|Name||Lionel Andres Messi|
|Age||34 years (born 1987)|
|Net Worth||$600 million|
|Annual Salary||$75 million|
When it comes to the sport of Football, there is still a tussle regarding who is the best football player in the world today. The experts are divided on Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi. In fact, people have very definite opinions on the subject. Whichever you prefer, it cannot be denied that Lionel Messi ranks among the best in the game.
The footballing skills of Lionel Messi became evident to the world right from the time he was 12 years of age. In fact it was reported that Lionel Messi began playing professional football from the tender age of 17 years.
The Legend of Lionel Messi
Messi was born in Argentina and plays for that nation in FIFA games. However, Messi has earned the bulk of his fortune playing for the FC Barcelona club. After representing FC Barcelona professionally for 18 years, Messi moved on to the team Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in August 2021.
Lionel Messi can definitely be considered to be among the best football players in the world, and also to be included in the list of highest paid athletes in all of professional sport. In fact, Cristiano Ronaldo is regarded as his only serious rival in football.
Messi has been the recipient of the Ballon d’Or, football’s highest honor, a total of 7 times in his professional career. In comparison, Ronaldo has only received the honor 5 times. This is a testament of their level of skills and respect in the game.
Football is often called the Beautiful Game. This is made clear if you follow the game and see the goals, passes and interceptions that are made by Lionel Messi in the course of any match.
It is even rumored that plans are in the works so that Ronaldo and Messi will both play for Paris St. Germain in 2024. Ronaldo is at present dissatisfied with the way that Manchester United has been treating him, and has in fact indicated that he might make a move to another team in the future.
If this does happen, PSG will be the football team of dreams come true. It is quite likely that there will be many instances of professional rivalry out there in the field, where both Ronaldo and Messi will try to outdo each other. It is a showcasing of skills that would be extra-ordinary.
It is the small deft touches, the ability to anticipate and make incisive, telling moves and sometimes even lead from the front that makes all the difference in the game. This is called footballing genius and all the great players have it in spades. This is why they manage to beat and outfox other players, even at the highest level. Watching Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi will definitely prove this point.
Lionel Messi definitely made the world stand up and notice when he got a contract from FC Barcelona in 2017 for a reputed annual salary of $168 million. Messi also earned around $40 million through sponsorships annually. This means that he was earning over $200 million combined from this deal.
When Lionel Messi signed the contract with Paris St. Germain, he was guaranteed an annual salary of $75 million per year for at least two years. The contract can also be extended for one more year.
The contract with FC Barcelona has resulted in Messi earning about $1.3 billion. This includes the endorsement deals he has signed during that period. The breakup of earnings would be $900 million from salary and $400 million through sponsorships.
Given that both Messi and Ronaldo are instantly recognizable celebrities when it comes to the sport of football, they earn a sizeable amount of money through signing endorsements. Messi is known to have a lifetime contract with the Adidas brand of sportswear and shoes. Messi earned an amount of $130 million between June 2018 and June 2019. The football great has also been featured in video games made for the sport.
Before signing with the Adidas brand, Messi was representing its rival Nike since the age of 12 years. His signature brand of Adidas boots was well liked, and he even had a sub-brand called Adidas Messi named in his honor.
Lionel Andres Messi was born in the town of Rosario in Argentina on 24 June 1987. Messi’s father worked in the steel industry. His mother was a part- time cleaner. He has two elder brothers and a sister. During his youth, Messi would often play football within his family and relatives including two of his cousins from the Biancucchi clan, who also went on to become footballers at the professional level.
Signs of Brilliance
Lionel Messi joined the local Rosario football club when he was just six years old. Even at this young age, he managed to stand out and was counted among the youngest and most promising players in Newell’s Old Boys team.
Meanwhile, Messi’s father was told that his 10 year old son had a hormonal deficiency and needed to undergo medical treatment if he was to increase his height. Messi’s father did not have the money to give this treatment to his son. At the beginning, Newell Club agreed to cover this treatment, but they later reneged on this promise.
Moving to Barcelona
While looking for a sponsor, the family came upon FC Sporting Director Charles Rexach. He agreed to sponsor Messi’s treatment if the family moved to Spain. A sporting contract was drawn up by Rexach and the family moved to Spain in 2001.
However the family was ultimately forced to split up to reduce expenses and Messi had to stay with his father in Barcelona while his mother and his remaining siblings moved back to Argentina. Messi often felt homesick, but had to stay at an apartment near the club’s stadium. It was a hard time for him.
One year later, Messi was being considered part of the Royal Spanish Football Federation, where he was voted a member of the Baby Dream Team. This was a compendium of Barcelona’s best young football players.
