HOME
The Info List - Lionel Messi





Argentine professional footballer

International goals Career achievements Comparisons to Cristiano Ronaldo

Films

Messi (2014) Messi (2017)

v t e

Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini[note 1] (Spanish pronunciation: [ljoˈnel anˈdɾez ˈmesi] ( listen);[A] born 24 June 1987) is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish club Barcelona and the Argentina
Argentina
national team. Often considered the best player in the world and regarded by many as the greatest of all time,[5] Messi has a record-tying five Ballon d'Or
Ballon d'Or
awards,[note 2] four of which he won consecutively, and a record-tying four European Golden Shoes. He has spent his entire professional career with Barcelona, where he has won 30 trophies, including eight La Liga titles, four UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League
titles, and five Copas del Rey. Both a prolific goalscorer and a creative playmaker, Messi holds the records for most official goals scored in La Liga
La Liga
(375), a La Liga season (50), a club football season in Europe (73), a calendar year (91), El Clásico
El Clásico
(25), as well as those for most assists in La Liga (149) and the Copa América
Copa América
(11). He has scored over 600 senior career goals for club and country. Born and raised in central Argentina, Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency as a child. At age 13, he relocated to Spain to join Barcelona, who agreed to pay for his medical treatment. After a fast progression through Barcelona's youth academy, Messi made his competitive debut aged 17 in October 2004. Despite being injury-prone during his early career, he established himself as an integral player for the club within the next three years, finishing 2007 as a finalist for both the Ballon d'Or
Ballon d'Or
and FIFA World Player of the Year
FIFA World Player of the Year
award, a feat he repeated the following year. His first uninterrupted campaign came in the 2008–09 season, during which he helped Barcelona achieve the first treble in Spanish football. At 22 years old, Messi won the Ballon d'Or
Ballon d'Or
and FIFA World Player of the Year
FIFA World Player of the Year
award by record voting margins. Three successful seasons followed, with Messi winning three consecutive FIFA
FIFA
Ballon d'Ors, including an unprecedented fourth. His personal best campaign statistically to date was the 2011–12 season, in which he set the La Liga
La Liga
and European records for most goals scored in a single season, while establishing himself as Barcelona's all-time top scorer in official competitions in March 2012. The following two seasons, Messi finished twice second for the Ballon d'Or
Ballon d'Or
behind Cristiano Ronaldo, his perceived career rival. Messi regained his best form during the 2014–15 campaign, breaking the all-time goalscoring records in both La Liga
La Liga
and the Champions League in November 2014,[note 3] and led Barcelona to a historic second treble. An Argentine international, Messi is his country's all-time leading goalscorer. At youth level, he won the 2005 FIFA
FIFA
World Youth Championship, finishing the tournament with both the Golden Ball and Golden Shoe, and an Olympic gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics. His style of play as a diminutive, left-footed dribbler drew comparisons with compatriot Diego Maradona, who declared the teenager his successor. After making his senior debut in August 2005, Messi became the youngest Argentine to play and score in a FIFA
FIFA
World Cup during the 2006 edition, and reached the final of the 2007 Copa América, where he was named young player of the tournament. As the squad's captain from August 2011, he led Argentina
Argentina
to three consecutive finals: the 2014 World Cup, for which he won the Golden Ball, and the 2015 and 2016 Copas América. After announcing his international retirement in 2016, he reversed his decision and led his country to qualification for the 2018 World Cup.

Contents

1 Early life 2 Club career

2.1 Barcelona

2.1.1 2003–05: Rise to the first team 2.1.2 2005–08: Making the starting eleven 2.1.3 2009–11: Sustained success 2.1.4 2012: A record-breaking year 2.1.5 2013–14: Messidependencia 2.1.6 2014–15: A historic treble 2.1.7 2015–16: Domestic success 2.1.8 2016–17: Fourth Golden Boot 2.1.9 2017–18 season

3 International career

3.1 2004–05: Success at youth level 3.2 2005–06: Senior and World Cup debuts 3.3 2007–08: Copa América
Copa América
final and Olympic gold 3.4 2008–11: Collective decline 3.5 2011–13: Assuming the captaincy 3.6 2014–15: World Cup and Copa América
Copa América
finals 3.7 2016: Copa América
Copa América
Centenario, retirement, and return

3.7.1 "Don't go, Leo" 3.7.2 Return

4 Player profile

4.1 Style of play 4.2 Reception 4.3 Comparisons to Cristiano Ronaldo

5 In popular culture 6 Personal life

6.1 Family and relationships 6.2 Charity 6.3 Legal issues

7 Career statistics

7.1 Club 7.2 International

8 Honours and achievements

8.1 Club 8.2 International 8.3 Individual

8.3.1 Awards 8.3.2 Performances

8.4 Records

8.4.1 World 8.4.2 Continental 8.4.3 Spain 8.4.4 Argentina 8.4.5 Barcelona

9 See also 10 Notes 11 References 12 External links

Early life

5-year-old Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
with Club Abanderado Grandoli of Rosario, where he started to play football

Lionel Andrés Messi was born on 24 June 1987 in Rosario, the third of four children of Jorge Messi, a steel factory manager, and his wife Celia Cuccittini, who worked in a magnet manufacturing workshop. On his father's side, he is of Italian and Spanish descent, the great-grandson of immigrants from the northcentral Adriatic Marche region of Italy and Catalonia, and on his mother's side, he has primarily Italian ancestry.[3] Growing up in a tight-knit, football-loving family, "Leo" developed a passion for the sport from an early age, playing constantly with his older brothers, Rodrigo and Matías, and his cousins, Maximiliano and Emanuel Biancucchi, both of whom became professional footballers.[8] At the age of four he joined local club Grandoli, where he was coached by his father, though his earliest influence as a player came from his maternal grandmother, Celia, who accompanied him to training and matches.[9] He was greatly affected by her death, shortly before his eleventh birthday; since then, as a devout Catholic, he has celebrated his goals by looking up and pointing to the sky in tribute of his grandmother.[10][11]

"When you saw him you would think: this kid can't play ball. He's a dwarf, he's too fragile, too small. But immediately you'd realise that he was born different, that he was a phenomenon and that he was going to be something impressive."

Newell's Old Boys
Newell's Old Boys
youth coach Adrián Coria shares his first impression of the 12-year-old Messi.[12]

A lifelong supporter of Newell's Old Boys, Messi joined the Rosario club when he was six years old. During the six years he played for Newell's, he scored almost 500 goals as a member of "The Machine of '87", the near-unbeatable youth side named for the year of their birth, and regularly entertained crowds by performing ball tricks during half-time of the first team's home games.[13][14] However, his future as a professional player was threatened when, at age 10, he was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency. As his father's health insurance covered only two years of growth hormone treatment, which cost at least $1,000 per month, Newell's agreed to contribute, but later reneged on their promise.[15] He was scouted by Buenos Aires club River Plate, whose playmaker, Pablo Aimar, he idolised, but they were also unable to pay for his treatment due to the country's economic collapse.[16][17]

Messi enrolled at Barcelona's youth academy, La Masia, at age 13

As the Messi family had relatives in Catalonia, they sought to arrange a trial with Barcelona in September 2000. First team director Charly Rexach immediately wanted to sign him, but the board of directors hesitated; at the time it was highly unusual for European clubs to sign foreign players of such a young age. On 14 December, an ultimatum was issued for Barcelona to prove their commitment, and Rexach, with no other paper at hand, offered a contract on a paper napkin.[16][18] In February 2001, the family relocated to Barcelona, where they moved into an apartment near the club's stadium, Camp Nou. During his first year in Spain, Messi rarely played with the Infantiles due to a transfer conflict with Newell's; as a foreigner, he could only be fielded in friendlies and the Catalan league. Without football, he struggled to integrate into the team; already reserved by nature, he was so quiet that his teammates initially believed he was mute. At home, he suffered from homesickness after his mother moved back to Rosario
Rosario
with his brothers and little sister, María Sol, while he stayed in Barcelona with his father.[13][18][19] After a year at Barcelona's youth academy, La Masia, Messi was finally enrolled in the Royal Spanish Football Federation
Royal Spanish Football Federation
(RFEF) in February 2002. Now playing in all competitions, he befriended his teammates, among whom were Cesc Fàbregas
Cesc Fàbregas
and Gerard Piqué.[20] After completing his growth hormone treatment aged 14,[21] Messi became an integral part of the "Baby Dream Team", Barcelona's greatest-ever youth side. During his first full season (2002–03), he was top scorer with 36 goals in 30 games for the Cadetes A, who won an unprecedented treble of the league and both the Spanish and Catalan cups.[20][22] The Copa Catalunya final, a 4–1 victory over Espanyol, became known in club lore as the partido de la máscara, the final of the mask. A week after suffering a broken cheekbone during a league match, Messi was allowed to start the game on the condition that he wear a plastic protector; soon hindered by the mask, he took it off and scored two goals in 10 minutes before his substitution.[23] At the close of the season, he received an offer to join Arsenal, his first from a foreign club, but while Fàbregas and Piqué soon left for England, he chose to remain in Barcelona.[18][24][25] Club career Barcelona 2003–05: Rise to the first team

"It seemed as if he had been playing with us all his life."

—Barcelona's then assistant coach Henk Ten Cate
Henk Ten Cate
on Messi's first-team debut.[26]

During the 2003–04 season, his fourth with Barcelona, Messi rapidly progressed through the club's ranks, debuting for a record five teams in a single campaign. After being named player of the tournament in four international pre-season competitions with the Juveniles B, he played only one official match with the team before being promoted to the Juveniles A, where he scored 18 goals in 11 league games.[27][28] Messi was then one of several youth players called up to strengthen a depleted first team during the international break. French Winger Ludovic Giuly
Ludovic Giuly
explained how a teenage Leo caught the eye in a training session with Frank Rijkaard's first team: "He destroyed us all... They were kicking him all over the place to avoid being ridiculed by this kid, he just got up and kept on playing. He would dribble past four players and score a goal. Even the team's starting centre-backs were nervous. He was an alien."[29] At 16 years, four months, and 23 days old, he made his first team debut when he came on in the 75th minute during a friendly against José Mourinho's Porto on 16 November 2003.[18][30] His performance, creating two chances and a shot on goal, impressed the technical staff, and he subsequently began training daily with the club's reserve side, Barcelona B, as well as weekly with the first team.[31] After his first training session with the senior squad, Barça's new star player, Ronaldinho, told his teammates that he believed the 16-year-old would become an even better player than himself.[32] Ronaldinho
Ronaldinho
soon befriended Messi, whom he called "little brother", which greatly eased his transition into the first team.[33][34]

Messi, at age 18, playing against Málaga in 2005

To gain further match experience, Messi joined Barcelona C in addition to the Juveniles A, playing his first game for the third team on 29 November. He helped save them from the relegation zone of the Tercera División, scoring five goals in ten games, including a hat-trick in eight minutes during a Copa del Rey
Copa del Rey
match while man-marked by Sevilla's Sergio Ramos.[27][35] His progress was reflected in his first professional contract, signed on 4 February 2004, which lasted until 2012 and contained an initial buyout clause of €30 million. A month later, on 6 March, he made his debut for Barcelona B
Barcelona B
in the Segunda División B, and his buyout clause automatically increased to €80 million.[27][36] He played five games with the B team that season but did not score.[37] Physically he was weaker than his opponents, who were often much older and taller, and in training he worked on increasing his muscle mass and overall strength in order to be able to shake off defenders. Towards the end of the season, he returned to both youth teams, helping the Juveniles B win the league. He finished the campaign having scored for four of his five teams with a total of 36 goals in all official competitions.[27][35] During the 2004–05 season, Messi was a guaranteed starter for the B team, playing 17 games throughout the campaign and scoring on six occasions.[32][38] Since his debut the previous November, he had not been called up to the first team again, but in October 2004, the senior players asked manager Frank Rijkaard
Frank Rijkaard
to promote him.[32] Since Ronaldinho
Ronaldinho
already played on the left wing, Rijkaard moved Messi from his usual position onto the right flank (though initially against the player's wishes), allowing him to cut into the centre of the pitch and shoot with his dominant left foot.[39][40] Messi made his league debut during the next match on 16 October, against Espanyol, coming on in the 82nd minute.[18] At 17 years, three months, and 22 days old, he was at the time the youngest player to represent Barcelona in an official competition.[34] As a substitute player, he played only 77 minutes in nine matches for the first team that season, including his debut in the UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League
against Shakhtar Donetsk.[38][41] He scored his first senior goal on 1 May 2005, against Albacete, from an assist by Ronaldinho, becoming – at that time – the youngest-ever scorer for the club.[39][42] Barcelona, in their second season under Rijkaard, won the league for the first time in six years.[43] 2005–08: Making the starting eleven

"In my entire life I have never seen a player of such quality and personality at such a young age, particularly wearing the 'heavy' shirt of one of the world's great clubs."

Fabio Capello
Fabio Capello
praises the 18-year-old Messi following the Joan Gamper trophy in August 2005.[44]

On 24 June 2005, his 18th birthday, Messi signed his first contract as a senior team player. It made him a Barcelona player until 2010, two years less than his previous contract, but his buyout clause increased to €150 million.[36] His breakthrough came two months later, on 24 August, during the Joan Gamper Trophy, Barcelona's pre-season competition. A starter for the first time, he gave a well-received performance against Fabio Capello's Juventus, receiving an ovation from the Camp Nou.[44] While Capello requested to loan Messi, a bid to buy him came from Inter Milan, who were willing to pay his €150 million buyout clause and triple his wages.[45] According to then-president Joan Laporta, it was the only time the club faced a real risk of losing Messi, but he ultimately decided to stay.[46] On 16 September, his contract was updated for the second time in three months and extended to 2014.[36][47]

Messi during a training session with Barça in August 2006

Due to issues regarding his legal status in the Royal Spanish Football Federation, Messi missed the start of La Liga, but on 26 September, he acquired Spanish citizenship and became eligible to play.[47][48] Wearing the number 19 shirt, he gradually established himself as the first-choice right winger, forming an attacking trio with Ronaldinho and striker Samuel Eto'o.[25][49][50] He was in the starting line-up in major matches like his first Clásico against rivals Real Madrid on 19 November, as well as Barcelona's away victory over Chelsea in the last 16 round of the Champions League, where he played his best match to that point.[51][49] After he had scored 8 goals in 25 games, including his first in the Champions League,[52] his season ended prematurely during the return leg against Chelsea on 7 March 2006, when he suffered a torn hamstring. Messi worked to regain fitness in time for the Champions League final, but on 17 May, the day of the final, he was eventually ruled out. He was so disappointed that he did not celebrate his team's victory over Arsenal in Paris, something he later came to regret.[43][49] While Barcelona began a gradual decline, the 19-year-old Messi established himself as one of the best players in the world during the 2006–07 campaign.[53][54] Already an idol to the culés, the club's supporters, he scored 17 goals in 36 games across all competitions.[54][55] However, he continued to be plagued by major injuries; a metatarsal fracture sustained on 12 November 2006 kept him out of action for three months.[56][57] He recovered in time for the last 16 round of the Champions League against Liverpool, but was effectively marked out of the game; Barcelona, the reigning champions, were out of the competition.[58] In the league, his goal contribution increased towards the end of the season; 11 of his 14 goals came from the last 13 games.[55] On 10 March 2007, he scored his first hat-trick in a Clásico, the first player to do so in 12 years, equalising after each goal by Real Madrid to end the match in a 3–3 draw in extra time.[59] His growing importance to the club was reflected in a new contract, signed that month, which greatly increased his wages.[60]

Messi makes his Maradona-esque run against Getafe in April 2007

Already frequently compared to compatriot Diego Maradona, Messi proved their similarity when he nearly replicated Maradona's two most famous goals in the span of three weeks.[61] During a Copa del Rey
Copa del Rey
semi-final against Getafe on 18 April, he scored a goal remarkably similar to Maradona's goal in the quarter-finals of the 1986 FIFA
FIFA
World Cup, known as the Goal of the Century. Messi collected the ball on the right side near the halfway line, ran 60 metres (200 ft), and beat five defenders before scoring with an angled finish, just as Maradona had done.[16][62] A league match against Espanyol on 9 June saw him score by launching himself at the ball and guiding it past the goalkeeper with his hand in similar fashion to Maradona's Hand of God goal in the same World Cup match.[63] As Messi continued his individual rise, Barcelona faltered; the team failed to reach the Copa del Rey final after Messi was rested during the second leg against Getafe and lost the league to Real Madrid on head-to-head results.[64][65] After Ronaldinho
Ronaldinho
lost form, Messi became Barça's new star player at only 20 years old, receiving the nickname "Messiah" from the Spanish media.[16][66][67] His efforts in 2007 also earned him award recognition; journalists voted him the third-best player of the year for the Ballon d'Or, behind Kaká
Kaká
and runner-up Cristiano Ronaldo, while international managers and national team captains voted him second for the FIFA World Player of the Year
FIFA World Player of the Year
award, again behind Kaká.[68][69] Although he managed to score 16 goals during the 2007–08 campaign,[70] the second half of his season was again marred by injuries after he suffered a torn hamstring on 15 December.[71] He returned to score twice in their away victory against Celtic in the last 16 round of the Champions League, becoming the competition's top scorer at that point with six goals,[72] but reinjured himself during the return leg on 4 March 2008. Rijkaard had fielded him despite warning from the medical staff, leading captain Carles Puyol
Carles Puyol
to criticise the Spanish media for pressuring Messi to play every match.[71] Barcelona finished the season without trophies, eliminated in the Champions League semi-finals by the eventual champions, Manchester United, and placed third in the league.[73] After two unsuccessful seasons, Barcelona were in need of an overhaul, leading to the departure of Rijkaard and Ronaldinho. Upon the latter's departure, Messi was given the number 10 shirt.[50] He signed a new contract in July 2008 on an annual salary of €7.8 million, becoming the club's highest-paid player.[74][75] Ahead of the new season, a major concern remained his frequent muscular injuries, which had left him side-lined for a total of eight months between 2006 and 2008. To combat the problem, the club implemented new training, nutrition, and lifestyle regimens, and assigned him a personal physiotherapist, who would travel with him during call-ups for the Argentina
Argentina
national team. As a result, Messi remained virtually injury-free during the next four years, allowing him to reach his full potential.[57][76] Despite his injuries early in the year, his performances in 2008 saw him again voted runner-up for the Ballon d'Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year
FIFA World Player of the Year
award, both times behind Cristiano Ronaldo.[68][77] 2009–11: Sustained success In his first uninterrupted campaign, the 2008–09 season, he scored 38 goals in 51 games, contributing alongside Eto'o and winger Thierry Henry to a total of 100 goals in all competitions, a record at the time for the club.[78][79]

Messi in the Champions League final against Manchester United
Manchester United
in May 2009

During his first season under Barcelona's new manager, former captain Pep Guardiola, Messi played mainly on the right wing, like he had under Rijkaard, though this time as a false winger with the freedom to cut inside and roam the centre. During the Clásico on 2 May 2009, however, he played for the first time as a false nine, positioned as a centre-forward but dropping deep into midfield to link up with Xavi and Andrés Iniesta. He assisted with a chip his side's first goal and scored twice to end the match in an emphatic 6–2 victory, the team's greatest-ever score at Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.[80][81] Returning to the wing, he played his first final since breaking into the first team on 13 May, scoring once and assisting a second goal as Barcelona defeated Athletic Bilbao
Athletic Bilbao
4–1 to win the Copa del Rey.[82] With 23 league goals from Messi that season, Barcelona became La Liga
La Liga
champions three days later and achieved its fifth double.[78][83] As the season's Champions League top scorer with nine goals, the youngest in the tournament's history,[84] Messi scored two goals and assisted two more to ensure a 4–0 quarter-final victory over Bayern Munich.[80] He returned as a false nine during the final on 27 May in Rome against Manchester United. Barcelona were crowned champions of Europe by winning the match 2–0, the second goal coming from a Messi header over goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar. Barcelona thus achieved the first treble in the history of Spanish football.[85][86] This success was reflected in a new contract, signed on 18 September, which committed Messi to the club through 2016 with a new buyout clause of €250 million, while his salary increased to €12 million.[74] His team's prosperity continued into the second half of 2009, as Barcelona became the first club to achieve the sextuple, winning six top-tier trophies in a single year.[87] After victories in the Supercopa de España
Supercopa de España
and UEFA
UEFA
Super Cup in August, Barcelona won the FIFA
FIFA
Club World Cup against Estudiantes de La Plata on 19 December, with Messi scoring the winning 2–1 goal with his chest.[88] At 22 years old, Messi won the Ballon d'Or
Ballon d'Or
and the FIFA World Player of the Year award, both times by the greatest voting margin in each trophy's history.[68]

"Messi is the best player in the world by some distance. He's like a PlayStation. He can take advantage of every mistake we make."

