were eliminated in the semi-finals by the eventual winners of the competition, Bayern
Munich. Barcelona were also eliminated in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey, by arch-rivals Real Madrid.
Barcelona, however, managed to regain the La Liga title from Real Madrid, equalling their record 100 point
campaign, which had been accomplished during the previous season.
[161]
Messi once again finished as La Liga's
top scorer for the second consecutive year, with 46 goals, also producing 12 assists in the competition. Messi
scored 60 goals and provided 16 assists in all competitions that season.
201314 season
Messi was nominated for the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award, along with Cristiano Ronaldo and Franck
Ribry, for a third consecutive year.
[162]
Ribry won the award with 36 votes. Messi finished in second place
with 14 votes, while Ronaldo finished in third-place with 3 votes.
[163][164]
On 18 August 2013, Messi opened
the 201314 La Liga Season with two goals and an assist against Levante UD, as Barcelona went on to win the
match 70.
[165]
On 28 August, Barcelona claimed their eleventh Supercopa de Espaa title over Atltico
Madrid on away goals.
On 1 September, Messi scored his twenty third career hat-trick in a 32 win against Valencia CF. With these
goals he became the player to score 100 away goals and become highest scorer in away fixtures in the league's
history.
[166]
These goals made him the sixth-highest goalscorer in the history of La Liga, surpassing Quini's tally
of 219.
[167][168]
On 18 September 2013, Messi scored his 24th career hat-trick in Barcelona's first Champions
League win of the season, at home against Ajax, which ended 40. The goals made him the second-highest
goalscorer of all time in the Champions League, with 62 goals, only behind Ral, and the fourth-highest
goalscorer of all time in European Competitions, with 63. With this hatrick Messi became the first player to
score four hat tricks in the Champions League.
[169]
On 10 November, Messi suffered an injury in a 41 away
win against Real Betis, which would keep him sidelined until January 2014. This was his third injury of the
season.
[170]
On 8 January 2014, Messi returned from injury to score twice for Bara in a 40 Copa del Rey win against
Getafe.
[171]
On January 13, he placed second in the 2013 FIFA Ballon d'Or, behind Cristiano Ronaldo.
[172]
On 15 February, Messi scored twice against Rayo Vallecano in a 60 win to overtake fellow Argentine Alfredo
di Stfano and draw level with Ral as the third-highest goalscorer in La Liga history with 228 goals.
[173]
On 16 March 2014, Messi scored a hat-trick in a 70 defeat of Osasuna to overtake Paulino Alcntara as
Bara's top goalscorer in all competitions, including friendlies.
[174]
On 23 March, he scored a hat-trick in a 43
win against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabu to become the outright all-time top goalscorer in El Clsico
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fixtures, ahead of Di Stefano.
[175]
These goals also enabled him to become the second highest goalscorer in La
Liga, overtaking Hugo Sanchez.
[176]
Messi finished his club season with only one trophy, the Spanish Super Cup, as Barcelona finished as runners-
up in La Liga, behind Atletico Madrid, who had also eliminated them in the quarter finals of the Champion's
League that season. Barcelona were also defeated in the Copa del Rey final by rivals Real Madrid, although
Messi was the top scorer in the competition. Messi concluded the season with 41 goals and 15 assists in all
competitions, but his 28 league goals in La Liga were not enough for him to defend the Pichichi trophy, which
went to Cristiano Ronaldo, who managed 31 goals.
[177]
On 16 May 2014, Messi agreed a new contract with
the Catalan club.
[178]
International career
Often referred to as an Argentine-Spanish player, this crossover was brought into sharp focus when in 2004,
Lionel was offered the chance to play for the Spanish national U-20 team. He declined the offer given his
Argentinian heritage, and was given the opportunity to play for Argentina's U-20 team in a friendly match against
Paraguay in June 2004.
[179]
Messi scored once against Paraguay and twice in friendly against Uruguay in July
2004.
[180]
In 2005 he was part of a team that finished third in 2005 South American Youth Championship in
Colombia. He won the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship in the Netherlands with the team and won the
Golden Ball and the Golden Shoe,
[181]
scoring in the last four of Argentina's matches and netting a total of six
for the tournament.
He made his full international debut on 17 August 2005 against Hungary at the age of 18. He was substituted on
during the 63rd minute, but was sent off on the 65th minute because the referee, Markus Merk, claimed that
Messi had allegedly elbowed defender Vilmos Vanczk, who was tugging Messi's shirt. The decision was
contentious and Diego Maradona even claimed the decision was pre-meditated. Messi was later reportedly
found weeping in the changing rooms after the decision.
[182][183]
Messi returned to the team on 3 September in
Argentina's 10 World Cup qualifier away defeat to Paraguay. Ahead of the match he had said "This is a re-
debut. The first one was a bit short."
[184]
He then started his first game for Argentina against Peru, in which he
was able to win a crucial penalty for Argentina; after the match national coach Jos Pkerman described Messi
as "a jewel".
[185]
He scored his first goal for Argentina in a friendly match against Croatia on 1 March 2006.
