This story now
IN Sports ON 10 Feb, 2016
There come moments in the history of every sport when one player changes all that we know about it and picture an entirely new portrait of the game in front of us. Every sport has these maestros, these daring athletes who are new, in their own way. Athletes who give the sport a new meaning, athletes who bring back that sport's lost spark in the hearts of the fans.
Sportsmen who inspire millions and make them go crazy everytime they see them. Cricket had Sachin Tendulkar, Basketball had Michael Jordan, Boxing had Mike Tyson and Football, has Lionel Messi. Now I can go on and on about his achievements and his brilliant tactics and his genius of the game; the way he dribbles, his ability to play in any place in any game plan.
How the Argentine was declared Barcelona's all-time top scorer in all competitions. How many awards he won, how many goals he has scored and so on. Quite frankly, If I sit down to list all his attributes and reasons why he is neck to neck with Cristiano Ronaldo for the title of 'The greatest Football player of this generation', it will take me entire night and still I won't be finished, not by a long shot. So I see no point in vain vaunting, but instead, I believe I should tell you something you didn't know about the dribbling genius.
Because let's are honest, even though Messi is in the news almost every other week, and his fans follow him everywhere he goes, but that is because of his skill with the ball and net and not because of his some personal life affairs. He is a very private person and handles stardom and fame with caution. So it only seems logical that I take you lot on a little safari, through this maestro's personal life, and present in front of you some of the rarely known facts about the dribbling maestro.
So here are 13 rare facts about Lionel Messi.
It is a big deal for a football player to be selected for the national squad from the pool, but Mr. In-Demand over here, apart from playing for Argentina, he was asked by Spain to play in their team for the world cup. This offer was however, was declined by the player still shows how much everyone appreciates his talents and want them, badly. In 2014 World Cup, he made an outstanding impression on the natives of his nation and took home the Golden Ball, even though many were against him playing for the nation.
Now all of us are familiar with this bad-ass that on his left calf. But this is an enhanced version of the tat he had few years ago. Initially, the tattoo only said 'THIAGO' i.e. his son's name; He got it when his son was born. But then he went on and added other details.
When Barcelona coach Carles Rexach saw Messi and the ball, together, like some cosmic lovers; He was so astounded by his mastery that he didn't want to waste any time and wanted to sign the kid right away, so he framed his first contract on the first piece of paper he could find i.e. a napkin paper. Say what you may, but I believe that this little piece of paper, changed football forever. Funny how we sometimes fail to comprehend the importance of the small things around us, even when they have world altering capabilities.
Messi is counted among the short players in the game. For us, his height of 5'6 is really below average but the fact is, it is a lot more than what he was headed to. When he was only 11 years old, he was diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency. After few years of treatment, paid by his parents, he was discovered and was offered to have his treatment paid for by the Barcelona football team. Then he moved to Spain with his father and stayed there for three years and attended a youth academy. The treatment was, however successful, but still it was not able to produce the result Messi and his family hoped for.
Messi is the first player to win three European Golden Boot awards. He was joined by Ronaldo only last season with his third boot. Apart from this, Messi has many personal accomplishments and awards to show for them: He is the only player to have won 4 FIFA Player of the year.
What you see in the picture people is Messi's left foot. It was cast by Japanese jeweler 'Ginza Tanaka' to raise money for the victim's of Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in 2011. The 25 kg cast was created for Messi when he won FIFA player of the year award. The cast shows all the details of the maestro's prized left foot.
Messi is the only player who has scored against all the teams in La Liga in 2012-13. 21 games and he scored in all of them, consecutively. He bagged 33 goals and created this personal landmark.
Messi's never ending list of talents makes him one of the most desired player in the world. Every team wants him, and why wouldn't they. Any team with the likes of Messi and Ronaldo in their arsenal has a firm upper hand over the toughest of them all. So to make sure that no team with deep pockets and money to spare can ever bag their prized Argentinean, they set Messi's but out rate '€250 million'!!!!!! Now that's making sure that no one ever dares to touch their player!
Man who has so many Golden boots and a golden foot too, literally, has a heart of gold as well. Messi is an active charity worker. He initiated The Lionel Messi Foundation in 2007 which helps less fortunate children with education and health care in addition to that he is also an ambassador for UNICEF.
Sports celebrities and their love interest have always been part of discussion all over the world, let's face it, we all love juicy love affairs, and the tale of Messi and his model girlfriend Antonella Roccuzzo are no different. Apparently they met as family friends when Messi was only five. Over the long years, they stayed friends and finally got in the relationship in 2009. They now have a son 'THIAGO' who born in 2012.
Rosario, Argentina... birthplace of two most important people in the history of Argentina. Apparently Messi share's his birthplace with the Argentinian revolutionary 'Che Guevera.'
In 2012, Messi scored most in one calendar year, 86 goals. He scored 56 La Liga goals, 13 Champions league goals and 9 for Argentina and 2 in Spanish Super Cup giving him the total of 86 goals.
In 2005, Messi made his International debut for Argentina. Teenage Messi came on to the field as a substitute when Argentina played Hungary. But this turned out to be the worst of his entire life as just after 47 seconds on the field, he received a red card for elbowing an opponent player.