Story of the Legend Lionel Messi
Dec 22, 2020
There is always a football talent that defines a decade or a generation, they are often referred to as generational talent. Amongst these many generational talents over the decades, a few ensured their names will always be mentioned as long as they play the round leather game, their names will eternally be affiliated with the beautiful game. For what is the history of football without the story of the great Pele, the only man to win the FIFA world cup on 3 occasions? Or how do you tell the tales of the beautiful game without Johan Cruyff?
The 1930s belonged to Milan and Italy legend Giuseppe Meazza. Stanley Matthews was arguably the greatest player of the 1940s, Alfredo Do Stefano was the best and most popular football player of the 1950s. Pele announced himself to the world at the end of the 50s, winning his first FIFA world cup as a teenager and reigned supreme in the 60s as the best in the world.
Dutch football legend, Johan Cruyff, was the standout player of the 70s, claiming 3 Ballon d’Ors in that decade. Diego Maradona was the best in the 80s. There were a few stars of the 90s including Romario, Baggio and Michael Laudrup. Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima were the best in the 2000s. The following decade probably topped all other decades with arguably the 2 greatest footballers to ever step on a football pitch – Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Lionel Andres Messi is widely regarded as not only the greatest player of his generation but also the greatest of all time by many. Born and raised in Rosario, Argentina, Lionel Messi moved to Spain in the year 2000, at the age of 13 to team up with Barcelona, the only football club he has ever represented in his career.
Born in an era where every Argentine football talent is the new Maradona, a burden too much for the likes of Ariel Ortega, Javier Saviola and Juan Roman Riquelme, it wasn’t long before the whole world realized Messi was not the new Maradona, rather was an improvement on Diego, something like Maradona 2.0. Since making his Barcelona debut at age 17 in October 2004, he has broken several records, too many that can be listed in this article.
Why is Lionel Messi Famous?
When you become very successful in whatever you do, one of the many consequences is fame. Since he first burst on the scene, Leo Messi has stayed on top of his game for more 15 years, winning trophies after trophies and breaking records after records. The Lionel Messi story will never be complete without a mention of his rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo.
When I think about the greatest rivalries in sport, the biggest rivalries that come to mind is Muhammed Ali vs Joe Frazier for boxing In the 70s. Larry Bird vs Magic Johnson in Basketball in the 80s and the great enduring rivalry of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in Tennis. All aforementioned rivalries projected the athletes involved in the world making them the most famous Athletes of their time.
The Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi rivalry has to be recognized as bigger than all other rivalries in sport, they have won a combined 11 Ballon d’Ors of the last 12 Ballon d’Ors they also have 9 UCL titles between them amongst many other teams and individual honours. As the best footballers in the world, they are also the most famous and arguably the 2 greatest footballers of all time.
For all Messi's achievement in the game, back home in Argentina, most Argentine still rate him second to Diego Armando 'El Pibe' Maradona who produced one of the greatest individual performances ever seen at a FIFA world cup to guide the Albicelestes to the world title in 1986 against Germany and narrowly losing to the same opposition 4 years later. Messi's best showing at a world cup was a final appearance against old foes, Germany, losing to a Mario Götze’s winner in extra time.
He also played in 2 Copa America finals losing both to the golden generation of Chile on penalties. Surely, 3 finals and 3 losses is a huge disappointment for a player of Messi's calibre – He will have another crack at the holy grail of football in Qatar in 2022. Messi's success in the white and blue of Argentina was the FIFA under 20 world cup in 2005 and the Olympic gold with the under 23 in Beijing in 2008, both at the expense of Nigeria.
What were Lionel Messi Achievements?
At club level, Lionel Messi has won everything both with the team and on an individual note. He has a record 6 Ballon d’Ors, his 34 trophies with Barcelona is a club record, this includes 10 La Liga titles, 4 Uefa champions league and 6 Copa del Rey. He has most La Liga goals in history at 445, most goals in a La Liga/European season with 50 goals, most La Liga hat-tricks, 36 as well as most UCL hat-tricks 8.
Messi has assisted more goals in La Liga history, 185, most in a league season in Europe at 21. He’s the all-time scorer for both club and country, 649 and 71 respectively. In 2012, Messi scored an astonishing total of 91 goals for club and country breaking Gerd Muller's record of 85 goals for Germany and Bayern Munich in 1972.
Interesting Facts about Lionel Mess
- He was born in Rosario, Argentina on 24th June 198
- He shares his birth month and birthplace with Argentine revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara
- His full name is Luis Lionel Andres Mess
- He was diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency which was affecting his football development at only 11, his parents couldn’t afford the treatment which was $900 a month. Barcelona offered to pay for the treatment upon joining the Blaugrana
- His first Barcelona contract was on a Paper Napkin
- In 2017, he married his longtime girlfriend Antonella Roccuzzo
- He is nicknamed La Pulga (the flea) a name that has stuck with him since he was very small.
Lionel Messi is a legend already at this point. The crime he suffers is his own legacy. Messi has raised the bar so high that it can even be challenging for him to measure up. He has been linked with a possible reconnection with Pep Guardiola – the manager that brought out the best in him. Even though he’s getting closer to retirement, many speculate that Messi can still shatter records if this link-up occurs between these 2 phenomenal football legends. Therefore, Messi’s story continues…..