[186]
2006 World Cup
An injury that kept Messi from playing for two months at the end of the 200506 season jeopardised his
presence in the 2006 World Cup. Nevertheless, Messi was selected in the Argentina squad for the tournament
on 15 May 2006. He also played in the final match before the World Cup against the Argentine U-20 team for
15 minutes and a friendly match against Angola from the 64th minute.
[187][188]
He witnessed Argentina's opening
match victory against Ivory Coast from the substitutes' bench.
[189]
In the next match against Serbia and Montenegro, Messi became the youngest player to represent Argentina at
a World Cup when he came on as a substitute for Maxi Rodrguez in the 74th minute.
[190][191]
He assisted
Hernn Crespo's goal within minutes of entering the game and also scored the final goal in the 60 victory,
making him the youngest scorer in the tournament and the sixth youngest goalscorer in the history of the World
Cup.
[191]
Messi started in Argentina's following 00 draw against the Netherlands.
[192]
In the following game
against Mexico, Messi came on as a substitute in the 84th minute, with the score tied at 11. He appeared to
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Messi at the 2007 Copa Amrica
Messi playing against Brazil in the
semi-finals of the 2008 Olympics
score a goal, but it was ruled offside with Argentina needing a late goal in extra time to proceed.
[193][194]
Jos
Pekerman left Messi on the bench during the quarter-final match against Germany, which they lost 42 on a
penalty shootout.
[195]
2007 Copa Amrica
Messi played his first game in the 2007 Copa Amrica on 29 June 2007, when Argentina defeated United
States 41 in the first game. In this game, he showed his capabilities as a playmaker. He set up a goal for fellow
striker Hernn Crespo and had numerous shots on target. Carlos Tevez came on as a substitute for Messi in the
79th minute and scored minutes later.
[196]
His second game was against Colombia, in which he won a penalty
that Crespo converted to tie the game at 11. He also played a part
in Argentina's second goal as he was fouled outside the box, which
allowed Juan Roman Riquelme to score from a free kick, and
increase Argentina's lead to 31. The final score of the game was 42
in Argentina's favor and guaranteed them a spot in the tournament's
quarter-finals.
[197]
In the third game, against Paraguay the coach rested Messi having
already qualified for the quarter-finals. He came off the bench in place
of Esteban Cambiasso in the 64th minute, with the score at 00. In
the 79th minute, he assisted a goal for Javier Mascherano.
[198]
In the
quarter-finals, as Argentina faced Peru, Messi scored the second goal of the game, from a Riquelme pass in a
40 win.
[199]
During the semi-final match against Mexico, Messi scored a lob over Oswaldo Snchez to see
Argentina through to the final with a 30 win.
[200]
Argentina went on to lose 30 to Brazil in the final.
[201]
Messi
was elected young player of the tournament.
[202]
2008 Summer Olympics
Having barred Messi from playing for Argentina in the 2008
Olympics,
[203]
Barcelona agreed to release him after he held talks
with newly appointed coach Pep Guardiola.
[204]
He joined the
Argentina squad and scored the first goal in a 21 victory over Ivory
Coast.
[204]
He then scored the opening goal and assisted ngel di
Mara in the second to help his side to a 21 extra-time win against
the Netherlands.
[205]
He also featured in Argentina's match against
rivals Brazil, in which Argentina took a 30 victory, thus advancing to
the final. In the gold medal match, Messi again assisted Di Mara for
the only goal in a 10 victory over Nigeria.
[206]
2010 World Cup qualification
On 28 March 2009, in a World Cup qualifier against Venezuela, Messi wore the number 10 jersey for the first
time with Argentina. This match was the first official match for Diego Maradona as the Argentina manager.
Argentina won the match 40 with Messi opening the scoring.
[207]
Overall, Messi scored four goals in 18
appearances during the South American 2010 World Cup qualifying process.
[208]
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Messi and Argentina lost 40 against
Germany in the quarter-finals of the
2010 FIFA World Cup
Messi (right) challenging Granit
Xhaka for the ball during an
international friendly between
Switzerland and Argentina on 29
February 2012.
2010 World Cup
In the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Messi wore the number 10 shirt for
the first time in a major tournament. He played the entire game on
Argentina's opening match of the tournament, the 10 victory against
Nigeria. He had several opportunities to score but was repeatedly
denied by Nigerian goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama,
[209]
who was
named man of the match by FIFA.
[210]
Messi started in Argentina's
following 41 win against Korea Republic; he played in more of an
attacking midfielder and playmaking role under Maradona,
[211][212]
and participated in all of the goals of his team, helping Gonzalo
Higuan score a hat-trick.
[213]
In the third group match, Messi was
named captain for Argentina in a 20 win over Greece. He was again
the centrepoint of Argentina's play, playing an important role in both of his team's goals,
[214]
and was voted man
of the match.
[215]
At the Round of 16 he assisted Carlos Tevez for the first goal in a 31 win against Mexico. The World Cup
ended for Argentina with a 40 loss against Germany in the quarter-finals.
