Lionel Messi is one of the most skilful footballers the world has even seen. Messi, who belongs to Argentina, has numerous records to his name. He has just played for Barcelona since he was as young as 11 years old. Today, the star striker is celebrating his 29th birthday. On his big day, here are five interesting facts about Lionel Messi.
His first contract was written on a napkin paper
He was offered to play for Spain
Messi is a citizen of Spain as well as his native country, Argentina. Although, he has spent most of his shaping years in Spain, but, he still considers himself an Argentine. He was offered to play for the national side of Spain, but, he turned it down and preferred wearing white and blue stripes jersey of Argentina.
Messi was sent off just after 47 seconds in his national debut
The Argentine striker made his debut against Hungary in 2005, he was sent in as a substitute. Just after 47 seconds in the ground, Messi elbowed Vilmos Vanczak and was sent off by the referee with a straight red card.
Messi was treated for growth hormones deficiency
When Messi was just 11, he was diagnosed with the growth hormones deficiency which could have been a hurdle in his way to become a great footballer. His parents couldn’t afford the expansive treatment, but, he impressed the Spanish Club so much that they offered to play for his treatment. As a result, Messi flown to Spain from Argentina with his father. He is 5.6” tall now and still one of the shorter players.
Messi became Barcelona’s highest scorer of all time when he was just 24
Lionel Messi broke became the highest goal scorer for Barcelona at an age of 24 years in 2002. He broke the long standing record of Cesar Rodriguez, who scored 232 goals in 13 seasons. Whereas, Messi took just 8 seasons to surpass him.