Lionel Messi is considered by many to be the best football player in the world right now, and the greatest of all time. Lionel Messi was born on June 24 1987, in Rosario, Argentina, and it was clear from a very early age that he was gifted in football. He made his professional debut with Barcelona at the age of 17 in 2004. He also is Argentina’s all-time leading goal scorer. Leo’s success, ability, passion and dominance in his field are a source of inspiration.
- As a child, Messi suffered from growth hormone deficiency.
When Messi was a child, he had clear natural football ability, but he also suffered from growth hormone deficiency, which was discovered when he was 11 years old. The deficiency limited his growth and caused other health complications. He had to start treatments which consisted of daily injections each day over a period of three years.
2. His first contract was written on a napkin.
When Leo was 13 years old, he had a trial with Barcelona and Barcelona’s technical Secretary Carlos Rashad, wanted to sign him immediately. But there was some hesitation by the board of directors because it wasn’t common to sign a player such as Leo at such a young age. A few months later, Carlos was desperate to not miss out on signing the gifted football star., while at a meeting with his parents, so he wrote up a contract on the nearest available material, which happened to be a napkin. The napkin was later framed and displayed in the office of Massey’s lawyer.
3. In 2017, LeBron James took his spot as second highest paid athlete in 2016. Leo came in at number three on the list.
His 2016 income was at $140 million, and it dropped slightly to $80 million in 2017, allowing LeBron James to pass him by to claim the second spot with 86.2 million. Leo still remains near the top of the list as the third highest-paid athlete in the world.
4. His estate was built in the shape of a football pitch.
Messi hired architect Louie Scotty to design his estate to look like a football on a field. The house was named the one zero house, and it costs 7 million euro or over $8 million to design and build. The house is located outside the city of Barcelona and it overlooks the Catalan mountains. The mansion is in a round football shape and is built on land shaped like a football field. From an aerial view, the house along with the number one shaped structure on the property also Make out his jersey number 10.
5. Adidas pays him the most out of all of their athlete ambassadors.
Throughout his career, Messi has had lucrative endorsement deals with Adidas, he signed a lifetime contract with Adidas. His previous seven-year contract was worth a total of 140 million dollars or $20 million a year. This makes him the highest-paid Adidas athlete ambassador, with the next highest-paid being James Harden of the Houston Rockets, who was paid around 15 million per year.
6. Messi celebrates his goals with a tribute to his grandmother.
Leo’s biggest supporter from a young age was his maternal grandmother, Celia, from the time he started playing football at the age of four, she accompanied him to all of his practices and matches. When she passed away when Leo was 10, he was greatly affected by her death, he would look up and point to the sky as a tribute to his grandmother.
6. He was the second athlete on Facebook to gain over 50 million followers.
Leo is one of the most followed public figures on Facebook with well over 87 million followers. Within the first seven hours of his page being launched, he had 7 million followers, and he was the second athlete on Facebook to gain over 50 million followers, who was the first to gain 50 million, his football rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who currently has over 120 million followers.
7. A solid gold replica of his left foot was sold for $5.25 million.
In 2013, a jewellery shop in Tokyo created a pure gold replica of Leonardo’s left foot. The sculpture was created by Ginza, Tanaka and is made out of 25 kilograms of solid gold. The foot was put up for sale with a price tag of $5.25 million. The purchaser is unknown, but part of the proceeds went to Massey’s Charitable Foundation, while another part went to support children who are victims of the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami.
9. He met his future wife when he was only five years old.
Messi met his future wife Antonella Roccuzzo when he was just five years old. She is the cousin of his childhood friend, Lucas Foglia, who was also a football player. Messi and Antonella remained friends throughout their young lives, but tragedy brought them closer together when Messi returned to his hometown to console Antonella after her friend died in a car accident in 2007. They began secretly dating in 2008 and went public with the relationship in 2009.
10. An ad he appeared in was voted best ad of the decade on YouTube.
Messi and then Los Angeles star Kobe Bryant starred in a few ads for Turkish Airlines in 2013. In one memorable ad, the two athletes engaged in a selfie competition that took them around the world. And this became the most-watched ad on YouTube in 2013, with 137 million views. Later, it was voted the best advertisement for the decade of 2005 to 2015. As a part of the commemoration of YouTube’s founding, it now has over 145 million views.
11. He established a charitable organization in 2007.
After Messi took a trip to visit terminally ill children at a hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. He felt like he needed to do more to give back to the community. help children in particular. This led him to founding the Leo Messi Foundation, which focuses on giving children access to health care, education and sports. He has also been involved in other charitable efforts including financially supporting a football club in the neighbourhood where he grew up and purchasing a new gymnasium and dormitory for his boyhood football club named Newell’s old boys.
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