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Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini (Rosario, June 24, 1987), known as Leo Messi , is an Argentine nationalized Spanish footballer who plays as a forward in the FC Barcelona of the First Division of Spain and in the Argentine national team, of which he is captain.
Often considered the best player in the world, and one of the best of all time, is the first footballer in history to have won, among others distinctions, five times the Golden Ball – a Golden Ball and four FIFA Golden Ball – obtaining the first four consecutively; in addition to receiving four Gold Boots. With Barcelona he has won 30 titles, including eight from La Liga and four from the UEFA Champions League, as well as five titles from the Copa del Rey. [15 ]
prolific scorer, holds, among others, records for most goals in a season and a calendar year, top scorer in La Liga, the Spanish Super Cup, the Supercopa de Europe, and non-European player with more goals in the UEFA Champions League; besides top scorer of F.C. Barcelona and the Argentine National Team. He is one of the players with more assists, since they have records, in official games.
Born and raised in the city of Rosario, at age 13 he settled in Spain, where Barcelona agreed to pay for the treatment of the hormonal disease that had diagnosed him as a child. After a rapid progression to through the Juvenile Academy of Barcelona,  made his official debut with the first team at age 17, in October 2004. Despite being prone to injuries in At the beginning of his career, he established himself as a fundamental player for the club. In 2007, he was a finalist for the Golden Ball and the FIFA World Player, a feat he repeated in 2008. His first uninterrupted campaign it was the 2008-09 season, during which Barcelona reached the first treble of Spanish football. At age 22, he won his first Golden Ball and the FIFA World Player of the Year award. ]
Three successful seasons followed, in which Messi won three FIFA Ballon d’Or, totaling four in total, a fact unprecedented. So far, his personal best campaign is the 2011-12 season, in which he set the record for most goals in a season, both in La Liga and in other European competitions, and became, in March 2012, the club’s top scorer in official competitions. During the next two seasons, he also suffered injuries, and lost the Golden Ball to Cristiano Ronaldo, who is considered his rival. Messi regained his best form during the 2014-15 season, during which he exceeded the records of absolute top scorer in La Liga and the Champions League in November 2014, and conquered with Barcelona a historic second triplet. 
As an Argentine international, Messi has represented his country in seven major tournaments. At the youth level, he won the U-20 World Cup in 2005 together with the U-20 team, a tournament in which he finished as the best player and top scorer,   and a gold medal in the The Olympic Games of 2008, with the sub-23  Because of his style of playing a small left-handed dribbler,  he was compared to his compatriot Diego Maradona who, in 2007, declared the teenager his “successor”.    After making his debut in the national team in August 2005,   in the 2006 World Cup in Germany he became the youngest Argentine to play and to score in a world cup  and reached, along with the albiceleste team, the final of the 2007 Copa America, where he was named the best young player of the tournament.  As captain since August 2011,  he arrived with his team to the finals of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and the Copa América 2015, contests in which he was chosen best player of the tournament,   as well as reaching the final of the Copa América Centenario.  
Leonel Messi’s Biography
Lionel Messi was born on June 24, 1987 in the city of Rosario, in the province of Santa Fe.  He is the son of Jorge Horacio Messi and of Celia María Cuccittini.  His father’s family is native of the Italian municipality of Recanati. His great-grandfather, Angelo Messi, emigrated to Argentina in 1883.   His maternal grandmother, who encouraged him to dedicate himself to soccer and whom he thanked after converting a goal,  was called Celia Olivera de Cuccittini ( 26/5 / 1930-8 / 5/1998).  He has two brothers, Rodrigo and Matías, and a sister, María Sol.  Two of his cousins (Maximiliano and Emanuel Biancucchi) are also footballers.
At just five years old, Messi took his first steps at Club Abanderado Grandoli,    located in the Grandoli neighborhood, south of Rosario, a few blocks from his home. The club was run by his father and his first coach was Salvador Aparicio.   He subsequently played some games with Central Córdoba.  In 1994, he began training in the lower divisions of Newell’s Old Boys. ,   club with which he won, among other titles, with the “Machine of 87”,  the Friendship Cup of Peru in 1997.  At the age of 11 years, he was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency. 
In August 2000, Messi went to Buenos Aires to try on River Plate, and was accepted by the recruiter Federico Vairo who asked for his contract, but it never materialized. The reason why he did not continue in the institution was not clarified, the versions go from River and the parents of Messi did not reach an agreement for the cost of a hormonal treatment to others that indicate that the parents did not want to leave only Messi at the boarding house in Buenos Aires and they were required to be granted a house and a job.    On September 3, at the age of 13, he gave his first interview to a media outlet at the supplement ‘Pasión Rojinegra’ by the newspaper La Capital de Rosario.  
On September 17, 2000, from a flight from Buenos Aires with a stop in Madrid, he arrived with his father at El Prat   He waited for them at the terminal Horacio Gaggioli, representative associated with the office Josep Maria Minguella, only relative in Lleida, who was the initial great support for the family. “Alldid was call Carles Rexach and ask him to do a test for that kid,” Minguella only confirmed.  As soon as he landed, Gaggioli took them to the hotel, just in front of the Camp Nou, where Messi he slept for the first time in Barcelona.   He was summoned to participate in a first training the day after his arrival on September 18 with the children’s team, although he could not perform the mandatory tests to enter football. base azulgrana due to the absence of Rexach, responsible for the quarry at that time.  
«He was very short, he almost did not talk and nobody could imagine that he was going to mess us up»Gerard Piqué, one of the homegrown players that coincided for the first time with Messi on Barcelona’s territory. 
The base football department of Barça then summoned the young Argentine to a test match with the child A, in one of the artificial turf pitches above the Miniestadi, number 3.  “He scored six goals , shot twice to the post and the half part had to change equipment to balance the friendly, “recalls Joan Lacueva, who at that time was the executive responsible for Barça’s football.   Rexach saw it in the test and the situation was resolved. “I arrived with the match started anddid not have time to sit down,knew that if we did not sign him, we would regret it”.   On December 14, after meeting with his parents and with it was his agent, Horacio Gaggioli, in a bar he drafted a principle of agreement on a paper napkin, which was signed by all the parties involved, by way of contract, where Rexach was committed to his signing.     The family moved to the city of Barcelona,  where Messi started playing in the lower ranks of La Masía, FC Barcelona.   He was teammate of, among others, Cesc Fàbregas and Gerard Piqué.  One of his first technicians was Tito Vilanova, who years later would be his coach in the first team.  
«In Barcelona, on December 14, 2000, in the presence of Messrs. Minguella and Horacio (Gaggioli), Carles Rexach, Technical Secretary of the FCB, undertakes under his responsibility and despite some opinions against signing the Lionel Messi player as long as we maintain the agreed amounts ».Pray the napkin as a contract, today at the Club Museum. 
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