Lionel Messi A lover of his profession, and a true Renaissance man.

Lionel Messi, regarded as one of the best soccer players in the world, doesn’t seem to be slowing down. In fact, Leo started playing soccer at a very young age, unlocking his fullest potential. He was born Lionel Andrés Messi in Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina on June 24, 1987. Likewise, he started playing soccer early on, later joining a club coached by his dad when he was just four years old. When he was six years old, he joined the Newell’s Old Boys Club, which he supported from a young age. At the age of 10, he was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency. No club was willing to pay for his treatment, leaving him in a place with nowhere to go. Although his early years were not just ups, they weren't all lows either.

Messi’s career didn't seem to be going anywhere, until one day it changed. In fact, a Spanish soccer club agreed to pay for his treatments, if he moved out to Spain to play with their youth team. He accepted, and was on his way to becoming one of the best soccer players yet. He played his first game with the FC Barcelona A team in the 2004 season. From there, he just got better and better. Throughout his career he's won 5 FIFA Ballons d’Or awards, eight La Liga titles with Barcelona, and four UEFA Champions League titles. Equally important, he holds the record for most goals scored in a La Liga season (50), and a regular season (82).

Lionel pictured with 4/5 of his Ballons d'Or awards

Today Messi still plays for Barcelona as a forward, with the other forwards on his team being Neymar Jr. and Suarez. He is currently in a relationship with Antonella Roccuzzo, and has two sons. His children’s names are Thiago (2012) and Mateo (2015). Messi has been involved in efforts to help vulnerable children. Since 2004 he has spent time and money helping out the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Messi also has his own charitable organization, the Leo Messi Foundation, which is another foundation for the aid of children in need. Currently FC Barcelona said they are attempting to renew his contract, and it seems to be going well. Lionel Messi is truly a Renaissance man for loving his sport, and contributing to others around the world.

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