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Lionel Messi turns 37: Staggering records, accomplishments of Argentinean football legend

During the Beijing Olympics in 2008, Messi's team, Argentina, took home the gold medal.

Lionel Messi turns 37: Staggering records, accomplishments of Argentinean football legend
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Lionel Messi. (Photo- Argentina Football X)

NEW DELHI: The legendary Argentine footballer Lionel Messi, often called the 'greatest footballer of all time', celebrates his 37th birthday on Monday. Messi born in Rosario, Argentina, in 1987, recently, won his eighth Ballon d'Or, setting a new record. The next player is the Portuguese icon Cristiano Ronaldo, who has won five Ballon d'Or awards.

At the age of 13, Messi's family along with him shifted to Barcelona where the club assisted him in treating his growth hormone deficiency. The Argentinean began his career with FC Barcelona's U14 squad. He moved up the ranks fast, leaving an impression on everyone with his extraordinary talent and skills. He made his club debut as a senior at the age of 17 against Espanyol, and the Blaugranas (another name for FC Barcelona) relied heavily on him.

The 37-year-old became the team's youngest star to appear in the competition at the time. Messi played for the Spanish club for 17 years, during which time he won 10 La Liga titles, 4 Champions League crowns, and 7 Copa del Rey medals. He has scored an astounding 474 goals in La Liga, making him the league's all-time top scorer.

Messi stunned the whole world when he emulated Diego Maradona's goal of the century in 2007. In a match against Getafe at Camp Nou during the first leg of the Copa del Rey semifinal, the footballer dribbled past six Getage's defenders to score the goal. In 2009, Messi won his maiden UEFA Champions League title. Barcelona defeated Manchester United in the final with a scoreline of 2-0. In the final, the Argentina national football team skipper scored a goal in this match through a header.

In a 3-0 victory for Barcelona over Real Valladolid in 2020, Lionel Messi scored his 644th goal. Messi broke the record for most goals scored for a single club by doing this. Pele, a legendary Brazilian who scored 643 goals for Santos FC, owned the previous record. The Argentinean national player joined the French 1 League club Paris Saint-Germain and played for the club from 2021-2023.

He played a total of 58 games where he managed to score 22 goals for the side. In 2023, Messi joined the David Beckham-owned Inter Miami. So far he has played 18 matches where he has gone on to score 13 goals. August 2005 was Messi's first international appearance.

He replaced an injured player against Hungary. However, his tragic international debut was short-lived as he was sent off minutes after hitting Vilmos Vanczak. During the Beijing Olympics in 2008, Messi's team, Argentina, took home the gold medal.

To help La Albiceleste (another name for Argentina) win their second consecutive Olympic gold, Messi set up the game-winning goal. In the final, they defeated Nigeria 1-0. In the 2021 Copa America final, Argentina defeated Brazil 1-0 while playing at the Maracana Stadium.

With this win, Messi's lengthy quest for his first significant international championship came to a conclusion. The FIFA World Cup trophy that Lionel Messi won in Qatar in 2022 was the highlight of his career. In the championship match, Messi scored twice against France. After a 36-year break, Argentina became the world champions via penalty shootout.

ANI
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