10 Never-Heard Facts about Birthday Boy Lionel Messi, aka La Pulga

Football fans can’t keep calm today as it’s the birthday of Lionel Messi, one of the world’s greatest footballers. On his special day, we will share with you some amazing and lesser known facts about the legend.

Lionel Messi was born on 24th June, 1987 as Luis Lionel Andres Messi in Rosari, Argentina. Messi comes from an extremely humble background. When little Messi was 11, his parents learnt that he suffered from a deficiency of growth hormone, but they couldn’t afford the expensive treatment. He underwent the treatment after moving to Spain and signing an agreement with FC Barceleno.

As far as his personal life is concerned, the footballer is happily married since 2017 to Antonella Roccuzzo and has three adorable children – Mateo Messi, Thiago Messi, and Ciro Messi. But Messi is so much more than a star footballer. The man has a heart of gold and has generously contributed to various noble causes.

As Messi celebrates his 35th birthday on June 24, 2022, we wish him good health and great success. If you call yourself a true Messi fan, find out how many of these interesting facts you know about him:

  1. Just like Cristiano Ronaldo is popularly known as ‘El Bicho’, Lionel Messi also has a unique nickname – La Pulga, meaning ‘the Flea.’ When he was a kid, he was called by this name because of his small stature. Later on, ‘The Flea’ or ‘La Pulga’ came to be associated with speed and agility on the football field.
  2. Messi is not only one of the most loved football players but also one of the richest footballers around the globe.
  3. La Pulga was only 17 when he made his debut in the year 2003 in FC Barcelona’s football team. He was the 3rd youngest player that has ever played for Barcelona and he also remains the youngest footballer to score for the team. The match was between RCD Espanyol and FC Barcelona.
  4. When Messi joined the Barcelona team, Carles Rexach, the director of the team with left awestruck by the young player’s extraordinary skills. He was so impressed that he immediately offered Messi the official contract. In fact, at that moment no paper was available and the contract was signed on a tissue paper.
  5. Messi inherited his favorite Barcelona jersey, the No. 10, from another iconic celebrity footballer Ronaldinho in the year 2008.
  6. Lionel MessiMessi is the founder of the Leo Messi Foundation, a charitable trust that intends to  provide under-privileged children with healthcare facilities and quality education.
  7. Messi carries two passports because of his dual citizenship. His native country is Argentina, but he also registered for Spanish citizenship and became a Spanish citizen in 2005.
  8. In 2009, the player won his first ever ‘FIFA World Player of the Year’ award.
  9. After he moved out of Barcelona, he now performs as a forward for PSG’s (Paris Saint- German) Ligue 1 club.
  10. The Royal Spanish Football Federation wanted the ace player to be a part of the Spanish Football Team, but Messi didn’t accept the offer.

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