Arguably regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, Lionel Messi has lived up to his reputation by bagging numerous awards and trophies at all levels. However, the player’s impact on the footballing world goes far beyond the glittering titles.
So, how did Messi become the player he was and is today? Hold onto your hats, as we embark on the incredible tale of Messi starting career through his early years.
Early Life and the beginnings of Messi’s Career
On the 24th of June 1987, Luis Lionel Andrés Cuccutini Messi was born in Rosario, Argentina. The Messi childhood team was the Rosario-based top-flight football team known as the Newell’s Old Boys in 1995. Unfortunately, the Messi Newells partnership encountered a great obstacle when he was diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency at 11.
Lionel Messi’s football career might never have taken off if it wasn’t for FC Barcelona’s decision to cover his medical bills. Further, in Messi beginning his career at 13, the coveted academy of La Masia became his ally.
Lionel Messi at FC Barcelona
Shortly after Messi’s La Masia partnership took off in Barcelona, Messi became the youngest player and goal scorer in the Spanish top flight in the 2004/05 season. He represented the Catalan Giants for 17 seasons before his move to Paris Saint-Germain in 2021.
Messi signed his first deal with FC Barcelona on his 18th birthday in 2005. This marked the beginning of the Lionel Messi FC Barcelona era. He then affirmed himself as one of the world’s most promising players during the 2006/07 season, finding the back of the net 17 times in 36 games in all competitions. Consequently, Messi was nominated as the third-best player for the 2007 Ballon d’Or.
Dominance on the pitch
Messi’s unique playing style and jaw-dropping skills rapidly improved over the years, becoming one of the most dominant players in the world in 2008. He ended the sensational 2008–09 season in style, helping the club clinch its first treble, and scoring 38 goals in 51 matches.
The great talisman continued to improve, leading Barcelona to win a whopping 35 trophies. The Messi FC Barcelona journey ended in 2021 when he signed with PSG (Paris St. Germain). His time at FC Barcelona is punctuated by trophies, records and individual accolades – La Liga frankly never saw another athlete perform at on level ever before. Barcelona’s style of play was unrivalled, and their golden era was dictated by Messi’s dominant performances on the pitch.
Messi at PSG
Messi’s PSG debut was in August 2021, and the player scored his first goal in November against FC Nantes. PSG also secured two Ligue 1 title wins with Messi. However, the Lionel Messi-PSG bond came apart in the Champions League, failing on two occasions to progress past the round of 16.
New Star of Inter Miami
Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami move was announced in June 2023. This puts him on the long list of football superstars like David Beckham and Zlatan Ibrahimovic who moved to the United States after conquering European football. Since Messi’s advent, the sales of tickets for all Inter Miami games, both home and away, have sold out.
Messi’s career with Argentina
This outstanding football icon’s journey with Argentina is filled with trials. After Germany eliminated Argentina in the 2010 world cup quarter-final, Messi came back stronger with a dazzling performance in the 2014 World Cup. However, the Argentine side ended up losing the final to Germany 1-0.
After consecutive losses at big football stages, Messi led the Argentine team to win continental silverware (Copa América) in 2021. The pinnacle for Messi in Argentina came about the following year when he helped the nation finally lift the World Championship trophy.
Major Achievements and Records
Here, we highlight Messi career stats, including the numerous individual awards, Ballon d’Or wins, and golden boot honours.
Messi’s Team Trophies and Collective Achievements
With 43 trophies for club and country, the record for Messi career trophies total is quite impressive. Below is a breakdown of all Messi’s career trophies:
- La Liga Titles: 10
- Supercopa de España: 8
- UEFA Super Cup: 3
- Copa del Rey: 7
- UEFA Champions League: 4
- FIFA Club World Cup:3
- Ligue 1 Title: 2
- Trophée des Champions: 1
- FIFA World Cup: 1
- Copa América: 1
- CONMEBOL–UEFA Cup of Champions: 1
- FIFA World Youth Championship: 1
- Summer Olympics: Gold Medal
Messi’s Individual Awards and Records
The record for Messi’s career goals is also stunning, reaching 807 goals for country and club. Interestingly, Leo Messi career assists at club level remain the highest, with over 300 assists made. Below is a list of Messi’s individual awards.
- Ballon d’Or: 7
- FIFA World Cup Golden Ball: 2
- Argentina Player of the Year: 14
- FIFA World Player of the Year: 1
- La Liga Player of the Year: 6
- La Liga top scorer: 8
- FIFA The Best Award: 2
- European Golden Boot: 6
- FIFA Club World Cup Golden Ball:2
Messi’s Legacy and Impact
Lionel Messi’s world-class playmaking, dribbling, and free-kicks will be discussed for generations to come. Aside from being a UNICEF ambassador since 2010, Leo has also established a non-profit organisation named the Leo Messi Foundation. Messi remains an inspiration for all kids with underprivileged backgrounds or a disability.