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Lionel Messi
Messi Training .jpg
Personal information
Full name Lionel Andrés Messi[1][2]
Date of birth 24 June 1987 (1987-06-24) (age 22)
Place of birth Rosario, Argentina
Height 1.69 m (5 ft 7 in)[1]
Playing position Winger / Striker
Club information
Current club Barcelona
Number 10
Youth career
1995–2000 Newell's Old Boys
2000–2004 Barcelona
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2004–2005 Barcelona B 5 (0)
2004– Barcelona 132 (76)
National team
2005 Argentina U20 7 (6)
2008 Argentina U23 5 (2)
2005– Argentina 43 (13)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 14 March 2010.
† Appearances (Goals).
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 20 February 2010
.Lionel Andrés Messi (Spanish pronunciation: [ljoˈnel anˈdɾes ˈmesi]; born 24 June 1987) is an Argentine footballer who currently plays for La Liga team Barcelona and the Argentine national team.^ Messi plays for the team.
  • TheGame - Times Online - WBLG: Is Lionel Messi the right choice for the Ballon D'Or? 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC timesonline.typepad.com [Source type: General]

^ Lionel Andrés Messi was born on June 24, 1987, in Rosario, Argentina.
  • JockBio: Lionel Messi Biography 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.jockbio.com [Source type: General]

^ Sandro who is currently playing for Internacional.
  • BBC - BBC Sport: Tim Vickery: The two sides of Lionel Messi 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.bbc.co.uk [Source type: General]

Messi is considered to be one of the best football players of his generation,[3][4][5] having received several Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year nominations by the age of 21.[6][7][8] His playing style and ability have drawn comparisons to football legend Diego Maradona, who himself declared Messi his "successor".[9][10]
.Messi began playing football at a young age and his potential was quickly identified by Barcelona.^ Messi began playing football at a young age and his potential was quickly identified by FC Barcelona.
  • http://getglue.com/topics/p/lionel_messi 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC getglue.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Messi began playing football at a young age and his potential was quickly identified by Barcelona.
  • Lionel Messi Pictures Gallery - Argentina Soccer Player | Barcelona Soccer Star 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Messi is considered to be one of the best football players of his generation, having received several Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year nominations by the age of 21.
  • Lionel Messi Pictures Gallery - Argentina Soccer Player | Barcelona Soccer Star 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
  • http://getglue.com/topics/p/lionel_messi 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC getglue.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
  • Lionel Messi at allvoices.com 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.allvoices.com [Source type: General]

.He left Rosario-based Newell's Old Boys's youth team in 2000 and moved with his family to Europe, as Barcelona offered treatment for his growth hormone deficiency.^ Having started out with Newells Old Boys in his homeland Messi soon came to Barcelona's attention, who moved him and his family to Europe as the club offered to provide treatment for the youngster's growth hormone deficiency.
  • World News Australia - Factbox: Who is Lionel Messi? 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.sbs.com.au [Source type: News]

^ He was at CA Newell's Old Boys as a child, but Messi moved to FC Barcelona aged 13 as his parents needed to pay for treatment he needed for a hormone deficiency.
  • MESSI (Lionel Andrés Messi) - FC Barcelona and Argentina 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.footballdatabase.com [Source type: General]

^ He left Rosario-based Newell's Old Boys's youth team in 2000 and moved with his family to Europe, as Barcelona offered treatment for his growth hormone deficiency.
  • Lionel Messi Pictures Gallery - Argentina Soccer Player | Barcelona Soccer Star 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.Making his debut in the 2004–05 season, he broke the La Liga record for the youngest footballer to play a league game, and also the youngest to score a league goal.^ La Liga footballers (48) .
  • Lionel Messi - Kosmix : Reference, Videos, Images, News, Shopping and more... 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC sports.kosmix.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ May: Scores his first goal in La Liga (v.
  • MESSI (Lionel Andrés Messi) - FC Barcelona and Argentina 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.footballdatabase.com [Source type: General]

^ Every game from the Football League .
  • Sky Sports | Football | Primera Division | News | Messi wins Ballon d'Or 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.skysports.com [Source type: General]
  • Sky Sports | Home | News | Messi wins Ballon d'Or 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC www.skysports.com [Source type: General]

.Major honours soon followed as Barcelona won La Liga in Messi's debut season, and won a double of the league and UEFA Champions League in 2006. His breakthrough season was in 2006–07: he became a first team regular, scoring a hat-trick in El Clásico and finishing with 14 goals in 26 league games.^ Barca also won La Liga in 2009.
  • JockBio: Lionel Messi Biography 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.jockbio.com [Source type: General]

^ Major honours soon followed as Barcelona won La Liga in Messi's debut season, and won a double of the league and UEFA Champions League in 2006.
  • Lionel Messi Pictures Gallery - Argentina Soccer Player | Barcelona Soccer Star 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
  • http://getglue.com/topics/p/lionel_messi 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC getglue.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Messi, 22, won the treble of Champions League, the Spanish championship and Spanish cup with Barcelona last season.
  • Lionel Messi wins Europe's Ballon d'Or award - Neowin Forums 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.neowin.net [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.Perhaps his most successful season was the 2008–09 season, in which Messi scored 38 goals to play an integral part in a treble winning campaign.^ May 04, 2008 at 09:38 AM .
  • Z_Sport: Messi for Chelsea 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC blogs.notw.co.uk [Source type: General]

^ Perhaps his most successful season was the 2008?09 season, in which Messi scored 38 goals to play an integral part in a treble winning campaign.
  • Lionel Messi Pictures Gallery - Argentina Soccer Player | Barcelona Soccer Star 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Lionel Messi Skills and Goals from season 2008/2009 By LionelMessi2000**.
  • Lionel Messi Pictures Gallery - Argentina Soccer Player | Barcelona Soccer Star 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.Messi was the top scorer with six goals, including two in the final game of the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship.^ The top two players in the world are Messi and Kaka not Ronaldo.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo versus Lionel Messi pits showman against shy man, writes Paul Hayward | Football | The Guardian 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC www.guardian.co.uk [Source type: General]

^ Lionel messi top 30 goals!!!
  • Lionel Messi - Kosmix : Reference, Videos, Images, News, Shopping and more... 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC sports.kosmix.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ LIONEL MESSI TOP 30 GOALS!!!
  • Lionel Messi Pictures Gallery - Argentina Soccer Player | Barcelona Soccer Star 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
  • Lionel Messi 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.mediafootball.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.Shortly thereafter, he became an established member of Argentina's senior international team.^ Shortly thereafter, he became an established member of Argentina's senior international team.
  • Lionel Messi Pictures Gallery - Argentina Soccer Player | Barcelona Soccer Star 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
  • http://getglue.com/topics/p/lionel_messi 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC getglue.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ International debut On August 4, Jos Pekerman called him up to the senior Argentine national team.
  • http://www.mediafootball.com/biography/Lionel+Messi/8 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.mediafootball.com [Source type: General]

^ In 2008, in Beijing, he won his first international honour, an Olympic gold medal, with the Argentina Olympic football team.
  • Lionel Messi Pictures Gallery - Argentina Soccer Player | Barcelona Soccer Star 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.In 2006 he became the youngest Argentine to play in the FIFA World Cup and he won a runners-up medal at the Copa América tournament the following year.^ FIFA World Cup players (36) .
  • Lionel Messi - Kosmix : Reference, Videos, Images, News, Shopping and more... 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC sports.kosmix.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Argentina squad for the FIFA World Cup 2006 .
  • MESSI (Lionel Andrés Messi) - FC Barcelona and Argentina 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.footballdatabase.com [Source type: General]

^ In doing so he became the youngest player to represent Argentina at a World Cup.
  • http://www.mediafootball.com/biography/Lionel+Messi/8 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.mediafootball.com [Source type: General]

.In 2008, in Beijing, he won his first international honour, an Olympic gold medal, with the Argentina Olympic football team.^ Olympic gold medalists for Argentina (71) .
  • Lionel Messi - Kosmix : Reference, Videos, Images, News, Shopping and more... 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC sports.kosmix.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Olympic footballers of Argentina (85) .
  • Lionel Messi - Kosmix : Reference, Videos, Images, News, Shopping and more... 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC sports.kosmix.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Argentina international footballers (29) .
  • Lionel Messi - Kosmix : Reference, Videos, Images, News, Shopping and more... 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC sports.kosmix.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

Contents

Early life

.Messi was born on 24 June 1987 in Rosario, Argentina, to parents Jorge Messi, a factory worker, and Celia (née Cuccitini), a part-time cleaner.^ Lionel Andrés Messi was born on June 24, 1987, in Rosario, Argentina.
  • JockBio: Lionel Messi Biography 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.jockbio.com [Source type: General]

^ Lionel Messi Lionel Andr s "Leo" Messi (born 24 June 1987 in Rosario) is an...
  • Lionel Messi - Kosmix : Reference, Videos, Images, News, Shopping and more... 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC sports.kosmix.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Lionel Andrés Messi (; born 24 June 1987) is an Argentine footballer who currently plays for La Liga team Barcelona and the Argentine national team.
  • Lionel Messi Pictures Gallery - Argentina Soccer Player | Barcelona Soccer Star 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

[11][12] .His paternal family originates from the Italian city of Ancona where his ancestor, Angelo Messi, emigrated to Argentina in 1883.[13][14] He has two older brothers named Rodrigo and Matías as well as a sister named Maria Sol.^ Lionel also has a sister, Maria Sol.
  • JockBio: Lionel Messi Biography 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.jockbio.com [Source type: General]

^ This notion that Argentina are not able to form a team which can play well enough to serve Messi, is widespread.
  • The curious case of Lionel Messi - Top Stories - Football - Sports - The Times of India 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC timesofindia.indiatimes.com [Source type: General]

^ Teenage striker Lionel Messi is named in Argentina's squad for next month's World Cup qualifier in Paraguay, despite his disastrous debut in midweek.
  • Lionel Messi: News & Videos about Lionel Messi - CNN.com 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC topics.edition.cnn.com [Source type: News]

[15] .At the age of five, Messi started playing football for Grandoli, a local club coached by his father Jorge.^ Messi is considered to be one of the best football players of his generation, having received several Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year nominations by the age of 21.
  • Lionel Messi Pictures Gallery - Argentina Soccer Player | Barcelona Soccer Star 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
  • MyProps.org - Lionel Andrés Messi - Top 30 Goals - Metacafe Videos: Most Viewed 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC myprops.org [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Lionel Andrés Messi (; born 24 June 1987) is an Argentine footballer who currently plays for La Liga team Barcelona and the Argentine national team.
  • Lionel Messi Pictures Gallery - Argentina Soccer Player | Barcelona Soccer Star 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ His playing style and ability have drawn comparisons to football legend Diego Maradona, who himself declared Messi his "successor".
  • Lionel Messi Pictures Gallery - Argentina Soccer Player | Barcelona Soccer Star 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
  • MyProps.org - Lionel Andrés Messi - Top 30 Goals - Metacafe Videos: Most Viewed 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC myprops.org [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

[16] .In 1995, Messi switched to Newell's Old Boys who were based in his home city Rosario.^ He was at CA Newell's Old Boys as a child, but Messi moved to FC Barcelona aged 13 as his parents needed to pay for treatment he needed for a hormone deficiency.
  • MESSI (Lionel Andrés Messi) - FC Barcelona and Argentina 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.footballdatabase.com [Source type: General]

^ He left Rosario-based Newell's Old Boys's youth team in 2000 and moved with his family to Europe, as Barcelona offered treatment for his growth hormone deficiency.
  • Lionel Messi Pictures Gallery - Argentina Soccer Player | Barcelona Soccer Star 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ He then joined the junior ranks of Newell’s Old Boys, the club where Maradona wound down his career, and from Jorge acquired a hunger for the facts and figures of the game.
  • Lionel Messi on a mission | European Football - Times Online 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.timesonline.co.uk [Source type: News]

[16] .At the age of 11, he was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency.^ He was at CA Newell's Old Boys as a child, but Messi moved to FC Barcelona aged 13 as his parents needed to pay for treatment he needed for a hormone deficiency.
  • MESSI (Lionel Andrés Messi) - FC Barcelona and Argentina 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.footballdatabase.com [Source type: General]

^ He left Rosario-based Newell's Old Boys's youth team in 2000 and moved with his family to Europe, as Barcelona offered treatment for his growth hormone deficiency.
  • Lionel Messi Pictures Gallery - Argentina Soccer Player | Barcelona Soccer Star 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ After Lionel turned 11, the Messis were informed by doctors that their talented son had a hormone deficiency.
  • JockBio: Lionel Messi Biography 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.jockbio.com [Source type: General]

[17] .Primera División club River Plate showed interest in Messi's progress, but did not have enough money to pay for the treatment, as it cost $900 a month.^ It cost $900 a month, an expense neither River Plate nor Newell’s would take on.
  • Lionel Messi on a mission | European Football - Times Online 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.timesonline.co.uk [Source type: News]

^ He was at CA Newell's Old Boys as a child, but Messi moved to FC Barcelona aged 13 as his parents needed to pay for treatment he needed for a hormone deficiency.
  • MESSI (Lionel Andrés Messi) - FC Barcelona and Argentina 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.footballdatabase.com [Source type: General]

^ Messi took a while for the cogs to start turning, but when they did, he exploded into the game and showed the world why he is the world's best player at the moment.
  • Lionel Messi Pictures Gallery - Argentina Soccer Player | Barcelona Soccer Star 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

[12] .Carles Rexach, the sporting director of Barcelona, had been made aware of his talent as Messi had relatives in Lleida, Catalonia, and Messi and his father were able to arrange a trial.^ Barca’s director, Carles Rexach, had heard about the boy’s talent through the Messi’s relatives in Catalonia and was undaunted by the price tag of growth hormone therapy.
  • JockBio: Lionel Messi Biography 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.jockbio.com [Source type: General]

^ Barcelona director of football Txiki Begiristain says Lionel Messi is priceless for them and will not leave the club.

