- 5'6" (1.69m)
- 148 lbs (67 kg)
- June 24, 1987
- Santa Fe, Argentina
Lionel Messi is the heir apparent to the throne left vacant by Diego Armando Maradona. The waters are divided between those who consider him to be far from being the best No. 10, and those who believe that Messi will be even better than Maradona.
Born in Rosario, he cut his teeth in the youth ranks of Newell's Old Boys, until a hormonal problem that affected his growth changed the plans of his family and, of course, his personal future. Facing expensive treatment for their son, Messi's parents moved to Spain as Newell's were not able to afford the medical costs related to his condition, and even the wealthiest Argentine teams, such as River Plate, refused to foot the bill.
After his first trial with Barcelona, the Catalan coaches had no doubts. They decided to sign Messi and pay for his medical treatment. His growth was noticeable within Barca, and in little time he came to be considered one of the great talents at the club. He made his debut in the first division in October 2004, against Espanyol, and Barcelona have since adopted him as one of their greatest idols.
His first championship would come in the Liga season of 2004-05. Since then, and playing a more prominent role every season, he has won every major club trophy at Camp Nou -- including a stunning haul of six in 2008-09 -- and claimed the World Player of the Year [later the FIFA Ballon d'Or] award four times in four years.
Messi has proven his credentials on the biggest stage with goals in two of the three Champions League finals he has won with Barcelona, with his achievements leaving many in little doubt that he is the best player of his generation; possibly of all time.
That idea was given further weight in March 2012 when, at the age of 24, he became the all-time top scorer at Barcelona -- beating the 232 goals of Cesar Rodriguez.
The forward's hat-trick in Barcelona's 4-3 win over Real Madrid in March 2014 also saw him become the all-time top scorer in El Clasico clashes.
Messi endured criticism over his performances during the 2013-14 campaign despite scoring 28 goals in 31 Liga appearances as Barcelona lost the title to Atletico Madrid in a dramatic final day clash, but the forward committed his long-term future to the club with a new deal in May 2014 and came back with a bang to claim the Treble of La Liga, Champions League and Copa del Rey after scoring 43 goals in 38 games.
As the top scorer for Barcelona, and still under the age of 30, Messi is simply one of the best there has ever been.
Strengths: His ball skills are second to none, his runs from midfield are usually lethal and he is almost impossible to tackle when he gets his head down. His balance when running at speed is incredible.
Weaknesses: Too often he searches for a way to finish moves by himself without looking for teammates in a better position to shoot at goal.
Career high: Winning the 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 awards for the best player in the world.
Career low: He was unable to perform to his best in the 2006 World Cup in Germany, where Argentina were eliminated in the quarterfinals with Messi looking on from the bench.
Style: Quick, incisive, balanced, a stylish runner with the ball.
Quotes: "Messi is my Maradona," said Maradona himself, as the head coach of the Argentine national team in 2010.
Trivia: His debut with the national team (against Hungary) was a disaster: he entered the game in the 18th minute of the second half, and was sent off just 47 seconds later.
|Argentina||H - Slovenia||Jun 7, 2014||Int||W 2-0||Sub-On 57 min||1||0||4||2||0||2||0||0|
|Argentina||H - Trin & Tob||Jun 4, 2014||Int||W 3-0||Started||0||0||4||0||1||5||0||0|
|Barcelona||H - Atletico||May 17, 2014||La Liga||D 1-1||Started||0||1||1||0||0||1||1||0|
|Barcelona||A - Elche||May 11, 2014||La Liga||D 0-0||Started||0||0||8||3||1||1||0||0|
|Barcelona||H - Getafe||May 3, 2014||La Liga||D 2-2||Started||1||0||5||2||0||0||0||0|
|Barcelona||A - Villarreal||Apr 27, 2014||La Liga||W 2-3||Started||1||0||7||6||0||5||0||0|
|Barcelona||H - Athletic||Apr 20, 2014||La Liga||W 2-1||Started||1||0||4||2||0||2||0||0|
|Barcelona||A - Real Madrid||Apr 16, 2014||Esp Cup||L 2-1||Started||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Barcelona||A - Granada||Apr 12, 2014||La Liga||L 1-0||Started||0||0||5||1||1||1||1||0|
|Barcelona||A - Atletico||Apr 9, 2014||UCL||L 1-0||Started||0||0||4||0||0||1||0||0|
|Barcelona||H - Betis||Apr 5, 2014||La Liga||W 3-1||Started||2||0||5||3||0||0||0||0|
