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Lionel Messi

Real name:
Birthdate: N/A
Status: Single

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1 Senior club appearances and goalscounted for the domestic league only andcorrect as of 21:12, 29 September 2007.2 National team caps and goals correctas of 26 September 2007.* Appearances (Goals)

Messi was offered the chance to play for the Spanish national side, but he declined, preferring to wait for the opportunity to play for the country of his birth. In June 2004, he got his chance, playing in an under-20 friendly match against Paraguay.

On September 16, 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 till June 2014. Messi obtained Spanish citizenship on September 25 and was finally able to make his début in this season's Spanish First Division. He had previously been unable to play because FC Barcelona had filled their quota of non-EU players. Messi's first home outing in the UEFA Champions League came on September 27 against Italian club Udinese. He impressed with some great passing and a seemingly telepathic relationship with Ronaldinho that earned him a standing ovation from the 70,000-odd Nou Camp faithful. In December of that year, the Italian newspaper Tuttosport awarded him the Golden Boy 2005 title for the best under-21 player in Europe, ahead of Wayne Rooney, Lukas Podolski, and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Messi played his first game in Copa America on 29 June, 2007, when Argentina defeated United States 4-1 in the first game. In this game, Messi 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.

Barcelona has kept pace with leaders Real Madrid, in part due to Messi' skills. He scored 5 goals in a week leading Barcelona to the top four in La Liga. He dedicated his 2 goals vs Sevilla (sept 22) to Ronaldinho who was injuried. Only days later, Barca's beating Lyon and Sevilla at home, Messi once again scored two goals against Real Zaragoza leading Barca to a victory of 4-1. Barca visited Levante, winning of 4-1. Thierry Henry scored a hat-trick and Leo Messi added a fourth goal, making Messi is La Liga's joint top scorer. Leo has been nominated for the FIFPro awards under the category of World's best foward. A recent poll conducted in the online edition of the spanish newspaper Marca has him as the current best player of the world (77% votes). Also other spanish newspaper columnists from El Mundo and Sport.es started asking for the Ballon d'Or to be given to Leo Messi this year. Also some spanish sport journalists started to point that if Messi keeps working in this level, he could become one of the greatest of all time like Maradona o Pele. This aseveration was also made by german soccer legend Franz Beckenbauer

With FC Barcelona:
- La Liga: 2004-05, 2005-06
- UEFA Champions League: 2005-06
- Supercopa de España: 2006

Personal Honours:
- Golden Ball: FIFA U-20 World Cup: 2005
- Golden Boot: FIFA U-20 World Cup: 2005
- Golden Boy: 2005
- Bravo Award: 2006 (second place)
- World Soccer Young Player of the Year: 2006
- Olimpia de Plata: Argentinian Player of the Year: 2005
- FIFPro World Young Player of the Year: 2006
- FIFPro World XI: 2007
- EFE Trophy: Best Ibero-American Player in La Liga: 2007
- Best foreign player in La Liga: 2007
- Copa America Best Young Player: 2007


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