^ After settling in Barcelona, the talented youngster was invited to trials at the Camp Nou, where the youth coach Carles Rexach immediately spotted a star in the making.
  • MESSI (Lionel Andrés Messi) - FC Barcelona and Argentina 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.footballdatabase.com [Source type: General]

[12] .Barcelona signed him after watching him play,[18] offering to pay for the medical bills if he was willing to move to Spain.^ Having started out with Newells Old Boys in his homeland Messi soon came to Barcelona's attention, who moved him and his family to Europe as the club offered to provide treatment for the youngster's growth hormone deficiency.
  • World News Australia - Factbox: Who is Lionel Messi? 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.sbs.com.au [Source type: News]

^ And reports in Spain on Wednesday claimed City had offered a blockbuster €150 million deal to buy out the remainder of the 21-year-old's contract with the Catalans giants, and then pay him a further €10 million a year to play at Eastlands.
  • inside World Soccer | Soccer news, scores, standings and videos: lionel messi 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.insideworldsoccer.com [Source type: General]

^ Manchester City have dismissed reports that they made a €150 million offer to sign Barcelona star Lionel Messi.
  • inside World Soccer | Soccer news, scores, standings and videos: lionel messi 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.insideworldsoccer.com [Source type: General]

[16] .His family moved to Europe and he started in the club's youth teams.^ Having started out with Newells Old Boys in his homeland Messi soon came to Barcelona's attention, who moved him and his family to Europe as the club offered to provide treatment for the youngster's growth hormone deficiency.
  • World News Australia - Factbox: Who is Lionel Messi? 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.sbs.com.au [Source type: News]

^ The left-sided midfielder moved to Spain along with his family at the age of 12 and has spent the last five years working his way through Barcelona’s youth teams.
  • MESSI (Lionel Andrés Messi) - FC Barcelona and Argentina 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.footballdatabase.com [Source type: General]

^ All the top teams are spending massive amounts of money on their players to be the best clubs in Europe.
  • Z_Sport: Messi for Chelsea 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC blogs.notw.co.uk [Source type: General]

[18]

Club career

Barcelona

.Messi made his unofficial debut for the first team in a friendly match against Porto on 16 November 2003 (at 16 years and 145 days).^ His first goal against Albacete on May 1, 2005 made him the Spanish league's youngest ever scorer at 17, 10 months and seven days.
  • World News Australia - Factbox: Who is Lionel Messi? 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.sbs.com.au [Source type: News]

^ SUPER-STRIKER - Barcelona's Thierry Henry It brought Messi and his family to Spain when he was 12 - and five years later he made his first- team debut.
  • HE stands just 5ft 7in and weighs just over 10st wringing wet. Yet Lionel Messi is the biggest obstacle to another all-English Champions League Final. | News Of The World 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.newsoftheworld.co.uk [Source type: General]

^ The Mexican national team will play two international friendlies in the United States: El Tri will play Venezuela on June 24 and Guatemala four days later.

[19][20] .Less than a year later, Frank Rijkaard let him made his league debut against Espanyol on 16 October 2004 (at 17 years and 114 days), becoming the third-youngest player ever to play for Barcelona and youngest club player who played in La Liga (a record broken by team mate Bojan Krkić in September 2007).^ This finishes a magnificent year for Barcelona, my team mates and for me, .
  • EMM News Explorer: Lionel Messi 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC emm.newsexplorer.eu [Source type: News]

^ Ronaldo is the third best player at his club.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo versus Lionel Messi pits showman against shy man, writes Paul Hayward | Football | The Guardian 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC www.guardian.co.uk [Source type: General]

^ Barcelona debut v Espanyol October 16 2004 .
  • Football: Messi has all the qualities to take world by storm | Football | The Guardian 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.guardian.co.uk [Source type: News]

[1][19] .When he scored his first senior goal for the club against Albacete on 1 May 2005, Messi was 17 years, 10 months and 7 days old, becoming the youngest to ever score in a La Liga game for Barcelona[21] until 2007 when Bojan Krkić broke this record, scoring from a Messi assist.^ His first goal against Albacete on May 1, 2005 made him the Spanish league's youngest ever scorer at 17, 10 months and seven days.
  • World News Australia - Factbox: Who is Lionel Messi? 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.sbs.com.au [Source type: News]

^ Against Albacete on May 1 2005 he became the youngest player to score a goal for the club.
  • Football: Messi has all the qualities to take world by storm | Football | The Guardian 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.guardian.co.uk [Source type: News]

^ Barcelona's Lionel Messi is off to a slow start in La Liga.
  • Deuce of Davenport | Sports News, Commentary, Humor, Videos: Lionel Messi Is Probably Better Than You 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.deuceofdavenport.com [Source type: General]

[22] .Messi said about his ex-coach Frank Rijkaard: "I never forget that Rijkaard has launched me.^ "I'll never forget the fact that he (Rijkaard) launched my career, that he had confidence in me while I was only sixteen or seventeen."
  • Messi: "Rijkaard gave us more freedom" - Soccerway 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.soccerway.com [Source type: News]

^ We must not pay all attention to him and forget about Berbatov, Rooney and Carlos Tevez ,” said Messi.
  • Messi | Fútbolita 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC futbolita.com [Source type: General]

^ I never said I looked like messi, i told you this before.
  • Ain't It Cool News: The best in movie, TV, DVD, and comic book news. 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC www.aintitcool.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

That he gave me confidence as I only sixteen, seventeen years was."
[23]

2005–06 season

"Messi I think is like me, he is the best in the world along with Ronaldinho."
.On 16 September, for the second time in three months, Barcelona announced an update to Messi's contract – this time improved to pay him as a first team member and extended until June 2014.[16] Messi obtained Spanish citizenship on 26 September[25] and was finally able to make his debut in the season's Spanish First Division.^ Messi agrees new contract with Barcelona .
  • Lionel Messi: News & Videos about Lionel Messi - CNN.com 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC topics.edition.cnn.com [Source type: News]

^ Barcelona finishes first half of Spanish season unbeaten .
  • Lionel Messi - Indian Premier League | IPL Cricket Highlights - Times of India 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC iplextra.indiatimes.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ UPDATE: Messi puts Barcelona up, 2-0 .

.Messi's first home outing in the UEFA Champions League came on 27 September against Italian club Udinese.^ Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has been ruled out of Saturday's derby against Espanyol due to an ankle injury.
  • MESSI BLOW FOR BARCA |Football Transfer News, Football News, Fixtures, Results, Match Reports, Stats 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC www.sportinglife.com [Source type: News]

^ Messi ended last season as the top scorer in the Champions League and found the net in his side's 2-0 victory over Manchester United in the final.
  • Lionel Messi wins Ballon dOr - Barcelona News from football.co.uk 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.football.co.uk [Source type: News]

^ Barcelona's Argentina striker Lionel Messi will be out of action for six weeks after tearing a muscle in his left leg during Tuesday night's 1-0 Champions League victory over Celtic.
  • Lionel Messi: News & Videos about Lionel Messi - CNN.com 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC topics.edition.cnn.com [Source type: News]

[19] .Fans at Barcelona's stadium, the Camp Nou, gave Messi a standing ovation upon his substitution, as his composure on the ball and passing combinations with Ronaldinho had paid dividends for Barcelona.^ "He has the left foot of Maradona, the switch of rhythm of (Johan) Cruyff and the lethal passing of Ronaldinho," the paper said of Messi.
  • World News Australia - Factbox: Who is Lionel Messi? 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.sbs.com.au [Source type: News]

^ Messi, 22, becomes the sixth Barcelona player to take the award but the first for four years - since Brazilian playmaker Ronaldinho.
  • Sky Sports | Football | Primera Division | News | Messi wins Ballon d'Or 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.skysports.com [Source type: General]

^ A Lionel Messi double secured a 3-2 Champions League victory for Barcelona at Celtic to put the Catalan giants in the driving seat for the last-16 return leg at the Nou Camp in a fortnight.
  • Lionel Messi: News & Videos about Lionel Messi - CNN.com 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC topics.edition.cnn.com [Source type: News]

[26]
.Messi netted six goals in seventeen league appearances, and scored one Champions League goal in six.^ Messi celebrates another goal for Barcelona - this time in the Champions League .
  • BBC - BBC Sport: Tim Vickery: The two sides of Lionel Messi 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.bbc.co.uk [Source type: General]

^ Maradona's Task: Harmony From Chaos Lionel Messi scored an exquisite hat trick for Barcelona on Sunday, Carlos Tévez netted three goals for Manchester City on Monday, Gonzalo Higuaín kept up ...
  • Lionel Messi Pictures Gallery - Argentina Soccer Player | Barcelona Soccer Star 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Perhaps his most successful season was the 2008?09 season, in which Messi scored 38 goals to play an integral part in a treble winning campaign.
  • Lionel Messi Pictures Gallery - Argentina Soccer Player | Barcelona Soccer Star 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.His season ended prematurely on 7 March 2006, however, when he suffered a muscle tear in his right thigh during the second leg of the second round Champions League tie against Chelsea.^ Messi ended last season as the top scorer in the Champions League and found the net in his side's 2-0 victory over Manchester United in the final.
  • Lionel Messi wins Ballon dOr - Barcelona News from football.co.uk 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.football.co.uk [Source type: News]

^ Barcelona's Argentina striker Lionel Messi will be out of action for six weeks after tearing a muscle in his left leg during Tuesday night's 1-0 Champions League victory over Celtic.
  • Lionel Messi: News & Videos about Lionel Messi - CNN.com 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC topics.edition.cnn.com [Source type: News]

^ Barcelona's teenage sensation Lionel Messi is backing himself to make a surprise appearance in the Champions League final against Arsenal in Paris on May 17.
  • Lionel Messi: News & Videos about Lionel Messi - CNN.com 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC topics.edition.cnn.com [Source type: News]

[27] .Frank Rijkaard's Barcelona ended the season as champions of Spain and Europe.^ Messi ended last season as the top scorer in the Champions League and found the net in his side's 2-0 victory over Manchester United in the final.
  • Lionel Messi wins Ballon dOr - Barcelona News from football.co.uk 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.football.co.uk [Source type: News]

^ Major honours soon followed as Barcelona won La Liga in Messi's debut season, and won a double of the league and UEFA Champions League in 2006.
  • Lionel Messi Pictures Gallery - Argentina Soccer Player | Barcelona Soccer Star 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ He is the leading scorer in this season’s Champions League with eight goals, and his 37 goals in all competitions lead Barcelona’s offensive juggernaut, which already won the Spanish league and Cup titles.

[28][29]

2006–07 season

Messi in a match against Rangers in 2007
.In the 2006–07 season, Messi established himself as a regular first team player, scoring 14 times in 26 matches.^ His breakthrough season was in 2006?07: he became a first team regular, scoring a hat-trick in El Clásico and finishing with 14 goals in 26 league games.
  • Lionel Messi Pictures Gallery - Argentina Soccer Player | Barcelona Soccer Star 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Perhaps his most successful season was the 2008?09 season, in which Messi scored 38 goals to play an integral part in a treble winning campaign.
  • Lionel Messi Pictures Gallery - Argentina Soccer Player | Barcelona Soccer Star 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ SUPER-STRIKER - Barcelona's Thierry Henry It brought Messi and his family to Spain when he was 12 - and five years later he made his first- team debut.
  • HE stands just 5ft 7in and weighs just over 10st wringing wet. Yet Lionel Messi is the biggest obstacle to another all-English Champions League Final. | News Of The World 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.newsoftheworld.co.uk [Source type: General]

[30] .On 12 November, in the game against Real Zaragoza, Messi suffered a broken metatarsal, ruling him out for three months.^ He continued putting in excellent performances before he suffered a broken metatarsal, ruling him out for 3 months.
  • Ronaldo vs Messi vs Kaká | Soccer Manager.com News 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC blog.soccermanager.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ That’s in reference to Messi’s ‘miss’ against Venezuela, capping a brilliant game during which the limelight shone firmly on the halos atop his heaven-sent feet.
  • Lionel Messi: Worth Twice the Price of Admission. - World Cup Blog 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.worldcupblog.org [Source type: General]

^ I was really impressed by Messi's game and his amazing dribbling abilities.
  • Lionel Messi Wins FIFA World Player Of The Year Award 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC forums.digitalpoint.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

[31][32] .Messi recuperated from his injury in Argentina, and his return to action came against Racing Santander on 11 February,[33] where he came on as a second-half substitute.^ Late last week, Bradley announced a 33-man pool, with 11 M.L.S. players, for the coming exhibition games against England, Spain (June 4) and Argentina (June 8 in East Rutherford, N.J.).

^ Check out his goal against Racing Santander on Tuesday night.
  • Deuce of Davenport | Sports News, Commentary, Humor, Videos: Lionel Messi Is Probably Better Than You 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.deuceofdavenport.com [Source type: General]

^ Forward Lionel Messi, who is recovering from a thigh muscle injury, does not expect to start Argentina's opening World Cup match against Ivory Coast.
  • Lionel Messi: News & Videos about Lionel Messi - CNN.com 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC topics.edition.cnn.com [Source type: News]

.On 11 March, El Clásico saw Messi in top form, scoring a hat-trick to earn 10-man Barcelona a 3–3 draw, equalising three times, with the final equaliser coming in injury time.^ March 10: Scored a last-gasp equaliser to complete a spectacular hat-trick and earn 10-man Barcelona a thrilling 3-3 home draw with arch-rivals Real Madrid.
  • MESSI (Lionel Andrés Messi) - FC Barcelona and Argentina 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.footballdatabase.com [Source type: General]

^ Messi scores again but Real on top .
  • Lionel Messi: News & Videos about Lionel Messi - CNN.com 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC topics.edition.cnn.com [Source type: News]

^ Mesmerising Messi hat-trick sends Barca top .
  • Mesmerising Messi hat-trick sends Barca top - Soccerway 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC www.soccerway.com [Source type: News]

[34] .In doing so he became the first player since Iván Zamorano (for Real Madrid in the 1994–95 season) to score a hat-trick in El Clásico.^ Spanish Cup: Messi puts Barcelona on road to quarters January 6th, 2009 MADRID - Lionel Messi gave one of the best performances of his promising career in Madrid, scoring a handsome hat-trick as Barcelona beat Atletico Madrid 3-1 in a one-sided fifth round, first leg clash in the Spanish Cup.
  • Messi is the best in the world, says Maradona 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC blog.taragana.com [Source type: News]

^ Deco El Clásico Iván Zamorano La Liga 2006–07 See also (20) .
  • Lionel Messi - Kosmix : Reference, Videos, Images, News, Shopping and more... 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC sports.kosmix.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ MADRID (AFP) Barcelona moved eight points clear of Real Madrid at the top of the Spanish league with a comfortable 3-0 win at lowly Valladolid on Saturday to round off an impressive first half of the season.
  • Lionel Messi - Kosmix : Reference, Videos, Images, News, Shopping and more... 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC sports.kosmix.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

[35] .Messi is also the youngest player ever to have scored in this fixture.^ Kaka does magic,Ronaldo can score,Messi can do all of both players so Messi is the best 2nd Ronaldo 3rd Kaka thats my point if Ronaldo scores again he is equal with Messi on goals .
  • Ronaldo vs Messi vs Kaká | Soccer Manager.com News 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC blog.soccermanager.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Messi, who co-FIFA Player of the Century Diego Maradona has called his “successor,” is the youngest player ever to compete in the Spanish Professional Football League.
  • Destructoid - Lionel Messi to be featured on cover of Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.destructoid.com [Source type: General]

^ Lionel Messi is a great player due to his ability to lift the team, change the game and score.
  • Destructoid - Lionel Messi to be featured on cover of Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.destructoid.com [Source type: General]

.Towards the end of the season he began finding the net more often; 11 of his 14 league goals for the season came from the last 13 games.^ Five goals in three league games.
  • Deuce of Davenport | Sports News, Commentary, Humor, Videos: Lionel Messi Is Probably Better Than You 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.deuceofdavenport.com [Source type: General]

^ Messi was the top scorer in last year's Champions League with nine goals, including his superb header in the 2-0 victory over Manchester United in the final.
  • Messi awarded Ballon d'Or - Soccerway 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC www.soccerway.com [Source type: News]

