Wednesday, 9 January 2013


Short, stocky, brilliantly breath-taking and simply phenomenal, there is no doubt that Lionel Andrés “Leo” Messi is the very best footballer on this planet. Born 25 years ago, this Argentine legend metamorphoses into an idol once he is on the pitch. Like an indestructible machine, he dribbles past a wall of the most formidable defenders and strikers on earth. Give him the ball and he turns to a magician annihilating any unlucky goalkeeper with his killer left foot. He just got he best player on earth award for a record fourth time. But did you also know that: his father was a steel worker while his mom once worked as a cleaner? The following are some of the things that you probably didn’t know about this Prince of soccer:-

1.} When he was 11, he was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency.

2.} Because of the many similarities he has with Maradona, Spanish journalists often refer to him as Messidona.

3.} He is actually the very first Argentine to win the FIFA World Player of the Year Award (which was later merged with the French Ballon d’Or to become the FIFA Ballon d’Or).

4.} He is global brand ambassador of Turkish Airlines.

5.} He holds the Guinness World Record for the most goals in a year: 91

6.} His favorite dish is Milanesa napolitana, a popular favorite in his country. It is made with fried beef, ham, salt, oregano, onions, chopped tomatoes, sugar and cheese. He doesn’t take it with ham or horsemeat. Maybe that is his secret? Lol! He’s also a big fan of chocolates.

7.} At the age of five, he would hit the ball continuously at the front gate so much so that the neighbours would have to beg him to calm down a bit.

8.} His surname Messi comes from an Italian town called Porto Recanati in the province of Macerata.

9.} While carrying his pregnancy, his mother, Celia, had wished for a girl since she already had two sons. Shortly before delivery, it was diagnosed that there was severe foetal distress and the baby would have to be pulled out with a forceps after labor must have been induced. His mother begged that forceps should not be used and were eventually not needed. Outside the hospital, bombs were exploding for he was born at a time when Argentina was in chaos.

10.} While playing for junior teams in Argentina, fans referred to him and his playmates as ‘The Lepers’ -not in a bad way but for his agreesive way of always being in control.

11.} No club in Argentina was willing to foot the bills of his medical care until Barcelona stepped in. That’s why he calls Barcelona his home. He has been signed up to 2018 with Barcelona FC.

12.} Also, because of his small size and astonishing speeds, his teammates called him ”La Pulga meaning ‘The Flea’.

13.} He is named after Lionel Richie, the famous American singer.

14.} In 2005, he was granted citizenship of Spain.

15.} His former FC Barcelona manager, Pep Guardiola, once stated: “Messi is the only player that runs faster with the ball than he does without it.”

16.} With regards to his dribbling ability, Maradona has said of Messi: “The ball stays glued to his foot; I’ve seen great players in my career, but I’ve never seen anyone with Messi’s ball control.”

References: iyaniwura
Lionel Messi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lionel_Messi), 
Messi: The Inside Story of the Boy Who Became a Legend by Luca Caioli, http://insidebuenosaires.com/tag/milanesa-napolitana/, 
Lionel Messi: An Unauthorized Biography by Belmont and Belcourt Biographies, 
20 Soccer Superstars by Mauricio Velázquez de León, http://www.therichest.org/celebnetworth/celeb/singer/lionel-richie-net-worth/, 
The World of Sports: Britannica Guide to Soccer. By Britannica Educational Publishing,