One of the greatest players in the last decade, Lionel Messi announced his retirement from international football today. We give you a list on interesting and fun facts about Argentina's star striker.
>> Messi announced his retirement from international soccer just 3 days after his 29th birthday.
>> At the age of 11, Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency.
>> Messi shares his birthplace with famous revolutionary leader Che Guevara. They were both born in Rosario, Argentina.
>> Messi's first football contract was actually penned down on paper napkins. FC Barcelona's sports chief Carles Rexach was impressed with the Argentine's talent, that made a contract on the spot with no official paper being available.
>> He is the only soccer player to have won the Ballon d’Or a record five times: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015.
>> Messi holds two passports - Argentina and Spain. He was declared a Spanish citizen in 2005.
>> Messi is Argentina's all-time leading goal scorer with 55 goals to his name.
>> He became the youngest player to play for Argentina in a FIFA World Cup when he made his debut in 2006 at 18 years and 357 days.
>> Upon Ronaldinho’s departure from the club Barcelona, Messi inherited his number 10 jersey in 2008.
>> He was nicknamed 'The Messiah' by Spanish media in 2008 after he was Barcelona's new star player at age 20.
>> Messi is an Ambassador of Goodwill for UNICEF. His foundation - 'Leo Messi Foundation' - supports various charities.
>> At age 25, he became the youngest footballer to score 200 goals in La Liga.
>> He has the record for scoriing the most goals in La Liga history (312 goals).
>> He is the top goal scorer in FC Barcelona's history (453 goals)
>> He also has the Guinness World Record for most goals scored in a year. (91 goals in 2012)
(All Pics/ AFP)
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