^ He helped Barca to an unprecedented treble of Champions League, La Liga and Spanish Cup last season, scoring the second goal in their 2-0 win over Manchester United in Rome in May.
  • FIFA World Player 2009 Award for Lionel Messi - iT Forums - The Terminal of Terminals 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC indianterminal.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

[36]
Messi shortly before scoring a goal against Getafe
.Messi also proved the "new Maradona" tag was not all hype, by near-replicating Maradona's most famous goals in the space of the single season.^ Maradona is an inspiration for all players: Messi .
  • Lionel Messi - Indian Premier League | IPL Cricket Highlights - Times of India 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC iplextra.indiatimes.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Perhaps his most successful season was the 2008?09 season, in which Messi scored 38 goals to play an integral part in a treble winning campaign.
  • Lionel Messi Pictures Gallery - Argentina Soccer Player | Barcelona Soccer Star 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Messi's goal against United in last season's final was his ninth of the 2009 Champions League campaign and left him as the competition's top scorer.
  • Barcelona's Messi named World Player of the Year - Soccerway 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.soccerway.com [Source type: News]

[37] .On 18 April 2007, he scored two goals during a Copa del Rey semi-final against Getafe, one of which was very similar to Maradona's famous goal against England at the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico, known as the Goal of the Century.^ Copa del Rey .
  • Ballon d’Or 2008: Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi? 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.mypronostic.com [Source type: General]

^ Scored in the Champions league final, copa del rey final, top scorer in the champions league.
  • TheGame - Times Online - WBLG: Is Lionel Messi the right choice for the Ballon D'Or? 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC timesonline.typepad.com [Source type: General]

^ Messi also scored a goal very similar to the one Maradona scored against England in the 86 world cup.
  • BBC - BBC Sport: Tim Vickery: The two sides of Lionel Messi 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.bbc.co.uk [Source type: General]

[38] .The world's sports press drew comparisons with Maradona, and the Spanish press labelled Messi as "Messidona".[39] He ran about the same distance, 62 metres (203 ft), beat the same number of players (six, including the goalkeeper), scored from a very similar position, and ran towards the corner flag just as Maradona did in Mexico 21 years before.^ "But you have to say it, he is very similar to Maradona - the best player I have ever seen.
  • inside World Soccer | Soccer news, scores, standings and videos: lionel messi 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.insideworldsoccer.com [Source type: General]

^ Messi also scored a goal very similar to the one Maradona scored against England in the 86 world cup.
  • BBC - BBC Sport: Tim Vickery: The two sides of Lionel Messi 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.bbc.co.uk [Source type: General]

^ He just didn't have nearly as good of a year nor the impact that Messi did.
  • FARK.com: (4811242) FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi wins the Ballon d'Or award as best European footballer of the year. Suck it, Ronaldo 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.fark.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

[37] In a press conference after the game, Messi's team-mate Deco said: "It was the best goal I have ever seen in my life."[40] Against Espanyol Messi also scored a goal which was remarkably similar to Maradona's goal against England in the World Cup quarter-finals. .Messi launched himself at the ball and connected with his hand to guide the ball past the goalkeeper Carlos Kameni.^ Messi on the other hand can control the field with his speed and his amazing ball control and on top of that his natural left footed shots make it almost impossible to stop.
  • Rooney vs. Messi - World Cup Blog 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.worldcupblog.org [Source type: General]

^ Xavi’s long-range attempt in the 28th minute also flew past the goalkeeper’s right hand.
  • Messi | Fútbolita 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC futbolita.com [Source type: General]

^ Then Carlos Tévez, who entered for Agüero on 81 minutes, slid a midfield ball to Messi, who recalled his boss’s exploits by cutting through a clutch of French defenders and firing a powerful shot past Mandanda.

[41] Despite protests by Espanyol players and replays showing it was clear handball, the goal stood.[41]

2007–08 season

Messi takes Barça to 2-0 against Sevilla at Camp Nou on 22 September 2007
.During the 2007–08 season, Messi scored five goals in a week leading Barcelona to the top four in La Liga.^ LIONEL MESSI TOP 30 GOALS!!!
  • Lionel Messi Pictures Gallery - Argentina Soccer Player | Barcelona Soccer Star 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Barcelona's Lionel Messi is off to a slow start in La Liga.
  • Deuce of Davenport | Sports News, Commentary, Humor, Videos: Lionel Messi Is Probably Better Than You 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.deuceofdavenport.com [Source type: General]

^ Lionel Andrés Messi (; born 24 June 1987) is an Argentine footballer who currently plays for La Liga team Barcelona and the Argentine national team.
  • Lionel Messi Pictures Gallery - Argentina Soccer Player | Barcelona Soccer Star 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.On 19 September he scored once as Barcelona defeated Olympique Lyonnais 3–0 at home in a Champions League match.^ Lionel Messi scored three goals as Barcelona routed Tenerife 5-0 on Sunday to maintain its two-point advantage in the Spanish league after ...
  • Lionel Messi Pictures Gallery - Argentina Soccer Player | Barcelona Soccer Star 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Major honours soon followed as Barcelona won La Liga in Messi's debut season, and won a double of the league and UEFA Champions League in 2006.
  • Lionel Messi Pictures Gallery - Argentina Soccer Player | Barcelona Soccer Star 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Barcelona's triumph at Champions League was more down to Tom Ovrebo and UEFA than Messi, who was invisible for 180 mins during the Semi Final when Barcelona failed to score for more than 180 mins.
  • TheGame - Times Online - WBLG: Is Lionel Messi the right choice for the Ballon D'Or? 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC timesonline.typepad.com [Source type: General]

[42] .He scored two goals against Sevilla on 22 September[43] and then on 26 September, Messi scored another two goals in a 4–1 victory over Real Zaragoza.^ Perhaps his most successful season was the 2008?09 season, in which Messi scored 38 goals to play an integral part in a treble winning campaign.
  • Lionel Messi Pictures Gallery - Argentina Soccer Player | Barcelona Soccer Star 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ And a bit of youtube work would help you find Messi's goal scored with his hand.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo versus Lionel Messi pits showman against shy man, writes Paul Hayward | Football | The Guardian 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC www.guardian.co.uk [Source type: General]

^ I know some idiot will say ronaldo is d best and he deserves it because he scored some stupid goals which he always score against small teams.
  • Kaka wants Messi as his successor 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.soccernews.com [Source type: General]

[44] .On 27 February, Messi played in his 100th official match for Barça against Valencia.^ Messi ran circles around the competition, while CR , even against the "vastly inferior" defence of Barca, was relegated to throwing a pity party for the majority of the match.
  • FARK.com: (4811242) FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi wins the Ballon d'Or award as best European footballer of the year. Suck it, Ronaldo 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.fark.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ C. Ronaldo, Kaka, and Benzema, Madrid's 3 big summer signings, have played a combined 13 matches against Barcelona in their careers and have 0 goals and 0 assists among them.
  • FARK.com: (4811242) FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi wins the Ballon d'Or award as best European footballer of the year. Suck it, Ronaldo 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.fark.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Messi Wants To Play Against Brasil .
  • Lionel Messi | Fútbolita 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC futbolita.com [Source type: General]
  • Messi | Fútbolita 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC futbolita.com [Source type: General]

[45]
.He was nominated for a FIFPro World XI Player Award under the category of Forward.^ Messi is considered to be one of the best football players of his generation, having received several Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year nominations by the age of 21.
  • Lionel Messi Pictures Gallery - Argentina Soccer Player | Barcelona Soccer Star 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ "Lionel is one of the most exciting and accomplished players in the world and we look forward to working very closely with him to promote the most advanced PES title ever developed."
  • Destructoid - Lionel Messi to be featured on cover of Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.destructoid.com [Source type: General]

^ In the least unexpected award of the holiday season, Lionel Messi was named FIFA’s World Player of the Year on Monday at a gala reception in Zurich.

[46] .A poll conducted in the online edition of the Spanish newspaper Marca had him as the best player in the world with 77 percent of the vote.^ Best player in the world today?
  • TheGame - Times Online - WBLG: Is Lionel Messi the right choice for the Ballon D'Or? 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC timesonline.typepad.com [Source type: General]

^ He is the best player in the world.
  • TheGame - Times Online - WBLG: Is Lionel Messi the right choice for the Ballon D'Or? 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC timesonline.typepad.com [Source type: General]

^ Messi is considered to be one of the best football players of his generation, having received several Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year nominations by the age of 21.
  • Lionel Messi Pictures Gallery - Argentina Soccer Player | Barcelona Soccer Star 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

[47] .Columnists from Barcelona-based newspapers El Mundo Deportivo and Sport stated that the Ballon d'Or should be given to Messi, a view supported by Franz Beckenbauer.^ Messi deserves the Ballon d’Or,” Kaka told Spanish newspaper Sport.
  • Kaka wants Messi as his successor 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.soccernews.com [Source type: General]

^ Lionel Messi has won the 2009 Ballon d'Or, awarded to the European footballer of the year, after inspiring Barcelona to the treble last season.
  • Lionel Messi wins Ballon d'Or by record margin as Barcelona dominate voting | Football | guardian.co.uk 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.guardian.co.uk [Source type: News]

^ News Sport Comment Culture Business Money Life & style Travel Environment TV Blogs Video Community Jobs Sport Football Barcelona Lionel Messi wins Ballon d'Or by record margin as Barcelona dominate voting .
  • Lionel Messi wins Ballon d'Or by record margin as Barcelona dominate voting | Football | guardian.co.uk 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.guardian.co.uk [Source type: News]

[48] .Football personalities such as Francesco Totti have declared that they consider Messi to be one of the current best footballers in the world.^ Messi is nowhere near the best footballer in the world today.
  • TheGame - Times Online - WBLG: Is Lionel Messi the right choice for the Ballon D'Or? 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC timesonline.typepad.com [Source type: General]

^ Messi is considered to be one of the best football players of his generation, having received several Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year nominations by the age of 21.
  • Lionel Messi Pictures Gallery - Argentina Soccer Player | Barcelona Soccer Star 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Messi took a while for the cogs to start turning, but when they did, he exploded into the game and showed the world why he is the world's best player at the moment.
  • Lionel Messi Pictures Gallery - Argentina Soccer Player | Barcelona Soccer Star 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

[49]
.Messi was sidelined for six weeks following an injury on 4 March when he suffered a muscle tear in his left thigh during a Champions League match against Celtic.^ Lionel Messi left the field in tears during Barcelona's 1-0 win over Celtic in the Champions League last week.
  • Lionel Messi: News & Videos about Lionel Messi - CNN.com 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC topics.cnn.com [Source type: News]

^ Real Madrid’s Argentine midfielder Gonzalo Higuain is set to miss 3 weeks of action due to injury, but his FTBL score is unlikely to suffer seriously as a result.
  • Lionel Messi / FTBL.com 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.ftbl.com [Source type: General]

^ Messi was also the top scorer in last year’s Champions League with nine goals, one of which helped seal a 2-0 win over Manchester United in the final.
  • TheGame - Times Online - WBLG: Is Lionel Messi the right choice for the Ballon D'Or? 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC timesonline.typepad.com [Source type: General]

.It was the fourth time in three seasons that Messi suffered this type of injury.^ Messi's form has been explosive over three quarters of the season, when he has undoubtedly been the best player in the world.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo versus Lionel Messi pits showman against shy man, writes Paul Hayward | Football | The Guardian 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC www.guardian.co.uk [Source type: General]

^ Messi was injury most the time, and he just score some wonderful gols.
  • Ronaldo vs Messi vs Kaká | Soccer Manager.com News 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC blog.soccermanager.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

[50]

2008–09 season

Messi in a match against Deportivo
.Upon Ronaldinho's departure from the club, Messi inherited his number 10 jersey.^ Ronaldinho 2.Kaka 3.C.Ronaldo 4.Drogba 5.G.Dos Santos 6.Eto’o 7.Messi 8.Lampard 9.G.Dos Santos 10.Rooney or Torres .
  • Ronaldo vs Messi vs Kaká | Soccer Manager.com News 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC blog.soccermanager.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

[51] .On 1 October 2008, during a Champions League match against Shakhtar Donetsk, Messi scored two goals during the last seven minutes, after coming on as a substitute for Thierry Henry, to turn the score from 1–0 to a 1–2 victory for Barcelona.^ Messi celebrates another goal for Barcelona - this time in the Champions League .
  • BBC - BBC Sport: Tim Vickery: The two sides of Lionel Messi 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.bbc.co.uk [Source type: General]

^ Barca coach Pep Guardiola echoed his playmaker's thoughts after seeing four of his side that won the Champions League, Primera Division and Copa del Rey titles last season finishing in the top five, with Thierry Henry and Yaya Toure also being voted into the top 30.
  • MESSI HAILS BARCA TEAM-MATES | Sporting Life - Sports News | Live Football Scores, Live Racing Results, Football Transfer News And Gossip 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC www.sportinglife.com [Source type: News]

^ August 17 - Makes full Argentina debut as second-half substitute in Hungary, only to be shown a red card within two minutes.
  • LIONEL MESSI HONOURED BY GONG | Sporting Life - Sports News | Live Football Scores, Live Racing Results, Football Transfer News And Gossip 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.sportinglife.com [Source type: News]
  • LIONEL MESSI HONOURED BY GONG |Football Transfer News, Football News, Fixtures, Results, Match Reports, Stats 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.sportinglife.com [Source type: News]

[52] .The next league game was versus Atlético Madrid, a match billed as a friendly battle between Messi and his good friend Sergio Agüero.^ Next Previous Blog home Cristiano Ronaldo versus Lionel Messi pits showman against shy man .
  • Cristiano Ronaldo versus Lionel Messi pits showman against shy man, writes Paul Hayward | Football | The Guardian 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC www.guardian.co.uk [Source type: General]

^ Atlético Madrid star Sergio Agüero has revealed that he would like to join Argentina team-mate Lionel Messi at Barcelona.
  • inside World Soccer | Soccer news, scores, standings and videos: lionel messi 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.insideworldsoccer.com [Source type: General]

^ Related links: Team Atlético Madrid Barcelona Personal Sergio Agüero Lionel Messi Also see: Ronaldo is the one I'd pay to watch - Lionel Messi Man City deny making €150m bid for Lionel Messi Benjamín Agüero Maradona is born Agüero denies Inter link Barça to pay €55 million for Agüero?
  • inside World Soccer | Soccer news, scores, standings and videos: lionel messi 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.insideworldsoccer.com [Source type: General]

[53] .Messi scored a goal from a free kick and assisted another as Barça went on to win the match 6–1.[54] Messi netted another impressive brace against Sevilla scoring a volley from 23 metres (25 yd) and then dribbling round the goalkeeper and scoring from a tight angle for the other.^ Use all your signature dribbling and tackling tricks shooting for as many goals as possible while preventing your opponents from scoring.
  • Leo Messi - GOAL!™ | Juegos para móvil | botme.com - mobile games & content 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC www.botme.com [Source type: Academic]