|Barcelona||H - Atletico||Apr 1, 2014||UCL||D 1-1||Started||0||0||5||2||0||5||0||0|
|Barcelona||A - Espanyol||Mar 29, 2014||La Liga||W 0-1||Started||1||0||8||2||0||2||0||0|
|Barcelona||H - Celta Vigo||Mar 26, 2014||La Liga||W 3-0||Started||1||0||3||2||0||1||0||0|
|Barcelona||A - Real Madrid||Mar 23, 2014||La Liga||W 3-4||Started||3||1||6||3||0||4||0||0|
|Barcelona||H - Osasuna||Mar 16, 2014||La Liga||W 7-0||Started||3||1||5||4||1||0||0||0|
|Barcelona||H - Man City||Mar 12, 2014||UCL||W 2-1||Started||1||0||3||1||0||1||0||0|
|Barcelona||A - Valladolid||Mar 8, 2014||La Liga||L 1-0||Started||0||0||5||5||0||2||0||0|
|Argentina||A - Romania||Mar 5, 2014||Int||D 0-0||Started||0||0||2||0||0||2||0||0|
|Barcelona||H - Almeria||Mar 2, 2014||La Liga||W 4-1||Started||1||0||11||2||0||3||0||0|
|Barcelona||A - R Sociedad||Feb 22, 2014||La Liga||L 3-1||Started||1||0||3||1||0||0||0||0|
|Barcelona||A - Man City||Feb 18, 2014||UCL||W 0-2||Started||1||0||6||2||0||3||0||0|
|Barcelona||H - Rayo||Feb 15, 2014||La Liga||W 6-0||Sub-Off 73 min||2||1||7||4||0||1||0||0|
|Barcelona||A - R Sociedad||Feb 12, 2014||Esp Cup||W 1-1||Started||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Barcelona||A - Sevilla||Feb 9, 2014||La Liga||W 1-4||Started||2||1||2||2||2||1||0||0|
|Barcelona||H - R Sociedad||Feb 5, 2014||Esp Cup||W 2-0||Started||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Barcelona||H - Valencia||Feb 1, 2014||La Liga||L 2-3||Started||1||1||8||3||0||2||0||0|
|Barcelona||H - Levante||Jan 29, 2014||Esp Cup||W 5-1||Unused Substitute|
|Barcelona||H - Malaga||Jan 26, 2014||La Liga||W 3-0||Started||0||1||4||0||0||2||0||0|
|Barcelona||A - Levante||Jan 22, 2014||Esp Cup||W 1-4||Started||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Barcelona||A - Levante||Jan 19, 2014||La Liga||D 1-1||Started||0||0||6||1||1||3||0||0|
|Barcelona||A - Getafe||Jan 16, 2014||Esp Cup||W 0-2||Started||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Barcelona||A - Atletico||Jan 11, 2014||La Liga||D 0-0||Sub-On 45 min||0||0||3||1||0||0||0||0|
|Barcelona||H - Getafe||Jan 8, 2014||Esp Cup||W 4-0||Sub-On 64 min||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Barcelona||A - Betis||Nov 10, 2013||La Liga||W 1-4||Sub-Off 21 min||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Barcelona||H - Milan||Nov 6, 2013||UCL||W 3-1||Started||2||0||3||2||0||0||0||0|
|Barcelona||H - Espanyol||Nov 1, 2013||La Liga||W 1-0||Started||0||0||5||1||1||3||0||0|
|Barcelona||A - Celta Vigo||Oct 29, 2013||La Liga||W 0-3||Started||0||1||10||5||0||2||0||0|
|Barcelona||H - Real Madrid||Oct 26, 2013||La Liga||W 2-1||Started||0||0||3||0||2||3||0||0|
|Barcelona||A - Milan||Oct 22, 2013||UCL||D 1-1||Started||1||0||6||1||0||1||0||0|
|Barcelona||A - Osasuna||Oct 19, 2013||La Liga||D 0-0||Sub-On 67 min||0||0||2||1||0||2||0||0|
|Barcelona||A - Almeria||Sep 28, 2013||La Liga||W 0-2||Sub-Off 28 min||1||0||2||1||0||0||0||0|
|Barcelona||H - R Sociedad||Sep 24, 2013||La Liga||W 4-1||Sub-Off 80 min||1||1||8||4||0||1||0||0|
|Barcelona||A - Rayo||Sep 21, 2013||La Liga||W 0-4||Started||0||1||3||2||0||5||0||0|
|Barcelona||H - Ajax||Sep 18, 2013||UCL||W 4-0||Started||3||0||6||4||0||2||0||0|
|Barcelona||H - Sevilla||Sep 14, 2013||La Liga||W 3-2||Started||1||0||6||2||1||1||0||0|
|Argentina||A - Paraguay||Sep 10, 2013||WCQ||W 2-5||Started||2||1||4||4||2||2||0||0|
|Barcelona||A - Valencia||Sep 1, 2013||La Liga||W 2-3||Started||3||0||9||7||0||1||0||0|
|Barcelona||H - Atletico||Aug 28, 2013||Sup Cup||D 0-0||Started||0||0||2||0||0||7||0||0|
|Barcelona||A - Atletico||Aug 21, 2013||Sup Cup||D 1-1||Sub-Off 45 min||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0|
|Barcelona||H - Levante||Aug 18, 2013||La Liga||W 7-0||Sub-Off 70 min||2||1||6||4||1||0||0||0|
|Argentina||A - Guatemala||Jun 14, 2013||Int||W 0-4||Unused Substitute|
|Argentina||A - Ecuador||Jun 11, 2013||WCQ||D 1-1||Sub-On 60 min||0||0||2||0||0||1||0||0|
|Argentina||H - Colombia||Jun 7, 2013||WCQ||D 0-0||Sub-On 56 min||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0|
|Argentina||A - Sweden||Feb 6, 2013||Int||W 2-3||Started||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Argentina||A - Peru||Sep 11, 2012||WCQ||D 1-1||Started||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Argentina||H - Paraguay||Sep 7, 2012||WCQ||W 3-1||Started||1||0||6||1||1||7||0||0|
|Argentina||H - Ecuador||Jun 2, 2012||WCQ||W 4-0||Started||1||1||6||5||0||2||0||0|
- A: GoalAssists
- Appear: Appearance
- Comp: Competition
- FC: Fouls Committed
- FS: Fouls Suffered
- G: TotalGoals
- Oppo: Opponent
- RC: Red Cards
- Res: Result
- SG: Shots On Target
- SH: Total Shots
- YC: Yellow Cards