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Lionel Messi is an Argentinian footballer widely regarded as one of the greatest players of the modern generation. He plays for FC Barcelona and the Argentina national team. He has won FIFA world player of the year four times (a record already). He has often been described as Diego Maradonas successor because of his prolific goal scoring record and ability to dribble past opponents.
Lionel Messi was born, 24 June 1987, in Rosario, Argentina to a working-class family. His father was a factory steel worker, and his mother a cleaner.
He began playing from an early age, and his talent was soon apparent. However, at the age of 11, Messi was diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency (GHD). This was a condition that stunted growth and required expensive medical treatment, including the use of the drug Human growth hormone.
His local club, River Plate were interested in signing Messi but didnt want to pay for his medical treatment. However, Messi was given a trial with Barcelona, and coach Carles Rexach was impressed offering Messi a contract (written on a paper napkin!) which included paying for Messis treatment in Spain. Messi moved to Barcelona with his father and became part of the prestigious FC Barcelona youth academy.