[216]
Messi was nominated in ten player shortlist for Golden Ball award by FIFA Technical Study Group. The group
identified Messi with the following words: "Outstanding in his pace and creativity for his team, dribbling,
shooting, passing spectacular and efficient".
[217]
2011 Copa Amrica
On 17 November 2010, Messi scored a last-minute goal against
South American rivals Brazil after an individual effort to help his team
to a 10 win in the friendly match, which was held in Doha. This was
the first time that he had scored against Brazil at senior level.
[218]
Messi scored another last-minute goal on 9 February 2011 against
Portugal from a penalty kick which gave his side a 21 victory in the
friendly match, which was held in Geneva, Switzerland. He had also
previously assisted the first goal.
Messi took part in the 2011 Copa Amrica in Argentina, where he
failed to score a goal but made three assists, finishing as the joint top
assist provider of the tournament.
[219]
He was selected as man of the
match in the group matches against Bolivia (11) and Costa Rica (3
0). Argentina were eliminated in the quarter-finals in a penalty shoot-
out against the eventual winners of the Copa Amrica, Uruguay (11
a.e.t.), with Messi scoring as the first penalty taker.
[220]
Messi had
also previously assisted Higuan's equaliser in the seventeenth
minute.
[220]
2014 World Cup qualification
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After Argentina's unsuccessful performance in the Copa Amrica, Sergio Batista was replaced as Argentina
coach with Alejandro Sabella. In August 2011, Sabella named Messi as the new permanent captain of the
Argentina national team.
[221]
Messi's first hat-trick for the Albiceleste came in a friendly match against
Switzerland, on 29 February 2012, in a 31 win for Argentina.
On 9 June 2012, Messi scored his second international hat-trick in a friendly match against rivals Brazil,
including the match winner. The match ended 43 to Argentina and Messi was voted man of the match.
[222]
This brought his international goalscoring tally up to 26 goals in 70 matches, and brought his 2012 tally up to 7
goals in 3 matches. This was also his record-breaking 82nd goal of the season, including all club and
international matches.
[223]
These goals also made him the fourth-highest goalscorer for the Argentinian national
team.
[224]
On 7 September, Messi scored his 28th goal for Argentina in a 31 victory against Paraguay in a 2014 World
Cup qualifying match, sending them to the top of the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying table. This was his
fourth goal in the current World Cup qualifying campaign and his eighth overall in World Cup qualifying matches,
making him the third-highest scorer for Argentina in World Cup qualifying matches. This was also his tenth goal
for Argentina in the past six matches and his ninth in five matches played in 2012.
[225]
After scoring twice
against Uruguay and once against Chile in October, Messi finished 2012 with 12 goals in nine appearances for
Argentina.
[226]
On 22 March 2013, Messi scored his first international goal of 2013 from the penalty spot in a World Cup
qualifier against Venezuela. In the same match he provided two assists for Gonzalo Higuan as Argentina won 3
0.
[227]
On 14 June 2013, Messi scored a hat-trick in a 40 friendly win against Guatemala, surpassing Diego
Maradona's 34 goals on Argentina's all-time top scorer's list and matching Hernn Crespo for second with 35
goals.
[228]
Messi surpassed Crespo's tally in the 2014 World Cup qualifier against Paraguay, scoring two goals
from penalties as well as providing an assist for Sergio Agero. The match finished 52 to Argentina, ensuring
their qualification for the 2014 World Cup with two matches at hand. Messi ended the 2014 FIFA World Cup
qualification campaign as second-top scorer in the South American section with ten goals.
[229]
On 7 June 2014,
Messi scored in a 20 win against Slovenia in a pre-World Cup friendly match, coming on as a substitute; this
was his first goal for his national side in the year 2014.
[230]
2014 World Cup
Messi captained Argentina in their first match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, leading them to a 21 win over
Bosnia and Herzegovina on 15 June.
[231]
Argentina's opening goal came after three minutes when Messi's cross
into the box from a free kick was met by Argentina defender Marcos Rojo whose header was deflected into the
net by Sead Kolainac.
[231]
In the 65th minute, Messi scored Argentina's second, going on a trademark
dribbling run past three players, after a one-two exchange with Higuan, before scoring from the edge of the
penalty area via a slight deflection off Mensur Mujda.
[232]
It was his first World Cup goal since scoring against
Serbia and Montenegro on his World Cup debut in a 60 win in the 2006 tournament. In the team's second
game, Messi scored a stoppage time winner against Iran with a strike from 25 yards out which curled into the
left corner of the goal.
[233]
This was Messi's 40th international goal, and the 10 win ensured Argentina qualified
for the knockout stage.
[234][235]
In the team's third group match on 25 June, Messi took his tally in the
tournament to four goals, scoring twice in a 32 win against Nigeria, his second a free kick, as Argentina
finished first in their group.
[236]
Messi was elected man of the match in all three of Argentina's group
games.
[237][238][239]
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Messi, playing for Argentina
in 2011, has been compared
to compatriot Diego
Maradona and two-time
FIFA/Ballon d'Or winner
Cristiano Ronaldo.
