Lionel Messi is one of the greatest footballers in the world, and will go down as one of the all-time greats when he retires from the game. However, despite his apparent greatness right now, things haven’t always been easy for Messi, and he has had many troubles to overcome.
As a child Messi had to overcome many struggles, and his debut for Argentina was one that didn’t show him off in a good light. However, regardless of the problem in front of him, Messi has always found a way to overcome it, and his determination is a huge part of why he is the player that he is today.
Starting off as a young child, here are three great facts you probably didn’t know about Lionel Messi that have shaped his career and him as a person.
- Early Illness
Aged just 11 years old, Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency that was stopping his normal growth rate. His medical bills totalled to $900 per month, something that his parents simply could not afford at the time. He was already a promising footballer, but this problem could have spelled the end for Messi, was it not for one of the biggest clubs in the world seeing his talent at a very young age.
- Barcelona Move
That club was of course Barcelona, where Messi still plays to this day. They saw him play and thought he could be a very special player, so much so that they went to extreme lengths to sign him up at the club. The man at the head of signing Messi was sporting director at the club Carles Rexach, and as well as offering to sign Messi, he also offered to pay his medical bills and fly both him and his family across to Spain.
Messi made the move and the rest is history as they say, but the support given to Messi by Barcelona at such a young age is still remembered by him and his family today. It is also likely the reason he has stayed at the club and shown great love towards the club for so long, as a gesture or repayment for them stepping in and helping out when he needed it the most.
- International Debut
When Messi finally made it onto the pitch for Argentina, few would have predicted the success he has had based on that first performance. The full length of that performance by Messi was just 47 seconds long. He came on as a substitute for Argentina, before swiftly leaving the field after being handed a red card, much to his disappointment after he had waited for the opportunity since being a child.
Just 47 second, but it is 47 seconds that Messi, and a lot of other people won’t forget. Of course since then he has gone from strength to strength with his national team, and has firmly become one of their greatest ever players, with that debut being a small blip in an otherwise outstanding career.