Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi, a forward for Inter Miami CF, is one of the world’s greatest soccer players and helped the Argentina national team win its third FIFA World Cup in 2022.



lionel messi wears an argentina soccer uniform and lifts one fist into the air while smiling

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Lionel Messi News: Soccer Star Is the Subject of a New Apple TV+ Docuseries

Apple TV+ is giving soccer fans more behind-the-scenes access to soccer star Lionel Messi and Argentina’s memorable 2022 World Cup championship in a new docuseries. Messi’s World Cup: The Rise of a Legend debuts on the streaming service February 21. The four-part series promises the most personal interviews to date with Messi and “an intimate and unprecedented look at his quest for a legacy-defining World Cup victory.”

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Messi, now playing for Inter Miami CF of the MLS, helped his home country win soccer’s biggest event for the first time since 1986, scoring two goals in the final and leading Argentina to a 4-2 win over Kylian Mbappé and France on penalties. Argentina’s captain was also named the tournament MVP.

The new series follows up Messi Meets America, Apple’s 2023 look at the star striker’s arrival and first season in the MLS. Inter Miami begins the 2024 regular season also on February 21 with a match against Real Salt Lake.

Who Is Lionel Messi?

Lionel Messi is an Argentinian soccer player who has played for FC Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, and currently, the MLS club Inter Miami CF as well as the Argentina national team. As a teenager, Messi moved from Argentina to Spain after FC Barcelona agreed to pay for medical treatments related to his growth hormone disorder. At the club, he earned renown as one of the greatest players in history, helping FC Barcelona win more than two dozen league titles and tournaments. In 2012, he set a record for most goals in a calendar year and, a decade later, helped the Argentina national team win its third FIFA World Cup. The eight-time Ballon d’Or winner moved to Paris Saint-Germain in 2021, and in July 2023, he joined Inter Miami.

Quick Facts

FULL NAME: Luis Lionel Andres Messi
BORN: June 24, 1987
BIRTHPLACE: Rosario, Argentina
SPOUSE: Antonella Roccuzzo (2017-present)
CHILDREN: Thiago, Mateo, and Ciro

Early Life of a Soccer Prodigy

Luis Lionel Andres “Leo” Messi was born on June 24, 1987, in Rosario, Argentina. As a young boy, Messi tagged along when his two older brothers played soccer with their friends, unintimidated by the bigger boys. At the age of 8, he was recruited to join the youth system of Newell’s Old Boys, a Rosario-based club.

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Recognizably smaller than most of the kids in his age group, Messi was eventually diagnosed by doctors as suffering from a hormone deficiency that restricted his growth. Messi’s parents, Jorge and Ceclia, decided on a regimen of nightly growth-hormone injections for their son, though it soon proved impossible to pay several hundred dollars per month for the medication.

So, at the age of 13, when Messi was offered the chance to train at soccer powerhouse FC Barcelona’s youth academy, La Masia, and have his medical bills covered by the team, Messi’s family picked up and moved across the Atlantic to make a new home in Spain. Although he was often homesick in his new country, Messi moved quickly through the junior system ranks.

Ultimately, Messi’s short stature—5 feet, 7 inches—combined with his speed and relentless attacking style, has drawn comparisons to another famous Argentinian footballer, Diego Maradona.

Club Teams: Barcelona, PSG, and Inter Miami

Messi played for FC Barcelona for 17 seasons before joining Paris Saint-Germain in 2021 for two seasons. In July 2023, he joined the MLS club Inter Miami.

FC Barcelona

lionel messi looks at the camera with a smile on his face and right arm extended with his index finger pointed, he wears an fc barcelona jersey with blue and maroon stripes, behind him is a part of a blurry goal

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FC Barcelona forward Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring in a January 2006 match. He played for the club for 17 seasons.

At age 13, Messi signed with FC Barcelona. His first appearance for the team was when he was 16. On May 1, 2005, Messi put himself in the record books as the youngest player to ever score a goal for the franchise.

Messi steered Barcelona to a wealth of success, most notably in 2009, when the left-footer’s team captured the Champions League, La Liga, and Spanish Super Cup titles. That same year, after two consecutive runner-up finishes, he took home his first FIFA World Player of the Year honor, as well as his first Ballon d’Or award, the top European individual honor in football.

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Messi became the first Argentinian player to win the Ballon d’Or. Even the great Maradona gushed about his fellow countryman. “I see him as very similar to me,” the retired player told the BBC. “He’s a leader and is offering lessons in beautiful football. He has something different than any other player in the world.”

Amazingly, the soccer wizard continued to improve, discovering new ways to elude defenders while leading Barcelona to La Liga and Spanish Super Cup championships in 2010 and 2011, as well as the ’11 Champions League title.

Messi embarked on an all-out assault on the record books in 2012. He became the first player to score five goals in a Champions League match in early March, and a few weeks later, he surpassed Cesar Rodriguez’s club-record 232 goals to become Barcelona’s all-time leading scorer. By the end of the year, Messi had accumulated an astounding 91 goals in club and international play, eclipsing the 85 netted in a single calendar year by Gerd Muller in 1972. Fittingly, he broke another record when he was named the Ballon d’Or winner for the fourth consecutive time.

In 2013, the soccer great came back to earth somewhat due to the persistence of hamstring injuries, but he regained his record-breaking form by becoming the all-time leading scorer in La Liga and Champions League play in late 2014.

After helping Barcelona achieve a historic second treble in 2015, he was honored with his fifth Ballon d’Or trophy. Four years later, following another La Liga title, Messi again established a new standard for excellence by claiming his sixth Ballon d’Or.

On August 5, 2021, FC Barcelona announced it couldn’t resign Messi due to the team’s budget constraints and La Liga restrictions. Despite having voiced his desire to leave the club the prior season, Messi bid a teary farewell after 17 seasons: “This is really difficult for me after so many years spent here, being here my entire life. I’m not ready for this.”

Paris Saint-Germain

lionel messi dribbles and looks down at a soccer ball on a grass field, he wears a dark navy soccer uniform, and an opponent player watches from behind

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Lionel Messi in his final match as a member of Paris Saint-Germain in June 2023

Four days after the shocking news from FC Barcelona, Messi signed with Paris Saint-Germain. The 34-year-old inked a two-year contract with the French club. The move saw him reunite with former teammate Neymar as well as the talented Kylian Mbappé.

Messi made his debut for the club on August 29, 2021, and scored his first goal that September. PSG won two Ligue 1 titles with Messi but twice failed to advance beyond the round of 16 in the Champions League finals.

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Although his contract allowed for an optional third year at PSG, the team announced it would release Messi as a free agent when the deal expired on June 30, 2023. Earlier in the year, the club suspended and fined Messi after he visited Saudi Arabia on an unauthorized trip. This all but sealed fate on the soccer legend’s widely expected move.

Messi’s last game for PSG was June 3, 2023. In total, he started in 72 games, notching 32 goals and 34 assists.

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3 months ago

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