Arsène Wenger
Arsène Wenger
commends Messi for his four–goal display against Arsenal in April 2010.[89]

Unsatisfied with his position on the right wing, Messi resumed playing as a false nine in early 2010, beginning with a Champions League last 16-round match against VfB Stuttgart. After a first-leg draw, Barcelona won the second leg 4–0 with two goals and an assist from Messi. At that point, he effectively became the tactical focal point of Guardiola's team, and his goalscoring rate increased.[90] Messi scored a total of 47 goals in all competitions that season, equaling Ronaldo's club record from the 1996–97 campaign.[91][92] He notably scored all of his side's four goals in the Champions League quarter-final against Arsène Wenger's Arsenal on 6 April while becoming Barcelona's all-time top scorer in the competition.[93][94] Although Barcelona were eliminated in the Champions League semi-finals by the eventual champions, Inter Milan, Messi finished the season as top scorer (with 8 goals) for the second consecutive year.[95] As the league's top scorer with 34 goals (again tying Ronaldo's record), he helped Barcelona win a second consecutive La Liga
La Liga
trophy with only a single defeat.[92][96]

Messi (centre) and his teammates celebrate winning the FIFA
FIFA
Club World Cup in December 2011

Messi secured Barcelona's first trophy of the 2010–11 campaign, the Supercopa de España, by scoring a hat-trick in his side's second-leg 4–0 victory over Sevilla, after a first-leg defeat.[97] Assuming a playmaking role, he was again instrumental in a Clásico on 29 November 2010, the first with José Mourinho
José Mourinho
in charge of Real Madrid, as Barcelona defeated their rivals 5–0.[98] Messi helped the team achieve 16 consecutive league victories, a record in Spanish football, concluding with another hat-trick against Atlético Madrid
Atlético Madrid
on 5 February 2011.[99][100] His club performances in 2010 earned him the inaugural FIFA
FIFA
Ballon d'Or, an amalgamation of the Ballon d'Or
Ballon d'Or
and the FIFA World Player of the Year
FIFA World Player of the Year
award, though his win was met with some criticism due to his lack of success with Argentina
Argentina
at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.[68][101] Under the award's old format, he would have placed just outside the top three, owing his win to the votes from the international coaches and captains.[101] Towards the end of the season, Barcelona played four Clásicos in the span of 18 days. A league match on 16 April ended in a draw after a penalty from Messi. After Barcelona lost the Copa del Rey
Copa del Rey
final four days later, Messi scored both goals in his side's 2–0 win in the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals, the second of which – a dribble past three players – was acclaimed as one of the best ever in the competition.[citation needed] Although he did not score, he was again important in the second-leg draw that sent Barcelona through to the Champions League final,[19][102][103] where they faced Manchester United in a repeat of the final two years earlier. As the competition's top scorer for the third consecutive year, with 12 goals, Messi gave a man-of-the-match performance at Wembley on 28 May, scoring the match-winning goal of Barça's 3–1 victory.[104][105] Barcelona won a third consecutive La Liga
La Liga
title. In addition to his 31 goals, Messi was also the league's top assist provider with 18.[106][107] He finished the season with 53 goals and 24 assists in all competitions, becoming Barcelona's all-time single-season top scorer and the first player in Spanish football to reach the 50-goal benchmark.[106][108][109][110] As Messi developed into a combination of a number 8 (a creator), a 9 (scorer), and a 10 (assistant),[111] he scored an unprecedented 73 goals and provided 29 assists in all club competitions during the 2011–12 season, producing a hat-trick or more on 10 occasions.[112][113][114] He began the campaign by helping Barcelona win both the Spanish and European Super Cups; in the Supercopa de España, he scored three times to achieve a 5–4 aggregate victory over Real Madrid, overtaking Raúl as the competition's all-time top scorer with eight goals.[115][116] At the close of the year, on 18 December, he scored twice in the FIFA
FIFA
Club World Cup final, a 4–0 victory over Santos, earning the Golden Ball as the best player of the tournament, as he had done two years previously.[117] For his efforts in 2011, he again received the FIFA
FIFA
Ballon d'Or, becoming only the fourth player in history to win the Ballon d'Or
Ballon d'Or
three times, after Johan Cruyff, Michel Platini, and Marco van Basten.[118] Additionally, he won the inaugural UEFA
UEFA
Best Player in Europe Award, a revival of the old-style Ballon d'Or.[119] By then, Messi was already widely considered one of the best footballers in history, alongside players like Diego Maradona
Diego Maradona
and Pelé.[19] 2012: A record-breaking year

"I feel sorry for those who want to compete for Messi's throne – it's impossible, this kid is unique."

Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola
after Messi became Barcelona's all-time top scorer at age 24 in March 2012[120][121]

As Messi maintained his goalscoring form into the second half of the season, the year 2012 saw him break several longstanding records. On 7 March, two weeks after scoring four goals in a league fixture against Valencia, he scored five times in a Champions League last 16-round match against Bayer Leverkusen, an unprecedented achievement in the history of the competition.[122][123] In addition to being the joint top assist provider with five assists, this feat made him top scorer with 14 goals, tying José Altafini's record from the 1962–63 season, as well as becoming only the second player after Gerd Müller to be top scorer in four campaigns.[124][125] Two weeks later, on 20 March, Messi became the top goalscorer in Barcelona's history at 24 years old, overtaking the 57-year record of César Rodríguez's 232 goals with a hat-trick against Granada.[121]

Messi points to the sky during his five-goal display against Bayer Leverkusen in March 2012

Despite Messi's individual form, Barcelona's four-year cycle of success under Guardiola – one of the greatest eras in the club's history – drew to an end.[126] Although Barcelona won the Copa del Rey against Athletic Bilbao
Athletic Bilbao
on 25 May, its 14th title of that period, the team had lost the league to Real Madrid and was eliminated in the Champions League semi-finals by the eventual champions, Chelsea, with Messi sending a crucial second-leg penalty kick against the crossbar.[127][128] In Barça's last home league match on 5 May, against Espanyol, Messi scored all four goals before approaching the bench to embrace Guardiola, who had announced his resignation as manager.[129] He finished the season as league top scorer in Spain and Europe for a second time, with 50 goals, an all-time La Liga
La Liga
record, while his 73 goals in all competitions surpassed Gerd Müller's 67 goals in the 1972–73 Bundesliga
Bundesliga
season, making him the single-season top scorer in the history of European club football.[130][131] Under manager Tito Vilanova, who had first coached him aged 14 at La Masia, Messi helped the club achieve its best-ever start to a La Liga season during the second half of 2012, amassing 55 points by the competition's midway point, a record in Spanish football.[132][133] A double scored on 9 December against Real Betis
Real Betis
saw Messi break two longstanding records: he surpassed César Rodríguez's record of 190 league goals, becoming Barcelona's all-time top scorer in La Liga, and Gerd Müller's record of most goals scored in a calendar year, overtaking his 85 goals scored in 1972 for Bayern Munich and Germany.[134] Messi sent Müller a number 10 Barcelona shirt, signed "with respect and admiration", after breaking his 40-year record.[135] At the close of the year, Messi had scored a record 91 goals in all competitions for Barcelona and Argentina.[136] Although FIFA
FIFA
did not acknowledge the achievement, citing verifiability issues, he received the Guinness World Records
Guinness World Records
title for most goals scored in a calendar year.[137][138] As the odds-on favourite, Messi again won the FIFA Ballon d'Or, becoming the only player in history to win the Ballon d'Or four times.[136][139] 2013–14: Messidependencia Barcelona had virtually secured their La Liga
La Liga
title by the start of 2013, eventually equalling Real Madrid's 100-point record of the previous season. However, their performances deteriorated in the second half of the 2012–13 campaign, concurrently with Vilanova's absence due to ill health.[140][141] After losing successive Clásicos, including the Copa del Rey
Copa del Rey
semi-finals, they were nearly eliminated in the first knockout round of the Champions League by Milan, but a revival of form in the second leg led to a 4–0 comeback, with two goals and an assist from Messi.[142] Now in his ninth senior season with Barcelona, Messi signed a new contract on 7 February, committing himself to the club through 2018, while his fixed wage rose to €13 million.[143][144] He wore the captain's armband for the first time a month later, on 17 March, in a league match against Rayo Vallecano; by then, he had become the team's tactical focal point to a degree that was arguably rivalled only by former Barcelona players Josep Samitier, László Kubala
László Kubala
and Johan Cruyff.[145] Since his evolution into a false nine three years earlier, his input into the team's attack had increased exponentially; from 24% in their treble-winning campaign, his goal contribution rose to more than 40% that season.[146]

"In Leo we are talking about the best player in the world and when things are not going well you have to use him. Even if he is half lame, his presence on the pitch is enough to lift us and our play in general."

—Defender Gerard Piqué
Gerard Piqué
explains Barcelona's reliance on an unfit Messi against Paris Saint-Germain in April 2013.[147]

After four largely injury-free seasons, the muscular injuries that had previously plagued Messi reoccurred. After he suffered a hamstring strain on 2 April, during the first quarter-final against Paris Saint-Germain, his appearances became sporadic. In the second leg against PSG, with an underperforming Barcelona down a goal, Messi came off the bench in the second half and within nine minutes helped create their game-tying goal, which allowed them to progress to the semi-finals. Still unfit, he proved ineffective during the first leg against Bayern Munich and was unable to play at all during the second, as Barcelona were defeated 7–0 on aggregate by the eventual champions.[148][149] These matches gave credence to the notion of Messidependencia, Barcelona's perceived tactical and psychological dependence on their star player.[149]

Messi's Golden Shoe award for the 2012–13 season

Messi continued to struggle with injury throughout 2013, eventually parting ways with his long-time personal physiotherapist.[150] Further damage to his hamstring sustained on 12 May ended his goalscoring streak of 21 consecutive league games, a worldwide record; he had netted 33 goals during his run, including a four-goal display against Osasuna, while becoming the first player to score consecutively against all 19 opposition teams in La Liga.[145][151][152][153] With 60 goals in all competitions, including 46 goals in La Liga, he finished the campaign as league top scorer in Spain and Europe for the second consecutive year, becoming the first player in history to win the European Golden Shoe
European Golden Shoe
three times.[154][155] Following an irregular start to the new season under manager Gerardo Martino, formerly of his boyhood club Newell's Old Boys, Messi suffered his fifth injury of 2013 when he tore his hamstring on 10 November, leaving him sidelined for two months.[156][157] Despite his injuries, he was voted runner-up for the FIFA
FIFA
Ballon d'Or, relinquishing the award after a four-year monopoly to Cristiano Ronaldo.[158]

Messi celebrates his second goal against Granada in September 2014

During the second half of the 2013–14 season, doubts persisted over Messi's form, leading to a perception among the culés that he was reserving himself for the 2014 FIFA
FIFA
World Cup. Statistically, his contribution of goals, shots, and passes had dropped significantly compared to previous seasons.[159][160][161] He still managed to break two longstanding records in a span of seven days: a hat-trick on 16 March against Osasuna saw him overtake Paulino Alcántara's 369 goals to become Barcelona's top goalscorer in all competitions including friendlies, while another hat-trick against Real Madrid on 23 March made him the all-time top scorer in El Clásico, ahead of the 18 goals scored by former Real Madrid player Alfredo Di Stéfano.[159][162] Messi finished the campaign with his worst output in five seasons, though he still managed to score 41 goals in all competitions.[160][163] For the first time in five years, Barcelona ended the season without a major trophy; they were defeated in the Copa del Rey
Copa del Rey
final by Real Madrid and lost the league in the last game to Atlético Madrid, causing Messi to be booed by sections of fans at the Camp Nou.[164][165] After prolonged speculation over his future with the club, Messi signed a new contract on 19 May 2014, only a year after his last contractual update; his salary increased to €20 million, or €36 million before taxes, the highest wage ever in the sport.[166][167] 2014–15: A historic treble

"Messi is an alien that dedicates himself to playing with humans."

—Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon
Gianluigi Buffon
ahead of their meeting in the Champions League final in June 2015[168]

Under new manager and former captain Luis Enrique, Messi experienced a largely injury-free start to the 2014–15 season, allowing him to break three more longstanding records towards the end of the year.[169] A hat-trick scored against Sevilla on 22 November made him the all-time top scorer in La Liga, as he surpassed the 59-year record of 251 league goals held by Telmo Zarra.[170] Three days later, he scored another hat-trick against APOEL, overtaking Raúl's 71 goals to become top scorer in the history of the Champions League.[171] A third hat-trick, scored against city rivals Espanyol on 7 December, allowed him to surpass César Rodríguez as the all-time top scorer in the Derbi barceloní
Derbi barceloní
with 12 goals.[172] Messi again placed second in the FIFA
FIFA
Ballon d'Or
Ballon d'Or
behind Cristiano Ronaldo, largely owing to his second-place achievement with Argentina
Argentina
at the World Cup.[173] At the start of 2015, Barcelona were perceived to be headed for another disappointing end to the season, with renewed speculation in the media that Messi was leaving the club. A turning point came on 11 January during a 3–1 victory over Atlético Madrid, the first time Barça's attacking trident of Messi, Luis Suárez
Luis Suárez
and Neymar, dubbed "MSN", each scored in a match, marking the beginning of a highly successful run.[174][175] After five years of playing in the centre of the pitch, Messi had returned to his old position on the right wing late the previous year, by his own suggestion according to Suárez, their striker.[175][176] From there, he regained his best – arguably his best-ever – form, while Suárez and Neymar
Neymar
ended the team's attacking dependency on their star player.[177][178] With 58 goals from Messi, the trio scored a total of 122 goals in all competitions that season, a record in Spanish football.[179][180]

Messi battles Juventus defender Patrice Evra
Patrice Evra
for the ball during the Champions League final in June 2015

Towards the end of the campaign, Messi scored in a 1–0 away win over Atlético Madrid
Atlético Madrid
on 17 May, securing the La Liga
La Liga
title.[181] Among his 43 league goals that season was a hat-trick scored in 11 minutes against Rayo Vallecano
Rayo Vallecano
on 8 March, the fastest of his senior career; it was his 32nd hat-trick overall for Barcelona, allowing him to overtake Telmo Zarra
Telmo Zarra
as the player with the most hat-tricks ever in Spanish football.[180][182] Additionally, as the season's top assist provider with 18 assists, he surpassed Luís Figo
Luís Figo
as the player with the most assists in La Liga;[note 4] he made his record 106th assist in a fixture against Levante on 15 February, in which he also scored a hat-trick.[183][184][185] Messi then scored twice as Barcelona defeated Athletic Bilbao
Athletic Bilbao
3–1 in the Copa del Rey
Copa del Rey
final on 30 May, achieving the sixth double in their history. His opening goal was hailed as one of the greatest in his career; he collected the ball near the halfway line and beat four opposing players, before feinting the goalkeeper to score in a tight space by the near post.[186] The goal was later named one of the three final nominees for the 2015 FIFA Puskás Award.[187] In the Champions League, Messi scored twice and assisted on another in their 3–0 semi-final victory over Bayern Munich, now under the stewardship of Guardiola.[188] His second goal, which came only three minutes after his first, saw him chip the ball over goalkeeper Manuel Neuer after his dribble past Jérôme Boateng
Jérôme Boateng
had made the defender drop to the ground; it went viral, becoming the year's most tweeted about sporting moment, and was named the best goal of the season by UEFA.[189][190] Despite a second-leg loss, Barcelona progressed to the final on 6 June in Berlin, where they defeated Juventus 3–1 to win their second treble, becoming the first team in history to do so.[191][192] Although Messi did not score, he participated in each of his side's goals, particularly the second as he forced a parried save from goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon
Gianluigi Buffon
from which Suárez scored the match-winning goal on the rebound.[179] In addition to being the top assist provider with six assists, Messi finished the competition as the joint top scorer with ten goals, which earned him the distinction of being the first player ever to achieve the top scoring mark in five Champions League seasons.[193][194] For his efforts during the season, he received the UEFA
UEFA
Best Player in Europe award for a second time.[195] 2015–16: Domestic success

