The career of Lionel Messi is so successful that stating his records only can take a small book. The Argentinian genius achieved almost all the football peaks that a footballer can take, and his impact on the history of football is undoubtful.
Nonetheless, his competition with Cristiano Ronaldo and comparison with the persons like Pele or Maradona leaves the question about the best footballer in the world’s history still open. So, let’s go through the biography of Messiah and try to answer the question or understand the arguments, at least.
Birthday, age, and first football steps
The birthday of one of the most talented footballers was in 1987, at the end of June (24). In the quite poor Argentinian family in Rosario, Jorge and Celia Messi were praised with a son, whom they called Lionel. At the age of five years, the youngster entered a local Grandoli football school, where he played for three years. By showing a huge attacking talent, Messi attracted the attention of the scouts of Newell’s Old Boys. So, in 1995, Lionel moved to the new academy and continued showing his talent and unbelievable abilities.
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However, at the age of 10, the fairy tale could come to an end, as Messi faced problems with health. He was extremely small for his years and needed to take very expensive hormonal medicines to continue growing and developing. With diverse efforts to cover the treatment via funds of local clubs the economic troubles in Argentina at the Millenium break, none of the local academies could spend additional money on healing the youngster. So, the father of Lionel brought his son to Barcelona, which could help with medicines and give needed football development. As the further story shows, that was the most successful Barca’s football investment ever.
Of course, the move to Spain didn’t mean that Leo became the player of the starting squad of the Blaugrana. He was improving his skills in the youngster squads of the Catalans and put on the jersey of the main squad in 2004. In May 2005, Messi broke the record of Barca’s youngest scorer in official competitions when he found the net of Albacete in La Liga. From the season 2005-2006, the Argentinian prodigy was gaining more and more time in the first team and turned into the key figure in the attack of Barcelona.
Dominance in Spain and Europe for Barcelona
Although the Catalans won the Champions League in 2006, that was only the start of their dominance in European football. The role of Messi under the coaching of Rijkaard wasn’t vital as the team had the persons like Ronaldinho and Deco in attack, which were leading the game. However, during this period, everyone saw the potential of Lionel at the right-wing of the attack, where he could move closer to the centre and shoot out of the box with his already magic left foot.
The most important turning point for Messi happened in 2008 when Josep Guardiola took the lead of Barcelona as the main coach. The team fastly built its tiki-taka style with numerous passes and fast combinations, where the role of Leo was incredibly important. Along with Xavi, Iniesta, and Busquets, Messi built one of the most intense and passing football teams of all time, which won the treble in their first year at the end of the season 2008-2009. Soon, he was awarded the most expensive contract in Barcelona and received his first Ballon d’Or (Golden Ball).
The playstyle of Guardiola’s Barcelona was incredible and almost unbeatable, so the team pretended for all the trophies during all the seasons. The role of Messi was so huge that in 2010, Leo won second Golden Ball, although he won only Spanish tournaments and lost to Germany at the World Cup 2010 in the early playoff stages. That was one of the most controversial Golden Balls in history as many expected Xavi or Iniesta (as WC winners) or Sneijder (Champions League winner and WC finalist) to take the award. At the same time, everyone understood that Messi individually is much better than other nominees, although they won more trophies in 2010. Find out more today match prediction football as we always choose the most exciting matches for your attention.
By winning another Champions League in 2011, Barcelona one more time showed the effectiveness of Guardiola’s tiki-taka. Although the Catalans lost to defensive Chelsea in 2012 in the UCL semi-finals, Messi was awarded fourth in a row Golden Ball, confirming his talent and team’s effectiveness. Although Guardiola left the team in 2012, the next coaches continued the tactical structure in the team, where Messi had even more increasing importance. After the team signed Neymar and Suares, the attacking trio eliminated everyone in the UCP run 2014-2015 and brought the fourth Champions League cup into the hands of Messi. With fifth Ballon d’Or, of course, for the Argentinian that year.
Decrease in team results and move to PSG
After the season 2015-2016, the career of Argentinian genius felt a decrease in team results. Messi was still showing great attacking numbers in terms of goals and assists, but repeating an incredible number of the season 2011-2012 (with 73 goals and 29 assists only for Barcelona) wasn’t possible anymore.
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At the same time, the team was among the top European teams with the prospects of winning all the titles, but the Champions League wasn’t possible since that time. The departure of Neymar to PSG significantly hit the club’s attacking potential with no adequate replacement as both 100+ million transfers of Dembele and Coutinho were failures for Catalans. The role of Messi in such conditions grew, but so did the pressure that was hard to oppose even for Leo. So, in the tough defeats to Roma and Liverpool in the Champions League playoffs, a lot of fans and journalists criticised Messi first of all. Taking into account his incredible contract with 50+ million per year, that was quite an approved critique. By the way, in you want to win more with huge bonuses, higher odds, and without risks – visit our betting sites for football in India rankings page. A fresh review of the most reliable offers for Indian bettors will be helpful for you.
With the growing pressure and decrease of sports results by Barca, which meant less earning for the club, the presence of Messi started looking like a problem. The last straw was the hit of coronavirus disease on the earnings of the clubs, so Barcelona no longer has funds to keep the squad in the same rich conditions. La Liga forced the Catalans to cut their spending, and the salary Messi became the major obstacle to continuing his contract in 2021. French Paris Saint-Germain used the situation to receive Messi’s signature under the contract and keep him one of the most well-paid footballers, which wasn’t possible in Barca anymore. As his career in PSG is still in the active phase, a lot will depend on the results of the French club in the Champions League, while the victory in the Ligue 1 won’t be a notable achievement for Lionel.
Playstyle, net worth, jersey numbers
The favourite jersey number of Lionel is 10, which he wore for most of the time in Barcelona and uses in the national Argentina team. However, he started in the Catalan club with a number 19 at his back, while now in PSG wears a jersey with a number 30. With numerous endorsement contracts with globally popular firms, the real net worth of Messi is unknown. Some sources believe that Lionel has more than $600 million, while others are sure that the net worth of Messiah is close to $400. At the same time, his annual earnings were more than $100 million for multiple years, but the real savings also should include the spendings, which are harder to calculate than net worth itself.
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Leo’s playstyle is really unique. Having a low centre of gravity, it is easy for him to stay on his feet, even when fighting with physically stronger defenders. That’s why he is very successful at dribbling most of them, easily rocking them with fake jerks. His unique ability to keep the ball close to his feet makes it even more difficult for the defenders because the fast footwork is another of his advantages. Among his other talents is the ability to feel and catch good timing for dribbling and passing, while his left foot is able to do everything on the football field. All this is supported by his vision of the field because his filigree passes have repeatedly left the opposing team in the lurch. All this makes Messi one of the best (if not the best) footballers in the history of football.
World Cup target and issue about GOAT status
By winning 10 La Liga titles, seven Copas and Supercopa of Spain, four Champion League titles and seven Golden Balls, and single Copa America, the only target for Messi can be only the World Cup. Leo was so close to winning it in 2014 but lost in the final game to Germany.
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The issue of the World Cup is probably the only obstacle to considering Messi as the Greatest Of All Time. Not so long ago, a lot of fans admitted his inability to win trophies with the national team, although Argentina was always among the favourites of any tournament. A lot of football lovers compare Messi with Diego Maradona, who was also a small left-footed genius, but who was also able to bring two World Cups for Argentina. As for the author of this text, there is no doubt that Messi is among the greatest of all time, although it’s impossible to compare him with the former legends like Pele or Di Stefano.