Lionel Messi, often hailed as one of the greatest football players of all time, has captivated fans around the world with his extraordinary skills, agility, and goal-scoring prowess.
While many are familiar with his numerous achievements on the field, there are several lesser-known facts about Messi that add depth to his remarkable career and personal life.
In this article, we will explore 29 intriguing facts about Messi, shedding light on his unique attributes and experiences.
1. Hat-Trick Maestro
Messi holds the record for the most hat-tricks in La Liga history, with an impressive tally of 36 hat-tricks as of 2021. This remarkable feat showcases his exceptional ability to consistently score three goals in a single match.
2. Consecutive Ballon d’Or Wins
He became the first player to win the FIFA Ballon d’Or award four times consecutively, accomplishing this extraordinary feat from 2009 to 2012. These victories solidified his status as the best player in the world during that period.
3. Olympic Gold Medal
In addition to his numerous club achievements, Messi has also tasted success on the international stage. In 2008, he won an Olympic gold medal with the Argentine national team at the Beijing Olympics. This victory marked a significant milestone in his career, showcasing his ability to excel in both club and international competitions.
4. Youngest to 100 Champions League Goals
In 2010, At the age of 24 years and 283 days, Messi became the youngest player to reach 100 goals in the UEFA Champions League. This milestone further highlights his prodigious talent and unrivaled skills at such a young age.
5. Friendship with Agüero
Messi shares a close friendship with fellow Argentine footballer Sergio Agüero. The bond between these two players extends beyond the national team, as they have also played together at Barcelona. Their camaraderie adds a personal touch to Messi’s journey.
6. Treble Triumphs
Messi’s impact on Barcelona’s success cannot be overstated. He played a vital role in helping the team achieve the treble, which involves winning the domestic league, domestic cup, and UEFA Champions League in a single season. Messi has been a key contributor to Barcelona’s treble triumphs on three occasions: 2008-2009, 2014-2015, and 2015-2016. These achievements highlight his exceptional skill, consistency, and ability to perform at the highest level in multiple competitions simultaneously.
7. Free-Kick Specialist
Throughout his career, Messi has displayed exceptional technique and accuracy in free-kick situations. He has scored more than 80 direct free-kick goals, showcasing his prowess as a free-kick specialist.
8. Guinness World Records
Lionel Messi’s remarkable goal-scoring prowess earned him a place in the prestigious Guinness World Records. He holds the record for the most goals in a calendar year, with an astonishing 91 goals scored in 2012. This incredible feat solidifies Messi’s status as one of the most prolific and influential goal-scorers in football history.
9. Fashion Line
Beyond his football career, Messi has ventured into the fashion industry with his own fashion line called “Messi.” The brand offers a range of sportswear and lifestyle apparel, allowing fans to connect with his sense of style.
10. Video Game Enthusiast
Off the field, Messi is an avid video game player. He has expressed his fondness for playing video games, with Pro Evolution Soccer being his favorite game. This recreational interest showcases his relatability with fans who share the same passion.
11. Record-Breaking Calendar Year
In 2012, Messi achieved an incredible record by scoring the most goals in a single calendar year. With a total of 91 goals, he surpassed previous records held by other football legends, both for Barcelona and the Argentine national team.
12. FIFA Club World Cup Scoring Record
Messi stands as the only player to have scored in six different editions of the FIFA Club World Cup. This remarkable accomplishment showcases his consistency and impact on the global stage.
13. El Clásico Dominance
Throughout his career, Messi has been the top scorer in the history of Barcelona’s El Clásico matches against Real Madrid. This achievement surpasses the records previously held by football legends Alfredo Di Stéfano and Francisco Gento.
14. Consistent Goal Scoring
Messi boasts an extraordinary record of scoring at least 25 goals in 13 consecutive La Liga seasons, from 2007-2008 to 2019-2020. This consistency demonstrates his ability to deliver exceptional performances year after year.
15. Sporting Honors
Messi’s exceptional talent has been recognized with numerous prestigious awards throughout his career.
He has been awarded the FIFA World Player of the Year award six times, winning the title consecutively from 2009 to 2012, and then again in 2015 and 2019. These accolades reflect his outstanding performances, skill, and impact on the game.