Messi dribbling past Sevilla's Éver Banega
Éver Banega
in the 2015 UEFA
UEFA
Super Cup

Messi opened the 2015–16 season by scoring twice from free kicks in Barcelona's 5–4 victory (after extra time) over Sevilla in the UEFA Super Cup.[196] A subsequent 5–1 aggregate defeat against Athletic Bilbao in the Supercopa de España
Supercopa de España
ended their expressed hopes of a second sextuple, with Messi scoring his side's only goal.[197] On 16 September, he became the youngest player to make 100 appearances in the UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League
in a 1–1 away draw to Roma.[198] On 26 September, Messi sustained an injury in Barcelona's match against Las Palmas; tests later confirmed that he suffered a tear in the medial collateral ligament of his left knee, ruling him out for six to eight weeks.[199] He finally returned to the pitch on 21 November, making a substitute appearance in Barcelona's 4–0 away win over rivals Real Madrid in El Clásico.[200] Messi capped off the year by winning the 2015 FIFA
FIFA
Club World Cup Final on 20 December, collecting his fifth club trophy of 2015 as Barcelona went on to defeat River Plate 3–0 in Yokohama. Messi also won the tournament's Silver Ball, despite missing the semi-final.[201] On 30 December, Messi scored on his 500th appearance for Barcelona, in a 4–0 home win over Real Betis.[202] On 6 January 2016, recording Barcelona's first goal of the new year, Messi scored two goals and assisted the other two in a 4–1 derby win over Espanyol at the Camp Nou, in the first leg of the round of 16 of the 2015–16 Copa del Rey.[203] Five days later, Messi won the FIFA Ballon d'Or
Ballon d'Or
for a record fifth time in his career.[204] On 3 February, he scored a hat-trick in Barcelona's 7–0 win against Valenciain the first leg of the Copa del Rey
Copa del Rey
semi-final at the Camp Nou, also scoring his 500th career goal in the process, including youth competitions.[205] With teammate Luis Suárez
Luis Suárez
scoring the other four goals in the same match, this was the first time that two players had scored at least three goals each at Camp Nou, and the first time since Luis Suárez
Luis Suárez
Miramontes and Justo Tejada in 1956. The feat had only occurred three times before in the club's history, all at Camp de Les Corts.[206] The next league match at Camp Nou, a 6–1 win against Celta de Vigo, Messi assisted Suárez from a penalty kick. Some people saw it as "a touch of genius", while others criticised it as being disrespectful to the opponent. The Celta players, however, never complained and their coach defended the penalty, stating, "Barca's forwards are very respectful." The penalty routine has been compared to that of Barça icon Johan Cruyff
Johan Cruyff
in 1982, who was battling lung cancer, leading many fans to indicate that the penalty was a tribute to him. Cruyff himself was "very happy" with the play, insisting "it was legal and entertaining".[207][208][209] On 17 February, Messi reached his 300th league goal in a 1–3 away win against Sporting de Gijón.[210] A few days later, he scored both goals in Barcelona's 0–2 win against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, in the first leg of the 2015–16 UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League
round of 16, with the second goal being Barcelona's 10,000th in official competitions.[211] On 17 April, Messi ended a five-match scoring drought with his 500th senior career goal for club and country in Barcelona's 2–1 home loss to Valencia.[212] Messi finished the 2015–16 season by setting up both goals in Barcelona's 2–0 extra time win over Sevilla in the 2016 Copa del Rey
Copa del Rey
Final, at the Vicente Calderón Stadium, on 22 May 2016, as the club celebrated winning the domestic double for the second consecutive season.[213][214] In total, Messi scored 41 goals and provided 23 assists, as Barcelona's attacking trio managed a Spanish record of 131 goals throughout the season, breaking the record they had set the previous season.[215] 2016–17: Fourth Golden Boot

"[Messi] is indispensable, but the rest of us are dispensable. – No, the club is bigger than any manager, than any player... except Leo. That's the reality, and you have to accept it."

—In an interview with Barcelona's official magazine, Messi's compatriot Javier Mascherano
Javier Mascherano
points out that Barcelona has continued to enjoy success despite the departures of its key figures.[216]

Messi opened the 2016–17 season by lifting the 2016 Supercopa de España as Barcelona's captain in the absence of the injured Andrés Iniesta;[217] he set-up Munir's goal in a 2–0 away win over Sevilla in the first leg on 14 August,[218] and subsequently scored and assisted in a 3–0 win in the return leg on 17 August.[219] Three days later, he scored two goals and provided an assist to lead Barcelona to a 6–2 victory against Real Betis
Real Betis
in the opening game of the 2016–17 La Liga
La Liga
season.[220] On 13 September 2016, Messi scored his first hat-trick of the season in the opening game of the 2016–17 UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League
campaign against Celtic in a 7–0 victory; this was also Messi's sixth hat-trick in the Champions League, the most by any player. A week later, Messi sustained a groin injury in a 1–1 draw against Atlético Madrid
Atlético Madrid
and was ruled out with injury for three weeks.[221] He marked his return with a goal, scoring three minutes after coming off the bench in a 4–0 home win over Deportivo de La Coruña, on 16 October.[222] Three days after this, he netted his thirty-seventh club hat-trick as Barcelona defeated Manchester City 4–0.[223] On 1 November, Messi scored his 54th Champions League group stage goal in Barcelona's 3–1 away return fixture loss to Manchester City, surpassing the previous record of 53 goals held by Raúl.[224][225] On 12 November, Messi placed second in the 2016 Ballon d'Or
Ballon d'Or
behind Cristiano Ronaldo, who claimed the award for the fourth time.[226] He finished the year with 51 goals, making him Europe's top scorer, one ahead of Zlatan Ibrahimović.[227] After placing second in the 2016 Ballon d'Or, on 9 January 2017 Messi also finished in second place – behind Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo
once again – in the 2016 Best FIFA
FIFA
Men's Player Award.[228] On 11 January, Messi scored from a free-kick in Barcelona's 3–1 victory against Athletic Bilbao
Athletic Bilbao
in the second leg of the round of 16 of the Copa del Rey, which enabled Barcelona to advance to the quarter-finals of the competition; with his 26th goal from a free-kick for Barcelona in all competitions, he equalled the club's all-time record, which had previously been set by Ronald Koeman.[229] In his next league match, on 14 January, Messi scored in a 5–0 win against Las Palmas; with this goal, he equalled Raúl's record for the most number of teams scored against in La Liga
La Liga
(35).[230] On 4 February, Messi scored his 27th free-kick for Barcelona in a 3–0 home win over Athletic Bilbao in the league, overtaking Koeman as the club's all-time top-scorer from free-kicks.[231] On 23 April, Messi scored twice in a 3–2 away win over Real Madrid. His game-winning goal in stoppage time was his 500th for Barcelona.[232] On 27 May, Messi scored a goal and set up another for Paco Alcácer
Paco Alcácer
in the 2017 Copa del Rey
Copa del Rey
Final, helping Barcelona to a 3–1 victory over Alavés, and was named Man of the Match. In total, Messi finished the 2016–17 season with 54 goals and 16 assists, while his 37 goals in La Liga
La Liga
saw him claim both the Pichichi and European Golden Boot Awards for the fourth time in his career.[233][234] 2017–18 season Messi opened the 2017–18 season by converting a penalty in Barcelona's 1–3 first leg home defeat to Real Madrid in Supercopa de España.[235] Thereby, Messi also extended his El Clásico
El Clásico
goalscoring record with the goal being his 24th official and 25th overall.[236] On 27 August, Messi scored his first two goals of the 2017–18 La Liga season in a 2–0 away win over Alavés. Messi's first goal marked his 350th in the fixture, becoming the first player ever to achieve this milestone.[237] On 9 September, Messi scored his first hat-trick of the 2017–18 league campaign, against Espanyol in derbi barceloní, thus helping to secure a 5–0 home victory for Blaugrana over local rivals.[238] Messi netted twice against Gianluigi Buffon, on 12 September, as Barça defeated the last season's Italian champions Juventus 3–0 at home in the UEFA
UEFA
Champions League.[239] On 19 September, Messi found the net four times in a 6–1 trashing of Eibar at the Camp Nou
Camp Nou
in La Liga.[240] Three weeks later, on 1 October, Messi surpassed his former teammate Carles Puyol
Carles Puyol
to become the third highest appearance maker in the club's history, as he helped Barça defeat Las Palmas 3–0 by assisting Sergio Busquets' opener and later adding two himself in his 594th official game for the club; the league game was played behind closed doors at the Camp Nou
Camp Nou
due to violence in Catalonia
Catalonia
relating to an ongoing independence referendum.[241] On 18 October, in his 122nd European club appearance, Messi scored his 97th UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League
goal, and his 100th in all UEFA
UEFA
club competitions, in a 3–1 home victory over Olympiakos; he also set up Lucas Digne's goal during the same match.[242] Messi became only the second player after Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo
to reach this century milestone, but accomplished it in 21 fewer appearances than the Portuguese counterpart.[243] On 23 October, Messi finished as the runner-up behind Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo
in 2017 Best FIFA
FIFA
Men's Player award for the second consecutive year.[244] On 4 November, he made his 600th appearance for Barcelona in a 2–1 home win over Sevilla in La Liga.[245] Following the reception of his fourth Golden Boot, Messi signed a new deal with Barcelona on 25 November, keeping him with the club through the 2020–21 season. His buyout clause was set at €700 million.[246] On 7 January 2018, Messi made his 400th La Liga appearance with Barcelona in a 3–0 home win over Levante, marking the occasion with his 144th league assist and 365th league goal for the club, the latter of which saw him equal Gerd Müller's record for the most league goals scored for the same club in one of Europe's top five divisions.[247][248] A week later, he broke the record, scoring his 366th La Liga
La Liga
goal from a free kick in a 4–2 away win against Real Sociedad.[248][249] On 4 March, he scored his 600th senior career goal from a free kick in a 1–0 home win over Atlético Madrid, in La Liga.[250] On 14 March, Messi scored his 99th and 100th Champions League goals in a 3–0 home win over Chelsea, becoming only the second player after Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo
to reach this landmark, and achieving it at a younger age, in fewer appearances, having played fewer minutes, and having taken fewer shots than his Portuguese counterpart; his opening goal, which came after only two minutes and eight seconds, was also the fastest of his career. During the same match, he also set up Ousmane Dembélé
Ousmane Dembélé
for his first Barcelona goal; the result saw Barcelona advance to the quarter-finals of the competition for the eleventh consecutive season.[251][252][253] International career 2004–05: Success at youth level As a dual Argentine-Spanish national, Messi was eligible to play for the national team of both countries.[254] Selectors for Spain's Under-17 squad began pursuing him in 2003 after Barcelona's director of football, Carles Rexach, alerted the Royal Spanish Football Federation to their young player. Messi declined the offer, having aspired to represent La Albiceleste since childhood. To further prevent Spain from taking him, the Argentine Football Association organised two under-20 friendlies in June 2004, against Paraguay and Uruguay, with the purpose of finalising his status as an Argentina player in FIFA. Five days after his 17th birthday, on 29 June, he made his debut for his country against Paraguay, scoring once and providing two assists in their 8–0 victory. He was subsequently included in the squad for the South American Youth Championship, held in Colombia in February 2005. As he lacked the stamina of his teammates, the result of his former growth hormone deficiency, he was used as a substitute in six of the nine games, proving more effective when coming on in the second half. After being named man of the match against Venezuela, he scored the winning 2–1 goal in the crucial last match against Brazil, thereby securing their third-place qualification for the FIFA
FIFA
World Youth Championship.[255] Aware of his physical limitations, Messi employed a personal trainer to increase his muscle mass, returning to the squad in an improved condition in time for the World Youth Championship, hosted by the Netherlands in June 2005. After he was left out of the starting line-up in their first match against the United States, a 1–0 defeat, the squad's senior players asked manager Francisco Ferraro to let Messi start, as they considered him their best player. After helping the team defeat Egypt and Germany to progress past the group stage, Messi proved decisive in the knockout phase as he scored their equaliser against Colombia, provided a goal and an assist against title favourites Spain, and scored their opening goal against reigning champions Brazil. Ahead of the final, he was awarded the Golden Ball as the best player of the tournament. He scored two penalties in their 2–1 victory over Nigeria, clinching Argentina's fifth championship and finishing the tournament as top scorer with 6 goals.[256][257] His performances drew comparisons with compatriot Diego Maradona, who had led Argentina
Argentina
to the title in 1979.[257] 2005–06: Senior and World Cup debuts In recognition of his achievements with the under-20 side, senior manager José Pékerman
José Pékerman
gave Messi his first call-up for a friendly against Hungary on 17 August 2005. Aged 18, Messi made his senior debut for Argentina
Argentina
when he came on in the 63rd minute, only to be sent off after two minutes for a perceived foul against Vilmos Vanczák, who had grabbed his shirt; Messi had struck the defender with his arm while trying to shake him off, which the referee interpreted as an intentional elbowing, a contentious decision.[258] Messi was reportedly found weeping in the dressing room after his sending-off.[259] He returned to the team on 3 September in their World Cup qualifier defeat to Paraguay, which he had declared his "re-debut" ahead of the match.[260] Messi started his first game in the next qualifying match against Peru, in which he was able to win a crucial penalty that secured their victory. After the match, Pékerman described him as "a jewel".[261] He subsequently made regular appearances for the team ahead of Argentina's participation in the 2006 FIFA
FIFA
World Cup, scoring his first goal in a friendly against Croatia on 1 March 2006.[262] A hamstring injury sustained a week later jeopardised his presence in the World Cup, but he was nevertheless selected for Pékerman's squad and regained fitness in time for the start of the tournament.[263] During the World Cup in Germany, Messi witnessed their opening match victory against the Ivory Coast from the substitutes' bench. In the next match, against Serbia and Montenegro, he became the youngest player to represent Argentina
Argentina
at a FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup
when he came on as a substitute in the 74th minute. He assisted their fourth strike within minutes and scored the final goal in their 6–0 victory, making him the youngest scorer in the tournament and the sixth-youngest goalscorer in the history of the World Cup.[264] As their progression to the knockout phase was secured, several starters were rested during the last group match. Messi consequently started the game against the Netherlands, a 0–0 draw, as they won their group on goal differential.[265][266] In the round of 16 match against Mexico, played on his 19th birthday, Messi came on in the 84th minute, with the score tied at 1–1. He appeared to score a goal, but it was contentiously ruled offside, with the team needing a late goal in extra time to proceed.[267][268] He did not play in the quarter-final against Germany, during which Argentina
Argentina
were eliminated 4–2 in a penalty shootout.[269][270] Back home, Pékerman's decision to leave him on the bench against Germany led to widespread criticism from those who believed Messi could have changed the outcome of the match in Argentina's favour.[271][272] 2007–08: Copa América
Copa América
final and Olympic gold

Messi evades Brazil's Marcelo in the semi-final of the 2008 Summer Olympics

As Messi evolved into one of the best players in the world, he secured a place in Alfio Basile's starting line-up, as part of a team considered favourites to win the 2007 Copa América, held in Venezuela.[54][273] He set up the game-winning goal of their 4–1 victory over the United States in the opening match, before winning a penalty that led to the game-tying first strike of their 4–2 win in the next match against Colombia.[274][275] As they had secured their place in the knockout phase, Messi started the next game on the bench, coming on in the last 25 minutes with the score at 0–0 to help his team defeat Paraguay by assisting their only goal. At the quarter-final stage, where the group winners faced Peru, he scored the second goal of a 4–0 victory that saw them through to the semi-final, during which he chipped the ball over Mexico's goalkeeper to ensure another 3–0 win.[273] In a surprise defeat, Argentina
Argentina
lost the final 3–0 to a Brazil squad which lacked several of the nation's best players.[276] Their unexpected loss was followed by much criticism in Argentina, though Messi was mostly exempt due to his young age and secondary status to star player Juan Román Riquelme.[273] He was named the best young player of the tournament by CONMEBOL.[277] Ahead of the 2008 Summer Olympics, Barcelona legally barred Messi from representing Argentina
Argentina
at the tournament as it coincided with their Champions League qualifying matches.[278] After interference from newly appointed Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola, who had won the tournament in 1992, Messi was permitted to join Sergio Batista's under-23 squad in Beijing.[279] During the first match, he scored the opening goal and assisted another in their 2–1 victory over the Ivory Coast. Following a 1–0 win in the next group match against Australia, ensuring their quarter-final qualification, Messi was rested during the game against Serbia, while his side won the match to finish first in their group. Against the Netherlands, he again scored the first goal and assisted a second strike to help his team to a 2–1 win in extra time. After a 3–0 semi-final victory over Brazil, Messi assisted the only goal in the final as Argentina
Argentina
defeated Nigeria to claim Olympic gold medals.[280] Along with Riquelme, Messi was singled out by FIFA
FIFA
as the stand-out player from the tournament's best team.[281] 2008–11: Collective decline From late 2008, the national team experienced a three-year period marked by poor performances.[273] Under manager Diego Maradona, who had led Argentina
Argentina
to World Cup victory as a player, the team struggled to qualify for the 2010 World Cup, securing their place in the tournament only after defeating Uruguay 1–0 in their last qualifying match. Maradona was criticised for his strategic decisions as he played Messi out of position, positioned too deep for him to be able to contribute to the attack to his full ability. In eight qualifying matches under Maradona's stewardship, Messi scored only one goal, netting the opening goal in the first such match, a 4–0 victory over Venezuela.[262][282] During that game, played on 28 March 2009, he wore Argentina's number 10 shirt for the first time, following the international retirement of Riquelme.[283] Overall, Messi scored four goals in 18 appearances during the qualifying process.[262] Ahead of the tournament, Maradona visited Messi in Barcelona to request his tactical input; Messi then outlined a 4–3–1–2 formation with himself playing behind the two strikers, a playmaking position known as the enganche in Argentine football, which had been his preferred position since childhood.[284]

