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Lionel Messi Facts

Argentine and FC Barcelona footballer

  • Lionel Andres Messi plays in La Liga for FC Barcelona.
  • He is the captain of the Argentina national team.
  • At the age of 21 years, he received Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year nominations.
  • He won the Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year in 2009.
  • He won the inaugural FIFA Ballon d'Or in 2010 and 2011.
  • Because of his playing style, he is drawn comparisions with Diego Maradona.
  • He is the third player (after Gerd Muller and Jean-Pierre Papin) to top-score in three successive European Champion Clubs' Cup campaigns.
  • In 2004, he was offered the chance to play for the Spanish national U-20 team.
  • He made his full international debut in 2005 against Hungary at the age of 18.
  • At the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, he won an Olympic gold medal with the Argentina Olympic football team.
  • In March 2010, France Football ranked him at the top of its list of the world's richest footballers.
  • In 2010, he was announced a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF.
  • In September 2012, he became the global brand ambassador of Turkish Airlines.
  • In April 2011, he launched a Facebook page and within a few hours, his page had attracted more than six million followers.
  • His Facebook page has over 33 million followers as of March 2012.
  • He celebrated scoring his 23rd goal for Argentina, by placing the ball under his jersey, as his girlfriend is reportedly 12 weeks pregnant.
  • He has two cousins also involved in football: Maxi, a winger for Club Olimpia of Paraguay, and Emanuel Biancucchi, who plays as a midfielder for Paraguay's Independiente F.B.C.
  • In 2007, he established the Leo Messi Foundation, a charity supporting access to education and health care for vulnerable children.
  • In March 2010, France Football ranked him at the top of its list of the world's richest footballers, ahead of David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo.

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