Not only is Lionel Messi seen by many as the greatest current soccer player on earth, there is a growing number of people who are already crowning him as the greatest of all time, even though he is only 28. The crazy thing is, that crowning isn’t even that unbelievable. Throughout his twelve years with Barcelona he has won eight La Liga titles, four Champions League Title a record five Ballon D’Ors and many more accolades and accomplishments. We all know the massive star he is today, but let’s take a look at how he got there.
Born in central Argentina into a soccer loving family, Messi developed an enormous passion for the game from a very young age. He played a ton with family and friends and by 4 years old, he was already being scouted a bit and joined a local club called Grandoli.
Messi was a lifelong supporter of the Newell’s Old Boys and actually joined the club when he was only six years old. He wowed people with his skills, even from an early age. Unfortunately, his future soccer career was put in jeopardy at the age of 10 when he found out that he had been diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency. His fathers insurance only covered two years of treatment, a treatment that would cost them $1000 a month thereafter. His teams also couldn’t cover the costs due to economic turmoil in Argentina.
To seek out a better chance for Messi, the family moved to Spain where Messi was signed by Barcelona when he was barely a teen and it was very rare for a team to sign someone that young who was a foreign player. In 2003-04 he made a meteoric rise through the C and B teams of Barcelona and, on June 24th 2005 (his 18th birthday), Messi was signed to the first team of Barcelona. Not only did the man quickly become a great player, he was already considered by many to be among the top players in the world before even reaching the age of 20, which is absolutely unheard of in any sport.
Over the years since his teenage prowess, Messi has gotten the eyes of everyone on the planet due to his amazing dribbling, speed, agility and (most of all) his amazing scoring touch. The guy is basically all you could ever want in an offensive player, and he is still only 28 years old, which means his story isn’t even close to being completed yet.
While he does get thrown around in the GOAT talk, many think his subpar showings in the World Cup may hold him back from that title. While the guy has done all he could to be perhaps the best Club player of all time, he is yet to win a World Cup, which puts him lower on the totem pole in that regard than a guy like Pele, who has won three World Cups, which is the most of all time. Either way, Messi still has a long career to go and I wouldn’t be shocked to see him eventually be seen as the unanimous best player of all time.