Messi in action during the opening match against Bolivia in the 2011 Copa América

Despite their poor qualifying campaign, Argentina
Argentina
were considered title contenders at the World Cup in South Africa. At the start of the tournament, the new formation proved effective; Messi managed at least four attempts on goal during their opening match but was repeatedly denied by Nigeria's goalkeeper, resulting in a 1–0 win. During the next match, against South Korea, he excelled in his playmaking role, participating in all four goals of his side's 4–1 victory. As their place in the knockout phase was guaranteed, most of the starters were rested during the last group match, but Messi reportedly refused to be benched.[282] He wore the captain's armband for the first time in their 2–0 win against Greece; as the focal point of their play, he helped create their second goal to see Argentina
Argentina
finish as group winners.[285][286] In the round of 16, they defeated Mexico 3–1, with Messi assisting their first goal, a controversial strike that stood despite being offside.[287] Argentina's unstructured defence had proved a liability throughout the World Cup and finally led to their elimination in the quarter-final against Germany, at the same stage of the tournament and by the same opponent as four years earlier. Their 4–0 loss was their worst margin of defeat since 1974.[287] FIFA
FIFA
subsequently identified Messi as one of the tournament's 10 best players, citing his "outstanding" pace and creativity and "spectacular and efficient" dribbling, shooting and passing.[288] Back home, however, Messi was the subject of far harsher judgement. As the perceived best player in the world, he had been expected to lead an average team to the title, as Maradona arguably did in 1986, but he had failed to replicate his performances at Barcelona with the national team, leading to the accusation that he cared less about his country than his club.[289][290] Maradona was replaced by Sergio Batista, who had orchestrated Argentina's Olympic victory. Batista publicly stated that he intended to build the team around Messi, employing him as a false nine within a 4–3–3 system, as used to much success by Barcelona.[289][291] Although Messi scored a record 53 goals during the 2010–11 club season, he had not scored for Argentina
Argentina
in an official match since March 2009.[106][262] Despite the tactical change, his goal drought continued during the 2011 Copa América, hosted by Argentina. Their first two matches, against Bolivia and Colombia, ended in draws, with Messi underperforming by his standards. Media and fans noted that he did not combine well with striker Carlos Tevez, who enjoyed far greater popularity among the Argentine public; Messi was consequently booed by his own team's supporters for the first time in his career. During the crucial next match, with Tevez on the bench, he gave a well-received performance, assisting two goals in their 3–0 victory over Costa Rica. After the quarter-final against Uruguay ended in a 1–1 draw following extra time, with Messi having assisted their equaliser, Argentina
Argentina
were eliminated 4–5 in the penalty shootout by the eventual champions.[289] 2011–13: Assuming the captaincy

Messi scored his first international hat-trick against Switzerland in February 2012

After Argentina's unsuccessful performance in the Copa América, Batista was replaced by Alejandro Sabella. Upon his appointment in August 2011, Sabella awarded the 24-year-old Messi the captaincy of the squad, in accord with then-captain Javier Mascherano. Reserved by nature, Messi went on to lead his squad by example as their best player, while Mascherano continued to fulfil the role of the team's on-field leader and motivator.[292][293] In a further redesign of the team, Sabella dismissed Tevez and brought in players with whom Messi had won the World Youth Championship and Olympic Games. Now playing in a free role in an improving team, Messi finally ended his goal drought by scoring during their first World Cup qualifying match against Chile on 7 October, his first official goal for Argentina
Argentina
in two-and-a-half years.[262][292] Under Sabella, Messi's goalscoring rate drastically increased; where he had scored only 17 goals in 61 matches under his previous managers, he scored 25 times in 32 appearances during the following three years.[262][292] He netted a total of 12 goals in 9 games for Argentina
Argentina
in 2012, equalling the record held by Gabriel Batistuta, Argentina's all-time top scorer, for the most goals scored in a calendar year for their country.[294][295] His first hat-trick with the Albicelestes came in a friendly against Switzerland on 29 February 2012, followed by two more hat-tricks over the next year-and-a-half in friendlies against Brazil and Guatemala. Messi then helped the team secure their place in the 2014 World Cup with a 5–2 victory over Paraguay on 10 September 2013; in addition to providing an assist, he scored twice from a penalty kick, taking his international tally to 37 goals to become Argentina's second-highest goalscorer behind only Batistuta. Overall, he had scored a total of 10 goals in 14 matches during the qualifying campaign.[262][296] Concurrently with his bettered performances, his relationship with his compatriots improved, as he gradually began to be perceived more favourably in Argentina.[292] 2014–15: World Cup and Copa América
Copa América
finals Ahead of the World Cup in Brazil, doubts persisted over Messi's form, as he finished an unsuccessful and injury-plagued season with Barcelona. At the start of the tournament, however, he gave strong performances, being elected man of the match in their first four matches.[161][297] In his first World Cup match as captain, he led them to a 2–1 victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina; he helped create their early opening goal and scored their second strike after a dribble past three players, his first World Cup goal since his debut in the tournament eight years earlier.[298] During the second match against Iran, he scored an injury-time goal from 23 metres out to end the game in a 1–0 win, securing their qualification for the knockout phase.[299] He scored twice in the last group match, a 3–2 victory over Nigeria, his second goal from a free kick, as they finished first in their group.[300] Messi assisted a late goal in extra time to ensure a 1–0 win against Switzerland in the round of 16, before starting the play that led to their match-winning 1–0 goal in the quarter-final against Belgium, helping Argentina
Argentina
progress to the semi-final of the World Cup for the first time since 1990.[301][302] Following a 0–0 draw in extra time, they eliminated the Netherlands 4–2 in a penalty shootout to reach the final.[303]

Messi battles Germany's Mats Hummels
Mats Hummels
for the ball during the final of the 2014 FIFA
FIFA
World Cup

Billed as Messi versus Germany, the world's best player against the best team, the final was a repeat of the 1990 final featuring Diego Maradona.[304][305] Within the first half-hour, Messi had started the play that led to a goal, but it was ruled offside. He missed several opportunities to open the scoring throughout the match, in particular at the start of the second half when his breakaway effort went wide of the far post. Substitute Mario Götze
Mario Götze
finally scored in the 113th minute, followed in the last minute of extra time by a free kick that Messi sent over the net, as Germany won the match 1–0 to claim the World Cup.[306] At the conclusion of the final, Messi was awarded the Golden Ball as the best player of the tournament. In addition to being the joint third-highest goalscorer, with four goals and an assist, he created the most chances, completed the most dribbling runs, made the most deliveries into the penalty area and produced the most throughballs in the competition.[297][307] However, his selection drew criticism due to his lack of goals in the knockout round; FIFA President Sepp Blatter
Sepp Blatter
expressed his surprise, while Maradona suggested that Messi had undeservedly been chosen for marketing purposes.[308] Another final appearance, the third of Messi's senior international career, followed in the 2015 Copa América, held in Chile. Under the stewardship of former Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino, Argentina entered the tournament as title contenders due to their second-place achievement at the World Cup.[309][310] During the opening match against Paraguay, they were ahead two goals by half-time but lost their lead to end the match in a 2–2 draw; Messi had scored from a penalty kick, netting his only goal in the tournament.[311] Following a 1–0 win against defending champions Uruguay, Messi earned his 100th cap for his country in the final group match, a 1–0 win over Jamaica, becoming only the fifth Argentine to achieve this milestone.[312][313] In his 100 appearances, he had scored a total of 46 goals for Argentina, 22 of which came in official competitive matches.[262][313] As Messi evolved from the team's symbolic captain into a genuine leader, he led Argentina
Argentina
to the knockout stage as group winners.[314][315] In the quarter-final, they created numerous chances, including a rebound header by Messi, but were repeatedly denied by Colombia's goalkeeper, and ultimately ended the match scoreless, leading to a 5–4 penalty shootout in their favour.[316] At the semi-final stage, Messi excelled as playmaker as he provided three assists and helped create three more goals in his side's 6–1 victory over Paraguay, receiving applause from the initially hostile crowd.[314] Argentina
Argentina
started the final as the odds-on title favourites, but were defeated by Chile 4–1 in a penalty shootout after an 0–0 extra-time draw. Faced with aggression from opposing players, including taking a boot to the midriff, Messi played below his standards, though he was the only Argentine to successfully convert his penalty.[317][318] At the close of the tournament, he was reportedly selected to receive the Most Valuable Player award but rejected the honour.[319] As Argentina
Argentina
continued a trophy drought that began in 1993, the World Cup and Copa América
Copa América
defeats again brought intense criticism for Messi from Argentine media and fans.[320][321] 2016: Copa América
Copa América
Centenario, retirement, and return Messi's place in Argentina's Copa América
Copa América
Centenario squad was initially put in jeopardy when he sustained a back injury in a 1–0 friendly win over Honduras in a pre- Copa América
Copa América
warm-up match on 27 May 2016.[322] It was later reported that he had suffered a deep bruise in his lumbar region, but that he would remain in Martino's squad for the tournament,[323][324] although he was later left on the bench in Argentina's 2–1 opening win over defending champions Chile on 6 June due to concerns regarding his fitness.[325] Although Messi was declared match-fit for his nation's second group match against Panama on 10 June, Martino left him on the bench once again; he replaced Augusto Fernández
Augusto Fernández
in the 61st minute and subsequently scored a hat-trick in 19 minutes, also starting the play which led to Sergio Agüero's goal, as the match ended in a 5–0 victory, sealing Argentina's place in the quarter-finals of the competition;[326] he was elected man of the match for his performance.[327] On 18 June 2016, in the quarter-final of the Copa América
Copa América
against Venezuela, Messi produced another man of the match performance,[328] assisting two goals and scoring another in a 4–1 victory, which enabled him to equal Gabriel Batistuta's national record of 54 goals in official international matches.[329] This record was broken three days later when Messi scored in a 4–0 win in the semi-final of the Copa América
Copa América
against hosts the United States; he also assisted two goals during the match as Argentina
Argentina
sealed a place in the final of the competition for a second consecutive year,[330] and was named man of the match once again.[331]

"I tried my hardest. It has been four finals, I want more than anyone to win a title with the national team, but unfortunately, it did not happen... I think this is best for everyone, firstly for me and for a lot of people that wish this. The team has ended for me, a decision made."

—Messi announcing his retirement on 27 June 2016[332][333]

During a repeat of the previous year's final on 26 June, Argentina once again lost to Chile on penalties after a 0–0 deadlock, resulting in Messi's third consecutive defeat in a major tournament final with Argentina, and his fourth overall. After the match, Messi, who had missed his penalty in the shootout, announced his retirement from international football. Sources reported that other Argentine players – Sergio Agüero, Javier Mascherano, Gonzalo Higuaín, Lucas Biglia, Éver Banega, Ezequiel Lavezzi
Ezequiel Lavezzi
and Ángel Di María
Ángel Di María
– could follow their captain in retiring from international football.[333] Chile coach Juan Antonio Pizzi
Juan Antonio Pizzi
said after the match, "My generation can't compare him to Maradona that's for my generation, because of what Maradona did for Argentine football. But I think the best player ever played today here in the United States."[334] Messi finished the tournament as the second highest scorer, behind Eduardo Vargas, with five goals, and was the highest assist provider with four assists, also winning more Man of the Match awards than any other player in the tournament (3);[335] he was named to the team of the tournament for his performances, but missed out on the Golden Ball Award for best player, which went to Alexis Sánchez.[336] "Don't go, Leo" Following his announcement, a campaign began in Argentina
Argentina
for Messi to change his mind about retiring.[337] He was greeted by fans with signs like "Don't go, Leo" when the team landed in Buenos Aires. President of Argentina
Argentina
Mauricio Macri
Mauricio Macri
urged Messi not to quit, stating, "We are lucky, it is one of life's pleasures, it is a gift from God to have the best player in the world in a footballing country like ours... Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
is the greatest thing we have in Argentina
Argentina
and we must take care of him."[338] Mayor of Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Horacio Rodríguez Larreta unveiled a statue of Messi in the capital to convince him reconsider retirement.[339][340] On social networks, NoTeVayasLeo became a global trending topic, and even a playlist on Spotify.[341][342] The campaign also continued in the streets and avenues of the Argentine capital, with about 50,000 supporters going to the Obelisco de Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
on 2 July, using the same slogan.[343][344] Return

"A lot of things went through my mind on the night of the final and I gave serious thought to quitting, but my love for my country and this shirt is too great."

—Messi reversing his decision from retiring on 12 August 2016[345]

Just a week after Messi announced his international retirement, Argentine newspaper La Nación
La Nación
reported that he was reconsidering playing for Argentina
Argentina
at the 2018 FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup
qualifiers in September.[346] On 12 August, it was confirmed that Messi had reversed his decision to retire from international football, and he was included in the squad for the national team's upcoming 2018 World Cup qualifiers.[347] On 1 September 2016, in his first game back, he scored in a 1–0 home win over Uruguay in a 2018 World Cup qualifier.[348]

Messi celebrating scoring a hat-trick against Ecuador on 10 October 2017. His goals sent Argentina
Argentina
through to the 2018 FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup
in Russia.

On 28 March 2017, Messi was suspended for four international games for insulting an assistant referee in a game against Chile on 23 March 2017. He was also fined CHF 10,000.[349][350] On 5 May 2017, Messi's four match ban as well as his 10,000 CHF fine was lifted by FIFA
FIFA
after Argentina
Argentina
Football Association appealed against his suspension, which meant he could now play Argentina's remaining World Cup Qualifiers.[351] Argentina's place in the 2018 World Cup was in jeopardy going into their final qualifying match as they were sixth in their group, outside the five possible CONMEBOL
CONMEBOL
World Cup qualifying spots, meaning they risked failing to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1970. On 10 October 2017, Messi led his country to World Cup qualification in scoring a hat-trick as Argentina
Argentina
came from behind to defeat Ecuador 3–1 away; Argentina
Argentina
had not defeated Ecuador in Quito since 2001.[352] Messi's three goals saw him become the joint all-time leading scorer in CONMEBOL
CONMEBOL
World Cup qualifiers with 21 goals, alongside Uruguay's Luis Suárez, overtaking the previous record which was held by compatriot Hernán Crespo.[352][353][354] Player profile Style of play

"I have fun like a child in the street. When the day comes when I'm not enjoying it, I will leave football."

—Messi explains his approach to the game in May 2011.[19]

Due to his short stature, Messi has a lower centre of gravity than taller players, which gives him greater agility, allowing him to change direction more quickly and evade opposing tackles;[355][356] this has led the Spanish media to dub him La Pulga Atómica ("The Atomic Flea").[357][358][359] Despite being physically unimposing, he possesses significant upper-body strength, which, combined with his low centre of gravity and resulting balance, aids him in withstanding physical challenges from opponents; he has consequently been noted for his lack of diving in a sport rife with playacting.[13][356][360] His short, strong legs allow him to excel in short bursts of acceleration while his quick feet enable him to retain control of the ball when dribbling at speed.[361] His former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola once stated, "Messi is the only player that runs faster with the ball than he does without it."[40] Although he has improved his ability with his weaker foot since his mid-20s, Messi is predominantly a left-footed player; with the outside of his left foot, he usually begins dribbling runs, while he uses the inside of his foot to finish and provide passes and assists.[362][363]

Messi prepares to shoot with his dominant left foot during the final of the 2014 FIFA
FIFA
World Cup

A prolific goalscorer, Messi is known for his finishing, positioning, quick reactions, and ability to make attacking runs to beat the defensive line. He also functions in a playmaking role, courtesy of his vision and precise passing, and is an accurate free kick and penalty kick taker,[356][364] though his ability on penalties has somewhat deteriorated in recent seasons.[365][366][367] His pace and technical ability enable him to undertake individual dribbling runs towards goal, in particular during counterattacks, usually starting from the halfway line or the right side of the pitch.[355][364] Widely considered to be the best dribbler in the world,[368] and one of the greatest of all time,[369] with regard to this ability, his former Argentina
Argentina
manager Diego Maradona
Diego Maradona
has said of him, "The ball stays glued to his foot; I've seen great players in my career, but I've never seen anyone with Messi's ball control."[363] Beyond his individual qualities, he is also a well-rounded, hard-working team player, known for his creative combinations, in particular with Barcelona midfielders Xavi
Xavi
and Andrés Iniesta.[355][356]

Messi frequently celebrates a goal by pointing a finger on each hand towards the skies in dedication to his late grandmother.[370] It was she who encouraged a young Messi to play, and also took him to games.[370]

Tactically, Messi plays in a free attacking role; a versatile player, he is capable of attacking on either wing or through the centre of the pitch. His favoured position in childhood was the playmaker behind two strikers, known as the enganche in Argentine football, but he began his career in Spain as a left-winger or left-sided forward.[284] Upon his first-team debut, he was moved onto the right wing by manager Frank Rijkaard; from this position, he could more easily cut through the defence into the middle of the pitch and curl shots on goal with his left foot, rather than predominantly cross balls for teammates.[40] Under Guardiola and subsequent managers, he most often played in a false nine role; positioned as a centre-forward or lone striker, he would roam the centre, often moving deep into midfield and drawing defenders with him, in order to create and exploit spaces for passes, dribbling runs or combinations with Xavi
Xavi
and Iniesta.[19] Under the stewardship of Luis Enrique, Messi returned to playing in the right-sided position that characterised much of his early career,[176] while also being deployed in a deeper, free role.[371] With the Argentina
Argentina
national team, Messi has similarly played anywhere along the frontline; under various managers, he has been employed on the right wing, as a false nine, or in a deeper, creative role as a classic number 10 or attacking midfielder.[291] Reception A prodigious talent as a teenager, Messi established himself among the world's best players before age 20.[54] Diego Maradona
Diego Maradona
considered the 18-year-old Messi the best player in the world alongside Ronaldinho, while the Brazilian himself, shortly after winning the Ballon d'Or, commented, "I'm not even the best at Barça," in reference to his protégé.[372][373] Four years later, after Messi had won his first Ballon d'Or
Ballon d'Or
by a record margin,[68] the public debate regarding his qualities as a player moved beyond his status in contemporary football to the possibility that he was the greatest player in history.[9][360][374] An early proponent was his then-manager Pep Guardiola, who, as early as August 2009, declared Messi to be the best player he had ever seen.[375] In the following years, this opinion gained greater acceptance among pundits, managers, former and current players,[108][376] and by the end of Barça's second treble-winning season, Messi's superiority, ahead of Maradona and Pelé, had become the predominant view among insiders in continental Europe.[5][377] A frequent dismissal, however, has centred on the fact that Messi has not won the FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup
with Argentina, leading some in the sport to instead cite him as the best club player in history.[378]

"I've seen the player who will inherit my place in Argentinian football and his name is Messi."