^ Maradona's Task: Harmony From Chaos Lionel Messi scored an exquisite hat trick for Barcelona on Sunday, Carlos Tévez netted three goals for Manchester City on Monday, Gonzalo Higuaín kept up ...
  • Lionel Messi Pictures Gallery - Argentina Soccer Player | Barcelona Soccer Star 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Messi deserved to win and by a big distance to ronaldo aswell due to the fact that he helped his team achive the treble, and scored many goals during this years campain, ronaldo is a great player who deserved it last year but not this year round to the fact that he was injured most of the season, but still you can't knock his goal ratio this year.
  • Sky Sports | Football | Primera Division | News | Messi wins Ballon d'Or 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.skysports.com [Source type: General]

[55] .On 13 December 2008, during the first Clásico of the season, Messi scored the second goal in Barcelona's 2–0 win over Real Madrid.^ Lionel Messi Skills and Goals from season 2008/2009 By LionelMessi2000**.
  • Lionel Messi Pictures Gallery - Argentina Soccer Player | Barcelona Soccer Star 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Maradona's Task: Harmony From Chaos Lionel Messi scored an exquisite hat trick for Barcelona on Sunday, Carlos Tévez netted three goals for Manchester City on Monday, Gonzalo Higuaín kept up ...
  • Lionel Messi Pictures Gallery - Argentina Soccer Player | Barcelona Soccer Star 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Messi deserved to win and by a big distance to ronaldo aswell due to the fact that he helped his team achive the treble, and scored many goals during this years campain, ronaldo is a great player who deserved it last year but not this year round to the fact that he was injured most of the season, but still you can't knock his goal ratio this year.
  • Sky Sports | Football | Primera Division | News | Messi wins Ballon d'Or 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.skysports.com [Source type: General]
  • Sky Sports | Home | News | Messi wins Ballon d'Or 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC www.skysports.com [Source type: General]

[56] .He was also named second in the 2008 FIFA World Player of the Year awards with 678 points.^ The candidates were announced last week for the Fifa World Player of the Year award.
  • BBC - BBC Sport: Tim Vickery: The two sides of Lionel Messi 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.bbc.co.uk [Source type: General]

^ Messi is considered to be one of the best football players of his generation, having received several Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year nominations by the age of 21.
  • Lionel Messi Pictures Gallery - Argentina Soccer Player | Barcelona Soccer Star 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Since then, he has led FC Barcelona to the 2005-06 UEFA Champions League title, was named SI Latino's World Player of the Year in 2007, and has been runner-up to prestigious awards including the France Football Player of the Year, and the World Soccer Footballer of the Year.
  • Destructoid - Lionel Messi to be featured on cover of Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.destructoid.com [Source type: General]

[7]
.Messi scored his first hat-trick of 2009 in a Copa del Rey tie against Atlético Madrid which Barcelona won 3–1.[57] Messi scored another important double on 1 February 2009, coming on as a second half substitute to help Barcelona defeat Racing Santander 1–2 after being 1–0 down.^ Lionel Messi scored three times to lead Barcelona to a 3-1 win over 10-man Atlético Madrid in the first leg of their last 16 Copa del Rey tie at Vicente Calderón.
  • inside World Soccer | Soccer news, scores, standings and videos: lionel messi 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.insideworldsoccer.com [Source type: General]

^ Maradona's Task: Harmony From Chaos Lionel Messi scored an exquisite hat trick for Barcelona on Sunday, Carlos Tévez netted three goals for Manchester City on Monday, Gonzalo Higuaín kept up ...
  • Lionel Messi Pictures Gallery - Argentina Soccer Player | Barcelona Soccer Star 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ April 18 - Scores a spectacular individual goal - reminiscent of Diego Maradona's second goal against England at the 1986 World Cup - as Barca beat Getafe 5-2 in Copa del Rey semi-finals.
  • LIONEL MESSI HONOURED BY GONG | Sporting Life - Sports News | Live Football Scores, Live Racing Results, Football Transfer News And Gossip 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.sportinglife.com [Source type: News]
  • LIONEL MESSI HONOURED BY GONG |Football Transfer News, Football News, Fixtures, Results, Match Reports, Stats 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.sportinglife.com [Source type: News]

.The second of the two strikes was Barcelona's 5000th league goal.^ He led the FT soccer team to two cup victories and a second division title in the Thames League.

^ Messi celebrates another goal for Barcelona - this time in the Champions League .
  • BBC - BBC Sport: Tim Vickery: The two sides of Lionel Messi 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.bbc.co.uk [Source type: General]

^ Lionel Messi scored two late goals as Barcelona snatched a dramatic 2-1 Champions League Group C victory at Shakhtar Donetsk.
  • Lionel Messi: News & Videos about Lionel Messi - CNN.com 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC topics.edition.cnn.com [Source type: News]

[58] .In the 28th round of La Liga, Messi scored his 30th goal of the season in all competitions, helping his team to a 6–0 victory over Málaga CF in the process.^ Ronaldo to win because he scored 42 goals in all competitions???
  • Kaka wants Messi as his successor 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.soccernews.com [Source type: General]

^ He he helped Barca to a never seen before treble of La Liga crown, Champions League and Copa Del Rey.
  • Messi deserves Ballon d’Or award 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.soccernews.com [Source type: General]

^ He helped Barca to an unprecedented treble of Champions League, La Liga and Spanish Cup last season, scoring the second goal in their 2-0 win over Manchester United in Rome in May.
  • FIFA World Player 2009 Award for Lionel Messi - iT Forums - The Terminal of Terminals 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC indianterminal.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

[59] .On 8 April 2009, he scored twice against Bayern Munich in the Champions' League, setting a personal record of nine goals in the competition.^ April 18 - Scores a spectacular individual goal - reminiscent of Diego Maradona's second goal against England at the 1986 World Cup - as Barca beat Getafe 5-2 in Copa del Rey semi-finals.
  • LIONEL MESSI HONOURED BY GONG | Sporting Life - Sports News | Live Football Scores, Live Racing Results, Football Transfer News And Gossip 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.sportinglife.com [Source type: News]
  • LIONEL MESSI HONOURED BY GONG |Football Transfer News, Football News, Fixtures, Results, Match Reports, Stats 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.sportinglife.com [Source type: News]

^ The Argentina international, 22, was the top scorer in last season's Champions League with nine goals, including his header in the 2-0 victory in the final over Manchester United, for whom Ronaldo was playing his final match before joining Real Madrid.
  • Lionel Messi wins Ballon d'Or by record margin as Barcelona dominate voting | Football | guardian.co.uk 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.guardian.co.uk [Source type: News]

^ Messi was the top scorer in last year's Champions League with nine goals, including a header in the 2-0 final defeat of Manchester United in Rome.
  • LIONEL MESSI HONOURED BY GONG | Sporting Life - Sports News | Live Football Scores, Live Racing Results, Football Transfer News And Gossip 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.sportinglife.com [Source type: News]
  • LIONEL MESSI HONOURED BY GONG |Football Transfer News, Football News, Fixtures, Results, Match Reports, Stats 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.sportinglife.com [Source type: News]
  • MESSI HAILS BARCA TEAM-MATES | Sporting Life - Sports News | Live Football Scores, Live Racing Results, Football Transfer News And Gossip 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC www.sportinglife.com [Source type: News]

[60] .On 18 April, Messi notched his 20th league goal of the season in a 1–0 win at Getafe, allowing Barcelona to maintain their six point advantage at the top of the league table over Real Madrid.^ Lionel Messi: Barcelona have mental strength to win Champions League .
  • Cristiano Ronaldo versus Lionel Messi pits showman against shy man, writes Paul Hayward | Football | The Guardian 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC www.guardian.co.uk [Source type: General]

^ April 18 - Scores a spectacular individual goal - reminiscent of Diego Maradona's second goal against England at the 1986 World Cup - as Barca beat Getafe 5-2 in Copa del Rey semi-finals.
  • LIONEL MESSI HONOURED BY GONG |Football Transfer News, Football News, Fixtures, Results, Match Reports, Stats 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.sportinglife.com [Source type: News]

^ He helped Barca to an unprecedented treble of Champions League, La Liga and Spanish Cup last season, scoring the second goal in their 2-0 win over Manchester United in Rome in May.
  • FIFA World Player 2009 Award for Lionel Messi - iT Forums - The Terminal of Terminals 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC indianterminal.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

[61]
Michael Carrick (background) watches as Lionel Messi shoots in the 2009 UEFA Champions League Final
.As Barcelona's season was drawing to a close, Messi scored twice (his 35th and 36th goals in all competitions) to cap a 6–2 win over Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu[62] in what was Real's heaviest defeat since 1930.[63] After scoring each goal, he ran towards the fans and the cameras lifting up his Barcelona jersey and showing another T-shirt that read Síndrome X Fràgil, Catalan for Fragile X Syndrome, to show his support for children who suffer from the affliction.^ Another loser - Marcelo of real madrid.
  • BBC - BBC Sport: Tim Vickery: The two sides of Lionel Messi 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.bbc.co.uk [Source type: General]

^ Ronaldo to win because he scored 42 goals in all competitions???
  • Kaka wants Messi as his successor 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.soccernews.com [Source type: General]

^ Messi celebrates another goal for Barcelona - this time in the Champions League .
  • BBC - BBC Sport: Tim Vickery: The two sides of Lionel Messi 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.bbc.co.uk [Source type: General]

[64] .Messi was involved in the build-up to Andrés Iniesta's injury time goal against Chelsea in the Champions League semi-final to send Barcelona through to face Manchester United in the final.^ Messi celebrates another goal for Barcelona - this time in the Champions League .
  • BBC - BBC Sport: Tim Vickery: The two sides of Lionel Messi 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.bbc.co.uk [Source type: General]

^ May 27 - Scores second goal as Barcelona beat Manchester United 2-0 to win Champions League final in Rome.
  • LIONEL MESSI HONOURED BY GONG | Sporting Life - Sports News | Live Football Scores, Live Racing Results, Football Transfer News And Gossip 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.sportinglife.com [Source type: News]

^ UPDATE: Messi puts Barcelona up, 2-0 .

.He won his first Copa del Rey on 13 May, scoring one goal and assisting another two, in a 4–1 victory over Athletic Bilbao.^ He he helped Barca to a never seen before treble of La Liga crown, Champions League and Copa Del Rey.
  • Messi deserves Ballon d’Or award 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.soccernews.com [Source type: General]

^ "It is hard comparing Leo and Maradona, but his second goal yesterday was a lot like one Maradona scored in 1986 against Belgium.
  • inside World Soccer | Soccer news, scores, standings and videos: lionel messi 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.insideworldsoccer.com [Source type: General]

^ It's just that he can go right, go left, play a one-two with another player."
  • Cristiano Ronaldo versus Lionel Messi pits showman against shy man, writes Paul Hayward | Football | The Guardian 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC www.guardian.co.uk [Source type: General]

[65] .He helped his team win the double by winning La Liga.^ Lionel Andrés Messi (; born 24 June 1987) is an Argentine footballer who currently plays for La Liga team Barcelona and the Argentine national team.
  • Lionel Messi Pictures Gallery - Argentina Soccer Player | Barcelona Soccer Star 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ He has helped his club man utd win the premier league and the champions league double last season, kudos to him.
  • Kaka wants Messi as his successor 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.soccernews.com [Source type: General]

^ Major honours soon followed as Barcelona won La Liga in Messi's debut season, and won a double of the league and UEFA Champions League in 2006.
  • Lionel Messi Pictures Gallery - Argentina Soccer Player | Barcelona Soccer Star 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.On 27 May he helped Barcelona win the 2009 UEFA Champions League Final by scoring a second goal in the 70th minute giving Barcelona a two goal lead; he also became the top scorer in the Champions League with nine goals.^ Patty / Wednesday, May 27, 2009 .
  • Foto de Lionel Messi Sex simbol 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.leo-messi.net [Source type: General]

^ May 26, 2009, 11:27 am .

^ Messi was also the top scorer in last year’s Champions League with nine goals, one of which helped seal a 2-0 win over Manchester United in the final.
  • TheGame - Times Online - WBLG: Is Lionel Messi the right choice for the Ballon D'Or? 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC timesonline.typepad.com [Source type: General]

[66] .Messi also won the UEFA Club Forward of the Year: and the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year rounding off a spectacular year in Europe.^ Messi won’t even be the best forward from Argentina in a few years.
  • Ronaldo vs Messi vs Kaká | Soccer Manager.com News 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC blog.soccermanager.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Messi is considered to be one of the best football players of his generation, having received several Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year nominations by the age of 21.
  • Lionel Messi Pictures Gallery - Argentina Soccer Player | Barcelona Soccer Star 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.squidoo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ The talented Barcelona forward beat last year's winner Cristiano Ronaldo into second place in the poll for Europe's footballer of the year, organised by France Football magazine.
  • LIONEL MESSI HONOURED BY GONG | Sporting Life - Sports News | Live Football Scores, Live Racing Results, Football Transfer News And Gossip 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.sportinglife.com [Source type: News]

[67] .This victory meant Barcelona had won the Copa del Rey, La Liga and UEFA Champions League in the one season,[68] and was the first time a Spanish club had ever won the treble.^ The Argentina international won an unprecedented treble last season as the Catalan side won the Champions League, the Spanish title and the Copa del Rey.
  • MESSI HAILS BARCA TEAM-MATES | Sporting Life - Sports News | Live Football Scores, Live Racing Results, Football Transfer News And Gossip 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC www.sportinglife.com [Source type: News]

^ He won the Champions League , which is the main booster."
  • inside World Soccer | Soccer news, scores, standings and videos: lionel messi 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.insideworldsoccer.com [Source type: General]

^ Messi celebrates another goal for Barcelona - this time in the Champions League .
  • BBC - BBC Sport: Tim Vickery: The two sides of Lionel Messi 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.bbc.co.uk [Source type: General]

[69]

2009–10 season

Lionel Messi of Barcelona in action during the Joan Gamper Trophy match between Barcelona and Manchester City at the Camp Nou Stadium
.After winning the 2009 UEFA Super Cup, Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola asserted that Messi was probably the best player he had ever seen.^ For us Messi is the best player on the planet.
  • Kaka wants Messi as his successor 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.soccernews.com [Source type: General]

^ Pedro goal wins Super Cup for Barcelona .
  • Lionel Messi: News & Videos about Lionel Messi - CNN.com 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC topics.edition.cnn.com [Source type: News]

^ Messi, 22, becomes the sixth Barcelona player to take the award but the first for four years - since Brazilian playmaker Ronaldinho.
  • Sky Sports | Football | Primera Division | News | Messi wins Ballon d'Or 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.skysports.com [Source type: General]

[70]
.On 18 September, Messi signed a new contract with Barcelona, running until 2016 and with a buy-out clause of €250 million included, making Messi, along with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the highest paid players in La Liga, with earnings of around €9.5 million yearly.^ Messi agrees new contract with Barcelona .
  • Lionel Messi: News & Videos about Lionel Messi - CNN.com 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC topics.edition.cnn.com [Source type: News]

^ Messi included in Barcelona squad .
  • Lionel Messi: News & Videos about Lionel Messi - CNN.com 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC topics.edition.cnn.com [Source type: News]

^ Messi makes Barcelona squad return .
  • Lionel Messi: News & Videos about Lionel Messi - CNN.com 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC topics.edition.cnn.com [Source type: News]

[71][72] .Four days later, on 22 September, Messi scored two goals and assisted another in Barça's 4–1 win over Racing Santander in La Liga.^ May: Scores his first goal in La Liga (v.
  • MESSI (Lionel Andrés Messi) - FC Barcelona and Argentina 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.footballdatabase.com [Source type: General]

^ February 1: Scored twice as nine-man Barcelona, with their 5,000th Spanish league goal, came from behind to beat Racing Santander 2-1.
  • MESSI (Lionel Andrés Messi) - FC Barcelona and Argentina 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.footballdatabase.com [Source type: General]

^ Messi, 22, is the sixth Barcelona player to take the award but the first for four years - since Brazilian playmaker Ronaldinho.
  • LIONEL MESSI HONOURED BY GONG | Sporting Life - Sports News | Live Football Scores, Live Racing Results, Football Transfer News And Gossip 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.sportinglife.com [Source type: News]

[73] .Messi scored his first European goal of the season on 29 September in a 2–0 win over Dynamo Kyiv.^ He helped Barca to an unprecedented treble of Champions League, La Liga and Spanish Cup last season, scoring the second goal in their 2-0 win over Manchester United in Rome in May.
  • FIFA World Player 2009 Award for Lionel Messi - iT Forums - The Terminal of Terminals 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC indianterminal.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ At the start of the month, Messi beat Ronaldo to the European Footballer of the Year award by a massive margin - 473 points to 233 - and has now succeeded Ronaldo to win the Fifa award too.
  • FIFA World Player 2009 Award for Lionel Messi - iT Forums - The Terminal of Terminals 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC indianterminal.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ By JEFFREY MARCUS Walter Bieri/European Pressphoto Agency Lionel Messi is the first Argentine player to win the FIFA World Player of the Year award and only the second finalist since Gabriel Batistuta in 1999.

