Date of Birth: Jun 24, 1987 (Age 24)
Place of Birth: Santa Fe
Height: 169 cm.
Weight: 67 Kg.
Squad Number: 10
National Team Page: Argentina
Although he was close to his father at Grandoli, they both knew this club would not be one to offer the young boy a future as a soccer player, so his father decided to take him to one of the most prestigious youth academies in Argentina, that of Newell's Old Boys. This happened in 1995, when Leonel Messi was just 8 years old.
Lionel Messi Biography – Health Problems - Three years later, Messi was already showing promise and he was considered a huge future talent, but unfortunately he was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency that could be treated, but its cost would be around $700 per month and the Messi family simply did not have that kind of money.
River plate, one of the other strong Argentinean teams wanted to pay for Messi's treatment, but they couldn't afford it either, with the Argentinean economy collapsing. Fortunately for the young player, FC Barcelona, who was already scouting him, learned of his problem and decided to help out and put the life of Leonel Messi back on its rightful track. Messi soon signed with Barcelona's youth team and moved to Spain for his treatment.
Lionel Messi Biography - FC Barcelona
Recovering from his growth deficiency problem, the Argentinean started playing regularly for FC Barcelona's youth squad and in a few years, he was taken to the B squad of Barcelona, where Lionel Messi's goals started placing the spotlight on him once again.
Despite his small frame, he managed an impressive 35 goals in 30 matches and in 2004 he made his official debut for the senior squad of the Catalan team, in a local derby against Espanyol Barcelona. He was 17 years and 3 months old on his debut. He didn't play in a lot of other games in that season, but in May 2005, he managed to score his first official goal, against Albacete, becoming the youngest player to ever score a game for Barcelona in a league game.
Getting more and more match experience, he slowly earned a solid place in the first team and his pace, passing and goal scoring ability earned him standing ovations wherever he would play, especially a memorable one in a match against Udinese in the UEFA Champions League on Nou Camp, where Messi single-handedly won the match and made the stadium's capacity rise to their feet as a gesture of respect.
From that moment, he was almost indispensable in Barca's first squad and although several thigh injuries kept him away from the pitch, he came back in force in the 2006-2007 season. Probably his most memorable match and the one that truly made him the big star that he is today was the El Clasico duel on March 10th 2007, where Barcelona met arch-rivals Real Madrid on Nou Camp.
Messi managed to score a hat-trick, with his last goal being a crucial equalizer scored in the 90th minute. That Lionel Messi goal will live long in the memory of the Barca fans as everyone talked for weeks about the 19 year old kid that brought Real Madrid to its knees.
Source : Afghan Voice Agency (AVA), Kabul
Sunday 4 March 2012 12:33