Lionel Messi – Argentina

20th May 2010 | World Cup Betting category: Football World Cup News
Football World Cup News


Full Name: Lionel Andrés  Messi
Date of Birth: 24th June, 1987
Position: Forward

Current Club: Barcelona (Spain)
2009/2010 Apps/Goals: 53-47

International Appearances: 44
International Goals: 13

International Accolades: 2008 Olympic Gold Medal

Interesting Fact: Messi suffers from a ‘Growth Hormone Deficiency’.


Recruited into the Barcelona ranks at just 13 years-of-age from Newell’s Old Boys in Argentina, no-one really knew that within a few years a small, scruffy looking character would blossom into the greatest player on the planet. In 2009, with Messi still just 22 years-old, Lionel Messi already had both a Ballon d’Or and a FIFA World Cup Player of the Year award in his locker, thus becoming the youngest ever footballer to establish himself as the best player in the world at just 22 years-old; Incredible!

To think that Lionel Messi has a UEFA Champions League, Spanish La Liga, Copa Del Rey and a Spanish Super Cup already under his belt but still has another good 10 years of playing time left in him, is both an incredible achievement and a daunting prospect for the remaining 31 other nations which could yet face the Argentine maestro in South Africa. However, for all Messi’s glistening domestic honours with Barcelona, all of which are held in high regard, the one medal which could elude him, but is one Messi desperately needs to obtain before the end of his playing career, is that of a World Cup winning medal. It’s common knowledge that Messi is widely-tipped to become the greatest ever player but he needs to win a World Cup before he can really be considered, although he no longer has the potential to be great, he is great.

Some would argue that Diego Maradona was the best player to have ever lived, so it’s a compliment of the highest order when Maradona claims Messi is his predecessor, the air to his own throne for being the great ever footballer. However, Maradona got his hands on the World Cup twice as a player, thus ensuring he left the game with a lasting impact, ranking him above a host of quality names now no longer in the beautiful game. Now Messi may be just 22 years-old but he’s already won every major club honour under the sun, while his collection of personal accolades will rise if he continues playing with the commitment, drive and style that he is currently. In the 2009-2010 season with Barcelona, Messi scored a staggering 47 goals in 53 first-team appearances for the Catalans, clinching the European Golden Boot award for his scoring exploits as well as favouritism for a quick-fire FIFA World Player of the Year double.

Lionel Messi is a player with immense talent, a formidable sight for an opponent. He’s remarkably quick on his feet, has no end of skills and swivels while his tiny figure allows him to squeeze in and out of tight spots and through defences. Messi really is an incredible player, even though he doesn’t look all that at first glance. However, the thing that has impressed over the last season or so is just how prolific he has become in front of goal, and for a winger to consistently find the goal at such an alarming regularity as Messi did, it’s outstanding. The problem for the Argentina ace has always been at international level, mirroring his Barcelona form when in an Argentina shirt. For all Messi’s personal accolades and domestic honours with Barcelona, he does have his critics back home especially after his failure to inspire the Argentina team during qualification. There’s a great deal of pressure that comes with playing for Barcelona, but for Messi the burden of success will be huge in South Africa, as this Argentina team is arguably the weakest side this side of the Millennium, and with Messi’s global reputation now so high, fans back home are expecting an unbelievable tournament from Messi, with the majority pinning their hopes on the performances from the Barcelona star. If Messi fails to shine in South Africa like he did during qualifying, many Argentine followers are already resigned to a disappointing campaign.

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