[74] .Messi took his goal tally to six goals in seven games in La Liga with a strike during a 6–1 rout over Real Zaragoza at Camp Nou,[75][76] and also scored a penalty in Barça's 4–2 win over Mallorca at the Camp Nou on 7 November.^ Celtic need a 2-0 win at Camp Nou...
  • Official Leonel Messi Appreciation Thread - Page 2 - Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival Message Board 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC coachella.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ A week ago he scored the winning goal for his Leeds United side during a famous FA Cup victory over Manchester United, but sadly he has since handed in a transfer request and seemingly upset the apple cart at Elland Road.
  • Weekend heroes and villains - Messi magic - Barcelona News from football.co.uk 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC www.football.co.uk [Source type: News]

^ Kaka does magic,Ronaldo can score,Messi can do all of both players so Messi is the best 2nd Ronaldo 3rd Kaka thats my point if Ronaldo scores again he is equal with Messi on goals .
  • Ronaldo vs Messi vs Kaká | Soccer Manager.com News 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC blog.soccermanager.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

[77] .On 1 December 2009, Messi was named winner of the 2009 Ballon d'Or, beating runner-up Cristiano Ronaldo by a huge margin of 473 to 233.[78][79][80] Afterwards, France Football magazine quoted Messi as saying: "I dedicate it to my family.^ I'm not saying Cristiano Ronaldo is a better player.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo versus Lionel Messi pits showman against shy man, writes Paul Hayward | Football | The Guardian 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC www.guardian.co.uk [Source type: General]

^ Ronaldo had 233; the winning margin was a record.

^ Messi was runner-up.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo versus Lionel Messi pits showman against shy man, writes Paul Hayward | Football | The Guardian 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC www.guardian.co.uk [Source type: General]

.They were always present when I needed them and sometimes felt even stronger emotions than me."^ "I dedicate it to my family, they were always present when I needed them and sometimes felt even stronger emotions than me."
  • Lionel Messi wins Ballon dOr - Barcelona News from football.co.uk 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.football.co.uk [Source type: News]

[81] .On 19 December, Messi scored the winner in the final of the 2009 FIFA Club World Cup against Estudiantes in Abu Dhabi.^ Barcelona win the Club World Cup .
  • EMM News Explorer: Lionel Messi 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC emm.newsexplorer.eu [Source type: News]

^ Messi was also inspirational in the team’s recent FIFA Club World Cup triumph in Abu Dhabi .

^ April 18 - Scores a spectacular individual goal - reminiscent of Diego Maradona's second goal against England at the 1986 World Cup - as Barca beat Getafe 5-2 in Copa del Rey semi-finals.
  • LIONEL MESSI HONOURED BY GONG | Sporting Life - Sports News | Live Football Scores, Live Racing Results, Football Transfer News And Gossip 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.sportinglife.com [Source type: News]

[82] .Two days later, he was given the FIFA World Player of the Year award; beating Cristiano Ronaldo, Xavi, Kaká and Andrés Iniesta to the award.^ I'm not saying Cristiano Ronaldo is a better player.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo versus Lionel Messi pits showman against shy man, writes Paul Hayward | Football | The Guardian 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC www.guardian.co.uk [Source type: General]

^ The top two players in the world are Messi and Kaka not Ronaldo.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo versus Lionel Messi pits showman against shy man, writes Paul Hayward | Football | The Guardian 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC www.guardian.co.uk [Source type: General]

^ He beat last years winner Cristiano Ronaldo by 240 votes.
  • Messi deserves Ballon d’Or award 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.soccernews.com [Source type: General]

.This was the first time he had won the award, and he became the first Argentinean to ever receive this honour.^ He is the first Barcelona player to win the award since Brazilian superstar Ronaldinho won the award in 2005.
  • Messi deserves Ballon d’Or award 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.soccernews.com [Source type: General]

^ "For me it's a big honour to win - but also to become the first Argentinian in history to receive the trophy.
  • LIONEL MESSI HONOURED BY GONG | Sporting Life - Sports News | Live Football Scores, Live Racing Results, Football Transfer News And Gossip 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.sportinglife.com [Source type: News]

^ "For me it's a big honour to win, but also to become the first Argentinian in history to receive the trophy.
  • Lionel Messi wins Ballon dOr - Barcelona News from football.co.uk 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.football.co.uk [Source type: News]

[83] .On 10 January 2010, Messi scored his first hat-trick in 2010 and his first hat-trick of the season against CD Tenerife in the 0–5 victory.^ On his return from injury he was once again in top form, and this was all to evident in El Clásico were we saw Messi in top form, scoring a hat-trick .
  • Ronaldo vs Messi vs Kaká | Soccer Manager.com News 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC blog.soccermanager.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Many United fans seem to take comfort in the fact that in 10 CL games against English opposition, Messi has yet to score.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo versus Lionel Messi pits showman against shy man, writes Paul Hayward | Football | The Guardian 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC www.guardian.co.uk [Source type: General]

^ Messi also scored a goal very similar to the one Maradona scored against England in the 86 world cup.
  • BBC - BBC Sport: Tim Vickery: The two sides of Lionel Messi 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.bbc.co.uk [Source type: General]

[84] .On 17 January, Messi scored his 100th goal for the club in the 4–0 victory over Sevilla.^ AP Published: 01:13 December 22, 2009 Reader comments (0) Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring the winning goal for Barcelona in the Fifa Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi.
  • gulfnews : Lionel Messi claims World Player of the Year award 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC gulfnews.com [Source type: General]

^ I’d say Messi has more class and skill but Roony can score goals more rapidly which counts a lot obviously.

^ And a bit of youtube work would help you find Messi's goal scored with his hand.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo versus Lionel Messi pits showman against shy man, writes Paul Hayward | Football | The Guardian 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC www.guardian.co.uk [Source type: General]

[85]

International career

.In June 2004, he debuted for Argentina, playing in an under-20 friendly match against Paraguay.^ June 30 - Left on bench by coach Jose Pekerman for quarter-final against Germany, which Argentina lose 4-2 on penalties.
  • LIONEL MESSI HONOURED BY GONG | Sporting Life - Sports News | Live Football Scores, Live Racing Results, Football Transfer News And Gossip 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.sportinglife.com [Source type: News]

^ The Mexican national team will play two international friendlies in the United States: El Tri will play Venezuela on June 24 and Guatemala four days later.

^ Argentina against England – that is one match you might be able to convince me to watch.
  • Rooney vs. Messi - World Cup Blog 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.worldcupblog.org [Source type: General]

[86] .In 2005 he was part of a team that won the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship in the Netherlands.^ Young and attacking Argentine footballer Lionel Messi had won this year’s most sought after FIFA award-FIFA World Player of the Year Award.
  • Lionel Messi wins FIFA World Player of the Year Award 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.merinews.com [Source type: News]

^ No player who won the FIFA individual award the year before a World Cup went on to win the title.

^ Ronaldo this week won the FIFA World Player of the Year award to complete a clean sweep of football's top individual honors for 2008.
  • inside World Soccer | Soccer news, scores, standings and videos: lionel messi 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.insideworldsoccer.com [Source type: General]

There, he won the Golden Ball and the Golden Shoe.[87]
.He made his full international debut on 17 August 2005 against Hungary at 18 years of age.^ August 17 - Makes full Argentina debut as second-half substitute in Hungary, only to be shown a red card within two minutes.
  • LIONEL MESSI HONOURED BY GONG | Sporting Life - Sports News | Live Football Scores, Live Racing Results, Football Transfer News And Gossip 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.sportinglife.com [Source type: News]

^ The bottom line is that Maradona has only one international-class full back available to him, and that is 36-year-old Javier Zanetti on the right.
  • BBC - BBC Sport: Tim Vickery: The two sides of Lionel Messi 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.bbc.co.uk [Source type: General]

.He was substituted on during the 63rd minute, but was sent off on the 65th minute because the referee, Markus Merk, found he had elbowed defender Vilmos Vanczák, who was tugging Messi's shirt.^ Messi, who, after trying hard for 89 minutes and then failing against Chelsea, desperately dived in the box in the hope of a penalty and got a card for his troubles.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo versus Lionel Messi pits showman against shy man, writes Paul Hayward | Football | The Guardian 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC www.guardian.co.uk [Source type: General]

^ Then Carlos Tévez, who entered for Agüero on 81 minutes, slid a midfield ball to Messi, who recalled his boss’s exploits by cutting through a clutch of French defenders and firing a powerful shot past Mandanda.

The decision was contentious and Maradona even claimed the decision was pre-meditated.[88][89] .Messi returned to the team on 3 September in Argentina's 1–0 World Cup qualifier away defeat to Paraguay.^ Argentina World Cup Team Blog 338 articles .

^ Messi is in the World cup 2006 squad for argentina??

^ Paraguay World Cup Team Blog 112 articles .

Ahead of the match he had said "This is a re-debut. The first one was a bit short."[90] He then started his first game for Argentina against Peru; after the match Pekerman described Messi as "a jewel".[91]
.On 28 March 2009, in a World Cup Qualifier against Venezuela, Messi wore the Argentine number 10 jersey for the first time.^ It won’t be hyperbolic to claim that he is the only hope for Argentina to lift The FIFIA World Cup, after a very long time since 1986, heralding a new era of Argentine football, succeeding Great Maradona.
  • Kaka wants Messi as his successor 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.soccernews.com [Source type: General]

^ However, Messi has played down the attention, saying: "No, please, I am not king of the world now, nor the number one, I don't believe in those things.
  • FIFA World Player 2009 Award for Lionel Messi - iT Forums - The Terminal of Terminals 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC indianterminal.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ When I see Argentina in the world Cup I will let you know if they are playing dirty or not but I have never seen an Argentina national team play as dirty as Chelsea did against Barca.

.This match was the first official match for Diego Maradona as the Argentina coach.^ As Argentina prepare to take on Peru in World Cup 2010 qualifying this coming Saturday in a crucial encounter, some of coach Diego Maradona’s team leaders will be looking to patch up their FTBL ratings,...
  • Lionel Messi / FTBL.com 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.ftbl.com [Source type: General]

^ Goals from Jonás Gutiérrez and Lionel Messi, ever-closer to the title of world’s best player, allowed Maradona to celebrate for the second time in two matches as Argentina’s coach.

^ The 10-man Argentina were completely outclassed by their hosts as Diego Maradona suffered his first defeat in charge of the Albiceleste .
  • inside World Soccer | Soccer news, scores, standings and videos: lionel messi 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.insideworldsoccer.com [Source type: General]

.Argentina won the match 4–0 with Lionel Messi opening the scoring.^ How many hat-tricks has Lionel Messi scored for Barcelona?
  • Sky Sports | Features | Fun & Games | Competitions | Messi Signed Photo 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.skysports.com [Source type: General]

^ Soccer news, scores, standings and videos: lionel messi inside World Soccer .
  • inside World Soccer | Soccer news, scores, standings and videos: lionel messi 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.insideworldsoccer.com [Source type: General]

^ Lionel Messi came off the bench to score twice as nine-man Barcelona rallied for a 2-1 win at Racing Santander.
  • inside World Soccer | Soccer news, scores, standings and videos: lionel messi 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.insideworldsoccer.com [Source type: General]

[92]

2006 FIFA World Cup

.The injury that kept Messi from playing for two months at the end of the 2005–06 season jeopardised his presence in the World Cup.^ When I see Argentina in the world Cup I will let you know if they are playing dirty or not but I have never seen an Argentina national team play as dirty as Chelsea did against Barca.

^ This is not life threatening and we could’ve played the game after the World Cup qualifiers.
  • Messi | Fútbolita 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC futbolita.com [Source type: General]

^ Messi's form has been explosive over three quarters of the season, when he has undoubtedly been the best player in the world.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo versus Lionel Messi pits showman against shy man, writes Paul Hayward | Football | The Guardian 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC www.guardian.co.uk [Source type: General]

.Nevertheless, Messi was selected in the Argentina squad for the tournament on 15 May 2006. He also played in the final match before the World Cup against the Argentine U-20 team for 15 minutes and a friendly match against Angola from the 64th minute.^ World Cup 2006 .
  • Rooney vs. Messi - World Cup Blog 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.worldcupblog.org [Source type: General]

^ (See: 2006 World Cup) Italy .
  • Rooney vs. Messi - World Cup Blog 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.worldcupblog.org [Source type: General]

^ It won’t be hyperbolic to claim that he is the only hope for Argentina to lift The FIFIA World Cup, after a very long time since 1986, heralding a new era of Argentine football, succeeding Great Maradona.
  • Kaka wants Messi as his successor 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.soccernews.com [Source type: General]

[93][94] .He witnessed Argentina's opening match victory against Ivory Coast from the substitute's bench.^ Argentina against England – that is one match you might be able to convince me to watch.
  • Rooney vs. Messi - World Cup Blog 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.worldcupblog.org [Source type: General]

[95] .In the next match against Serbia, Messi became the youngest player to represent Argentina at a World Cup when he came on as a substitute for Maxi Rodríguez in the 74th minute.^ SEGUROLA: Messi is the bravest player in the world.