16. Philanthropic Endeavors
Beyond his football accomplishments, Messi is known for his philanthropic efforts. He has donated significant amounts of money to various charitable causes, including children’s hospitals and medical research. His generosity demonstrates his commitment to making a positive impact off the field.
17. World Record Transfer Fee
In 2021, Lionel Messi made headlines when he transferred from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). The transfer, which occurred on a free transfer basis, set a world record fee for a free transfer. This high-profile move further underscores Messi’s global appeal and the immense value he brings to any team he represents.
18. Passing of the No. 10 Jersey
Before Messi, the iconic No. 10 jersey at Barcelona was worn by another legendary player, Ronaldinho. As a symbolic gesture, Ronaldinho personally passed on the No. 10 jersey to Messi, recognizing his talent and potential to carry on the legacy.
19. Tattoo Tribute
In a touching tribute to his mother’s role in his life and career, Messi has a tattoo of her face on his left shoulder. This permanent tribute reflects the strong bond he shares with his mother.
20. Growth Hormone Deficiency
At a young age, Messi faced challenges due to a growth hormone deficiency that affected his development. Recognizing his potential, Barcelona agreed to pay for his medical treatment and provided him with an opportunity to pursue his football dreams.
21. Napkin Contract
The beginning of Messi’s journey with FC Barcelona had humble origins. His first contract with the club was written on a napkin due to limited resources and the urgency to secure his talent. This anecdote adds a touch of charm to his remarkable rise to stardom.
22. Most Goals for a Single Club Career
Messi’s prolific goal-scoring ability is exemplified by his incredible record of 672 goals for FC Barcelona. This achievement establishes him as the record holder for the most goals scored for a single club.
23. UEFA European Golden Shoe
Lionel Messi’s scoring prowess has earned him multiple European Golden Shoe awards. The European Golden Shoe is presented to the top goal scorer in European leagues each season. Messi has won this prestigious accolade on six occasions, in 2010, 2012, 2013, 2017, 2018, and 2019, further cementing his reputation as one of the most prolific goal scorers in European football.
24. Loyalty to Barcelona
One of the defining aspects of Lionel Messi’s career is his unwavering loyalty to Barcelona. He spent his entire professional career with the club, spanning over 20 years. Messi’s dedication, commitment, and love for the club endeared him to fans worldwide, making him an icon of loyalty and dedication in the footballing world.
25. Copa America Triumph
After years of near-misses, Messi led Argentina to win the Copa America in 2021. This victory marked Argentina’s first major international trophy in 28 years and solidified Messi’s status as a national hero.
26. Endorsement Deals
Off the field, Messi has secured several high-profile endorsement deals with major brands, further amplifying his global influence and commercial success. Brands such as Adidas, Pepsi, and Huawei have recognized the value of associating with Messi’s image and appeal, solidifying his status as a global sporting icon.
27. Record-Breaking Transfer Clause
During his time with Barcelona, Messi’s contract reportedly contained a release clause of €700 million, making it one of the highest buyout clauses in football history. This clause highlighted Barcelona’s desire to protect and retain their prized asset while also showcasing the tremendous value and significance Messi holds in the footballing world.
28. UNICEF Ambassador
Since March 2010, Messi has been an ambassador for UNICEF, utilizing his platform to promote children’s rights and well-being. His involvement with this renowned organization reflects his commitment to making a positive difference in the world.
29. Record-Breaking Goalscoring Season
Messi holds the record for the most goals scored in a single European club season. In the 2011-2012 season, he achieved an astonishing feat by scoring an incredible 73 goals, solidifying his status as a prolific goal scorer.
Lionel Messi’s journey from a young boy with a growth hormone deficiency to becoming one of the most celebrated football players in history is a testament to his exceptional talent, dedication, and resilience.
These 29 lesser-known facts about Messi shed light on the multifaceted aspects of his life and career, showcasing his unique attributes, achievements, and personal quirks.
Now, we want to hear from you!
Which of these facts were you already familiar with?
Did any of them surprise you?
Are there any other rare or fascinating facts about Messi that you know of and would like to share with us?
Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts. Share your knowledge and contribute to the collective fascination with the legendary Lionel Messi!