Lionel Andres Messi, the only player to win the Ballon d’Or five times, is one of the most popular players in the world right now.
He was born in Argentina and currently plays as a forward for the Spanish club Barcelona. He is frequently compared to another legendary footballer of all time, Diego Maradona. He is the only professional footballer in history to win three European Golden Shoes. Messi is so prolific in the world of football that he owns the record for a number of accomplishments. Messi has the most goals in La Liga and the most goals in a calendar year. He also has the most assists in the Copa America and La Liga. After losing in the Copa America Final, he announced his retirement from international soccer. Read further to know more about Lionel Messi Family Tree
Lionel Messi Family Tree
Lionel Messi was born in Rosario, Argentina’s Santa Fe province, on June 24, 1987, to Jorge Messi and Celia Cuccitini. He grew up in a football-loving family, and he used to play with his older brothers Rodrigo and Matias on a daily basis. At the age of four, he joined a local club to practise football, where he was trained by his father.
When Messi was eleven years old, he was diagnosed with Hormone Deficiency. Carles Rexach, then-director of FC Barcelona, agreed to take the youngster if his parents could relocate to Barcelona. From there, the legendary soccer player’s illustrious career began.
His father worked as a manager at a steel mill, while Celia worked in a magnet plant. On Jorge’s side, Messi has Italian and Spanish ancestors, while on his mother’s side, he is an Italian descendent. He is the third of four children in his family. Rodrigo and Matias are his brothers, and he has a sister named Maria.
Lionel Messi has been in a relationship with Antonella Rocuzzo, a childhood friend from Rosario, since he was 20 years old, in 2008. Messi was familiar with her from Rosario, as she was the cousin of his best buddy Lucas Scaglia, a professional football player. Only in January 2009, during an interview, did the athlete disclose his relationship with Antonella. The couple currently has two boys. Messi’s first child, Thiago, was born on November 2, 2012. On his left calf, he has a tattoo of Thiago’s handprints improvised. Messi announced on Facebook in 2015 that he and his wife are expecting their second child. His second son, Mateo, was born in September of 2015.
His professional career began in 2000, when he joined the Junior ranks. In October of 2004, he made his league debut. In 2005, he made his Championship debut. At the age of 17, he made history by being the youngest player in Barcelona history to score a goal. On April 17, 2016, he scored his 500th senior career goal for club and country. After his team fell to Chile in the Copa America Centenario final in 2016, the versatile player retired from international football.
Messi was born on June 24, 1987, in Rosario, Santa Fe. He was the third of his father Jorge Messi’s and his wife Celia Cuccittini’s four children. Jorge Messi ran a steel factory, and Celia Cuccittini worked in a magnet workshop. On his father’s side, his great-grandparents came from the northcentral Adriatic Marche region of Italy and Catalonia. On his mother’s side, his ancestors were mostly Italian. “Leo” grew up in a close-knit, football-loving family. From a young age, he loved the sport and played it all the time with his older brothers, Rodrigo and Matas, and his cousins, Maximiliano and Emanuel Biancucchi, who both went on to become professional footballers. At the age of four, he joined the local club Grandoli. His father coached him there, but his maternal grandmother, Celia, was his first coach. She went with him to training and games. Her death, just before he turned 11, had a big effect on him. Since then, as a devout Catholic Christian, he has celebrated his goals by looking up and pointing to the sky as a way to honor his grandmother.
“You would look at him and think, “This kid can’t play ball.” He’s short and weak because he’s a dwarf. But you’d know right away that he was different from the start, that he was a phenomenon, and that he was going to be something special.”
Messi joined the Rosario club when he was six years old. He has been a fan of Newell’s Old Boys his whole life. During the six years he played for Newell’s, he scored almost 500 goals as a member of “The Machine of ’87,” the nearly unbeatable youth team named for the year they were born. He also entertained crowds at halftime of the first team’s home games by doing tricks with the ball. But, at age 10, he was told he didn’t have enough growth hormone, which made it hard for him to play professionally. As his father’s health insurance only paid for two years of growth hormone treatment, which cost at least $1,000 per month, Newell’s agreed to help, but later broke their promise. River Plate in Buenos Aires, whose playmaker Pablo Aimar he looked up to, tried to sign him, but they wouldn’t pay for his treatment. Ronaldo was his goal-scoring hero as a child, and Messi called him “the best forward I’ve ever seen.”