^ Kaká helped Milan to their seventh European Cup title last season and was also inspirational in their 4-2 Club World Cup final victory over Argentina’s Boca Juniors in December.
  • Ronaldo vs Messi vs Kaká | Soccer Manager.com News 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC blog.soccermanager.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ In the least unexpected award of the holiday season, Lionel Messi was named FIFA’s World Player of the Year on Monday at a gala reception in Zurich.

.He assisted Hernán Crespo's goal within minutes of entering the game and also scored the final goal in the 6–0 victory, making him the youngest scorer in the tournament and the sixth youngest goalscorer in the history of the World Cup.^ You said the World Cup would be massive for him and I can't agree more.
  • BBC - BBC Sport: Tim Vickery: The two sides of Lionel Messi 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.bbc.co.uk [Source type: General]

^ And if Argentina can get their house in order before the world cup a semi-/final against Spain could also be a mouthwatering prospect.
  • TheGame - Times Online - WBLG: Is Lionel Messi the right choice for the Ballon D'Or? 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC timesonline.typepad.com [Source type: General]

^ Messi was also the top scorer in last year’s Champions League with nine goals, one of which helped seal a 2-0 win over Manchester United in the final.
  • TheGame - Times Online - WBLG: Is Lionel Messi the right choice for the Ballon D'Or? 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC timesonline.typepad.com [Source type: General]

[96] Messi started in Argentina's following 0–0 tie against the Netherlands.[97] .In the following game against Mexico, Messi came on as a substitute in the 84th minute, with the score tied at 1–1. He appeared to score a goal, but it was ruled offside[98][99] with Argentina needing a late goal in extra time to proceed.^ Kaka does magic,Ronaldo can score,Messi can do all of both players so Messi is the best 2nd Ronaldo 3rd Kaka thats my point if Ronaldo scores again he is equal with Messi on goals .
  • Ronaldo vs Messi vs Kaká | Soccer Manager.com News 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC blog.soccermanager.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Times editors and reporters will follow international tournaments and provide analysis of games.

^ And a bit of youtube work would help you find Messi's goal scored with his hand.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo versus Lionel Messi pits showman against shy man, writes Paul Hayward | Football | The Guardian 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC www.guardian.co.uk [Source type: General]

.Coach José Pekerman left Messi on the bench during the quarter-final match against Germany, which they lost 4–2 on a penalty shootout.^ They are the right foot and left foot of Messi.
  • TheGame - Times Online - WBLG: Is Lionel Messi the right choice for the Ballon D'Or? 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC timesonline.typepad.com [Source type: General]

^ Digg it Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi challenge for possession during last season's Champions League semi-final.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo versus Lionel Messi pits showman against shy man, writes Paul Hayward | Football | The Guardian 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC www.guardian.co.uk [Source type: General]

[100]

2007 Copa América

Messi at the Copa América 2007
.Messi played his first game in the Copa América 2007 on 29 June 2007, when Argentina defeated United States 4–1 in the first game.^ Gold Medal in the olympics, 9 goals in 10 games in UEFA last year, he played very well in the '07 Copa America.
  • FARK.com: (4811242) FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi wins the Ballon d'Or award as best European footballer of the year. Suck it, Ronaldo 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.fark.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ The Mexican national team will play two international friendlies in the United States: El Tri will play Venezuela on June 24 and Guatemala four days later.

^ Ronaldo also does not have the same level of talent to play alongside with Portugal as Messi does with Argentina.
  • FARK.com: (4811242) FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi wins the Ballon d'Or award as best European footballer of the year. Suck it, Ronaldo 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.fark.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

In this game, he showed his capabilities as a playmaker. .He set up a goal for fellow striker Hernán Crespo and had numerous shots on target.^ He is quick, strong on the ball, unbelievable dribbleing skill and can score and set up goals.
  • Ronaldo vs Messi vs Kaká | Soccer Manager.com News 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC blog.soccermanager.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.Tevez came on as a substitute for Messi in the 79th minute and scored minutes later.^ Messi came close to his a third in the 79th minute when he rattled the bar after a mazy run past three Atlético defenders.
  • inside World Soccer | Soccer news, scores, standings and videos: lionel messi 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.insideworldsoccer.com [Source type: General]

^ Messi then entered for Sergio Busquets in the 60th minute and bagged the equaliser five minutes later with his first touch, slotting in a loose ball at the near post.
  • inside World Soccer | Soccer news, scores, standings and videos: lionel messi 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.insideworldsoccer.com [Source type: General]

^ Lionel Messi came off the bench to score twice as nine-man Barcelona rallied for a 2-1 win at Racing Santander.
  • inside World Soccer | Soccer news, scores, standings and videos: lionel messi 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.insideworldsoccer.com [Source type: General]

[101]
.His second game was against Colombia, in which he won a penalty that Crespo converted to tie the game at 1–1. He also played a part in Argentina's second goal as he was fouled outside the box, which allowed Juan Roman Riquelme to score from a freekick, and increase Argentina's lead to 3–1. The final score of the game was 4–2 in Argentina's favor and guaranteed them a spot in the tournament's quarterfinals.^ Gold Medal in the olympics, 9 goals in 10 games in UEFA last year, he played very well in the '07 Copa America.
  • FARK.com: (4811242) FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi wins the Ballon d'Or award as best European footballer of the year. Suck it, Ronaldo 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.fark.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Mascherano will also not be playing as he picked up a yellow card against Colombia last weekend.
  • Lionel Messi | Fútbolita 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC futbolita.com [Source type: General]

^ Speaking of The Dona , he’s pissed that the pitch that Argentina will play on tomorrow against Colombia has been used for a rock concert – comparing it to that of a waste ground.
  • Lionel Messi | Fútbolita 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC futbolita.com [Source type: General]

[102]
.In the third game, against Paraguay the coach rested Messi having already qualified for the quarter-finals.^ "The game did not proceed as we expected, but we have six points and we have reached the quarter-finals, although we still need to work harder."
  • Messi inspires Argentina past gutsy Australia - Soccerway 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC nl.soccerway.com [Source type: News]

^ Many United fans seem to take comfort in the fact that in 10 CL games against English opposition, Messi has yet to score.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo versus Lionel Messi pits showman against shy man, writes Paul Hayward | Football | The Guardian 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC www.guardian.co.uk [Source type: General]

.He came off the bench in place of Esteban Cambiasso in the 64th minute, with the score at 0–0. In the 79th minute he created a goal for Javier Mascherano.^ Four minutes later Australian goalkeeper Adam Federici pulled off a flying one-handed save to deny Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano who let rip from 30 yards.
  • Messi inspires Argentina past gutsy Australia - Soccerway 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC nl.soccerway.com [Source type: News]

^ Who scores/creates more goals - Kaka, Ronaldo, or Messi?
  • Ronaldo vs Messi vs Kaká | Soccer Manager.com News 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC blog.soccermanager.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

[103] .In the quarter-finals, as Argentina faced Peru, Messi scored the second goal of the game, from a Riquelme pass in a 4–0 win.^ Messi was the top scorer in last year's Champions League with nine goals, including his superb header in the 2-0 victory over Manchester United in the final.
  • Messi awarded Ballon d'Or - Soccerway 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC www.soccerway.com [Source type: News]

^ Despite his diminutive stature Messi, who stands 1.69 metres or five feet seven inches tall, rose above United's defence in the Champions League final in Rome to head the second of Barcelona's goals in their 2-0 victory.
  • Barcelona's Messi named World Player of the Year - Soccerway 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.soccerway.com [Source type: News]

^ Messi's goal against United in last season's final was his ninth of the 2009 Champions League campaign and left him as the competition's top scorer.
  • Barcelona's Messi named World Player of the Year - Soccerway 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.soccerway.com [Source type: News]

[104] .During the semi-final match against Mexico, Messi scored a lob over Oswaldo Sánchez to see Argentina through to the final with a 3–0 win.^ It was just reward for Argentina who now have two wins out of two in Group A following their narrow 2-1 victory the Ivory Coast last Thursday and are in the quarter-finals.
  • Messi inspires Argentina past gutsy Australia - Soccerway 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC nl.soccerway.com [Source type: News]

^ Messi's goal against United in last season's final was his ninth of the 2009 Champions League campaign and left him as the competition's top scorer.
  • Barcelona's Messi named World Player of the Year - Soccerway 26 January 2010 0:00 UTC www.soccerway.com [Source type: News]

^ When I see Argentina in the world Cup I will let you know if they are playing dirty or not but I have never seen an Argentina national team play as dirty as Chelsea did against Barca.

[105] Argentina went on to lose 3–0 to Brazil in the final.[106]
Messi in the game against Brazil in the 2008 Olympics

2008 Summer Olympics

.Having barred Messi from playing for Argentina in the 2008 Olympics,[107] Barcelona agreed to release him after he held talks with Josep Guardiola.^ Messi had a glorious chance to put his team in front after seven minutes when he found himself unmarked in the box but skied over the bar as a defender slid in to challenge him.
  • Messi inspires Argentina past gutsy Australia - Soccerway 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC nl.soccerway.com [Source type: News]

^ The Barcelona striker refuses to say that the Catalans have improved their play since Josep Guardiola succeeded Frank Rijkaard.
  • Messi: "Rijkaard gave us more freedom" - Soccerway 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.soccerway.com [Source type: News]

^ I do not buy the arguement that Argentina do not give him the platform to play.
  • BBC - BBC Sport: Tim Vickery: The two sides of Lionel Messi 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.bbc.co.uk [Source type: General]

[108] .He joined the Argentina squad and scored the first goal in a 2–1 victory over Ivory Coast.^ I am wondering; who will score the goals for Argentina?

^ It was just reward for Argentina who now have two wins out of two in Group A following their narrow 2-1 victory the Ivory Coast last Thursday and are in the quarter-finals.
  • Messi inspires Argentina past gutsy Australia - Soccerway 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC nl.soccerway.com [Source type: News]

^ He was impressive in his performances for Manchester United in helping them win the Premiership, were he scored 17 league goals, and this season he has scored a remarkable 19 league goals in his first 20 games.
  • Ronaldo vs Messi vs Kaká | Soccer Manager.com News 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC blog.soccermanager.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

[108] .He then scored the opening goal and assisted Ángel Di María in the second to help his side to a 2–1 extra-time win against the Netherlands.^ Ronaldo to win because he scored 42 goals in all competitions???
  • Kaka wants Messi as his successor 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.soccernews.com [Source type: General]

^ I know some idiot will say ronaldo is d best and he deserves it because he scored some stupid goals which he always score against small teams.
  • Kaka wants Messi as his successor 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.soccernews.com [Source type: General]

^ Winning the Champion’s League, Premier League and scoring 42 goals on the way should guarantee CR with the award.
  • Kaka wants Messi as his successor 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.soccernews.com [Source type: General]

[109] .He also featured in Argentina's match against rivals Brazil, in which Argentina took a 3–0 victory, thus advancing to the final.^ It was just reward for Argentina who now have two wins out of two in Group A following their narrow 2-1 victory the Ivory Coast last Thursday and are in the quarter-finals.
  • Messi inspires Argentina past gutsy Australia - Soccerway 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC nl.soccerway.com [Source type: News]

^ Argentina against England – that is one match you might be able to convince me to watch.
  • Rooney vs. Messi - World Cup Blog 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.worldcupblog.org [Source type: General]

^ And if Argentina can get their house in order before the world cup a semi-/final against Spain could also be a mouthwatering prospect.
  • TheGame - Times Online - WBLG: Is Lionel Messi the right choice for the Ballon D'Or? 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC timesonline.typepad.com [Source type: General]

[110] .In the gold medal match, Messi again assisted Di María for the only goal in a 1–0 victory over Nigeria.^ Messi was the top scorer in last year's Champions League with nine goals, including his superb header in the 2-0 victory over Manchester United in the final.
  • Messi awarded Ballon d'Or - Soccerway 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC www.soccerway.com [Source type: News]

^ Gold Medal in the olympics, 9 goals in 10 games in UEFA last year, he played very well in the '07 Copa America.
  • FARK.com: (4811242) FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi wins the Ballon d'Or award as best European footballer of the year. Suck it, Ronaldo 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.fark.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Well, Messi did have 38 goals and 18 assists in only 51 games played.
  • FARK.com: (4811242) FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi wins the Ballon d'Or award as best European footballer of the year. Suck it, Ronaldo 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.fark.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

[111]

Personal life

Messi was at one stage romantically linked to Macarena Lemos, also from his hometown of Rosario. .He is said to have been introduced to her by the girl's father when he returned to Rosario to recover from his injury a few days before the start of the 2006 World Cup.^ World Cup 2006 .

^ You said the World Cup would be massive for him and I can't agree more.
  • BBC - BBC Sport: Tim Vickery: The two sides of Lionel Messi 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC www.bbc.co.uk [Source type: General]

^ And if Argentina can get their house in order before the world cup a semi-/final against Spain could also be a mouthwatering prospect.
  • TheGame - Times Online - WBLG: Is Lionel Messi the right choice for the Ballon D'Or? 28 January 2010 0:17 UTC timesonline.typepad.com [Source type: General]

[112][113] He has in the past also been linked to the Argentine model, Luciana Salazar.[114][115] .In January 2009 he told "Hat Trick Barça", a programme on Canal 33: "I have a girlfriend and she is living in Argentina, I am relaxed and happy".[115] He was seen with the girl, Antonella Roccuzzo,[116] at a carnival in Sitges after the Barcelona-Espanyol derby.^ Messi told France Football: "Honestly, I knew that I was among the favorites because Barcelona had a fruitful year in 2009."
  • Messi awarded Ballon d'Or - Soccerway 11 January 2010 8:37 UTC www.soccerway.com [Source type: News]

Roccuzzo is a fellow native of Rosario.[117] They plan to wed near the end of 2010.[116]
He is featured on the front cover of the video game Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 and is also involved in promotional campaigns for the game.[118][119] Messi, along with Fernando Torres,[120] is the face of Pro Evolution Soccer 2010, and was also involved in the motion capturing and the trailer.[121][122][123] Messi is sponsored by the German sportswear company Adidas and features in their television advertisements.[124]
He has two cousins in football; Maxi and Emanuel Biancucchi.[125][126]

Club statistics

As of 17 March 2010[127]
Club Season League Cup[nb 1] Europe[nb 2] Club World Cup Total
Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists
Barcelona 2004–05 7 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 - - - 9 1 0
2005–06 17 6 3 2 1 0 6 1 1 - - - 25 8 4
2006–07 26 14 2 4 2 1 6 1 0 0 0 0 36 17 3
2007–08 28 10 12 3 0 0 9 6 1 - - - 40 16 13
2008–09 31 23 11 8 6 2 12 9 5 - - - 51 38 18
2009–10 23 22 9 4 3 0 8 4 1 2 2 0 37 31 10
Career totals 132 76 37 22 12 3 42 21 8 2 2 0 198 111 48

