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Lionel Messi          

Professional Footballer; Forward for FC Barcelona & Argentine National Team; Philanthropist

Lionel Messi is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward for FC Barcelona and the Argentine national team.

Often considered the best player in the world and regarded by many as one of the greatest players of all time, Messi has a record six Ballon d'Or awards and a record six European Golden Shoes. He has spent his entire professional career with Barcelona, where he has won over 30 tropies. Both a prolific goalscorer and a creative playmaker, he has scored over 700 senior career goals for club and country.

An Argentine international, Messi is his country's all-time leading goalscorer. His style of play as a diminutive, left-footed dribbler drew comparisons with compatriot Diego Maradona, who declared the teenager his successor. One of the most prolific goalscorers and clinical finishers of all time, Messi is known for his powerful and accurate striking ability from both inside and outside the area, as well as his positioning, quick reactions, and ability to make attacking runs to beat the defensive line. He is also known as one of the best dribblers of all time for his superb ball control.

Born and raised in central Argentina, Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency as a child. At age 13, he relocated to Spain to join FC Barcelona after they agreed to pay for his medical treatment. After a fast progression through Barcelona's youth academy, Messi made his competitive debut at age 17 in October 2004. During the 2008-2009 season, he helped Barcelona achieve the first treble in Spanish football (a "treble" is when a club team wins three trophies in a single season). At 22 years old, Messi won the Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year award by record voting margins.

Messi is also well-known for his efforts as a philanthropist, having been involved in charitable efforts aimed at vulnerable children throughout his career. Messi's commitment to helping vulnerable children stems in part from the medical difficulties he faced as a child himself. Since 2004, Messi has contributed his time and finances to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). Messi has served as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador since his appointment in March 2010.

In addition to his work with UNICEF, Messi founded his own charitable organization, the Leo Messi Foundation, which supports access to health care, education, and sport for children. It was established in 2007 following a visit Messi paid to a hospital for terminally ill children in Boston, an experience that resonated with him to the point that he decided to reinvest part of his earnings into society. Through his foundation, Messi has awarded research grants, financed medical training, and invested in the development of medical centers and projects in Argentina, Spain, and elsewhere in the world. Messi's foundation receives financial support from various companies to which he has assigned his name in endorsement agreements, with Adidas as their main sponsor.


Lionel Messi lifts Barcelona in Champions League last 8 - CNN
Lionel Messi scored a spellbinding goal as Barcelona beat Napoli 3-1 (4-2 on aggregate) in the Camp Nou on Saturday night to advance to the quarterfinals of  ...
Lionel Messi claims record-breaking seventh golden boot - CNN
Lionel Messi doesn't have many records yet to break in his career but he claimed yet another one by winning his seventh Golden Boot as La Liga's top ...
What next for Lionel Messi after the Instagram post that rocked ...
The defeat follows Lionel Messi's public war of words with sporting director and former teammate Eric Abidal, which forced club president Josep Bartomeu to ...

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