In Argentina's round of 16 match against Switzerland, Messi assisted ngel di Mara's match winning goal in the
118th minute, giving Argentina a 10 win after extra time. After receiving the ball from Rodrigo Palacio, Messi
began a dribbling run, taking it past Fabian Schr, and laying the ball off for Di Mara to score.
[240]
Messi was
once again elected man of the match.
[241]
On 11 July, Messi was named on the 10-man shortlist for FIFA's Golden Ball award for the tournament's best
player.
[242]
Style of play
Messi has been compared to compatriot Diego Maradona, due to their similar
playing style and stature,
[243]
which gives him a lower centre of gravity than
most players, allowing him to be more agile and change direction more
quickly, helping him to evade tackles.
[244]
His short, strong legs allow him to
excel in short bursts of acceleration and his quick feet allow him to keep
control of the ball when dribbling at speed.
[245]
His former FC Barcelona
manager, Pep Guardiola, once stated: "Messi is the only player that runs faster
with the ball than he does without it."
[246]
Like Maradona before him, Messi is
predominantly a left footed player.
[247]
With the outside of his left foot, he
usually begins dribbling runs, whilst he uses the inside of his foot to finish and
provide passes and assists to team mates.
[244]
Alongside Portuguese forward
Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi is widely regarded as one of the two best players in
the world of his generation, and as one of the best players of all
time.
[2][3][5][6][7]
Messi often undertakes individual dribbling runs towards goal, in particular
during counterattacks, usually starting from the halfway line, or the right side of
the pitch, although he has also been described as a versatile team player, with
good vision, known for his passing and his creative combinations, in particular
with Barcelona team mates Xavi and Iniesta.
[248][249][250]
He is also an accurate set piece and penalty kick
taker.
[251]
With regards to his dribbling ability, Maradona has said of Messi: "The ball stays glued to his foot;
Ive seen great players in my career, but Ive never seen anyone with Messi's ball control."
[252]
Maradona has
stated that he believes Messi to currently be the greatest player in the world.
[253][254]
Tactically, Messi plays a free attacking and occasionally a playmaking role,
[49]
known for his finishing, pace,
dribbling, balance, positioning, vision and passing ability.
[249][255]
He is comfortable attacking on either wing or
through the centre of the pitch.
[256]
He began his career as a left-winger and forward, but was later moved onto
the right wing by former manager Frank Rijkaard, who noticed that from this position, Messi could cut through
the defense into the middle of the pitch more easily, allowing him to curl shots on goal with his left foot, rather
than predominantly crossing balls for team mates.
[257]
He has more recently played in a false 9 role under
Guardiola.
[258]
This role is characterized by Messi's tendency to seemingly be playing as a centre forward, or as
a lone striker, although he will often run back into deep positions drawing defenders with him, creating space for
wingers, other forwards, and attacking midfielders to make runs, allowing him to provide them with assists or
giving him space to begin dribbling runs, score goals or create attacking plays.
[258]
With the Argentinian
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Messi in 2009
National team, Messi usually plays anywhere along the front line. He began as a forward or winger but has also
played in a deeper role, in particular under Maradona, in more of an attacking midfield and playmaking
role.
[211][212]
Outside football
Personal life
Messi was at one stage romantically linked to Macarena Lemos, also from his
hometown of Rosario. He is said to have been introduced to her by the girl's
father when he returned to Rosario to recover from his injury a few days before
the start of the 2006 World Cup.
[259][260]
He has in the past also been linked to
the Argentine glamour model Luciana Salazar.
[261][262]
In January 2009, he told "Hat Trick Bara", a programme on Canal 33: "I have a
girlfriend and she is living in Argentina. I am relaxed and happy".
[262]
He was seen
with the girl, Antonella Roccuzzo,
[263]
at a carnival in Sitges after the Barcelona-
Espanyol derby. Roccuzzo is a fellow native of Rosario.
[264]
On 2 June 2012,
Messi assisted and scored a goal in Argentina's 40 win against Ecuador in a
World Cup 2014 Qualifying match. He celebrated scoring his 23rd goal for
Argentina, by placing the ball under his jersey, as his girlfriend was reportedly 12
weeks pregnant. She posted on Twitter that she expected to give birth in September.
[265]
Messi stated that the
child, a son, would be born in October, and that he and his girlfriend would name him Thiago.
However, the birth came later than expected. On 2 November 2012, Messi became a father for the first time
following the birth of his son Thiago. FC Barcelona's official website briefly stated "Leo Messi is a father".
Besides, the Argentine striker added on his Facebook page: "Today I am the happiest man in the world, my son
was born and thanks to God for this gift!"
[18][266]
He also had the boy's name and handprints tattooed on his left
calf.
[267]
To celebrate his son's first birthday, Messi and Thiago were part of a publicity campaign for UNICEF.
[268]
Those who signed up and participated in the social-media campaign had the chance to win a pair of Messi's
shoes or a signed Messi T-shirt.
