Update: Lionel Messi became the first 4 time winner of the FIFA Player of the Year award after scoring Ninty One goals last year for Barcelona and Argentina.
Lionel Messi announced the birth of his first child, Thiago. His longtime girlfriend Antonella Roccuzzo, delivered their son at the Dexeus hospital which is about 700 metres from the Barcelona's Camp Nou stadium.
Who would have thought that the boy who was just 1.40 meters in height when he was 13 would not only debut for the legendary club Barcelona at the age of 17 but also go on to become one of the greatest soccer players ever. But destiny had special plans for Lionel Messi, nicknamed “The Flea” for his petite stature. Since he first debuted for Barca in the La Liga he has been consistently ranked as the best contemporary soccer player, winning every major title there is to win.
Messi was born in Argentina where he learned his primary skills and later moved to Spain at the age of 13 where he honed them in the world’s best soccer academy, Barcelona’s La Masia. . His perfect blend of skilled trickery with blinding speed has made him a top scorer. He has scored a jaw dropping 53 goals in 55 appearances for his club, which led to Barcelona winning all the major league titles in the past.
His hard to believe success story has translated for him into many lucrative endorsements with brand stalwarts like Adidas, PepsiCo, Konami, Audemars Piguet and Dolce and Gabbana lining up to get him on board. His annual paycheck of $ 43 million, of which $ 16 million he earns on the pitch, keeps him among the top earning sports celebrities of the world.
Not as flashy off the field as some of his contemporaries (read Cristiano Ronaldo), Messi is content winning laurels and breaking records after records on the field. However the only thing that keeps him from being the best soccer player ever is his surprising ineffective performances while playing for his native country, Argentina. But that didn’t stop him being named as one of the most influential people in the world by Time in 2011.