Diego Maradona
Diego Maradona
hails the 18-year-old Messi as his successor in February 2006.[61]

Throughout his career, Messi has been compared with his compatriot Diego Maradona, due to their similar playing styles as diminutive, left-footed dribblers. Initially, he was merely one of many young Argentine players, including his boyhood idol Pablo Aimar, to receive the "New Maradona" moniker, but as his career progressed, Messi proved his similarity beyond all previous contenders, establishing himself as the greatest player Argentina
Argentina
had produced since Maradona.[17][282] Jorge Valdano, who won the 1986 World Cup alongside Maradona, said in October 2013, "Messi is Maradona every day. For the last five years, Messi has been the Maradona of the World Cup in Mexico."[379] César Menotti, who as manager orchestrated their 1978 World Cup victory, echoed this sentiment when he opined that Messi plays "at the level of the best Maradona".[380] Other notable Argentines
Argentines
in the sport, such as Osvaldo Ardiles, Javier Zanetti, and Diego Simeone, have expressed their belief that Messi has overtaken Maradona as the best player in history.[381][382][383] In Argentine society, Messi is generally held in lesser esteem than Maradona, a consequence of not only his uneven performances with the national team, but also of differences in class, personality, and background. Messi is in some ways the antithesis of his predecessor: where Maradona was an extroverted, controversial character who rose to greatness from the slums, Messi is reserved and unassuming, an unremarkable man outside of football.[254][384][385] An enduring mark against him is the fact that, although through no fault of his own, he never proved himself in the Argentine Primera División
Argentine Primera División
as an upcoming player, achieving stardom overseas from a young age,[13][254] while his lack of outward passion for the Albiceleste shirt—he does not sing the national anthem and is disinclined to emotional displays—have in the past led to the false perception that he felt Catalan rather than truly Argentine.[289][290] Despite having lived in Spain since age 13, Messi has said: " Argentina
Argentina
is my country, my family, my way of expressing myself. I would change all my records to make the people in my country happy."[386] In November 2016, with the Argentine Football Association
Argentine Football Association
being run by a FIFA
FIFA
committee for emergency due to an economic crisis, it was reported that three of the national team's security staff told Messi that they haven't been given their salaries for six months. He stepped in and paid the salaries of the three members.[387][388][389] Comparisons to Cristiano Ronaldo Main article: Messi–Ronaldo rivalry

Messi has been compared to Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo
(left) throughout much of their careers

Among his contemporary peers, Messi is most often compared and contrasted with Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo, as part of an ongoing rivalry that has been compared to past sports rivalries like the Muhammad Ali– Joe Frazier
Joe Frazier
rivalry in boxing, the Björn Borg– John McEnroe
John McEnroe
rivalry in tennis, and the Ayrton Senna–Alain Prost rivalry from Formula One.[390][391] Although Messi has at times denied any rivalry,[392][393] they are widely believed to push one another in their aim to be the best player in the world:[159] since 2008, both players have won five Ballons d'Or[394] and four European Golden Shoes.[395] Pundits and fans regularly argue the individual merits of both players;[159][396] beyond their playing styles, the debate also revolves around their differing physiques—Ronaldo is 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in) with a muscular build—and contrasting public personalities, with Ronaldo's self-confidence and theatrics a foil to Messi's humility.[397][398][399] Messi faces Ronaldo at least twice every season in El Clásico, which ranks among the world's most viewed annual sports events.[400] Off the pitch, Ronaldo is his direct competitor in terms of salary, sponsorships, and social media fanbase.[400] In popular culture

"That is me and Messi. We're right up there. Absolutely."

—US president Barack Obama
Barack Obama
when given an honorary number 10 jersey at the White House.[401]

According to France Football, Messi was the world's highest-paid footballer for five years out of six between 2009 and 2014; he was the first player to exceed the €40 million benchmark, with earnings of €41 million in 2013, and the €50–€60 million points, with income of €65 million in 2014.[167][402] In 2016, Messi was second on Forbes
Forbes
list of the world's highest-paid athletes (after Cristiano Ronaldo) with income of $81.4 million from his salary and endorsements in 2015–16.[403] Since 2008, he has been Barcelona's highest-paid player, receiving a salary that increased incrementally from €7.8 million to €13 million over the next five years.[74][75][143] Signing a new Barcelona contract in 2017, he earns $667,000 per week in wages, and Barcelona also paid him $59.6 million as a signing on bonus.[404] His new buyout clause is set at $835 million (€700 million).[404] In addition to his salary and multimillion-euro bonuses, much of his income derives from endorsements; SportsPro has consequently cited him as one of the world's most marketable athletes every year since their research began in 2010.[405] His main sponsor since 2006 is the sportswear company Adidas. As Barça's leading youth prospect, he had been signed with Nike since age 14, but transferred to Adidas
Adidas
after they successfully challenged their rival's claim to his image rights in court.[406] Over time, Messi established himself as their leading brand endorser;[400] from 2008, he had a long-running signature collection of Adidas
Adidas
F50 boots, and in 2015, he became the first footballer to receive his own sub-brand of Adidas
Adidas
boots, the Adidas
Adidas
Messi.[407][408]

A mural of Messi's likeness in the San Siro district of Milan, photographed in 2013

As a commercial entity, Messi's marketing brand has been based exclusively on his talents and achievements as a player, in contrast to arguably more glamorous players like Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo
and David Beckham. At the start of his career, he thus mainly held sponsorship contracts with companies that employ sports-oriented marketing, such as Adidas, Pepsi, and Konami.[409][410] From 2010 onwards, concurrently with his increased achievements as a player, his marketing appeal widened, leading to long-term endorsement deals with luxury brands Dolce & Gabbana and Audemars Piguet.[409][411] Messi is also a global brand ambassador for Gillette, Turkish Airlines, Ooredoo, and Tata Motors, among other companies.[412][413][414][415] Additionally, Messi was the face of Konami's video game series Pro Evolution Soccer, appearing on the covers of PES 2009, PES 2010 and PES 2011. He subsequently signed with rival company EA Sports
EA Sports
to become the face of their series FIFA
FIFA
and has since appeared on four consecutive covers from FIFA
FIFA
13 to FIFA
FIFA
16.[416][417]

Example of Messi's global popularity. Photographed in India

Messi's global popularity and influence are well documented. He was among the Time 100, an annual list of the world's most influential people as published by Time, in 2011 and 2012.[418][419] His fanbase on the social media website Facebook is among the largest of all public figures: within seven hours of its launch in April 2011, his Facebook page had nearly seven million followers, and by November 2013, he had become only the second sportsperson, after Cristiano Ronaldo, to amass over 50 million followers.[420][421] According to a 2014 survey by sports research firm Repucom in 15 international markets, Messi was familiar to 87% of respondents around the world, of whom 78% perceived him favourably, making him the second-most recognised player globally, behind Ronaldo, and the most likable of all contemporary players.[422][423] Other events have illustrated Messi's presence in popular culture. A solid gold replica of his left foot, weighing 25 kg (55 lb) and valued at $5.25 million, went on sale in Japan in March 2013 to raise funds for victims of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.[424] A 2013 Turkish Airlines
Turkish Airlines
advertisement starring Messi, in which he engages in a selfie competition with then-Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, was the most-watched ad on YouTube in the year of its release, receiving 137 million views, and was subsequently voted the best advertisement of the 2005–15 decade to commemorate YouTube's founding.[425][426] World Press Photo
World Press Photo
selected "The Final Game", a photograph of Messi facing the World Cup trophy after Argentina's final defeat to Germany, as the best sports image of 2014.[427] Messi, a documentary about his life by filmmaker Álex de la Iglesia, premiered at the Venice Film
Film
Festival in August 2014.[428] Personal life Family and relationships Since 2008, when he was 20, Messi has been in a relationship with Antonella Roccuzzo, a fellow native of Rosario. He has known Roccuzzo since he was five years old, as she is the cousin of his best friend since childhood, Lucas Scaglia, who is also a football player.[429] After keeping their relationship private for a year, Messi first confirmed their romance in an interview in January 2009, before going public a month later during a carnival in Sitges
Sitges
after the Barcelona–Espanyol derby.

"Leo is not shy. He's introverted. He's reserved."

—Endocrinologist Dr. Diego Schwarzstein addressed Messi's growth hormone deficiency from 1997 to 2001. According to Bleacher Report's Richard Fitzpatrick, "Schwarzstein and Messi built up a close relationship during more than four years of treatment."[430]

Messi and Roccuzzo have three sons: Thiago (born 2012), Mateo (born 2015) and Ciro (born 2018). To celebrate his partner's first pregnancy, Messi placed the ball under his shirt after scoring in Argentina's 4–0 win against Ecuador on 2 June 2012, before confirming the pregnancy in an interview two weeks later.[431] Thiago was born in Barcelona on 2 November 2012, with Messi attending the birth after being given permission by Barcelona to miss training. He announced his son's arrival on his Facebook page, writing, "Today I am the happiest man in the world, my son was born and thanks to God for this gift!"[432] Thiago's name and handprints are tattooed on his left calf.[146] In April 2015, Messi confirmed on Facebook that they were expecting another child.[433] He missed training ahead of a match against Atlético Madrid
Atlético Madrid
to attend the birth of his second son, Mateo, on 11 September 2015 in Barcelona.[434] On 30 June 2017, he married Roccuzzo at a luxury hotel named Hotel City Center in Rosario
Rosario
with about 260 guests attending his wedding.[435] On 15 October 2017, his wife announced they were expecting their third child in an Instagram post, with the words "Family of 5".[436][437] On 10 March 2018, Messi skipped the match against Málaga after Ciro was born.[438] Messi enjoys a close relationship with his immediate family members, particularly his mother, Celia, whose face he has tattooed on his left shoulder. His professional affairs are largely run as a family business: his father, Jorge, has been his agent since he was 14, and his oldest brother, Rodrigo, handles his daily schedule and publicity. His mother and other brother, Matías, manage his charitable organisation, the Leo Messi Foundation, and take care of personal and professional matters in Rosario.[439] Since leaving for Spain at age 13, Messi has maintained close ties to his hometown of Rosario, even preserving his distinct Rosarino accent. He has kept ownership of his family's old house, although it has long stood empty; he maintains a penthouse apartment in an exclusive residential building for his mother, as well as a family compound just outside the city. Once when he was in training with the national team in Buenos Aires, he made a three-hour trip by car to Rosario immediately after practice to have dinner with his family, spent the night with them, and returned to Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
the next day in time for practice. Messi keeps in daily contact via phone and text with a small group of confidants in Rosario, most of whom were fellow members of "The Machine of '87" at Newell's Old Boys. Although considered a one-club man, he has long planned to return to Rosario
Rosario
to end his playing career at Newell's. He was on bad terms with the club after his transfer to Barcelona, but by 2012 their public feud had ended, with Newell's embracing their ties with Messi, even issuing a club membership card to his newborn son.[13][440][441] Charity Throughout his career, Messi has been involved in charitable efforts aimed at vulnerable children, a commitment that stems in part from the medical difficulties he faced in his own childhood. Since 2004, he has contributed his time and finances to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), an organisation with which Barcelona also have a strong association.[442][443] Messi has served as a UNICEF
UNICEF
goodwill ambassador since his appointment in March 2010, completing his first field mission for the organisation four months later as he travelled to Haiti to bring public awareness to the plight of the country's children in the wake of the recent earthquake. He has since participated in UNICEF
UNICEF
campaigns targeting HIV prevention, education, and the social inclusion of disabled children.[444] To celebrate his son's first birthday, in November 2013, Messi and Thiago were part of a publicity campaign to raise awareness of mortality rates among disadvantaged children.[445]

Messi pictured in July 2014

In addition to his work with UNICEF, Messi founded his own charitable organisation, the Leo Messi Foundation, which supports access to health care, education, and sport for children.[446] It was established in 2007 following a visit Messi paid to a hospital for terminally ill children in Boston, an experience that resonated with him to the point that he decided to reinvest part of his earnings into society.[440] Through his foundation, Messi has awarded research grants, financed medical training, and invested in the development of medical centres and projects in Argentina, Spain, and elsewhere in the world.[440][447] In addition to his own fundraising activities, such as his global "Messi and Friends" football matches, his foundation receives financial support from various companies to which he has assigned his name in endorsement agreements, with Adidas
Adidas
as their main sponsor.[448][449] Messi has also invested in youth football in Argentina: he financially supports Sarmiento, a football club based in the Rosario
Rosario
neighbourhood where he was born, committing in 2013 to the refurbishment of their facilities and the installation of all-weather pitches, and funds the management of several youth players at Newell's Old Boys
Newell's Old Boys
and rival club Rosario
Rosario
Central, as well as at River Plate and Boca Juniors
Boca Juniors
in Buenos Aires.[440] At Newell's Old Boys, his boyhood club, he funded the 2012 construction of a new gymnasium and a dormitory inside the club's stadium for their youth academy. His former youth coach at Newell's, Ernesto Vecchio, is employed by the Leo Messi Foundation as a talent scout for young players.[13] On 7 June 2016, Messi won a libel case against La Razón newspaper and was awarded €65,000 in damages, which he donated to the charity Doctors without Borders.[450][451] Legal issues Messi's financial affairs came under investigation in 2013 for suspected tax evasion. Offshore companies in tax havens Uruguay and Belize were allegedly used to evade €4.1 million in taxes related to sponsorship earnings between 2007 and 2009. An unrelated shell company in Panama, set up in 2012, was subsequently identified as belonging to the Messis in the Panama Papers
Panama Papers
data leak. Messi, who pleaded ignorance of the alleged scheme, voluntarily paid arrears of €5.1 million in August 2013. He stood trial alongside his father on three counts of tax evasion in May 2016.[452] On 6 July 2016, Messi and his father were both found guilty of tax fraud and were handed suspended 21-month prison sentences and respectively ordered to pay €1.7 million and €1.4 million in fines.[453] While the District Attorney did not consider there to be motives to accuse Messi, the state lawyer's office became the only party that requested a punishment for him, despite his declarations that he was not aware of any of the deals that were taking place with his money. Facing the judge, he said, "I just played football."[454] Career statistics Club

As of 7 April 2018

Appearances and goals by club, season and competition

Club Season League Copa del Rey Champions League Other Total

Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals

Barcelona C 2003–04[455] Tercera División 10 5 — — — 10 5

Total 10 5 — — — 10 5

Barcelona B 2003–04[37] Segunda División B 5 0 — — — 5 0

2004–05[38] Segunda División B 17 6 — — — 17 6

Total 22 6 — — — 22 6

Barcelona 2004–05[38] La Liga 7 1 1 0 1 0 — 9 1

2005–06[52] La Liga 17 6 2 1 6 1 0 0 25 8

2006–07[55] La Liga 26 14 2 2 5 1 3[a] 0 36 17

2007–08[70] La Liga 28 10 3 0 9 6 — 40 16

2008–09[78] La Liga 31 23 8 6 12 9 — 51 38

2009–10[91] La Liga 35 34 3 1 11 8 4[b] 4 53 47

2010–11[106] La Liga 33 31 7 7 13 12 2[c] 3 55 53

2011–12[113] La Liga 37 50 7 3 11 14 5[d] 6 60 73

2012–13[155] La Liga 32 46 5 4 11 8 2[c] 2 50 60

2013–14[163] La Liga 31 28 6 5 7 8 2[c] 0 46 41

2014–15[180] La Liga 38 43 6 5 13 10 — 57 58

2015–16[456] La Liga 33 26 5 5 7 6 4[e] 4 49 41

2016–17[457] La Liga 34 37 7 5 9 11 2[c] 1 52 54

2017–18[458] La Liga 30 29 5 3 9 6 2[c] 1 46 39

Total 412 378 67 47 124 100 26 21 629 546

Career total 444 389 67 47 124 100 26 21 661 557

^ One appearance in UEFA
UEFA
Super Cup, two appearances in Supercopa de España ^ One appearance in UEFA
UEFA
Super Cup, one appearance and two goals in Supercopa de España, two appearances and two goals in FIFA
FIFA
Club World Cup ^ a b c d e Appearances in Supercopa de España ^ One appearance and one goal in UEFA
UEFA
Super Cup, two appearances and three goals in Supercopa de España, two appearances and two goals in FIFA
FIFA
Club World Cup ^ One appearance and two goals in UEFA
UEFA
Super Cup, two appearances and one goal in Supercopa de España, one appearance and one goal in FIFA Club World Cup

International See also: List of international goals scored by Lionel Messi

As of 11 November 2017

Appearances and goals by national team, year and competition

Team Year Competitive Friendly Total

Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals

Argentina
Argentina
U20[255][256] 2004 — 2 3 2 3

2005 16[a] 11 — 16 11

Total 16 11 2 3 18 14

Argentina
Argentina
U23[280] 2008 5[b] 2 — 5 2

Total 5 2 — 5 2

Argentina[262][459] 2005 3[c] 0 2 0 5 0

2006 3[d] 1 4 1 7 2

2007 10[e] 4 4 2 14 6

2008 6[c] 1 2 1 8 2

2009 8[c] 1 2 2 10 3

2010 5[d] 0 5 2 10 2

2011 8[f] 2 5 2 13 4

2012 5[c] 5 4 7 9 12

2013 5[c] 3 2 3 7 6

2014 7[d] 4 7 4 14 8

2015 6[g] 1 2 3 8 4

2016 10[h] 8 1 0 11 8

2017 5[c] 4 2 0 7 4

Total 81 34 42 27 123 61

Career total 102 47 44 30 146 77

^ Nine appearances and five goals in the 2005 South American U-20 Championship, seven appearances and six goals in the 2005 FIFA
FIFA
World Youth Championship ^ Appearances in Summer Olympics ^ a b c d e f Appearances in FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup
qualification ^ a b c Appearances in FIFA
FIFA
World Cup ^ Six appearances and two goals in Copa América, four appearances and two goals in FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup
qualification ^ Four appearances in Copa América, four appearances and two goals in FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup
qualification ^ Appearances in Copa América ^ Five appearances and three goals in FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup
qualification, five appearances and five goals in Copa América
Copa América
Centenario

Honours and achievements For a comprehensive listing of Messi's achievements, see List of career achievements by Lionel Messi.