[268]
Messi has two cousins also involved in football: Maxi, a winger for Club Olimpia of Paraguay, and Emanuel
Biancucchi, who plays as a midfielder for Paraguay's Independiente F.B.C..
[269][270]
In 2013, Messi, a devout Roman Catholic, met Pope Francis, himself a fan of Argentinian club San Lorenzo, at
the Vatican, with Messi stating; Without a doubt, today was one of the most special days of my life. We have
to excel on and off the field.
[271]
According to American writer Wright Thompson, Messi has maintained close ties to Rosario and his family
since leaving for Spain, and has gone to great lengths to maintain them. These ties begin with his speechto this
day, Messi speaks Spanish with the distinctive accent of Rosario, even though he has now lived in Spain as long
as he has in Rosario. He also keeps in daily contact via phone and text with a small group of confidants from
Rosario, most of them fellow members of "The Machine of '87". One time when he was in training with the
Argentina national team in Buenos Aires, he made a three-hour trip by car to Rosario immediately after practice
to have dinner with his family, spent the night with them, and then returned to Buenos Aires the next day in time
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for practice. Messi has also kept ownership of his old house in Rosario, although his family no longer lives in it;
he maintains a penthouse apartment in an exclusive residential building in which his mother lives (Messi's father
spends most of his time in Spain with him), as well as a family compound just outside the city.
[18]
Charity
In 2007, Messi established the Leo Messi Foundation, a charity supporting access to education and health care
for vulnerable children.
[272][273]
In response to Messi's own childhood medical difficulties, the Leo Messi
Foundation has offered Argentine children diagnosed with illnesses treatment in Spain and funds covering the
transport, hospital and recuperation costs.
[274]
Messi's foundation is supported by his own fundraising activity
with additional assistance from Herbalife.
On 11 March 2010 Messi was announced as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF.
[275]
Messi's UNICEF
ambassador activities are aimed at supporting childrens rights. Messi is supported in this by Barcelona, who
also have a strong association with UNICEF.
[276]
He and Newell's have also ended a long public feud. Messi funded the construction of a dormitory inside
Newell's stadium for the club's youth academy, as well as a new gymnasium for the club. For its part, Newell's
has begun to embrace its ties with Messi, and plans to issue a special club membership card to Messi's son.
[18]
On March 2013, Lionel Messi donated 600,000 towards the refurbishment of a children's hospital in his
hometown of Rosario, Argentina. The money was used to renovate the oncology unit at the Victor J Vilela
Children's Hospital, as well as paying for doctors to travel to Barcelona for training.
[277]
Wealth
In March 2010, France Football ranked Messi at the top of its list of the world's richest footballers, ahead of
David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo, with 33 million ($45 million) in combined income from salaries,
bonuses and off-field earnings for the previous 12 months.
[278][279]
In May 2014, Forbes ranked Messi second
behind Cristiano Ronaldo in their list of the world's highest paid players with earnings of $65 million in the
previous 12 months.
[280]
Salary
In December 2012, Barcelona announced that Messi would sign a five-year contract extension which will keep
him at the club until 2018 and raising his base salary to 16 million ($21.2 million) net, which will make him the
highest on-field earner in football. As the tax bracket for this level of income in Spain is 56%, it means that
Barcelona will have to pay Messi's income tax of a little over 20 million ($26.5 million).
[281]
His formal buy-out
clause remains at 250 million.
[282]
Sponsorships
In September 2012, Messi became the global brand ambassador of Turkish Airlines.
[283]
Messi shot a
commercial for the airline with NBA star Kobe Bryant. In the airline's latest commercial, the duo competes to
win the attention of a young boy.
[284]
Messi appeared in a 2012 television advert for Japanese face wash Scalp-
D.
[285]
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An example of Messi's popularity and
influence, photographed in India
In July 2013, Messi appeared in an advertisement of WeChat messaging application in China. He was wearing
Adidas clothes and holding two WeChat mascots. WeChat is a cross platform messaging application from
Tencent.
[286]
In February 2014, Messi appeared on a Gillette commercial with tennis star Roger Federer. He
was announced as the global face of the company's international football campaign. Gillette has also become a
partner of the Leo Messi Foundation to support its mission.
[287]
Media
Messi was featured on the front covers of the video games Pro
Evolution Soccer 2009 and Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 and is also
involved in promotional campaigns for the games.
[288][289]
Messi,
along with Fernando Torres,
[290]
is the face of Pro Evolution Soccer
2010, and was also involved in the motion capturing and the
trailer.
[291][292][293]
However in November 2011, Messi was
confirmed as the new face of PES's rival football series FIFA with his
debut as a cover star of the series coming in 2012's FIFA Street.
Messi was also chosen to be on the cover of FIFA 13 and FIFA
14.
[294]
Messi is sponsored by the German sportswear company
Adidas and features in their television advertisements.
[295]
In June
2010, Messi also signed a threeyear contract with Herbalife which
further supports the Leo Messi Foundation.
[296]
Messi was named twice in the Time 100, Time magazine's annual list of the most influential people in the world,
in 2011
[297]
and in 2012.