The Messi family had relatives in Catalonia, so in September 2000, they tried to set up a trial with Barcelona. The director of the first team, Charly Rexach, wanted to sign him right away, but the board of directors was hesitant. At the time, it was very rare for European clubs to sign foreign players so young. On December 14, Barcelona was given one last chance to show they were serious, so Rexach wrote a contract on a paper napkin because he had nothing else. In February 2001, the family moved to Barcelona, where they got an apartment near Camp Nou, the stadium where their favorite soccer team plays. Due to a transfer conflict with Newell’s, Messi didn’t play much with the Infantiles during his first year in Spain. As a foreigner, he could only play in friendlies and the Catalan league. Without football, it was hard for him to fit in with the team. He was already quiet and shy, so his teammates thought he was deaf at first. At home, he missed his mother and brothers and little sister, Mara Sol, who had moved back to Rosario while he and his father stayed in Barcelona.
Messi finally joined the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) in February 2002, after spending a year at the La Masia youth academy in Barcelona. Now that he was playing in every game, he made friends with his teammates, like Cesc Fàbregas and Gerard Piqué. Messi joined Barcelona’s best-ever youth team, the “Baby Dream Team,” when he was 14 and his treatment for growth hormones was over. During his first full season (2002–03), he led the league in scoring with 36 goals in 30 games for the Cadetes A, who won the league, the Spanish cup, and the Catalan cup for the first time ever. The final of the Copa Catalunya, a 4–1 win over Espanyol, became known as the partido de la máscara, or “game of the mask,” in club history. Messi was allowed to play a week after breaking his cheekbone in a league game, but he had to wear a plastic mask. The mask made it hard for him to play, so he took it off and scored two goals in 10 minutes before being taken out of the game. At the end of the season, he got an offer to join Arsenal, which was his first from a club outside of Spain. However, while Fàbregas and Piqué quickly moved to England, he decided to stay in Barcelona.
Messi quickly moved up the ranks at Barcelona during his fourth season there, 2003–2004. He made his debut for a club record five youth teams in a single season.
After being named player of the tournament in four international pre-season games with the Juveniles B, he only played one official game with the team before being moved up to the Juveniles A, where he scored 18 goals in 11 league games. During the international break, Messi was one of several young players called up to help the first team, which was short on players. French winger Ludovic Giuly told how a young Leo caught the eye of Frank Rijkaard’s first team when he was training with them: “He killed all of us… To avoid being made fun of by this kid, they were kicking him all over the place, but he just got up and kept playing. He would pass four players with the ball and score a goal. Even the starting center-backs on the team were worried. He was not human.”
Messi made his first team debut on November 16, 2003, when he came on in the 75th minute of a friendly against Porto, which was coached by José Mourinho. He was 16 years, 4 months, and 23 days old at the time. His performance, in which he created two chances and took a shot on goal, impressed the technical staff, so he started training every day with Barcelona B, the club’s reserve team, and once a week with the first team. Ronaldinho, Barca’s new star player, told his teammates after the 16-year-first old’s practice with the main team that he thought the boy would become a better player than him. Ronaldinho quickly became friends with Messi, who he called “little brother.” This made his move to the first team much easier.
Messi joined Barcelona C as well as the Juveniles A to get more game time. He played his first game for the third team on November 29. He helped them stay out of the relegation zone in the Tercera División by scoring five goals in ten games, including a hat-trick in eight minutes during a Copa del Rey game while Sergio Ramos of Sevilla was marking him. His first professional contract, signed on February 4, 2004, reflected how far he had come. It was good until 2012 and had a buyout clause for €30 million. A month later, on March 6, he played his first game for Barcelona B in the Segunda División B, and his buyout clause went up to €80 million automatically. During that season, he played five games with the B team but did not score. Physically, he was weaker than his opponents, who were often much older and taller. In training, he worked on building up his muscle mass and overall strength so he could get past defenders. At the end of the season, he played on both youth teams again, which helped the Juveniles B team win the league. At the end of the season, he had scored for four of the five teams he played for, giving him a total of 36 goals in all official games.
During the 2004–05 season, Messi was always in the starting lineup for the B team. He played in 17 games and scored six goals. Since his debut in November, he hadn’t been called up to the first team again, but in October 2004, the senior players asked manager Frank Rijkaard to promote him. Since Ronaldinho was already on the left wing, Rijkaard moved Messi to the right wing, against the player’s wishes at first. This allowed Messi to cut into the middle of the field and shoot with his stronger left foot. Messi played in his first league game on October 16 against Espanyol. He came on in the 82nd minute. At the time, he was the youngest player to play for Barcelona in a real game. He was 17 years, 3 months, and 22 days old. As a substitute, he played 244 minutes in nine games for the first team that season. His first game was against Shakhtar Donetsk in the UEFA Champions League. On May 1, 2005, he scored his first goal for the team against Albacete with help from Ronaldinho. At the time, he was the youngest player to ever score for the club. In Rijkaard’s second year coaching Barcelona, they won the league for the first time in six years.