Leo Messi, also known as Lionel Andrés Messi, is an Argentine professional football player who plays as a forward for Major League Soccer club Inter Miami and the Argentina national team. He was born on June 24, 1987. Messi, who is recognised as one of the all-time best players, has a record seven Ballon d'Or victories, a record six European Golden Shoes, and he was selected for the Ballon d'Or Dream Team in 2020. He spent his entire professional career with Barcelona, retiring from the team in 2021 after winning a club-record 34 trophies there, including 10 La Liga championships, seven Copa del Rey championships, and four UEFA Champions League crowns.
He won the 2021 Copa América and the 2022 FIFA World Cup for his nation. Messi, a prolific goal scorer and inventive playmaker, holds the La Liga records for most goals, hat-tricks, and assists. He also holds the Copa América record for most assists. He also has the most worldwide objectives of any man from South America. Messi has the most goals by a player for a single club with over 800 senior career goals for club and country.
Messi was born on June 24, 1987, in Rosario, Santa Fe. He is the third of four children and the husband of steel plant manager Jorge Messi and magnet factory worker Celia Cuccittini. He is the great-grandson of immigrants from Italy's north-central Adriatic Marche area on his father's side, and on his mother's side, he is predominantly of Italian lineage. "Leo" grew up in a close-knit football-loving family and got passionate about the game at a young age, playing alongside his older brothers Rodrigo and Matas as well as his cousins Maximiliano and Emanuel Biancucchi, who both went on to play professionally. At the age of four, he joined the local club Grandoli, where his father served as his coach. However, his maternal grandmother Celia, who accompanied him to practise and games, had the earliest impact on his development as a player. His grandmother's passing, which occurred just before his eleventh birthday, had a significant impact on him. Ever since then, as a devoted Roman Catholic, he has celebrated his accomplishments by pointing to the sky in memory of his grandmother.
Messi advanced quickly through the club's tiers in the 2003–04 season, his fourth with Barcelona, making his debut for four different youth teams throughout the course of the year. He played just one official game with the Juveniles B after winning player of the tournament honours in four international preseason tournaments with the squad before being promoted to the Juveniles A, where he scored 18 goals in 11 league games. Then, during the international break, Messi was one of several young players called in to bolster a thin first team. Messi drew the attention of Frank Rijkaard's first squad during a training session, according to French winger Ludovic Giuly: "He crushed us all... To prevent being made fun of by this youngster, they were kicking him all over the place.