[298]
Within a few hours of its launch in April 2011, Messi's Facebook page had more than six million followers,
[299]
and in 2013, Messi became the second sportsperson, after Cristiano Ronaldo, to amass over 50 million
followers.
[300]
Messi ranked second behind Neymar in SportsPro magazine's 2013 list of the world's most marketable
athletes.
[8]
Japanese jeweller Ginza Takana used a cast of Messi's left foot to create a solid gold replica, weighing 25
kilograms (55 lb), which went on sale in Japan in March 2013 to raise funds for victims of the 2011 Thoku
earthquake and tsunami. It was valued at $5.25 million.
[301]
Career statistics
Club
As of match played 17 May 2014.
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Club statistics
Club Season
League
Copa del
Rey
Europe Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Barcelona
C
2003
04
[24]
Tercera
Divisin
10 5 10 5
Barcelona
B
2003
04
[302]
Segunda
Divisin B
5 0 5 0
2004
05
[303]
17 6 17 6
Total 22 6 22 6
Barcelona
2004
05
[303]
La Liga
7 1 1 0
1
[a]
0 9 1
2005
06
[304]
17 6 2 1
6
[a]
1 0 0 25 8
2006
07
[305]
26 14 2 2
6
[b]
1
2
[c]
0 36 17
2007
08
[306]
28 10 3 0
9
[a]
6 40 16
2008
09
[307]
31 23 8 6
12
[a]
9 51 38
2009
10
[308]
35 34 3 1
12
[d]
8
3
[e]
4 53 47
2010
11
[309]
33 31 7 7
13
[a]
12
2
[c]
3 55 53
2011
12
[310]
37 50 7 3
12
[f]
15
4
[g]
5 60 73
2012
13
[311]
32 46 5 4
11
[a]
8
2
[c]
2 50 60
2013
14
[312]
31 28 6 5
7
[a]
8
2
[c]
0 46 41
Total 277 243 44 29 89 68 15 14 425 354
Career total 309 254 44 29 89 68 15 14 457 365
a. ^
a

b

c

d

e

f

g
Appearance(s) in UEFA Champions League
b. ^ One appearance in UEFA Super Cup, five appearances and one goal in UEFA Champions League
c. ^
a

b

c

d
Appearances in Supercopa de Espaa
d. ^ One appearance in UEFA Super Cup, 11 appearances and eight goals in UEFA Champions League
e. ^ One appearance and two goals in Supercopa de Espaa, two appearances and two goals in FIFA Club World
Cup
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Messi playing against Portugal in
Geneva, Switzerland, on 9 February
2011.
f. ^ One appearance and one goal in UEFA Super Cup, 11 appearances and 14 goals in UEFA Champions League
g. ^ Two appearances and three goals in Supercopa de Espaa, two appearances and two goals in FIFA Club
World Cup
International
As of match played 1 July 2014.
[38][180][313][314][315]
International appearances
International statistics
Team Year Apps Goals
Argentina
2005 5 0
2006 7 2
2007 14 6
2008 8 2
2009 10 3
2010 10 2
2011 13 4
2012 9 12
2013 7 6
2014 9 5
Total 92 42
International goals
Scores and results list Argentina's goal tally first.
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1
1 March
2006
St. Jakob-Park, Basel, Switzerland Croatia 21 23 Friendly
2
16 June
2006
WM-Stadion Gelsenkirchen,
Gelsenkirchen, Germany
Serbia and
Montenegro
60 60
2006 FIFA
World Cup
3
5 June
2007
Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain Algeria
22
43 Friendly
4 42
5 8 July 2007
Metropolitano de Ftbol de Lara,
Barquisimeto, Venezuela
Peru 20 40
2007 Copa
Amrica
6
11 July
2007
Polideportivo Cachamay, Puerto
Ordaz, Venezuela
Mexico 20 30
7
16 October
2007
Jos Pachencho Romero, Maracaibo,
Venezuela
Venezuela 20 20
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2010 FIFA
World Cup
qualification
8
20
November
2007
Estadio El Campn, Bogot, Colombia Colombia 10 12
9
4 June
2008
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, United
States
Mexico 20 41 Friendly
10
11 October
2008
Estadio Monumental, Buenos Aires,
Argentina
Uruguay 10 21
2010 FIFA
World Cup
qualification
11
11
February
2009
Stade Vlodrome, Marseille, France France 20 20 Friendly
12
28 March
2009
Estadio Monumental, Buenos Aires,
Argentina
Venezuela 10 40
2010 FIFA
World Cup
qualification
13
14
November
2009
Vicente Caldern Stadium, Madrid,
Spain
Spain 11 12
Friendly
14
7
September
2010
Estadio Monumental, Buenos Aires,
Argentina
Spain 10 41
15
17
November
2010
Khalifa International Stadium, Doha,
Qatar
Brazil 10 10
16
9 February
2011
Stade de Genve, Geneva, Switzerland Portugal 21 21
17
20 June
2011
Estadio Monumental, Buenos Aires,
Argentina
Albania 20 40
18
7 October
2011
Chile 20 41
2014 FIFA
World Cup
qualification
19
15
November
2011
Estadio Metropolitano Roberto
Melndez, Barranquilla, Colombia
Colombia 11 21
20
29
February
2012
Stade de Suisse Wankdorf, Bern,
Switzerland
Switzerland
10
31 Friendly 21 21
22 31
23
2 June
2012
Estadio Monumental, Buenos Aires,
Argentina
Ecuador 30 40
2014 FIFA
World Cup
qualification
24
9 June
2012
MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford,
United States
Brazil
11
43
Friendly
25 21
26 43
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Messi with Cristiano Ronaldo before
an international friendly between
Portugal and Argentina in Geneva,
Switzerland, on 9 February 2011.