Start of Professional Career
Lionel Messi made his Professional League debut at 17 years when he played in the match representing FC Barcelona against RCD Espanyol. He was also among the youngest players to score a goal and is the 3rd youngest player to ever join that club.
In 2005-2006, Messi was drafted in the First Division of the Spanish Football League. He also got his Spanish citizenship. Messi was well appreciated when his scored his first goal in the league match alongside Ronaldinho. Messi scored a total of 6 goals in his 17 appearances for the Spanish League. In the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Messi also became the youngest player to play and score for his country Argentina.
Messi was unfortunately injured in the 2006-2007 season, and had to lie back for three months to heal the front of his foot. In his return to the game against Racing Santander, he scored a hat-trick of goals. Messi was also responsible for taking FC Barcelona into the top four teams of the Spanish La Liga in the 2007-2008 season.
During this time a local newspaper Marca named him to be possibly the best soccer player in the world. Messi was put among the nominations for the Ballon d’Ór at just 22 years of age. Messi won his first Ballon d’Or in 2009. This was followed up by similar honors in the three succeeding years, from 2010 to 2012. Messi was further cementing his fame in the football world. He got an Olympic Gold Medal at the 2008 games. The year 2012 saw Messi score the most goals in a single season for La Liga and European football. This also served to propel him as the top scorer for FC Barcelona. He was named team captain and was just one step behind Cristiano Ronaldo for the Ballon d’Ór in the next two years. Messi had the honor of getting a Golden Ball for leading Argentina into the finals of the 2014 World Cup. In fact, Messi has won 6 Golden Balls to date. Messi won his sixth Ballon d’Ór in 2019 and his seventh in 2021.
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Messi has set up the Leo Messi Foundation in 2007. This charitable organization has been devoted to giving better opportunities to children for completing their education and also getting better healthcare. The Leo Messi Foundation collaborates with another firm called Herbalife to pay for the medical expenses of children suffering from serious conditions like cancer, celiac disease and blood disorders. Messi decided to set up this foundation after he visited a hospital in Boston and observed the difficulties in the children’s ward there.
Messi was also named a UNICEF goodwill ambassador. In this role, he has gone to Haiti to aid in humanitarian efforts following the earthquakes there in 2010 and 2021. The name of Messi has always been connected with the sport of Football and he full-heartedly supports fundraising efforts for various charities connected with the game. He supports a number of youth football clubs in Argentina. Messi has paid for building a gym and dormitory inside the Old Newell Club in 2012. His old coach has been recruited by the Messi Foundation as a talent scout for upcoming players.
In 2020, Messi pledged $1 million towards the prevention of Covid-19. The FC Barcelona team also took a 70 percent cut in salaries to prevent any of the staff losing their jobs during the epidemic.
Details about Messi’s Personal Life
Messi has loved his childhood sweetheart, Antonella Roccuzzo, since they were five years of age. Details about their romance were made public to the press in 2009. They got married in June 2007. Messi and Antonella have been blessed with three children: Thiago, Matero and Ciro. Thiago was born in 2012, Matero was born in 2015 and Ciro was born in 2018.
Messi is quite close to his immediate family, especially his mother. In her honor, Messi has a tattoo of his mother’s face on his left shoulder. Messi’s family have also been involved in managing his professional career.
His father has been his agent since Messi was 14 years old. His publicity and marketing affairs have been handled by Rodrigo, his elder brother.
Other Details of his Investments
Messi has paid $2 million to purchase a home in Barcelona in 2009. After the home was refurbished and renovated to suit his tastes, it is expected to fetch a price tag of $7 million to $10 million at present market value.
Messi also paid a sum of $5 million to buy a Miami based condominium in 2019. He has purchased the ninth floor of another Miami property in 2021 for $7.3 million. This is the present state of some real estate deals that Messi has made.
The football great is also very fond of purchasing expensive vehicles. Messi’s personal car collection includes among others a Ferrari Spider, a Mercedes SLS AMG, a Maserati Gran Turismo, two or three Audi’s, a Range Rover Vogue and Sport, a Lexus RX and a Cadillac Escalade.
Messi is definitely among the ranks of the world’s greatest football players. He shares the world stage with Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Jr., Mohamed Salah, Kylian Mbappe, Harry Kane, Karim Benzema and Alexander Trent Arnold. Although Lionel Messi has been compared with Diego Maradona, another great Argentinian footballer of world fame, there is not much to link the playing styles of the two. It can be said that each of them have their own individual playing styles but both have been revered as masters of the game.
That said, the football skills of Lionel Messi are truly legendary. He is a cut above the rest and will definitely be remembered in the world of football, long after his playing days are over.