* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Lionel Messi (born 24 June 1987) is an Argentina football player. He plays for Barcelona and the Argentina national team as a forward or winger. Lionel Andrés "Leo" Messi (Spanish pronunciation: [ljoˈnel anˈdɾes ˈmesi]) was born 24 June 1987. He also has Spanish citizenship. So he can play as a EU player. He is one of the best football players of his generation. Many people say that he is the world's best player. Messi received several Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year by the age of 22. His playing style and ability are similar to Diego Maradona.
Messi began football at a young age and his potential was quickly seen by Barcelona. He left Newell's Old Boys's youth team in 2000 and moved with his family to Europe. It's because Barcelona offered treatment for his growth hormone deficiency. He debut in the 2004–05 season, and he broke his team record for the youngest footballer to score a goal. Barcelona won La Liga in Messi's debut season, and won a double of the league and Champions League in 2006. His first very good season was in the 2006–07 season; he became a first team regular, scoring a hat-trick in El Clásico. He scored 14 goals in 26 league games. Maybe his most successful season was the 2008–09 season. In this season, Messi scored 38 goals. In the following 2009–10 season, Messi scored 47 goals in all games. That equals to Ronaldo's record total for Barcelona. He is on the cover of both PES 2010 and PES 2011.
Messi decided to play for his homeland in 2005. He led the team to the final game against Nigeria. Messi achieved victory in the under 20 World Cup in Argentina. In addition to the gold medal Lionel Messi was rewarded with the Golden Boot for most goals scored and the Golden Ball for best player. Lionel Messi was made captain of the team in 2011.
Not only playing on the field Messi finds time to do charity work. He started the Leo Messi Foundation which helps children in at-risk situation. Messi also opened a kids park for children living in the hospital at the University hospital Vall d’hebron In Barcelona. He was announced as the best player in the world in 2014.