Messi accepting the Golden Ball award, alongside his future teammate Neymar
Neymar
after the 2011 FIFA Club World Cup
2011 FIFA Club World Cup
Final

Club

Barcelona[460][461]

La Liga: 2004–05, 2005–06, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2012–13, 2014–15, 2015–16 Copa del Rey: 2008–09, 2011–12, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17 Supercopa de España: 2005[462][463][464] 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016 UEFA
UEFA
Champions League: 2005–06, 2008–09, 2010–11, 2014–15 UEFA
UEFA
Super Cup: 2009, 2011, 2015 FIFA
FIFA
Club World Cup: 2009, 2011, 2015

International

Argentina

FIFA
FIFA
U-20 World Cup: 2005 Olympic Gold Medal: 2008

Individual Awards

FIFA
FIFA
Ballon d'Or/Ballon d'Or: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015[465][466] European Golden Shoe: 2010, 2012, 2013, 2017[154][234] FIFA
FIFA
World Player of the Year: 2009[466] FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup
Golden Ball: 2014[467] UEFA
UEFA
Men's Player of the Year Award: 2011, 2015[195] UEFA
UEFA
Club Footballer of the Year: 2009[468] UEFA
UEFA
Club Forward of the Year: 2009[468] World Soccer World Player of the Year: 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015[469][470][471][472] Onze d'Or: 2009, 2010–11, 2011–12[473] Globe Soccer Awards Best Player of the Year: 2015[474] La Liga
La Liga
Best Player: 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2014–15[475][476][477] La Liga
La Liga
Best Forward: 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2014–15, 2015–16[475][476][477][478] FIFA
FIFA
Club World Cup Golden Ball: 2009, 2011[479] FIFA
FIFA
Club World Cup Silver Ball: 2015[480] FIFA
FIFA
Club World Cup Final Most Valuable Player: 2009, 2011[479] FIFA
FIFA
World Youth Championship Golden Ball: 2005[481] FIFA
FIFA
World Youth Championship Golden Shoe: 2005[481] Olimpia de Oro (Argentine Sportsperson of the Year): 2011[475] Olimpia de Plata (Argentine Footballer of the Year): 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017[475][482][483][484] Copa América
Copa América
Best Young Player: 2007[485] Copa América
Copa América
Golden Ball: 2015[486][487][488][489]

FIFPro
FIFPro
Young World Player of the Year: 2006, 2007, 2008[485] World Soccer Young Player of the Year: 2006, 2007, 2008[490] Bravo Award: 2007[491] Golden Boy (Young European Footballer of the Year): 2005[51] IFFHS
IFFHS
World's Best Playmaker: 2015, 2016, 2017[492][493][494] IFFHS
IFFHS
World's Best Top Goalscorer: 2011, 2012[495] IFFHS
IFFHS
World's Best Top Division Goalscorer: 2012, 2013, 2017[495] IFFHS
IFFHS
Men's World Team: 2017[496] La Liga
La Liga
Player of the Month: January 2016, April 2017[497][498] Trofeo Alfredo Di Stéfano: 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2014–15, 2016–17[499] Don Balón Award
Don Balón Award
( La Liga
La Liga
Best Foreign Player): 2006–07, 2007–08, 2009–10[500] Trofeo EFE: 2006–07, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12[501] Trofeo Aldo Rovira: 2009–10, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2014–15, 2016–17[502][503] FIFA
FIFA
FIFPro
FIFPro
World XI: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017[485][504][505][506] UEFA
UEFA
Team of the Year: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017[468][507][508] ESM Team of the Season: 2005–06, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17[509] ESPN
ESPN
World Team of the Decade: 2009[510] UEFA
UEFA
Ultimate Team of the Year[511] World Soccer Greatest XI of All Time (published 2013)[512] La Liga
La Liga
Team of the Season: 2014–15, 2015–16[513] UEFA
UEFA
La Liga
La Liga
Team of The Season: 2015–16, 2016–17[514][515] FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup
Dream Team: 2014[516] Copa América
Copa América
Dream Team: 2007, 2011, 2015, 2016[517][518][519][336] AFA Team of All Time (published 2015)[520] UEFA
UEFA
Goal of the Season: 2006–07, 2014–15, 2015–16[475][190][521] Copa América
Copa América
Best Goal: 2007[522][523] Best International Athlete ESPY Award: 2012, 2015[524] L'Équipe
L'Équipe
Champion of Champions: 2011[525]

Performances

La Liga
La Liga
top goalscorer: 2009–10, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2016–17[526] La Liga
La Liga
top assist provider: 2010–11, 2014–15, 2015–16[527] Copa del Rey
Copa del Rey
top goalscorer: 2008–09, 2010–11, 2013–14, 2015–16, 2016–17[528] Copa del Rey
Copa del Rey
top assist provider: 2016–17[529] UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League
top goalscorer: 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2014–15[530] UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League
top assist provider: 2011–12, 2014–15[531] FIFA
FIFA
Club World Cup top goalscorer: 2011[532] FIFA
FIFA
World Youth Championship top goalscorer: 2005[257] Copa América
Copa América
top assist provider: 2011, 2015, 2016[518][533][534]

Records

As of April 2018

World

Most (FIFA) Ballons d'Or: 5 (2009–12, 2015) (shared with Cristiano Ronaldo)[535] Guinness World Record
Guinness World Record
as top goalscorer for club and country in a calendar year: 91 goals in 2012[138] Top goalscorer in all club competitions in a calendar year: 79 goals in 2012[136] Top goalscorer in a club season: 73 goals in 2011–12[536] Longest goalscoring run in a domestic league: 21 matches, 33 goals in 2012–13[152][151][537] Only player to have won more than one FIFA
FIFA
Club World Cup Golden Ball[479] Most appearances in the FIFPro
FIFPro
World XI: 11 times (2007–2017) (shared with Cristiano Ronaldo)[538]

Continental

Most goals scored in a European Cup/Champions League game: 5 goals (shared with 13 other players)[539][540] Most goals scored in the UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League
group stages: 60[541] Most hat-tricks scored in the UEFA
UEFA
Champions League: 7 (shared with Cristiano Ronaldo)[542] Youngest player to make 100 appearances in the UEFA
UEFA
Champions League: 28 years, 84 days in 2015[543] Top goalscorer in the UEFA
UEFA
Super Cup: 3 goals (shared with Arie Haan, Oleg Blokhin, Gerd Müller, Rob Rensenbrink, François Van der Elst, Terry McDermott, and Radamel Falcao)[544] Top assist provider in Copa América: 11 assists[545] Most goals scored in CONMEBOL
CONMEBOL
World Cup Qualifiers: 21 goals (shared with Luis Suárez)[354]

Spain

Most Best Player in La Liga
La Liga
awards: 6 (2009–13, 2015)[546] Most Best Forward in La Liga
La Liga
awards: 7 (2009–13, 2015, 2016)[546] Top goalscorer in La Liga: 375 goals[547] Top assist provider in La Liga: 149 assists[note 4][184][185][548] Top goalscorer in the Supercopa de España: 13 goals[294][549] Top goalscorer in a La Liga
La Liga
season: 50 goals in 2011–12[550] Most hat-tricks scored in a La Liga
La Liga
season: 8 in 2011–12 (shared with Cristiano Ronaldo)[294] First player to reach 300 La Liga
La Liga
goals; only player to reach 350 La Liga goals.[551][237] Most opposition teams scored against in La Liga
La Liga
history: 36[552][553]

Argentina

Argentina
Argentina
all-time top goalscorer: 61 goals[554][555][556] Top goalscorer for Argentina
Argentina
in a calendar year: 12 goals in 2012 (shared with Gabriel Batistuta)[294] Only Argentine player to score against every CONMEBOL
CONMEBOL
nation[557] Youngest player to play for Argentina
Argentina
in a FIFA
FIFA
World Cup: 18 years, 357 days in 2006[264] Youngest player to score for Argentina
Argentina
in a FIFA
FIFA
World Cup: 18 years, 357 days in 2006[264] Youngest player to reach 100 caps for a country under CONMEBOL's jurisdiction: 27 years, 361 days in 2015[558] Most Argentine Footballer of the Year awards: 11 (2005, 2007–13, 2015–17)[559][560][561][562]

Barcelona

Top goalscorer in the Derbi barceloní: 21 goals[563] Top goalscorer in El Clásico: 25 goals[note 5][564] Top goalscorer in official competitions: 543 goals[565][566] Top goalscorer including friendlies: 577 goals[565][566] Top goalscorer in the UEFA
UEFA
Champions League: 100 goals[565][566][567] Top goalscorer in European competitions: 103 goals[565][566] Top goalscorer in international competitions: 108 goals[565][566] Most hat-tricks scored in La Liga: 28[565] Most hat-tricks scored in all competitions: 39[565] Most official trophies won with the team: 30 (shared with Andrés Iniesta)[565][461]

See also

Biography portal Association football
Association football
portal Argentina
Argentina
portal

List of one-club men Football records in Spain UEFA
UEFA
club competition records and statistics Football at the Summer Olympics FIFA
FIFA
U-20 World Cup FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup
awards L'Équipe
L'Équipe
Champion of Champions

Notes

^ In isolation, Andrés is pronounced [anˈdɾes].

References Notes

^ According to his club's official website, FCBarcelona.com, and his authorised biography, Messi by Guillem Balagué, his surname is the single "Messi", in accordance with Argentine customs.[2][3] Other sources, including a 2014 document by FIFA, give his surname as the double "Messi Cuccittini".[4] After winning a libel case in 2017, Messi's own management company stated: "The football player Lionel Andres Messi Cuccittini has donated a total of €72,783.20 to the organisation Doctors Without Borders."[1] ^ In addition to four FIFA
FIFA
Ballons d'Or, Messi received France Football's Ballon d'Or
Ballon d'Or
and FIFA's World Player of the Year award prior to their fusion; both organisations credit him with five (FIFA) Ballons d'Or.[6][7] ^ Since surpassed by Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi is the second-highest goalscorer in the European Cup/Champions League as of April 2018. ^ a b Assist statistics began in 1990. ^ Does not include a goal scored in the 2017 International Champions Cup.

