Argentine Lionel Messi was nominated for leading Barcelona to victory in the Copa del Rey (Photo: LUIS ACOSTA / AFP / Getty Images)
This is a glimpse into the life of Argentine soccer player Lionel Messi.
General information about Lionel Messi
Date of birth: June 24, 1987
Place of birth: Rosario, Argentina
Full Name: Lionel Andrés Messi
Father: Jorge Messi, factory worker
Mother: Messi Celia Cuccittini
Marriage: to Antonella Roccuzzo (from June 30, 2017 to date)
Children: Ciro, Mateo and Thiago.
As a child, Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency.
At the age of 13, he signed for Fútbol Club Barcelona and moved to Spain.
As part of the contract, FC Barcelona agreed to pay for Messi's hormonal treatments.
Messi is the greatest scorer of all time for FC Barcelona and La Liga in Spain.
Winner of the Ballon d'Or, or footballer of the year, a record of six times: first he set a record of four consecutive years (2009-2012), and then he won it again in 2015 and 2019.
He won the European Golden Boot six times: 2009-10, 2011-12, 2012-13, 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19.
1995-2000 - Plays for the local soccer club, Newell's Old Boys, in Rosario, Argentina.
2000-2003 - Signing with FC Barcelona and working his way to the top through the Barça youth team.
November 16, 2003 - Makes his debut for the team, as a replacement in a friendly match against FC Porto.
October 16, 2004 - Officially debuted with FC Barcelona against Espanyol.
Barça win 1-0.
2007 - Establishes the Leo Messi Foundation, which works to improve access to education and health care for children.
August 2008 - Guides Argentina's soccer team to the gold medal at the Summer Olympics in Beijing.
March 11, 2010 - Messi is appointed UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
2011-2012 Season - Sets the all-time record for goals scored in a single season for a major European soccer league, with 73 goals.
June 2013 - Prosecutors in Barcelona file charges of tax fraud against Messi and his father for the period between 2007 and 2009. The complaint claims that Messi and his father, in an attempt to reduce the total taxes they had to pay in Spain , sought to manage the player's lucrative income from image rights through shell companies abroad.
Messi denies all the accusations of having committed any fault.
June 25, 2013 - Prosecutors in Barcelona, Spain tell CNN that Lionel Messi paid 10 million euros in taxes ($ 13 million) to cover the 2010-2011 fiscal period, but efforts to prosecute him for alleged tax fraud 2007 to 2009 are still ongoing.
August 14, 2013 - Messi and his father, Jorge Messi, make a "reparatory" payment of 5 million euros ($ 6.6 million) to Spanish authorities for allegedly committing tax fraud between 2007 and 2009.
September 27, 2013 - Messi and his father testify at a preliminary hearing in a Barcelona court over allegations that they defrauded Spanish tax authorities of more than $ 5 million.
March 16, 2014 - Scores a hat-trick to become Barcelona's top scorer with 371 goals;
thus, it surpasses the record set by Paulino Alcantara, who scored 369 goals.
May 2014 - Sign a new contract with FC Barcelona for a supposed annual sum of 20 million euros (27 million dollars).
June 2014 - A Spanish state prosecutor asks a judge to dismiss the tax fraud charges against Lionel Messi, but not against his father.
July 13, 2014 - Messi wins the Ballon d'Or for the best player of the World Cup tournament.
July 28, 2014 - A judge rules that the tax fraud case against Messi and his father will proceed, despite a request made by the Spanish state prosecutor in June, that the charges against Messi be dismissed.
November 22, 2014 - Messi scores a hat-trick to become the top scorer in the Spanish league with 253 goals, thus beating Telmo Zarra's previous record of 251 goals.
Messi ends the season with 286 goals in 315 games.
October 8, 2015 - A Spanish court rules that Messi and his father will stand trial on charges of tax fraud.
May 31, 2016 - The tax fraud trial against Messi and his father begins.
June 27, 2016 - Messi says he will likely retire from international soccer after Argentina lost the Copa América final to Chile on penalties.
July 6, 2016 - A Barcelona court fines Messi 2 million euros ($ 2.3 million) and sentences him to 21 months in prison for tax fraud.
The Spanish justice changes Messi's prison sentence to an additional fine of 252,000 euros ($ 287,000) in July 2017.
August 12, 2016 - Messi announces that he will return to play for Argentina, having declared in June that he would retire from soccer at the national team level.
July 5, 2017 - Barcelona and Messi announce a contract extension that will keep the Argentine at Barça until June 30, 2021 and which is supposedly worth 565,000 euros ($ 645,000) a week.
January 13, 2019 - Scores his 400th goal in the Spanish league in his 435th game, extending his record as the all-time top scorer in La Liga.
Messi is the first player to score 400 times in any of the "big five" European leagues.
August 2, 2019 - Messi is disqualified from all competition for three months and fined $ 50,000 by the CONMEBOL Disciplinary Court.
The punishment comes after Messi accused South American soccer's governing body of corruption, suggesting that the 2019 Copa América was rigged in favor of host Brazil.
May 2020 - Ranked third on Forbes' annual list of the world's highest-paid athletes, with estimated earnings of $ 104 million.
August 2020 - Barcelona informs that Messi will no longer be linked to the club.
"Despite having reached an agreement between FC Barcelona and Leo Messi and with the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, it cannot be formalized due to economic and structural obstacles (Spanish LaLiga regulations ) ", says the club's statement.
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