Jun 24, 1987 to Present
Rosario, Argentina, Barcelona, SpainArgentine professional footballer who plays as a forward and captains both FC Barcelona and the Argentina national team. Often considered the best player in the world and widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time.
A lifelong supporter of Newell's Old Boys, Messi joined the Rosario club when he was six years old. During the six years he played for Newell's, he scored almost 500 goals as a member of "The Machine of '87", the near-unbeatable youth side named for the year of their birth, and regularly entertained crowds by performing ball tricks during half-time of the first team's home games.
As the Messi family had relatives in Catalonia, they sought to arrange a trial with Barcelona in September 2000. First team director Charly Rexach immediately wanted to sign him, but the board of directors hesitated; at the time it was highly unusual for European clubs to sign foreign players of such a young age.
Football at the 2008 Summer Olympics was held in Beijing and several other cities in the People's Republic of China from 6 to 23 August. Associations affiliated with FIFA were invited to send their full women's national teams and men's U-23 teams to participate. Men's teams were allowed to augment their squad with three players over the age of 23. Argentina won the tournament.
The 2009 UEFA Champions League Final was played on 27 May 2009 at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, Italy. The match determined the winners of the 2008–09 season of the UEFA Champions League, a tournament for the top football clubs in Europe. The match was won by Barcelona of Spain, who beat England's Manchester United 2–0. Samuel Eto'o opened the scoring in the 10th minute, and Lionel Messi added another goal 20 minutes from the end to earn Barcelona a historic treble of La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League, a feat never before achieved by a Spanish club.
La Masia, the FC Barcelona academy, achieved a record-breaking honor in becoming the first youth academy ever to have all three finalists for the Ballon d'Or in one same year, with Lionel Messi, Andrés Iniesta and Xavi. Messi won the award, his second consecutive Ballon d'Or victory.
The 2011 UEFA Champions League Final was a football match played on 28 May 2011 at Wembley Stadium in London that decided the winner of the 2010–11 season of the UEFA Champions League. The winners received the European Champion Clubs' Cup (the European Cup). 2011 final was the culmination of the 56th season of the tournament, and the 19th in the Champions League era. The final was contested by Barcelona of Spain and Manchester United of England, the same teams which contested 2009 final held in Rome which Barcelona won 2–0.
The 2011 FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala was the second year for FIFA's awards for the top football players and coaches of the year. The awards were given out in Zürich on 9 January 2012, with Lionel Messi claiming the title of world player of the year for the third time in a row.
The 2012 FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala was the third year for FIFA's awards for the top football players and coaches of the year. The awards were given out in Zürich on 7 January 2013., with Lionel Messi winning a record fourth consecutive Ballon d'Or.