[Editor’s note: The article which follows has been one of the most visited ones at SoccerNews.com, originally written on 31 March, 2011 and due to its timeless relevance updated on 18 January, 2017]
Ten Things You Did Not Know About Leo Messi
Lionel Messi is widely considered to be the best player in the world at the moment and some even believe the Argentine is the best to have ever played the beautiful game.
At 23 years of age he has accomplished much more than anyone could have hoped for and his life is pretty much an open book for soccer betting fans around the globe. However, there are some things that you probably didn’t know about the Barcelona star.
1.) Messi’s style of play, impressive technical skills and small physique earned him comparisons with the legendary Diego Armando Maradona, and it is interesting that the Barcelona forward managed to mimic Maradona’s two most famous goals he had scored in the World Cup game against England. Messi first scored a brilliant goal after a solo effort against Getafe, before scoring with his hand against Espanyol in the very same season.
2.) Messi was asked to play for Spain national team, but decided to wait for a call-up from Argentina. Had he accepted a call from La Furia Roja, the Argentine would now have probably owned a World Cup winner’s medal.
3.) His debut for Argentina only lasted for around 40 seconds. That was the time he spent on the pitch before being sent off. The fact that he hadn’t deserved the red card was probably poor consolation at the time.
4.) You may be surprised to hear that not only girls drop their pants in front of Messi, but some guys as well. A man was so desperate to get a picture with Messi that he chased the Argentine around the airport and when he finally thought he had caught him, a clothing failure prevented him from accomplishing his mission.
5.) In March 2010 Messi became UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and he now works with the organization helping children around the globe.
6.) While the whole world loves watching Messi from the comfort of their homes, the Barcelona star once said that he never watched highlights of himself.
7.) In the Champions League game against Panathinaikos, a Greek fan invaded the pitch only to show Messi the middle finger, probably tired of constantly watching the Argentine making fun of PAO’s defence.
8.) He won the 2009 Ballon d’Or award in front of Cristiano Ronaldo, by collecting 473 out of possible 480 votes. How do you think the Portuguese handled the results?
Since then, Messi went on to notch three consecutive Ballon d’Or awards which came as another recognition for the incredible Argentine, whereas Messi completed his collection of five coveted trophies in 2015.
9.) Barcelona signed the Argentine when he was just 13 with the scouts needing just half an hour to realize the player’s massive potential. That will soon prove to be one of the best decisions in the history of football.
10.) Following Barcelona’s 6:2 victory over Real at Santiago Bernabeu, Messi achieved the unthinkable and received standing ovation from the home fans, having scored two goals to help his side record a memorable win. Cristiano Ronaldo would have nothing against getting the same treatment at Camp Nou, but Real will first have to beat Barca for that to happen.
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