Citations

^ a b Marsden, Sam (2 November 2017). "Messi donates to charity after libel case win". ESPN. Retrieved 3 November 2017.  ^ a b "Profile: Lionel Andrés Messi". FC Barcelona. Retrieved 8 September 2015.  ^ a b Balagué 2013, pp. 32–37. ^ "2014 FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup
Brazil: List of Players" (PDF). FIFA. 10 June 2014. p. 2. Retrieved 8 September 2015.  ^ a b "Magical Messi Grabs Hat-trick
Hat-trick
in Copa America as Argentina
Argentina
Romp into Quarters". The Daily Telegraph. Agence France-Presse. 11 June 2016. Retrieved 29 June 2016. Widely regarded as the best footballer of all time, Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
... has sublime balance and is able to dribble past defenders with almost inhuman ease.  ^ Lacombe, Rémy (11 January 2016). "Messi, le Cinquième Élément". France Football. Retrieved 26 May 2016.  ^ "Messi, Lloyd, Luis Enrique and Ellis Triumph at FIFA
FIFA
Ballon d'Or 2015". FIFA. 11 January 2016. Retrieved 26 May 2016.  ^ Caioli 2012, pp. 9–10. ^ a b Carlin, John (27 March 2010). "Lionel Messi: Magic in His Feet". The Independent. Retrieved 18 July 2015.  ^ Balagué 2013, pp. 44–45. ^ Maume, Chris (11 July 2014). "Lionel Messi: The World at His Feet". The Independent. Retrieved 18 July 2015.  ^ Caioli 2012, p. 38. ^ a b c d e f Thompson, Wright (22 October 2012). "Here and Gone: The Strange Relationship between Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
and His Hometown in Argentina". Outside the Lines. ESPN
ESPN
FC. Retrieved 18 July 2015.  ^ Caioli 2012, pp. 31–35. ^ Cazadieu, Jérôme; Juillard, Alexandre; Traïni, Frédéric (15 November 2008). "Leo Messi: La Légende d'El Enano" [Leo Messi: The Legend of El Enano]. L'Équipe
L'Équipe
via Irish Independent. Retrieved 18 July 2015.  ^ a b c d Hawkey, Ian (20 April 2008). " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
on a Mission". The Times (subscription required). Archived from the original on 30 August 2008. Retrieved 18 July 2015.  ^ a b Wilson, Paul (16 July 2015). "Pablo Aimar: The Argentinian Wizard Admired by Maradona and Messi". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 July 2015.  ^ a b c d e Lowe, Sid (15 October 2014). "Lionel Messi: How Argentinian Teenager Signed for Barcelona on a Serviette". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 July 2015.  ^ a b c d e Longman, Jeré (21 May 2011). "Lionel Messi: Boy Genius". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 July 2015.  ^ a b Caioli 2012, pp. 61–62. ^ Balagué 2013, pp. 149. ^ Jenson, Pete (27 March 2010). "Fàbregas, Messi, Piqué: Class of 2002". The Independent. Retrieved 18 July 2015.  ^ Hunter 2012, pp. 44–45. ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Could Have Joined Arsenal as a Teenager, Says Arsène Wenger". The Guardian. 21 November 2014. Retrieved 18 July 2015.  ^ a b "The New Messiah". FIFA. 5 March 2006. Retrieved 18 July 2015.  ^ Corrigan, Dermot (16 October 2014). "The best quotes about Lionel Messi's 10 years at Barcelona". ESPN
ESPN
FC.  ^ a b c d Caioli 2012, pp. 68–71. ^ Bird, Liviu (5 June 2015). "Ex-Teammate, La Masia
La Masia
Coach Recall Lionel Messi's Early Days, Persona". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 19 July 2015.  ^ "Giuly remembers the first time he saw Messi 'kill' his team-mates". Sport. 14 September 2016.  ^ Corrigan, Dermot (15 November 2013). "Messi Reflects on Debut 10 Years On". ESPN
ESPN
FC. Retrieved 19 July 2015.  ^ Balagué 2013, pp. 191–193. ^ a b c Balagué 2013, pp. 246–249. ^ Hunter 2012, p. 53. ^ a b Carbonell, Rafael (26 October 2004). "El Último Salto de la 'Pulga'" [The Last Jump of the 'Flea']. El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 19 July 2015.  ^ a b Balagué 2013, pp. 183–185. ^ a b c Balagué 2013, pp. 262–263. ^ a b "Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini: Matches 2003–04". BDFutbol. Retrieved 19 July 2015.  ^ a b c d "Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini: Matches 2004–05". BDFutbol. Retrieved 19 July 2015.  ^ a b Hunter 2012, pp. 35–36. ^ a b c Reng, Ronald (27 May 2011). "Lionel Messi". FT Magazine. Retrieved 19 July 2015.  ^ Mitten, Andy (16 October 2014). "Who Knew on His 2004 Debut That Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Would Go so Far at Barcelona". The National. Retrieved 19 July 2015.  ^ Williams, Richard (24 February 2006). "Messi Has All the Qualities to Take World by Storm". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 July 2015.  ^ a b Hunter, Graham (4 June 2015). "Messi, Iniesta and Xavi
Xavi
Driven to Join the Champions League Elite". ESPN
ESPN
FC. Retrieved 19 July 2015.  ^ a b Hunter 2012, pp. 264–265. ^ Lowe, Sid (16 June 2017). "Joan Laporta: 'Barcelona has been kidnapped. It's hostage to lies and it's sad'". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 July 2017.  ^ Balagué 2013, pp. 272–276. ^ a b "Starlet Messi Stays at Barça until 2014". ESPN
ESPN
FC. 17 September 2005. Retrieved 20 July 2015.  ^ Caioli 2012, p. 91. ^ a b c Hunter 2012, pp. 266–269. ^ a b "Messi Has Ronaldinho's Number". FIFA. 4 August 2008. Retrieved 20 July 2015.  ^ a b Balagué 2013, pp. 279–284. ^ a b "Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini: Matches 2005–06". BDFutbol. Retrieved 20 July 2015.  ^ "Ingla: Rijkaard to Blame for Barça Decline". ESPN
ESPN
FC. 19 May 2008. Retrieved 21 July 2015.  ^ a b c d "Messi: I'm Not the Best". FIFA. 31 May 2007. Retrieved 21 July 2015.  ^ a b c "Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini: Matches 2006–07". BDFutbol. Retrieved 21 July 2015.  ^ "Messi Needs Surgery on Broken Foot". CNN. 13 November 2006. Retrieved 21 July 2015.  ^ a b Hunter, Graham (19 October 2011). "Messi Closing in on Remarkable Record". ESPN
ESPN
FC. Retrieved 21 July 2015.  ^ Tomkins 2007, pp. 130–132. ^ Lowe, Sid (12 March 2007). "There's Something about Messi". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 July 2015.  ^ Balagué 2013, p. 302. ^ a b Davies, Christopher (24 February 2006). "Maradona Hails His Successor". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 July 2015.  ^ Lowe, Sid (20 April 2007). "The Greatest Goal Ever?". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 July 2015.  ^ Mitten, Andy (10 June 2007). "Hand of Messi Saves Barcelona". The Times (subscription required). Archived from the original on 13 October 2008. Retrieved 21 July 2015.  ^ "Dónde Está Messi? Ahora Dónde Está Messi?" ['Where Is Messi? Where Is Messi Now?']. El Mundo (in Spanish). 11 May 2007. Retrieved 21 July 2015.  ^ "Beckham Bows out with Liga Title". BBC Sport. 17 June 2007. Retrieved 21 July 2015.  ^ Lowe, Sid (24 September 2007). " Ronaldinho
Ronaldinho
Misses Barcelona's Big Night Out". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 July 2015.  ^ Carlin, John (3 February 2008). "Nou Sensation". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 July 2015.  ^ a b c d e Balagué 2013, pp. 519–524. ^ "Kaka Named FIFA
FIFA
World Player of the Year". ESPN
ESPN
FC. 17 December 2007. Retrieved 21 July 2015.  ^ a b "Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini: Matches 2007–08". BDFutbol. Retrieved 21 July 2015.  ^ a b Bright, Richard (6 March 2008). " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Sidelined for Six Weeks". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 July 2015.  ^ O'Henley, Alex (21 February 2008). "Two for Messi as Barça See off Celtic". UEFA. Retrieved 21 July 2015.  ^ " Ronaldinho
Ronaldinho
Cleared for Barça Exit". BBC Sport. 19 May 2008. Retrieved 21 July 2015.  ^ a b c Balagué 2013, p. 472. ^ a b Heydari, Keyvan Antonio (26 May 2009). "Messi: Amazing Talent in a Reluctant Star". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 July 2015.  ^ Barnett, Phil (1 December 2009). "Lionel Messi: A Rare Talent". The Independent. Retrieved 24 July 2015.  ^ Jackson, Jamie (12 January 2009). "Ronaldo Adds Fifa World Player of the Year to List of Accolades". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 July 2015.  ^ a b c "Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini: Matches 2008–09". BDFutbol. Retrieved 24 July 2015.  ^ Roden, Lee (20 April 2015). "Are Messi, Suarez and Neymar Barcelona's Best-Ever Front Three?". ESPN
ESPN
FC. Retrieved 24 July 2015.  ^ a b Balagué 2013, pp. 453–459. ^ "Real Madrid v Barcelona: Six of the Best 'El Clásicos'". The Daily Telegraph. 9 December 2011. Retrieved 24 July 2015.  ^ "Barcelona Defeat Athletic Bilbao
Athletic Bilbao
to Win Copa del Rey". The Daily Telegraph. 14 May 2009. Retrieved 24 July 2015.  ^ "Barcelona's Title Celebrations Marred by Violence". The Daily Telegraph. 17 May 2009. Retrieved 24 July 2015.  ^ "Messi Sweeps up Goalscoring Honours". UEFA. 28 May 2009. Retrieved 26 July 2015.  ^ McNulty, Phil (27 May 2009). "Barcelona 2–0 Man Utd". BBC Sport. Retrieved 26 July 2015.  ^ Seery, Phil (31 May 2009). "Barcelona Eclipse Dream Team with Historic Treble". Agence France-Presse. Archived from the original on 25 October 2012.  ^ Adams, Tom (21 May 2010). "The Treble Club". ESPN
ESPN
FC. Retrieved 26 July 2015.  ^ "Barcelona Beat Estudiantes to Win the Club World Cup". BBC Sport. 19 December 2009. Retrieved 26 July 2015.  ^ Stuart, Keith (7 April 2010). "Is the Real Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Better than the Virtual One?". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 July 2015.  ^ Balagué 2013, pp. 476–478. ^ a b "Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini: Matches 2009–10". BDFutbol. Retrieved 27 July 2015.  ^ a b Lowe, Sid (17 May 2010). " La Liga
La Liga
Title the Least Barcelona Deserve as Madrid Again Finish Empty Handed". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 July 2015.  ^ "Barcelona's Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
the Sixth Player to Score Four Times in Champions League Tie". The Daily Telegraph. 7 April 2010. Retrieved 27 July 2015.  ^ Lowe, Sid (7 April 2010). "'Mythical, Universal, the Lord's Anointed One' – Spain Hails Leo Messi". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 July 2015.  ^ Haslam, Andrew (22 May 2010). "Messi Takes Scoring Plaudits". UEFA. Retrieved 27 July 2010.  ^ Wilson, Joseph (30 September 2010). "Messi Receives Golden Boot for Top European Scorer". U-T San Diego. Retrieved 27 July 2015.  ^ "Magic Messi Wins Supercopa for Barça". ESPN
ESPN
FC. 21 August 2010. Retrieved 27 July 2010.  ^ Lowe, Sid (29 November 2010). " David Villa
David Villa
Strikes Twice as Slick Barcelona Thrash Real Madrid". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 July 2015.  ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Stars as Barcelona Seal Record League Win". BBC Sport. 6 February 2011. Retrieved 27 July 2015.  ^ "Most Consecutive Wins in the Top Division of Spanish football (Soccer)". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 27 July 2015.  ^ a b Lowe, Sid (11 January 2011). " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Is the World's Best Player but Xavi
Xavi
Deserved FIFA's Award". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 July 2015.  ^ Lowe, Sid (5 May 2011). "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly in the Aftermatch of the Clásico Series". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on 8 May 2011.  ^ Balagué 2013, pp. 494–499. ^ "Top Scorer Messi Matches Van Nistelrooy Mark". UEFA. 28 May 2011. Retrieved 27 July 2015.  ^ McNulty, Phil (28 May 2011). "Barcelona 3–1 Man Utd". BBC Sport. Retrieved 27 July 2015.  ^ a b c d "Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini: Matches 2010–11". BDFutbol. Retrieved 27 July 2015.  ^ "Spanish Primera División Statistics: Top Assists 2010–11". ESPN FC. Retrieved 27 July 2015.  ^ a b Cascarino, Tony; Barclay, Patrick (27 May 2011). "Is Sublime Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
the Greatest Footballer Ever?". The Times (subscription required). Retrieved 27 July 2015.  ^ Pitt-Brooke, Jack (14 April 2011). "48 Not Out: Messi Proves Himself King of the Goals". The Independent. Retrieved 27 July 2015.  ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Scores Spanish Record 50th Goal". BBC Sport. 23 April 2011. Retrieved 27 July 2015.  ^ "Professional Soccer Training Drills – Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
a Combination". Project Sports Mastery. 2018-01-11. Retrieved 2018-02-05.  ^ Balagué 2013, p. 512. ^ a b "Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini: Matches 2011–12". BDFutbol. Retrieved 30 July 2015.  ^ Mohamed, Majid (10 December 2012). "Lionel Messi: The Best Goalscorer Ever but Is the Barcelona Player the Greatest-Ever Footballer?". The Independent. Retrieved 30 July 2015.  ^ "Tempers Flare into Brawl as Barcelona Beats Real Madrid". USA Today. 17 August 2011. Retrieved 30 July 2015.  ^ Winter, Henry (26 August 2011). "Barcelona 2 Porto 0: Match Report". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 30 July 2015.  ^ "Barcelona Win FIFA
FIFA
Club World Cup". BBC Sport. 18 December 2011. Retrieved 30 July 2015.  ^ "Messi Crowned World's Best". ESPN
ESPN
FC. 9 January 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2015.  ^ "Messi Wins UEFA
UEFA
Best Player in Europe Award". UEFA. 25 August 2011. Retrieved 30 July 2015.  ^ Hayward, Paul (7 January 2013). " FIFA
FIFA
Ballon d'Or
Ballon d'Or
2012: Lionel Messi Rewarded for Displays No Rival Could Ever Match". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 30 July 2015.  ^ a b " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
as Dominant as Michael Jordan, Claims Barcelona's Pep Guardiola, After He Breaks Goal Record". The Daily Telegraph. 21 March 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2015.  ^ "Messi Scores Four as Barcelona Rout Valencia". CNN. 20 February 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2015.  ^ Rostance, Tom (7 March 2012). " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Scores Five in Barcelona Champions League Win". BBC Sport. Retrieved 30 July 2015.  ^ " UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League
2011–12: Statistics". UEFA. Retrieved 30 July 2015.  ^ "Record-Breaking Messi Takes Top Scorer Honour". UEFA. 19 May 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2015.  ^ Brassell, Andy (27 April 2012). " Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola
Leaves Lasting Legacy at Barcelona". BBC Sport. Retrieved 30 July 2015.  ^ "Pep Guardiola's Final Game: Barcelona Win Copa del Rey". BBC Sport. 26 May 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2015.  ^ Dawkes, Phil (24 April 2012). "Barcelona 2–2 Chelsea (agg 2–3)". BBC Sport. Retrieved 30 July 2015.  ^ "Four-Goal Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Gives Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola
Perfect Barcelona Send-Off". The Guardian. 5 May 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2015.  ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Receives Golden Boot Award as Europe's Top Scorer". Sports Illustrated. 29 October 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2015.  ^ "Messi Smashes Müller's 40-Year Record". ESPN
ESPN
FC. 9 December 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2015.  ^ Hughes, Rob (29 April 2014). "To See Coach's Legacy at Barcelona, Just Look on Field". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 August 2015.  ^ "Ten-Man Barcelona Shocked by Sociedad". CNN. 19 January 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2015.  ^ Rogers, Iain (10 December 2012). "Fatherhood Hasn't Slowed Record-Breaking Messi". Reuters. Retrieved 9 August 2015.  ^ "Mueller Gets Messi's No. 10 Barcelona Shirt". Sports Illustrated. 17 January 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2015.  ^ a b c Mohamed, Majid (8 January 2013). "Barcelona's Lionel Messi Becomes Most Decorated Player in History after Winning Unprecedented Fourth Straight Ballon d'Or". The Independent. Retrieved 9 August 2015.  ^ " FIFA
FIFA
Refuses to Back Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
or Godfrey Chitalu for Goal Record". BBC Sport. 14 December 2012. Retrieved 9 August 2015.  ^ a b "Barcelona Star Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Sets New Goal-Scoring Record". Guinness World Records. 10 December 2012. Retrieved 9 August 2015.  ^ Chowdhury, Saj (9 January 2013). " Ballon d'Or
Ballon d'Or
Contenders Messi, Ronaldo and Iniesta in Profile". BBC Sport. Retrieved 9 August 2015.  ^ Lowe, Sid (13 May 2013). "A Sense of Anticlimax but Barcelona Still Deserve Their La Liga
La Liga
Title". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 August 2015.  ^ Lowe, Sid (9 March 2013). "Barcelona Face up to Uncomfortable Truths after Alarming Slump in Form". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 August 2015.  ^ Monaghan, Matt (12 March 2013). "Barcelona 4–0 AC Milan (agg 4–2)". BBC Sport. Retrieved 9 August 2015.  ^ a b Balagué 2013, p. 556. ^ "Messi Signs New Barcelona Deal". CNN. 7 February 2015. Retrieved 9 August 2015.  ^ a b Rogers, Iain (11 May 2013). "Captain Messi Inspires Another Barça League Triumph". Reuters. Retrieved 9 August 2015.  ^ a b Caioli 2015, ch. 38. ^ Rogers, Iain (11 April 2013). " Andrés Iniesta
Andrés Iniesta
Admission That Barcelona Suffer from 'Messi-Dependence' Proved against PSG". The Independent. Retrieved 9 August 2015.  ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Set to Miss Rest of Barcelona Season with Hamstring Injury". The Daily Telegraph. 14 May 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2015.  ^ a b Lowe, Sid (11 April 2013). "Messidependencia Brought into Focus as Barcelona Show Vulnerability". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 August 2015.  ^ De Menezes, Jack (14 November 2013). "Rumours of Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Rift with Barcelona Rubbished Be Representatives of the Argentina International". The Independent. Retrieved 10 August 2015.  ^ a b "Messi Worry Mars Barca's Title Joy". CNN. 13 May 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2015.  ^ a b "Messi 'Breaks Record' by Scoring in 17th Consecutive La Liga Game". BBC Sport. 10 March 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2015.  ^ Rooke, Sam (27 January 2013). "Barcelona 5 Osasuna 1: Messi Hits Four in Rout". The Sunday Times (subscription required). Retrieved 9 August 2015.  ^ a b " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Awarded Golden Shoe for Third Time after 46 La Liga Goals for Barcelona". The Independent. 20 November 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2015.  ^ a b "Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini: Matches 2012–13". BDFutbol. Retrieved 9 August 2015.  ^ Balagué 2013, pp. 587–592. ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Returns from Injury in Barcelona Victory". CNN. 8 January 2013. Retrieved 10 August 2015.  ^ " Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo
Wins FIFA
FIFA
Ballon D'or after Stellar Year at Real Madrid". The Guardian. 13 January 2014. Retrieved 10 August 2015.  ^ a b c d West, Andy (22 March 2014). "Real Madrid v Barcelona: Has Ronaldo Overtaken Messi?". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 August 2015.  ^ a b Lowe, Sid (12 March 2014). "One Flick of Lionel Messi's Left Foot Ends Talk
Talk
of Crisis at Barcelona". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 August 2015.  ^ a b Lowe, Sid (24 June 2014). " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
and Argentina
Argentina
in Tune at Last despite Tough Start to World Cup". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 August 2015.  ^ Jenson, Pete (24 March 2014). "Real Madrid 3 Barcelona 4 Match Report: Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Hat-Trick Out-Guns Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo
in Seven-Goal El Clásico
El Clásico
Thriller". The Independent. Retrieved 10 August 2015.  ^ a b "Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini: Matches 2013–14". BDFutbol. Retrieved 10 August 2015.  ^ "Barcelona's Lionel Messi: I Had a Lot of Problems during 2013–14 Season". ESPN
ESPN
FC. 19 February 2014. Retrieved 10 August 2015.  ^ "Barcelona Name Luis Enrique as New Coach, Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Signs New Contract with La Liga
La Liga
Club". ABC News. 21 May 2014. Retrieved 10 August 2015.  ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Signs New Barcelona Deal". ESPN
ESPN
FC. 19 May 2014. Retrieved 10 August 2015.  ^ a b Notarianni, Roberto (25 March 2015). "Messi, la (Très) Bonne Paie" [Messi, the (Very) Good Payroll]. France Football. Retrieved 10 August 2015.  ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Is 'an Alien That Dedicates Himself to Playing with Humans' Says Gianluigi Buffon". The Guardian. 2 June 2015. Retrieved 11 August 2015.  ^ Corrigan, Dermot. "Gerardo Martino: Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Feeling Mental, Physical Strain of Years at Top". ESPN
ESPN
FC. Retrieved 10 August 2015.  ^ "Lionel Messi: Barcelona Forward Will Leave 'Unreachable' Record". BBC Sport. 23 November 2015. Retrieved 10 August 2015.  ^ "Apoel Nic 0–4 Barcelona". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 August 2015.  ^ Besa, Ramon (7 December 2014). "El Derbi Es un Monólogo de Messi" [The Derby Is a Monologue of Messi]. El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 10 August 2015.  ^ " Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo
