Lionel Andrs "Leo" Messi (Spanish pronunciation: [ljonel andes mesi], born in Rosario, June 24, 1987) is an Argentine soccer player who currently plays for FC Barcelona and is the captain of the Argentine national soccer team and FC Barcelona, play as an attacker. He is Barcelona's top scorer in history. At the age of 21, Messi was nominated for the Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year. In 2009, he won the Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year and the first FIFA Ballon d'Or award in 2010 and 2011.
Messi is the fourth player to win three Ballon d'Or, and the second player to win Ballon d'Or twice in a row. He has won five La Liga, two Copa del Rey, five Supercopa de Espana, three UEFA Champions League, two European Super Cups and two Club World Cups. In 2012, he set a UEFA Champions League record by becoming the first player to score five goals in one match. He also equaled Jose Altafini's record 14 goals in one Champions League season. He also set the record for most goals in one season in the 2011-12 season, with 73 goals. In the same season, he set a La Liga record scorer in one season, 50 goals.
Messi is the 2005 U20 FIFA World Cup top scorer with five goals. In 2005, he became the youngest Argentine to play in the FIFA World Cup and won a silver medal at the 2007 Copa Amrica, where he became the best young player. His playing style invites comparison with Diego Maradona, who has announced Messi as.
Messi has been compared to his compatriot Diego Maradona, because of their similar playing style and stature, giving him a lower center of gravity than most players, so he is more agile with the direction of change faster, helping him to avoid tackles. His short posture and strong legs allow him to excel in short bursts of acceleration and his fast pace allows him to keep control of the ball when dribbling at speed. Former FC Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola once stated: "Messi is the only player who runs faster with the ball than without the ball." Like Maradona, Messi is a dominant left foot player with the outside of his left foot, he usually starts dribbling to walk, while he uses the inside of his legs to finish and provide passing and assists for his team-mates.
Messi underwent a romantic relationship with Macarena Lemos, who also came from his hometown of Rosario. He said he had been introduced to the girl's father when he returned to Rosario after recovering from an injury a few days before the start of the 2006 World Cup. Previously, he had also been linked to the glamorous Argentine model Luciana Salazar. In January 2009 he said "Barca Hat Trick", a program on Canal 33: "I already have a boyfriend and he lives in Argentina. I am relaxed and happy". He was also seen with a girl, Antonella Roccuzzo at a carnival in Sitges after the Barcelona-Espanyol deby. Roccuzzo is a native of fellow Rosaries. On November 2, 2012, Messi became a father for the first time after the birth of his son Thiago. The FC Barcelona official website briefly states "Leo Messi is a father". In addition, the Argentine striker added to his Facebook page: "Today I am the happiest person in the world, my child was born and thank God for this gift." In March 2013, Messi paid a thanksgiving offering to his son Thiago by having his name and printing a small coconut scraped on his left calf.
Messi has two cousins also involved in football: Maxi, a winger for Club Olimpia Paraguay, and Emanuel Biancucchi, who plays as a midfielder for the Spanish team Girona FC.