Things you didn't know about Messi
So you think you are the biggest Lionel Messi fan! When, how and why did he join Barcelona? What else does he do when not showing his football skills? Who is he dating? Here's more about Messi that not many know.
So you think you are the biggest Messi fan! When, how and why did he join Barcelona? What else does he do when not showing his football skills? Who is he dating? Here's more about Lionel Messi that not many know.
Lionel Messi, who has scored over 50 goals for Barcelona FC in the last three seasons, was signed by the club when he was just 13.
Messi suffered from Growth Hormone Deficiency (GHD). It is a medical condition in which the body does not produce enough growth hormone which might result in lean body, poor bone density etc. Messi moved to Europe from Argentina as Barcelona offered treatment for his GH Deficiency.
A 13-year-old Messi signed his first contract with Barcelona on a used napkin. His dad wanted him to sign for Barcelona. In fact, he was so keen that he wanted to ensure they signed him before the end of dinner. So Charly Rexach, the club's sporting director, called for the barman at their restaurant meeting and prepared a contract on what now hangs in Messi's lawyer's office as the most celebrated paper napkin.
Following his exploits with Barcelona, Messi was asked to play for Spain. He chose to wait for the call from his country - Argentina. Had he opted otherwise, he would have become a part of the World Cup winning team.
His debut for Argentina lasted just 47 seconds. In the match against Hungary in 2005, Messi entered the game in the 18th minute of the second half and 47 seconds later was sent off with a red card.
Messi is currently dating Antonella Roccuzzo, who is a fellow native of Rosario. Earlier, he was linked to Macarena Lemos and Argentine model Luciana Salazar.
Messi established the Leo Messi Foundation in 2007 to provide education and health care for children who need them but cannot afford. In an interview, Messi said: "Being a bit famous now gives me the opportunity to help people who really need it, especially children."
On March 11, 2010, Messi was announced as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF. Messi's UNICEF ambassador activities are aimed at supporting children's rights. Messi is supported in this by FC Barcelona, who also have a strong association with UNICEF.