27
15 August
2012
Commerzbank-Arena, Frankfurt,
Germany
Germany 20 31
28
7
September
2012
Estadio Mario Alberto Kempes,
Crdoba, Argentina
Paraguay 31 31
2014 FIFA
World Cup
qualification
29
12 October
2012
Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza,
Argentina
Uruguay
10
30
30 30
31
16 October
2012
Estadio Nacional, Santiago, Chile Chile 10 21
32
22 March
2013
Estadio Monumental, Buenos Aires,
Argentina
Venezuela 20 30
33
14 June
2013
Estadio Mateo Flores, Guatemala City,
Guatemala
Guatemala
10
40 Friendly 34 30
35 40
36
10
September
2013
Estadio Defensores del Chaco,
Asuncin, Paraguay
Paraguay
10
52
2014 FIFA
World Cup
qualification
37 41
38
7 June
2014
Estadio Ciudad de La Plata, La Plata,
Argentina
Slovenia 20 20 Friendly
39
15 June
2014
Estdio do Maracan, Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil
Bosnia and
Herzegovina
20 21
2014 FIFA
World Cup
40
21 June
2014
Mineiro, Belo Horizonte, Brazil Iran 10 10
41
25 June
2014
Estdio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre, Brazil Nigeria
10
32
42 21
Honours
Barcelona
La Liga: 200405, 200506, 200809, 200910, 201011,
201213; Runner-up 200607, 2011-12, 201314
Copa del Rey: 200809, 201112; Runner-up 201011,
201314
Supercopa de Espaa: 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013;
Runner-up 2012
UEFA Champions League: 200506, 200809, 201011
UEFA Super Cup: 2009, 2011; Runner-up 2006
FIFA Club World Cup: 2009, 2011
Argentina
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Olympic Gold Medal: 2008
FIFA U-20 World Cup: 2005
Runner-up:
Copa America: 2007
Third place:
U20 South American Youth Championship: 2005
Individual
FIFA Ballon d'Or (3): 2010, 2011, 2012. Created in 2010.
Ballon d'Or (1): 2009. Ceased to exist after 2009.
FIFA World Player of the Year (1): 2009. Ceased to exist after 2009.
World Soccer Player of the Year (3): 2009, 2011, 2012.
World Soccer Greatest XI of All Time: 2013.
Onze d'Or (3): 2009, 2011, 2012. No winner in 2010.
European Golden Shoe (3): 2010, 2012, 2013.
UEFA Best Player in Europe Award (1): 2011. Created in 2011.
UEFA Club Footballer of the Year (1): 2009. Ceased to exist in 2010.
FIFA Club World Cup Golden Ball (2): 2009, 2011.
UEFA Champions League Final Man of the Match (1): 2011.
UEFA Champions League Top Goalscorer (4): 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012.
L'quipe Champion of Champions : 2011.
FIFA U-20 World Cup Player of the Tournament (1): 2005.
FIFA U-20 World Cup Top Goalscorer (1): 2005.
LFP Best Player (5): 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013.
La Liga Player of the Year (3): 2009, 2010, 2011.
La Liga Foreign Player of the Year (3): 2007, 2009, 2010. Ceased to exist in 2010.
Pichichi Trophy (3): 2010, 2012, 2013.
LFP Best Forward (5): 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013.
UEFA Champions League Forward of the Year (1): 2009. Ceased to exist in 2010.
La Liga Ibero-American Player of the Year (5): 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012.
FIFPro World Young Player of the Year (3): 2006, 2007, 2008.
World Soccer Young Player of the Year (3): 2006, 2007, 2008.
Bravo Award (1): 2007.
Golden Boy (1): 2005.
Marca Legend Award (1): 2009.
Trofeo Alfredo Di Stfano (3): 200809, 200910, 201011
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ESPY Best International Athlete (1): 2012.
El Pas King of European Soccer (4): 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012.
[316]
IFFHS World's Top Goal Scorer (2): 2011, 2012.
[317]
IFFHS World's best Top Division Goal Scorer (1): 2012.
[318]
FIFA/FIFPro World XI (7): 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013.
UEFA Team of the Year (5): 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012.
ESM Team of the Year (7): 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013.
Copa Amrica Young Player of the Tournament (1): 2007.