International goals

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 1 March 2006 Basel, Switzerland  Croatia 2 – 3 Loss Friendly
2 16 June 2006 Gelsenkirchen, Germany  Serbia and Montenegro 6 – 0 Win 2006 World Cup
3 5 June 2007 Barcelona, Spain  Algeria 4 – 3 Win Friendly
4 5 June 2007 Barcelona, Spain Algeria Algeria 4 – 3 Win Friendly
5 8 July 2007 Barquisimeto, Venezuela  Peru 4 – 0 Win 2007 Copa América
6 11 July 2007 Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela  Mexico 0 – 3 Win 2007 Copa América
7 16 October 2007 Maracaibo, Venezuela  Venezuela 0 – 2 Win 2010 World Cup qualifying
8 20 November 2007 Bogotá, Colombia  Colombia 2 – 1 Loss 2010 World Cup qualifying
9 4 June 2008 San Diego, United States Mexico Mexico 1 – 4 Win Friendly
10 11 October 2008 Buenos Aires, Argentina  Uruguay 2 – 1 Win 2010 World Cup qualifying
11 11 February 2009 Marseille, France  France 0 – 2 Win Friendly
12 28 March 2009 Buenos Aires, Argentina Venezuela Venezuela 4 – 0 Win 2010 World Cup qualifying
13 14 November 2009 Madrid, Spain  Spain 1 – 2 Loss Friendly

Honours

Barcelona

International

Individual

Notes

  1. ^ Includes Copa del Rey and Supercopa de España
  2. ^ Includes UEFA Super Cup and UEFA Champions League

References

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External links


Lionel Messi
File:Messi Barcelona - Valladolid (cropped).jpg
Personal information
Full nameLionel Andrés Messi[1][2]
Date of birth24 June 1987 (1987-06-24) (age 23)
Place of birthRosario, Argentina
Height1.69 m (5 ft 7 in)[1]
Playing positionForward / Winger
Club information
Current clubBarcelona
Number10
Youth career
1995–2000Newell's Old Boys
2000–2004Barcelona
Senior career*
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
2004–2005Barcelona B22(6)
2004–Barcelona148(91)
National team
2005Argentina U207(6)
2008Argentina U235(2)
2005–Argentina51(14)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 19:29, 5 October 2010 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 23:46, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

Lionel Andrés Messi (Spanish pronunciation: [ljoˈnel anˈdɾes ˈmesi]; born 24 June 1987) is an Argentine footballer who currently plays for FC Barcelona and the Argentina national team. Considered one of the best football players of his generation[3][4][5] and frequently cited as the world's best contemporary player,[6] Messi received several Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year nominations by the age of 21 and won both by the age of 22.[6][7][8][9] His playing style and ability have drawn comparisons to Diego Maradona, who himself declared Messi his "successor".[10][11]

Messi began playing football at a young age and his potential was quickly identified by Barcelona. He left Rosario-based Newell's Old Boys's youth team in 2000 and moved with his family to Europe, as Barcelona offered treatment for his growth hormone deficiency. Making his debut in the 2004–05 season, he broke his team record for the youngest footballer to score a league goal. Major honours soon followed as Barcelona won La Liga in Messi's debut season, and won a double of the league and Champions League in 2006. His breakthrough season was in the 2006–07 season; he became a first team regular, scoring a hat-trick in El Clásico and finishing with 14 goals in 26 league games. Perhaps his most successful season was the 2008–09 season, in which Messi scored 38 goals to play an integral part in a treble-winning campaign. In the following 2009–10 campaign, Messi scored 47 goals in all competitions, equalling Ronaldo's record total for Barcelona.

Messi was the top scorer of the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship with six goals, including two in the final game. Shortly thereafter, he became an established member of Argentina's senior international team. In 2006, he became the youngest Argentine to play in the FIFA World Cup and he won a runners-up medal at the Copa América tournament the following year. In 2008, in Beijing, he won his first international honour, an Olympic gold medal, with the Argentina Olympic football team.

Contents

Early life

Messi was born on 24 June 1987 to the south of Rosario, in the province of Santa Fe, Argentina, to parents Jorge Horacio Messi (born 1958), a factory worker, and Celia María Cuccittini, a part-time cleaner.[12][13][14] His paternal family originates from the Italian city of Ancona, where his ancestor, Angelo Messi, emigrated to Argentina in 1883.[15][16] He has two older brothers named Rodrigo and Matías as well as a sister named Maria Sol.[17] At the age of five, Messi started playing football for Grandoli, a local club coached by his father Jorge.[18] In 1995, Messi switched to Newell's Old Boys who were based in his home city Rosario.[18] At the age of 11, he was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency.[19] Primera División club River Plate showed interest in Messi's progress, but did not have enough money to pay for treatment for his condition as it cost $900 a month.[14] Carles Rexach, the sporting director of Barcelona, had been made aware of his talent as Messi had relatives in Lleida, Catalonia, and Messi and his father were able to arrange a trial.[14] Barcelona signed him after watching him play,[20] offering to pay for the medical bills if he was willing to move to Spain.[18] His family moved to Europe and he started in the club's youth teams.[20] He has two cousins also involved in football; Maxi and Emanuel Biancucchi.[21][22]

Club career

Barcelona

Messi made his official debut for the first team in a friendly match against Porto on 16 November 2003 (at 16 years and 145 days).[23][24] Less than a year later, Frank Rijkaard let him make his league debut against Espanyol on 16 October 2004 (at 17 years and 114 days), becoming the third-youngest player ever to play for Barcelona and youngest club player who played in La Liga (a record broken by team mate Bojan Krkić in September 2007). When he scored his first senior goal for the club against Albacete on 1 May 2005, Messi was 17 years, 10 months and 7 days old, becoming the youngest to ever score in a La Liga game for Barcelona[25] until 2007 when Bojan Krkić broke this record, scoring from a Messi assist.[26] Messi said about his ex-coach Rijkaard: "I'll never forget the fact that he launched my career, that he had confidence in me while I was only sixteen or seventeen."[27]

2005–06 season

The Maradona and Pele polemics will end.

Diego Maradona, on the consequences if Messi won the 2010 World Cup[28]

On 16 September, for the second time in three months, Barcelona announced an update to Messi's contract; this time it was improved to pay him as a first team member and extended until June 2014.[18] Messi obtained Spanish citizenship on 26 September 2005[29] and was finally able to make his debut in the season's Spanish First Division. Messi's first home outing in the Champions League came on 27 September against Italian club Udinese.[23] Fans at Barcelona's stadium, the Camp Nou, gave Messi a standing ovation upon his substitution, as his composure on the ball and passing combinations with Ronaldinho had paid dividends for Barcelona.[30]

Messi netted six goals in 17 league appearances, and scored one Champions League goal in six. His season ended prematurely on 7 March 2006, however, when he suffered a muscle tear in his right thigh during the second leg of the second round Champions League tie against Chelsea.[31] Rijkaard's Barcelona ended the season as champions of Spain and Europe.[32][33]

2006–07 season

File:Barcelona vs
Messi in a match against Rangers in 2007

In the 2006–07 season, Messi established himself as a regular first team player, scoring 14 times in 26 matches.[34] On 12 November, in the game against Real Zaragoza, Messi suffered a broken metatarsal, ruling him out for three months.[35][36] Messi recuperated from his injury in Argentina, and his return to action came against Racing Santander on 11 February,[37] where he came on as a second-half substitute. On 11 March, El Clásico saw Messi in top form, scoring a hat-trick to earn 10-man Barcelona a 3–3 draw, equalising three times, with the final equaliser coming in injury time.[38] In doing so he became the first player since Iván Zamorano (for Real Madrid in the 1994–95 season) to score a hat-trick in El Clásico.[39] Messi is also the youngest player ever to have scored in this fixture. Towards the end of the season he began finding the net more often; 11 of his 14 league goals for the season came from the last 13 games.[40]

File:Lionel Messi goal
Messi shortly before scoring a goal against Getafe

Messi also proved the "new Maradona" tag was not all hype, by nearly replicating Maradona's most famous goals in the space of the single season.[41] On 18 April 2007, he scored two goals during a Copa del Rey semi-final against Getafe, one of which was very similar to Maradona's famous goal against England at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, known as the Goal of the Century.[42] The world's sports press drew comparisons with Maradona, and the Spanish press labelled Messi as "Messidona".[43] He ran about the same distance, 62 metres (203 ft), beat the same number of players (six, including the goalkeeper), scored from a very similar position, and ran towards the corner flag just as Maradona did in Mexico 21 years before.[41] In a press conference after the game, Messi's team-mate Deco said: "It was the best goal I have ever seen in my life."[44] Against Espanyol Messi also scored a goal which was remarkably similar to Maradona's 'Hand of God' goal against England in the World Cup quarter-finals. Messi launched himself at the ball and connected with his hand to guide the ball past the goalkeeper Carlos Kameni.[45] Despite protests by Espanyol players and replays showing it was clear handball, the goal stood.[45]

2007–08 season

File:Messi 22 Sep 07 v
Messi takes Barcelona to 2–0 against Sevilla at Camp Nou on 22 September 2007

During the 2007–08 season, Messi scored five goals in a week leading Barcelona to the top four in La Liga. On 19 September he scored once as Barcelona defeated Lyon 3–0 at home in a Champions League match.[46] He scored two goals against Sevilla on 22 September[47] and then on 26 September, Messi scored another two goals in a 4–1 victory over Real Zaragoza.[48] On 27 February, Messi played in his 100th official match for Barcelona against Valencia.[49]

Messi was nominated for a FIFPro World XI Player Award under the category of Forward.[50] A poll conducted in the online edition of the Spanish newspaper Marca had him as the best player in the world with 77 percent of the vote.[51] Columnists from Barcelona-based newspapers El Mundo Deportivo and Sport stated that the Ballon d'Or should be given to Messi, a view supported by Franz Beckenbauer.[52] Football personalities such as Francesco Totti have declared that they consider Messi to be one of the current best footballers in the world.[53]

Messi was sidelined for six weeks following an injury on 4 March when he suffered a muscle tear in his left thigh during a Champions League match against Celtic. It was the fourth time in three seasons that Messi suffered this type of injury.[54]

2008–09 season

File:Lionel Messi
Messi in a match against Deportivo La Coruña

Upon Ronaldinho's departure from the club, Messi inherited his number 10 jersey.[55] On 1 October 2008, during a Champions League match against Shakhtar Donetsk, Messi scored two goals during the last seven minutes, after coming on as a substitute for Thierry Henry, to turn a 1–0 deficit to a 2–1 victory for Barcelona.[56] The next league game was versus Atlético Madrid, a match billed as a friendly battle between Messi and his good friend Sergio Agüero.[57] Messi scored a goal from a free kick and assisted another as Barça went on to win the match 6–1.[58] Messi netted another impressive brace against Sevilla scoring a volley from 23 metres (25 yd) and then dribbling round the goalkeeper and scoring from a tight angle for the other.[59] On 13 December 2008, during the first Clásico of the season, Messi scored the second goal in Barcelona's 2–0 win over Real Madrid.[60] He was also named second in the 2008 FIFA World Player of the Year awards with 678 points.[8]

Messi scored his first hat-trick of 2009 in a Copa del Rey tie against Atlético Madrid which Barcelona won 3–1.[61] Messi scored another important double on 1 February 2009, coming on as a second half substitute to help Barcelona defeat Racing Santander 1–2 after being 1–0 down. The second of the two strikes was Barcelona's 5000th league goal.[62] In the 28th round of La Liga, Messi scored his 30th goal of the season in all competitions, helping his team to a 6–0 victory over Málaga in the process.[63] On 8 April 2009, he scored twice against Bayern Munich in the Champions League, setting a personal record of eight goals in the competition.[64] On 18 April, Messi notched his 20th league goal of the season in a 1–0 win at Getafe, allowing Barcelona to maintain their six-point advantage at the top of the league table over Real Madrid.[65]

As Barcelona's season was drawing to a close, Messi scored twice (his 35th and 36th goals in all competitions) to cap a 6–2 win over Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu[66] in what was Real's heaviest defeat since 1930.[67] After scoring each goal, he ran towards the fans and the cameras lifting up his Barcelona jersey and showing another T-shirt that read Síndrome X Fràgil, Catalan for Fragile X Syndrome, to show his support for children who suffer from the affliction.[68] Messi was involved in the build-up to Andrés Iniesta's injury time goal against Chelsea in the Champions League semi-final to send Barcelona through to face Manchester United in the final. He won his first Copa del Rey on 13 May, scoring one goal and assisting another two, in a 4–1 victory over Athletic Bilbao.[69] He helped his team win the double by winning La Liga. On 27 May he helped Barcelona win the Champions League by scoring a second goal in the 70th minute giving Barcelona a two goal lead; he also became the top scorer in the Champions League, the youngest in the tournament's history, with nine goals.[70] Messi also won the UEFA Club Forward of the Year: and the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year rounding off a spectacular year in Europe.[71] This victory meant Barcelona had won the Copa del Rey, La Liga and Champions League in the one season,[72] and was the first time a Spanish club had ever won the treble.[73]

2009–10 season

"Once he's on the run, Messi is unstoppable. He's the only player who can change direction at such a pace."

"He is the best player in the world by some distance. He's (like) a PlayStation. He can take advantage of every mistake we make."

