Messi is regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time.
The humble and shy youngster from a working-class family in Rosario, Argentina, who was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency at the age of 11, would become one of the most famous footballers of all time and realise a boyhood dream by captaining Argentina to World Cup glory in 2022.
Messi's popularity around the globe remains undiminished, adored by millions of football fans who put rivalries aside to salute this incredible footballer. He has won every major honour there is to win, including the coveted Ballon d'Or on a record seven occasions and a record two World Cup Golden Ball awards.
His incredible career is mostly centred around his 21-year stay with Barcelona where is revered as a footballing god. Now playing for Paris St Germain, the Argentine genius continues to take the beautiful game to unchartered levels which has spanned a glittering career of more than 20 years - he is, quite simply, a maestro with the gift to do the seemingly impossible.
"I have fun like a child in the street. When the day comes when I'm not enjoying it, I will leave football."
Lionel Messi on retirement
"I start early, and I stay late, day after day, year after year. It took me 17 years and 114 days to become an overnight success."
Messi on Twitter, 13 August 2018
"There is only one Messi."
Pep Guardiola, Manchester City manager 2018
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Date of Publication: 14/09/2023