Copa Amrica Top Assist Provider (1): 2011.
Copa del Rey Top Goalscorer (1): 201011, 201314.
Argentine Sportsperson of the Year Award (1): 2011.
Olimpia de Plata (8): 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013.
2014 FIFA World Cup Man of the Match (4): vs Bosnia and Herzegovina, vs Iran, vs Nigeria, vs
Switzerland.
Records
As of 5 June 2014.
World
Most FIFA Ballon d'Or awards: 4
[319]
Guinness World Records title for the most goals in a year: 91 goals
[320]
Most international goals in a year (club and national team): 25 goals (shared with Vivian Woodward)
Most consecutive league matches scored in: 21 matches (33 goals)
[321]
First footballer ever to score consecutively against all teams in a professional league
[322]
Europe
Most European Golden Shoe awards: 3
[323]
Most goals scored in a season (club): 73 goals
[123]
Most goals scored in a year (club): 79 goals
[324]
Most European Cup top scorer awards: 4 (shared with Gerd Mller)
[325]
Most consecutive European Cup top scorer awards: 4
[325]
Most hat-tricks in UEFA Champions League: 4 hat-tricks
[169]
Highest scorer in a UEFA Champions League game: 5 goals
[326]
Most goals scored in UEFA Champions League knockout phase: 31 goals
Only player to score in 21 different cities in the European Cup
Argentina
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Most goals scored in a year (national team): 12 goals (shared with Gabriel Batistuta)
[327]
Spain
Most goals scored for a single club: 354 goals
Most away goals scored in La Liga history: 107 goals
[166]
Most goals scored in La Liga in a season: 50 goals
[328]
Most consecutive La Liga matches scored in: 21 matches (33 goals)
[321]
Most La Liga hat-tricks in a season: 8 hat-tricks
[329]
Youngest player to score 200 La Liga goals: 25 years
[330]
First player to score at least 25 goals in 5 consecutive seasons in La Liga (shared with Cristiano Ronaldo)
Most goals scored in El Clsico matches: 21 goals
Most hat-tricks in El Clsico matches: 2
Most goals scored in the Supercopa de Espaa: 10 goals
Barcelona
Top scorer in official competitions: 354 goals
Top scorer in La Liga: 243 goals
Top scorer in UEFA Champions League: 67 goals
Top scorer in European competitions: 68 goals
Top scorer in international competitions: 72 goals
Most hat-tricks in official competitions: 26 hat-tricks
Most hat-tricks in La Liga: 19 hat-tricks
See also
List of one-club men
References
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b

c

d
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External links
Official website (http://www.leomessi.com/) (Catalan) (English) (Spanish)
FC Barcelona profile (http://www.fcbarcelona.com/football/first-team/staff/players/messi)
BDFutbol profile (http://www.bdfutbol.com/en/j/j1753.html)
La Liga profile (http://www.lfp.es/Temporada/FichaJugador.aspx?cj=7450)
Lionel Messi career stats (http://www.soccerbase.com/players_details.sd?playerid=39850) at
Soccerbase
Profile (http://soccernet.espn.go.com/players/stats?id=45843&cc=5739) at ESPN
Lionel Messi (http://www.national-football-teams.com/player/12066.html) at National-Football-
Teams.com
Lionel Messi (http://www.fifa.com/worldfootball/statisticsandrecords/players/player=229397/) FIFA
competition record
Lionel Messi (http://en.uefa.com/teamsandplayers/players/player=95803/profile/index.html) UEFA
competition record
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Lionel_Messi&oldid=616739391"
Categories: 1987 births Living people 2006 FIFA World Cup players 2007 Copa Amrica players
2010 FIFA World Cup players 2011 Copa Amrica players 2014 FIFA World Cup players
Argentina international footballers Argentina youth international footballers Argentine expatriate footballers
(http://www.fcbarcelona.com/football/first-team/detail/article/season/2012-2013/messi-three-time-winner-of-
the-pichichi-trophy-and-golden-shoe-award). FCBarcelona.com. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
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(http://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2012/dec/10/lionel-messi-record-year-numbers). TheGuardian.com.
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330. ^ "Messi youngest to score 200 goals in La Liga"
(http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mls/2013/01/27/roundup-lionel-messi-youngest-to-200-goals-la-
liga/1868865/). USA Today. 27 January 2013.
7/14/2014 Lionel Messi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lionel_Messi 47/47
Argentine expatriate sportspeople in Spain Argentine footballers Argentine people of Italian descent
Association football forwards European Footballer of the Year winners Expatriate footballers in Spain
FC Barcelona B footballers FC Barcelona C footballers FC Barcelona footballers
Footballers at the 2008 Summer Olympics La Liga footballers Naturalised citizens of Spain
Olympic footballers of Argentina Olympic gold medalists for Argentina Olympic medalists in football
Sportspeople from Rosario, Santa Fe Pichichi Trophy winners Segunda Divisin B footballers
Tercera Divisin footballers UNICEF people Medalists at the 2008 Summer Olympics
Argentina under-20 international footballers
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