At any given point in time, it's possible to dig up all sorts of trivia related to Lionel Messi that seems too good or insane to be true.
For example, did you know that he was diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency as a youngster? Everything about Lionel Messi's career, statistics and achievements have defied logic and at 34, there are no signs that he's slowing down.
🔮 Here's a pile of 34 facts for you to enjoy all in one place.
- Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini made his Barcelona debut on November 16, 2003, during a friendly against FC Porto and official competitive debut on October 16, 2004, against Espanyol in a 1-0 win.
- Messi’s first senior goal for Barcelona was assisted by Ronaldinho.
- When Ronaldinho left the Camp Nou in 2008, Messi inherited his iconic number 10 jersey.
- At just 20 years old, Messi received the nickname of “Messiah” from the Spanish media.
- He pays tributes to his grandmother after every goal.
- On his 18th birthday, Messi signed his first senior contract which included a buy-out clause of €150 million.
- Messi became Barcelona’s all-time leading scorer at age 24.
- Messi scored 91 goals for club & country in the calendar year 2012 (79 for Barcelona & 12 for Argentina).
- Messi scored an unbelievable 73 goals & provided 29 assists in a ridiculous 2011-12 campaign for Blaugrana.
- Messi’s 73 goals in all competitions surpassed Gerd Müller’s tally of 67 strikes in the 1972–73 Bundesliga season, making him the single-season top scorer in the history of elite European club football.
- He has scored in every current LaLiga stadium.
- Messi is the all-time record goal-scorer in LaLiga history with 474 Spanish top-flight strikes.
- Leo scored 50 LaLiga goals in 2011-12, also an all-time record for a single league season.
- Messi has scored 672 goals for Barça in 778 appearances, which sounds too crazy to be true, but it's no word of a lie.
- As of November 2020, Messi has scored 672 goals & provided 305 assists in 778 games, equating to a direct contribution of 1.25 goals per game throughout his Barça career.
- Messi became the first player to score five goals in a single Champions League fixture, doing so against Bayer Leverkusen on March 7th, 2012.
- His goal against Ferencváros on 20 October 2020 meant Messi has scored against a record 39 clubs in the Champions League.
- Messi has scored 36 LaLiga hat-tricks, including eight in the 2011-12 season alone, and 48 overall for Barcelona.
- 50 of Messi's Barcelona goals have come from direct free-kicks.
- Messi has scored 73 goals & provided 52 assists in 147 Argentina appearances.
- Messi wore Argentina’s captain armband for the first time against Greece in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
- Messi has won the European Golden Shoe award six times, namely in 2009-10, 2011-12, 2012-13, 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19.
- Messi has won 35 trophies with Barcelona.
- Messi has won the Ballon d'Or six times, which is more than any other player in history.
- A hat-trick against Real Madrid in the second half of the 2013-14 season made Messi the top scorer in El Clásico history, surpassing Real Madrid icon Alfredo Di Stefano’s record of 18 goals.
- The infamous MSN trio of Messi, Suárez, and Neymar scored 122 goals in all competitions for Barcelona in 2014-15, with Messi chipping in with 58.
- Messi won Olympic Gold with Argentina at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
- Messi's footballing idol was ex-Valencia & Argentina playmaker Pablo Aimar.
- Lionel Messi has scored 15+ goals and provided 15+ assists in a single LaLiga season for five separate campaigns; 2010-11, 2011-12, 2014-15, 2015-16 & 2019-20.
- Messi has notched double figures for both goals AND assists in every single LaLiga
season since 2007-08.
- In June 2017, Barcelona & Messi announced a contract extension that would keep him at the club until June 30, 2021, and is reportedly worth €565,000 ($645,000) a week.
- In May 2020, Messi was ranked No. 3 on Forbes' annual list of the world's highest-paid athletes, with estimated earnings of $104 million.
- Messi is responsible for a word in the Spanish dictionary. "Inmessionante" means "the perfect way to play football, an unlimited ability to self-improve."
- Messi appeared consecutively on EA’s FIFA series from FIFA 13 to FIFA 16, as well as cover appearances on the PES cover between 2009 and 2011.
🐐 #OnThisDay 17 years ago, a 16-year-old boy by the name of Lionel Andrés Messi made his Barça debut.— Futaa.com (@Futaacom) November 16, 2020
📊 34 trophies, 47 free-kick goals, 48 hat-tricks & so much more have followed.#messi pic.twitter.com/Z68S9jZh3G
Happy 34th birthday to the great man.