Arsène Wenger after Barcelona won 4–1 against Arsenal.[74][75]
File:Lionel Messi Joan Gamper
Messi in action during the Joan Gamper Trophy match between Barcelona and Manchester City at Camp Nou

After winning the 2009 UEFA Super Cup, Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola asserted that Messi was probably the best player he had ever seen.[76] On 18 September, Messi signed a new contract with Barcelona, running until 2016 and with a buy-out clause of €250 million included, making Messi, along with Zlatan Ibrahimović, the highest paid players in La Liga, with earnings of around €9.5 million yearly.[77][78] Four days later, on 22 September, Messi scored two goals and assisted another in Barça's 4–1 win over Racing Santander in La Liga.[79] He scored his first European goal of the season on 29 September in a 2–0 win over Dynamo Kyiv,[80] and then took his goal tally to six goals in seven games in La Liga with a strike during a 6–1 routing of Real Zaragoza at Camp Nou.[81][82]

Messi was named winner of the 2009 Ballon d'Or on 1 December 2009, beating runner-up Cristiano Ronaldo by largest ever margin of 473 to 233.[83][84][85] Afterwards, France Football magazine quoted Messi as saying: "I dedicate it to my family. They were always present when I needed them and sometimes felt even stronger emotions than me."[86]

On 19 December, Messi scored the winner in the final of the 2009 Club World Cup against Estudiantes in Abu Dhabi, giving the club their sixth title of the year.[87] Two days later, he was given the FIFA World Player of the Year award; beating Cristiano Ronaldo, Xavi, Kaká and Andrés Iniesta to the award. This was the first time he had won the award, and he became the first Argentinean to ever receive this honour.[88] On 10 January 2010, Messi scored his first hat-trick in 2010 and his first hat-trick of the season against Tenerife in the 0–5 victory,[89] and on 17 January he scored his 100th goal for the club in the 4–0 victory over Sevilla.[90]

Messi then started an impressive run scoring 11 goals in five games. First he scored on the 84th minute against Málaga for a 2–1 win,[91] then he scored two goals against Almería in a 2–2 tie.[92] He continued his spree with an impressive week where he scored eight goals; he started by scoring a hat-trick against Valencia in a 3–0 home win,[93] then he scored two goals against Stuttgart, in a 4–0 win that secured Barcelona's qualification to the quarterfinals of the Champions League,[94] and finally he scored another hat-trick against Zaragoza in a 4–2 away win,[95] becoming the first Barcelona player to score back-to-back hat-tricks in La Liga.[96] He played his 200th official match for Barcelona against Osasuna on 24 March 2010.[97]

On 6 April 2010, for the first time in Messi's career he scored four goals in a single match, netting the lot in a 4–1 home win over Arsenal in the Champions League quarter-final second leg.[98][99][100] This also saw him overtake Rivaldo as Barcelona's all time greatest scorer in the competition.[101] On 10 April, Messi scored his 40th goal of the season when he netted the first goal in a 2–0 away win against title-rivals Real Madrid in El Clásico.[102] On 1 May, Messi played his 50th game of the season and scored two goals on a 4–1 away win against Villarreal.[103] Just three days later, on 4 May, Messi scored two goals in another 4–1 win at home against Tenerife.[104] Messi scored his 32nd goal of the La Liga season on 8 May, during an away win against Sevilla,[105] and in the final match against Valladolid, he scored two goals in the second half to tie Ronaldo's club record of 34 goals in a single league season, set in 1996–97,[106][107] and to finish four goals behind the all-time record held by Telmo Zarra.[108] He was named La Liga player of the year for the second year in a row on 3 June 2010.[109]

2010–11 season

On 21 August 2010, Messi scored a hat-trick in his first start of the season in a 4–0 victory over Sevilla in the Supercopa de España, helping Barcelona secure their first trophy of the season after a 1–3 first leg loss.[110] He also began his league season with a goal, scoring after just 3 minutes against Racing Santander on 29 August 2010. He then continued his excellent form into the UEFA Champions League group stage match against Panathinaikos where he scored 2 goals, assisted another 2 and also hit the goal-frame on 2 separate occasions. He also missed a penalty, though. Barcelona won the match 5-0.

On 19 September 2010, Messi suffered an ankle injury due to an ill-advised tackle by Atlético Madrid defender Tomáš Ujfaluši in the 92nd minute of their Round 3 match at the Vicente Calderón Stadium. At first sight it was feared that Messi suffered a broken ankle that could have kept the star player away from the pitch for a minimum of six months but MRI performed the next day in Barcelona showed he suffered a sprain in the internal and external ligaments of his right ankle.[111] Team-mate David Villa stated "the tackle on Messi was brutal" after watching the video of the play and also added that he believed the Atlético defender "didn't go into the tackle to hurt".[112] The incident caused wide-spread media attention and brought up the debate of equality in protecting all players in the game.

International career

In June 2004, he debuted for Argentina, playing in an under-20 friendly match against Paraguay.[113] In 2005 he was part of a team that won the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship in the Netherlands. There, he won the Golden Ball and the Golden Shoe,[114] scoring in the last four of Argentina's matches and netting a total of six for the tournament.

He made his full international debut on 17 August 2005 against Hungary at the age of 18. He was substituted on during the 63rd minute, but was sent off on the 65th minute because the referee, Markus Merk, found he had headbutted defender Vilmos Vanczák, who was tugging Messi's shirt. The decision was contentious and Maradona even claimed the decision was pre-meditated.[115][116] Messi returned to the team on 3 September in Argentina's 1–0 World Cup qualifier away defeat to Paraguay. Ahead of the match he had said "This is a re-debut. The first one was a bit short."[117] He then started his first game for Argentina against Peru; after the match Pekerman described Messi as "a jewel".[118]

On 28 March 2009, in a World Cup Qualifier against Venezuela, Messi wore the number 10 jersey for the first time with Argentina. This match was the first official match for Diego Maradona as the Argentina manager. Argentina won the match 4–0 with Messi opening the scoring.[119]

2006 World Cup

The injury that kept Messi from playing for two months at the end of the 2005–06 season jeopardised his presence in the 2006 World Cup. Nevertheless, Messi was selected in the Argentina squad for the tournament on 15 May 2006. He also played in the final match before the World Cup against the Argentine U-20 team for 15 minutes and a friendly match against Angola from the 64th minute.[120][121] He witnessed Argentina's opening match victory against Ivory Coast from the substitute's bench.[122] In the next match against Serbia and Montenegro, Messi became the youngest player to represent Argentina at a World Cup when he came on as a substitute for Maxi Rodríguez in the 74th minute. He assisted Hernán Crespo's goal within minutes of entering the game and also scored the final goal in the 6–0 victory, making him the youngest scorer in the tournament and the sixth youngest goalscorer in the history of the World Cup.[123] Messi started in Argentina's following 0–0 draw against the Netherlands.[124] In the following game against Mexico, Messi came on as a substitute in the 84th minute, with the score tied at 1–1. He appeared to score a goal, but it was ruled offside with Argentina needing a late goal in extra time to proceed.[125][126] Coach José Pekerman left Messi on the bench during the quarter-final match against Germany, which they lost 4–2 on a penalty shootout.[127]

2007 Copa América

File:Messi in Copa America
Messi at the 2007 Copa América

Messi played his first game in the 2007 Copa América on 29 June 2007, when Argentina defeated United States 4–1 in the first game. In this game, he showed his capabilities as a playmaker. He set up a goal for fellow striker Hernán Crespo and had numerous shots on target. Tevez came on as a substitute for Messi in the 79th minute and scored minutes later.[128]

His second game was against Colombia, in which he won a penalty that Crespo converted to tie the game at 1–1. He also played a part in Argentina's second goal as he was fouled outside the box, which allowed Juan Roman Riquelme to score from a freekick, and increase Argentina's lead to 3–1. The final score of the game was 4–2 in Argentina's favor and guaranteed them a spot in the tournament's quarterfinals.[129]

In the third game, against Paraguay the coach rested Messi having already qualified for the quarter-finals. He came off the bench in place of Esteban Cambiasso in the 64th minute, with the score at 0–0. In the 79th minute, he assisted a goal for Javier Mascherano.[130] In the quarter-finals, as Argentina faced Peru, Messi scored the second goal of the game, from a Riquelme pass in a 4–0 win.[131] During the semi-final match against Mexico, Messi scored a lob over Oswaldo Sánchez to see Argentina through to the final with a 3–0 win.[132] Argentina went on to lose 3–0 to Brazil in the final.[133]

2008 Summer Olympics

File:Messi
Messi in the semi-final against Brazil at the 2008 Olympics

Having barred Messi from playing for Argentina in the 2008 Olympics,[134] Barcelona agreed to release him after he held talks with newly appointed coach Josep Guardiola.[135] He joined the Argentina squad and scored the first goal in a 2–1 victory over Ivory Coast.[135] He then scored the opening goal and assisted Ángel Di María in the second to help his side to a 2–1 extra-time win against the Netherlands.[136] He also featured in Argentina's match against rivals Brazil, in which Argentina took a 3–0 victory, thus advancing to the final.[137] In the gold medal match, Messi again assisted Di María for the only goal in a 1–0 victory over Nigeria.[138]

2010 World Cup

Messi played the entire game on Argentina's opening match 1–0 victory against Nigeria. He had several opportunities to score but was repeatedly denied by Vincent Enyeama.[139] Messi started in Argentina's following 4–1 win against Korea Republic; he participated in all of the goals of his team and helped Gonzalo Higuaín score a hat-trick.[140] On the third and last group stage match Messi captained during Argentina's 2–0 win over Greece, again being the centrepoint of Argentina's play and was voted man of the match.[141]

At the Round of 16 he assisted Carlos Tévez for the first goal in a 3–1 win against Mexico. The referee awarded that goal even though it was a clear offside.[142] The World Cup ended for Argentina with a 4-0 loss against Germany.[143]

Outside football

Personal life

Messi was at one stage romantically linked to Macarena Lemos, also from his hometown of Rosario. He is said to have been introduced to her by the girl's father when he returned to Rosario to recover from his injury a few days before the start of the 2006 World Cup.[144][145] He has in the past also been linked to the Argentine glamour model Luciana Salazar.[146][147] In January 2009 he told "Hat Trick Barça", a programme on Canal 33: "I have a girlfriend and she is living in Argentina, I am relaxed and happy".[147] He was seen with the girl, Antonella Roccuzzo,[148] at a carnival in Sitges after the Barcelona-Espanyol derby. Roccuzzo is a fellow native of Rosario.[149] They plan to wed near the end of 2010. [148]

Charity

In 2007 Messi established Fundacion Leo Messi, a charity supporting access to education and health care for vulnerable children.[150][151] In an fansite interview, Messi said: “Being a bit famous now gives me the opportunity to help people who really need it, especially children."[152]

In response to Messi’s own childhood medical difficulties, the Leo Messi Foundation supports Argentine children diagnosed with medical conditions by offering treatment in Spain and covering the transport, hospital and recuperation costs.[153] Messi’s foundation is supported by his own fundraising activity with additional assistance from Herbalife.

On 11 March 2010 Messi was announced as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF.[154] Messi’s UNICEF ambassador activities are aimed at supporting children’s rights. Messi is supported in this by FC Barcelona, who also have a strong association with UNICEF.[155]

Media

He is featured on the front cover of the video game Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 and is also involved in promotional campaigns for the game.[156][157] Messi, along with Fernando Torres,[158] is the face of Pro Evolution Soccer 2010, and was also involved in the motion capturing and the trailer.[159][160][161] Messi is sponsored by the German sportswear company Adidas and features in their television advertisements.[162] In June 2010, Messi also signed a 3 year deal with Herbalife[163] which further supports the Leo Messi Foundation.

Career statistics

[164]

Club Season League Cup[nb 1] Europe[nb 2] Club World Cup Total
Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists
Barcelona 2004–05 710100100910
2005–06 17632106112584
2006–07 2614242161000036173
2007–08 281012300961401613
2008–09 3123118621295513818
2009–10 3534134301281220534714
2010–11 321230222773
Career totals 14790422415348271022022113455

International goals

Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 1 March 2006 St. Jakob-Park, Basel, Switzerland  Croatia 2–3 Loss Friendly
2 16 June 2006 WM-Stadion Gelsenkirchen, Gelsenkirchen, Germany  Serbia and Montenegro 6–0 Win 2006 World Cup
3 5 June 2007 Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain  Algeria 4–3 Win Friendly
4 5 June 2007 Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain Algeria 4–3 Win Friendly
5 8 July 2007 Metropolitano de Fútbol de Lara, Barquisimeto, Venezuela  Peru 4–0 Win 2007 Copa América
6 11 July 2007 Polideportivo Cachamay, Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela  Mexico 3–0 Win 2007 Copa América
7 16 October 2007 José Pachencho Romero, Maracaibo, Venezuela  Venezuela 2–0 Win 2010 World Cup qualification
8 20 November 2007 Estadio El Campín, Bogotá, Colombia  Colombia 1–2 Loss 2010 World Cup qualification
9 4 June 2008 Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, United States Mexico 4–1 Win Friendly
10 11 October 2008 Estadio Monumental, Buenos Aires, Argentina  Uruguay 2–1 Win 2010 World Cup qualification
11 11 February 2009 Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France  France 2–0 Win Friendly
12 28 March 2009 Estadio Monumental, Buenos Aires, Argentina Venezuela 4–0 Win 2010 World Cup qualification
13 14 November 2009 Vicente Calderón Stadium, Madrid, Spain  Spain 1–2 Loss Friendly
14 7 September 2010 Estadio Monumental, Buenos Aires, Argentina  Spain 4-1 Win Friendly

Awards and honours

Club

Barcelona
2004–05, 2005–06, 2008–09, 2009–10
2008–09
  • Supercopa de España: 4
2005, 2006, 2009, 2010
2005–06, 2008–09
2009
2009

Argentina

2005
2008

Individual

2009
2008, 2009
2009
2007
2009
2005
2005
  • Copa América Young Player of the Tournament: 1
2007
2009
2009
  • La Liga Foreign Player of the Year: 3
2007, 2009, 2010
2007, 2009, 2010
  • La Liga Player of the Year: 2
2009, 2010
2009–10
2008–09, 2009–10
2009–10
2008–09
2008–09
2008–09, 2009–10
2009
2008, 2009
2009
2006, 2007, 2008
2007, 2008
2007, 2008, 2009
2009
2006, 2007, 2008
2009
2005, 2007, 2008, 2009

Notes

  1. ^ Includes Copa del Rey and Supercopa de España.
  2. ^ Includes UEFA Super Cup and UEFA Champions League.

References

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External links


Simple English

Lionel Messi
[[File:|150px]]
Personal information
Full name Lionel Andrés Messi
Date of birth 24 June 1987 (1987-06-24) (age 23)
Place of birth    Rosario, Argentina
Height 1.69 m (5 ft 6+12 in)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current club Barcelona
Number 10
Senior clubs
Years Club
2004- Barcelona
National team
2005- Argentina

Lionel Messi (born 24 June 1987) is an Argentine football player. He plays for Barcelona and the Argentina national team. Lionel Andrés "Leo" Messi (Spanish pronunciation: [ljoˈnel anˈdɾes ˈmesi]; born 24 June 1987) is an Argentine footballer. He plays for FC Barcelona and the Argentina national team as a forward or winger. He also holds Spanish citizenship. So he can play as a EU player. He is one of the best football players of his generation. Many people say that he is the world's best contemporary player. Messi received several Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year by the age of 22. His playing style and ability have similarity to Diego Maradona. And Maradona says Messi is his "successor".

Messi began football at a young age and his potential was quickly identified by Barcelona. He left Newell's Old Boys's youth team in 2000 and moved with his family to Europe. It's because Barcelona offered treatment for his growth hormone deficiency. He debut in the 2004–05 season, and he broke his team record for the youngest footballer to scoring a goal. Barcelona won La Liga in Messi's debut season, and won a double of the league and Champions League in 2006. His breakthrough season was in the 2006–07 season; he became a first team regular, scoring a hat-trick in El Clásico. He scoredf 14 goals in 26 league games. Perhaps his most successful season was the 2008–09 season. In this season, Messi scored 38 goals. In the following 2009–10 season, Messi scored 47 goals in all games. That equalls to Ronaldo's record total for Barcelona. He is on the cover of both PES 2010 and PES 2011.[1]

Club career statistics

Club Performance League CupContinentalTotal
SeasonClubLeague AppsGoals AppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoals
SpainLeague Copa del Rey EuropeTotal
2004/05BarcelonaLa Liga71101091
2005/061762161258
2006/07261442613617
2007/08281030964016
2008/093123861295138
2009/103534311184943
CountryArgentina 1448821104525210123
Total 1448821104525210123

International career statistics

[2]

Argentina national team
YearAppsGoals
200550
200672
2007136
200882
2009103
2010
Total4313

References


Citable sentences

Up to date as of December 09, 2010

Here are sentences from other pages on Lionel Messi, which are similar to those in the above article.








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