Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi

Professional association football player Lionel Messi is considered by many to be the greatest player in the world; many also say that he may be the greatest player of all time. Born, in Rosario, Argentina, Messi plays forward for Barcelona FC as well as for Argentina's national team. Messi signed with Barcelona in December 2000; however, due to administrative issues, he was initially only permitted to play in non-competitive events. In February 2002, he enrolled in the Royal Spanish Football Federation, and was thereafter eligible to play competitively, making his competitive debut in October 2004. He quickly became one of Barcelona's most valued players. In both 2007 and 2008, he was a finalist for the FIFA World Player of the Year Award as well as the Ballon d'Or Award, and he won both titles in 2009. He was also awarded the Ballon d'Or the following three years, for an unprecedented total of four wins in a row, and he has won a total of five. He has also been awarded the European Golden Shoes five times. Messi was also named squad captain in 2011. In June 2016, he announced his retirement, but an outpouring of support from fans, local government, and fellow players convinced him to reverse this decision, and he confirmed in August 2016 that he would continue to play. In all, Messi has to date won a total of 32 trophies. This also includes four UEFA Champions League titles, six Copas del Rey titles, and nine La Liga titles. He also holds the current records for the most official goals scored overall in La Liga (383), most goals for a season (50), and during a calendar year (91), among other records. He also has scored over 600 career goals to date.