Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Sports Crush Saturday - Lionel Messi

Sports Crush Saturday - Lionel Messi

Professional Footballer Lionel Messi who is a forward and Captain for both La Liga club Barcelona and the Argentina national team is best described as a prolific goalscorer and imaginative playmaker. 

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

The Argentine Footballer is widely considered the best player in the world and regarded as one of the - if not the - greatest player of all time. His journey into and during his football career definitely tells the story behind Messi’s reputation.

Messi who was born and raised in Rosario, central Argentina started playing football at a very young age, eventually relocating to Spain to join Barcelona at the tender age of 13. The diminutive forward soon made his competitive debut in October 2004 at the age of 17. At the age of 18, Messi won the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship, finishing the tournament with both the Golden Ball and Golden Shoe. After he made his senior debut in August of 2005, Messi became the youngest Argentine to play and score in a FIFA World Cup during the 2006 edition in Germany, and reached the final of the 2007 Copa América, where he was named young player of the tournament. Messi’s style of play as a diminutive, left-footed dribbler drew comparisons with his compatriot Diego Maradona, who described Messi as his successor. He would soon establish himself in the team help Barcelona archive their first treble in Spanish football during his first uninterrupted season in 2008–09 and added an Olympic Gold Medal to his collection at the 2008 Summer Olympics. 

At the age of 22 Messi won his first annual football award, the Ballon d'Or, presented by the French news magazine France Football, the Ballon d'Or is one of the oldest and is regarded as the most prestigious individual award for football players. His year of achievement was followed by three successful years, winning four consecutive Ballons d'Or and becoming the first player to win the award four times in a row. He went on to set LaLiga and European records for most goals scored in a single season during 2011–12 season, kickstarting his journey to becoming Barcelona's all-time top scorer. Although Messi fell back a notch when he finished second for the Ballon d'Or in the following two seasons sitting behind Cristiano Ronaldo who is considered to be his biggest career rival, Messi didn’t let it hinder him. He went on to regain his best form during the 2014–15 campaign, finally becoming the all-time top scorer in LaLiga and leading Barcelona to a historic second treble, after which he was awarded a fifth Ballon d'Or in 2015. Messi assumed the captaincy of Barcelona in 2018, and in 2019 he secured a record sixth Ballon d'Or.

Messi is arguably the most famous athlete in the world and has been sponsored by sportswear company Adidas since 2006, establishing himself as one of their leading brand endorsers. According to France Football, he was the world's highest-paid footballer for five years out of six between 2009 and 2014, and was ranked the world's highest-paid athlete by Forbes in 2019. Messi was among Time's 100 most influential people in the world in 2011 and 2012. In February 2020, he was awarded the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year, thus becoming the first-ever footballer and also the first-ever team sport athlete to win the award. 

Just as you think Messi has been over-achieving throughout his career, get this: he has over 160 million Instagram followers and is an endorser for Pepsi, Lays, Budweiser and Adidas just to name a few. He also has his own line of clothing, The Messi Store which offers clothes for women, men and children. Messi is also a family man and can be seen spending quality time with his wife and children regardless of his busy life. To pay if forward the Argentine International Footballer runs the Leo Messi Foundation which seeks to bring change through activism and giving health care or donating through relevant channels to save children and new-borns from preventable diseases in areas and hospitals that cannot afford to offer treatment. The Foundation also works with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals of promoting universal primary education, focusing their help on the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children and adolescences. 

And that's it for our Sports Crush Saturday.

Written by Hazel Tobo for Hollywoodbets.

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