Wins Ballon D'or for Second Straight Year". ESPN FC. 12 January 2015. Retrieved 10 August 2015.  ^ Roden, Lee (8 January 2015). "Barcelona, Messi and Enrique: What's Gone Wrong?". BBC Sport. Retrieved 11 August 2015.  ^ a b Lowe, Sid (18 May 2015). "Barcelona Transform Their Season from Trouble to a Possible Treble". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 August 2015.  ^ a b West, Andy (19 March 2015). "Motivated Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Transforms Barcelona's Hopes for Trophy Treble". BBC Sport. Retrieved 11 August 2015.  ^ Lowe, Sid (8 May 2015). "Messi's Best-Ever Form?". ESPN
ESPN
FC. Retrieved 11 August 2015.  ^ Tomas, Francesc (22 April 2015). "Barcelona Increasingly Gaining Messi Independence (and It's a Good Thing)". ESPN
ESPN
FC. Retrieved 11 August 2015.  ^ a b Lowe, Sid (6 June 2015). "Barcelona's Luis Suárez, Leo Messi and Neymar
Neymar
Too Good for Juventus". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 August 2015.  ^ a b c "Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini: Matches 2014–15". BDFutbol. Retrieved 11 August 2015.  ^ Rice, Simon (17 May 2015). "Barcelona Win La Liga: Lionel Messi Strike Sees Barca Clinch 23rd Title at Home of Reigning Champions Atletico Madrid". The Independent. Retrieved 11 August 2015.  ^ "Supporters, Superstars and Goals Galore". FIFA. 11 March 2015. Retrieved 11 August 2015.  ^ "Spanish Primera División Statistics: Top Assists 2014–15". ESPN FC. Retrieved 11 August 2015.  ^ a b "Messi También Es Leyenda en el Ranking Histórico de Asistencias" [Messi Is Also a Legend in the Historical Assist Ranking] (in Spanish). La Liga
La Liga
BBVA. 19 February 2015. Retrieved 11 August 2015.  ^ a b Corrigan, Dermot (15 February 2015). "Messi Notches Assist Record". ESPN
ESPN
FC. Retrieved 11 August 2015.  ^ Corrigan, Dermot (30 May 2015). "Treble Comes into Focus as Messi Marches Barcelona to Copa Title". ESPN
ESPN
FC. Retrieved 11 August 2015.  ^ "Puskás Award". FIFA. Retrieved 28 December 2015.  ^ Newman, Blair (7 May 2015). "If Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Makes Pep Guardiola Feel Helpless, What Chance Do the Rest Have?". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 August 2015.  ^ Rice, Simon (7 December 2015). "Lionel Messi, Manchester United
Manchester United
and Arsenal: The 10 Most Tweeted Sporting Moments of 2015". The Independent. Retrieved 7 December 2015.  ^ a b Chavez, Christopher (27 August 2015). "Messi's Goal vs. Bayern Voted Europe's Best in 2014–15". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 4 September 2015.  ^ Jurejko, Jonathan (12 May 2015). "Bayern Mun 3–2 Barcelona". BBC Sport. Retrieved 11 August 2015.  ^ Borden, Sam (6 June 2015). "Barcelona Overwhelms Juventus to Win Fifth Champions League Title". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 August 2015.  ^ " UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League
2014–15: Statistics". UEFA. Retrieved 11 August 2015.  ^ Hannah, Ralph (5 June 2015). "The Ultimate Record-Breaking Preview to the UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League
Final". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 11 August 2015.  ^ a b Gonzalez, Roger (27 August 2015). "Messi Beats Ronaldo for 2014–15 UEFA
UEFA
Best Player in Europe Award". CBS Sports. Retrieved 4 September 2015.  ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Says Free Kick Goals in UEFA
UEFA
Super Cup Were 'Lucky'". ESPN
ESPN
FC. 11 August 2015. Retrieved 4 September 2015.  ^ Corrigan, Dermot (17 August 2015). "Barcelona Disappoint as Athletic Bilbao Deservedly Win the Spanish Super Cup". ESPN
ESPN
FC. Retrieved 4 September 2015.  ^ John Molinaro (16 September 2015). "Florenzi's goal vs. Barca one for the ages". Sports Net. Retrieved 16 September 2015.  ^ "Leo Messi out for seven to eight weeks". FC Barcelona. 26 September 2015. Retrieved 27 September 2015.  ^ Gary Rose (21 November 2015). "Real Madrid 0 – Barcelona 4". BBC Sport.com. Retrieved 21 December 2015.  ^ Dermot Corrigan (20 December 2015). "Lionel Messi: Club World Cup triumph proves Barcelona are 'best in the world'". ESPN
ESPN
FC. Retrieved 21 December 2015.  ^ Michael Toll (30 December 2015). " FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona
claim 4–0 victory over Betis and top spot to end 2015". FC Barcelona. Retrieved 31 December 2015.  ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
inspires Barcelona to win over Espanyol on Arda Turan's debut". The Guardian. 6 January 2016. Retrieved 6 January 2016.  ^ Corrigon, Dermot (12 January 2016). " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
wins 2015 Ballon d'Or ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar".  ^ Des Bieler (3 February 2016). "Lionel Messi's 500th goal shows off scintillating skill". The Washington Post. Retrieved 17 February 2016.  ^ " Luis Suárez
Luis Suárez
and Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
make history at Camp Nou". FC Barcelona. 4 February 2016.  ^ "Barcelona penalty: Was it disrespectful or a touch of genius?". BBC Sport. 15 February 2016.  ^ "Messi, Suarez team up for audacious penalty kick". Fox News Channel. 14 February 2016.  ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
and Luis Suarez penalty makes Johan Cruyff
Johan Cruyff
'very happy'". ESPN
ESPN
FC. 17 February 2016.  ^ "Leo Messi breaks the 300 goal barrier in the league". FC Barcelona. 18 February 2016.  ^ "Barça reach 10,000 goals in official competition". FC Barcelona. 23 February 2016.  ^ "Messi scores 500th goal: Barcelona star nets milestone". Sports Illustrated. 17 April 2016. Retrieved 17 April 2016.  ^ "Messi sirve el doblete" [Messi hands out double]. Marca (in Spanish). Spain. 22 May 2016. Retrieved 23 May 2016.  ^ Adriana Garcia (23 May 2016). "Barca's double double hailed in Spanish media". Reuters. Retrieved 23 May 2016.  ^ Robert Güell (23 May 2016). "Messi, Suárez and Neymar
Neymar
Jr end season with 131 goals". FC Barcelona. Retrieved 24 May 2016.  ^ Marsden, Samuel (17 February 2017). " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
is bigger than Barcelona and indispensable – Javier Mascherano". ESPN
ESPN
FC. Retrieved 20 February 2017.  ^ Ramon Besa (18 August 2016). "Messi levanta la Supercopa" [Messi lifts the Supercup]. El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 18 August 2016.  ^ Arch bell (15 August 2016). "Barça tame Sevilla in Super Cup". Marca. Spain. Retrieved 15 August 2016.  ^ "Barca seal Supercopa de Espana". Football España. 17 August 2016. Retrieved 18 August 2016.  ^ "Luis Suarez plunders hat-trick, Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
scores twice as Barca smash six past Betis". 20 August 2016. Retrieved 21 August 2016.  ^ "Leo Messi out for three weeks FC Barcelona". FC Barcelona. Retrieved 22 September 2016.  ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Scores in His Return as Barcelona Roll Past Deportivo La Coruña". beIN SPorts. 15 October 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2016.  ^ Jack Wilkinson (20 October 2016). " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
scored a hat-trick as 10-man Manchester City lost 4–0 on Pep Guardiola's return to Barcelona in the Champions League". Sky Sports. Retrieved 4 November 2017.  ^ Alex Dowd (1 November 2016). "Watch Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
score to pass Raul for most goals in the UCL group stage". Fox Sports. Retrieved 4 November 2016.  ^ Taylor, Daniel (2 November 2016). "Manchester City stun Barcelona in breathless Champions League victory". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 December 2017.  ^ "Ronaldo beats Messi for fourth Ballon d'Or". ESPN. Retrieved 13 December 2016.  ^ Roger Gonzalez (31 December 2016). "Top goal scorers in 2016: Messi claims crown, Ibrahimovic and Ronaldo follow". CBS Sports. Retrieved 12 February 2017.  ^ " Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo
wins Best FIFA
FIFA
Men's Player 2016 award". CNN. 9 January 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2017.  ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
equals Ronald Koeman's Barcelona free-kick record". ESPN
ESPN
FC. 11 January 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2017.  ^ Caitlin Murray (14 January 2017). "Watch Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
match record for the most La Liga
La Liga
teams scored against". Fox Sports. Retrieved 16 January 2017.  ^ Paul Green (4 February 2017). " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
embarrasses Gorka Iraizoz with free-kick for Barcelona". Sky Sports. Retrieved 5 February 2017.  ^ Staff (23 April 2017). " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
scores 500th goal for Barcelona against Real Madrid". ESPNFC. Retrieved 24 April 2017.  ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
inspires Barcelona to Copa del Rey
Copa del Rey
final triumph against Alavés". The Guardian. 27 May 2017. Retrieved 1 June 2017.  ^ a b "Messi receives fourth Golden Shoe Award: Each day I enjoy it more". Marca. Spain. 24 November 2017. Retrieved 24 November 2017.  ^ "Ronaldo goal, red card in Real Madrid win against Barcelona". ESPN FC. 14 August 2017. Retrieved 27 August 2017.  ^ "Leo Messi and Luis Suárez
Luis Suárez
call for optimism". FC Barcelona. 14 August 2017. Retrieved 27 August 2017.  ^ a b " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
becomes the first player to score 350 La Liga goals". SBNation. 25 August 2017. Retrieved 27 August 2017.  ^ "Lionel Messi's hat trick guides Barcelona's win over local rivals Espanyol". ESPN
ESPN
FC. 9 September 2017. Retrieved 10 September 2017.  ^ Marsden, Samuel (12 September 2017). " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
scores twice as Barcelona get revenge on Juventus in UCL". ESPN
ESPN
FC. Retrieved 13 September 2017.  ^ Marsden, Samuel (19 September 2017). " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
creates something from nothing for Barcelona – Valverde". ESPN
ESPN
FC. Retrieved 20 September 2017.  ^ "Barcelona 3–0 Las Palmas: Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
nets brace in front of empty Nou Camp – 5 talking points". The Mirror. 1 October 2017. Retrieved 2 October 2017.  ^ "Barcelona 3–1 Olympiakos". BBC Sport. 18 October 2017. Retrieved 18 October 2017.  ^ "Messi emulates Ronaldo with 100th European goal". UEFA. 18 October 2017. Retrieved 19 October 2017.  ^ "The Best FIFA
FIFA
Men's Player". FIFA. Retrieved 23 October 2017.  ^ Sam Marsden (4 November 2017). " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
marks 600th Barcelona appearance in win over Sevilla". ESPN
ESPN
FC. Retrieved 4 November 2017.  ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
signs new deal through 2020/21 season". FC Barcelona. 25 November 2017. Retrieved 25 November 2017.  ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
in La Liga: 400 games and 365 goals". FC Barcelona. 7 January 2018. Retrieved 14 January 2018.  ^ a b "Messi breaks Muller goal record". beinsports.com. 14 January 2018. Retrieved 14 January 2018.  ^ "Messi breaks Muller record as Barca beats Sociedad". beinsports.com. 14 January 2018. Retrieved 14 January 2018.  ^ West, Andy (4 March 2018). "Barcelona 1-0 Atlético Madrid". BBC Sport. Retrieved 4 March 2018.  ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
scores 100th Champions League goal in Barcelona's 3-0 victory over Chelsea". Los Angeles Times. 14 March 2018. Retrieved 14 March 2018.  ^ Mark Ogden (14 March 2018). "Chelsea go down fighting but can't stop Lionel Messi, Barcelona". ESPN
ESPN
FC. Retrieved 14 March 2018.  ^ "Faster and younger than rival Ronaldo - Magical Messi's 100 Champions League goals in Opta numbers". FourFourTwo. 14 March 2018. Retrieved 14 March 2018.  ^ a b c Himmelman, Jeff (5 June 2014). "The Burden of Being Messi". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 August 2015.  ^ a b Balagué 2013, pp. 209–219. ^ a b Balagué 2013, pp. 220–240. ^ a b c "Magic Messi Sparks High Drama in the Lowlands". FIFA. July 2005. Retrieved 12 August 2015.  ^ Vickery, Tim (22 August 2005). "Messi Handles 'New Maradona' Tag". BBC Sport. Retrieved 12 August 2015.  ^ "Messi's Debut Dream Turns Sour". ESPN
ESPN
FC. Retrieved 12 August 2015.  ^ "Messi Tries Again as Argentina
Argentina
Face Paraguay". ESPN
ESPN
FC. 2 September 2005. Archived from the original on 28 June 2011.  ^ "Messi Is a Jewel Says Argentina
Argentina
Coach". ESPN
ESPN
FC. 10 October 2005. Retrieved 12 August 2015.  ^ a b c d e f g h i Mamrud, Roberto. "Lionel Andrés Messi – Century of International Appearances". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 12 August 2015.  ^ Vickery, Tim (5 June 2006). "Messi Comes of Age". BBC Sport. Retrieved 12 August 2015.  ^ a b c " Argentina
Argentina
6–0 Serbia & Montenegro". BBC Sport. 16 June 2006. Retrieved 12 August 2015.  ^ "Holland 0–0 Argentina". BBC Sport. 21 June 2006. Retrieved 12 August 2015.  ^ Lisi 2011, pp. 470–471. ^ " Argentina
Argentina
2–1 Mexico (aet)". BBC Sport. 24 June 2006. Retrieved 12 August 2015.  ^ Lisi 2011, pp. 485–486. ^ "Germany 1–1 Argentina". BBC Sport. 30 June 2006. Retrieved 12 August 2015.  ^ Lisi 2011, pp. 492–493. ^ Balagué 2013, pp. 382–383. ^ " Argentines
Argentines
Wonder Why Messi Sat Out". The New York Times. 2 July 2006. Retrieved 12 August 2015.  ^ a b c d Balagué 2013, pp. 384–387. ^ " Argentina
Argentina
into Last Eight of Copa". BBC Sport. 3 July 2007. Retrieved 12 August 2015.  ^ "Tevez Nets in Argentina
Argentina
Victory". BBC Sport. 29 June 2007. Retrieved 12 August 2015.  ^ "Missing Some Stars, Brazil Wins Copa América". The New York Times. 16 July 2007. Retrieved 12 August 2015.  ^ Caioli 2012, p. 156. ^ Homewood, Brian (6 August 2008). "Court Blocks Messi from Olympics Soccer". Reuters. Retrieved 12 August 2015.  ^ Hunter 2012, pp. 63–64. ^ a b Balagué 2013, pp. 436–437. ^ "Report and Statistics: Men's and Women's Olympic Football Tournaments Beijing 2008" (PDF). FIFA. p. 21. Retrieved 12 August 2015.  ^ a b c Lisi 2011, pp. 533–539. ^ Chadband, Ian (28 April 2009). " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Can Achieve More at Barcelona than Diego Maradona". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 13 August 2015.  ^ a b Balagué 2013, pp. 155–156, 405–406. ^ Smith, Rory (22 June 2010). "Greece 0 Argentina
Argentina
2: Match Report". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 13 August 2015.  ^ Gowar, Rex (22 June 2010). "Messi Captains Argentina
Argentina
for First Time". Reuters. Retrieved 13 August 2015.  ^ a b Lisi 2011, pp. 564–567. ^ " Adidas
Adidas
Golden Ball Nominees Announced". FIFA. 9 July 2010. Retrieved 13 August 2015.  ^ a b c d Balagué 2013, pp. 414–420. ^ a b Balagué, Guillem (8 July 2014). "Holland vs Argentina: How Coach Alejandro Sabella
Alejandro Sabella
Persuaded Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Not to Quit the National Team". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 13 August 2015.  ^ a b Cox, Michael (13 November 2014). " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Showing Some Promising Signs in a New Argentina
Argentina
Role". ESPN
ESPN
FC. Retrieved 13 August 2015.  ^ a b c d Balagué 2013, pp. 595–602. ^ Hughes, Rob (10 July 2014). "If Messi Is Argentina's Star, Then Mascherano Is the Glue". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 August 2015.  ^ a b c d Adamson, Mike (10 December 2012). "Lionel Messi's Incredible Record-Breaking Year in Numbers". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 August 2015.  ^ Bryan, Paul (10 December 2012). "Record-Breaking Messi Sees the Bigger Picture". UEFA. Retrieved 13 August 2015.  ^ " FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup
Qualifying: Paraguay 2 Argentina
Argentina
5". FourFourTwo. 11 September 2013. Retrieved 13 August 2015.  ^ a b "2014 FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup
Brazil Technical Report and Statistics" (PDF). FIFA. pp. 170–171. Retrieved 14 August 2015.  ^ Sanghera, Mandeep (15 June 2014). " Argentina
Argentina
2–1 Bos-Herce". BBC Sport. Retrieved 14 August 2015.  ^ Smyth, Rob (21 June 2014). " Argentina
Argentina
v Iran, World Cup 2014: Live". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 14 August 2015.  ^ Chowdhury, Saj (25 June 2014). "Nigeria 2–3 Argentina". BBC Sport. Retrieved 14 August 2015.  ^ Jurejko, Jonathan (1 July 2014). " Argentina
Argentina
1–0 Switzerland". BBC Sport. Retrieved 14 August 2015.  ^ Ferris, Ken (5 July 2014). " Argentina
Argentina
Beat Belgium to Reach First Semi since 1990". Reuters. Retrieved 14 August 2015.  ^ McNulty, Phil (9 July 2014). "Netherlands 0–0 Argentina". BBC Sport. Retrieved 14 August 2015.  ^ Futterman, Matthew (11 July 2014). "The World Cup Final: The Best Team vs. the Best Player". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 14 August 2015.  ^ "Why Mueller Is the World Cup Superstar Messi Only Dreams of Being". Eurosport. 12 July 2014. Archived from the original on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 14 August 2015.  ^ Murray, Scott (13 July 2014). "World Cup Final 2014: Germany v Argentina
Argentina
– as It Happened". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 August 2015.  ^ Bate, Adam (16 July 2014). "World Cup Final: Was Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Really a Disappointment in Brazil or Have We Just Become Numb to His Genius?". Sky Sports. Retrieved 14 August 2015.  ^ "World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Golden Ball Surprised Sepp Blatter". BBC Sport. 14 July 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2014.  ^ "Gerardo 'Tata' Martino Appointed Argentina
Argentina
Coach". CNN. 13 August 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2015.  ^ Gowar, Rex; Torres, Santiago; Palmer, Justin (29 June 2015). "Messi Bemoans Scoring Difficulties at Copa América". Reuters. Retrieved 14 August 2015.  ^ " Argentina
Argentina
2–2 Paraguay". BBC Sport. 13 June 2015. Retrieved 14 August 2015.  ^ "Agüero Header Gives Argentina
Argentina
Copa América
Copa América
Win over Uruguay". The Guardian. 17 June 2015. Retrieved 14 August 2015.  ^ a b Long, Gideon; Jimenez, Tony (21 June 2015). "Messi Wins 100th Argentina
Argentina
Cap". Reuters. Retrieved 14 August 2015.  ^ a b Wilson, Jonathan (1 July 2015). "Even Hostile Chile Fans Forced to Acknowledge Lionel Messi's Greatness". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 August 2015.  ^ Wilson, Jonathan (20 June 2015). " Argentina
Argentina
Win Group B after Hard-Fought Victory over Jamaica". FOX Soccer. Retrieved 14 August 2015.  ^ " Argentina
Argentina
Beat Colombia on Penalties to Reach Copa America Semifinal". ESPN
ESPN
FC. 26 June 2015. Retrieved 14 August 2015.  ^ Wilson, Jonathan (5 July 2015). "Hosts Chile Stun Argentina
Argentina
to Claim First Copa América
Copa América
Title on Penalties". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 August 2015.  ^ O'Brien, Rosalba (1 July 2015). " Argentina
Argentina
Odds-On Favorites to Lift Copa America". Reuters. Retrieved 14 August 2015.  ^ Garcia, Adriana (7 July 2015). "Argentina's Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Grateful for Support after Copa América
Copa América
Defeat". ESPN
ESPN
FC. Retrieved 14 August 2015.  ^ Delaney, Miguel (5 July 2015). "Copa America 2015: 'Destroyed' Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Hit by Argentina
Argentina
Trophy Drought". The Independent. Retrieved 14 August 2015.  ^ Ferris, Ken (5 August 2015). "Coach: I'd Have Stopped Playing for Argentina
Argentina
if I Was Messi". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 August 2015.  ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
leaves Argentina's friendly win vs. Honduras with back injury". ESPN
ESPN
FC. 27 May 2016. Retrieved 7 June 2016.  ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
exits Argentina
Argentina
friendly win vs. Honduras with back injury". ESPN
ESPN
FC. 27 May 2016. Retrieved 7 June 2016.  ^ "Messi trains alone ahead of Argentina's Copa America opener". FourFourTwo. 4 June 2016. Retrieved 7 June 2016.  ^ " Argentina
Argentina
top Chile in rematch of last year's Copa América
Copa América
final". The Guardian. 7 June 2016. Retrieved 7 June 2016.  ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
scores brilliant hat-trick as Argentina
Argentina
surge into quarter-finals". The Guardian. 11 June 2016. Retrieved 11 June 2016.  ^ "Match 16 : Argentina
Argentina
vs Panama". Copa América
Copa América
Centenario. 10 June 2016. Archived from the original on 9 June 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2016.  ^ "Match 27 : Argentina
Argentina
vs Venezuela". Copa América
Copa América
Centenario. 18 June 2016. Retrieved 18 June 2016.  ^ "Copa America: Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
equals Gabriel Batistuta's Argentina record". BBC Sport. 19 June 2016. Retrieved 19 June 2016.  ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
equals Argentina's all-time goal-scoring record". ESPN FC. 22 June 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2016.  ^ "Match 29 : United States vs Argentina". Copa América Centenario. 21 June 2016. Archived from the original on 18 June 2016. Retrieved 21 June 2016.  ^ "Devastated Messi announces likely retirement from Argentina". CNN. 27 June 2016.  ^ a b " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
retires from Argentina
Argentina
after Copa America final loss to Chile". ESPN
ESPN
FC. 27 June 2016.  ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
says his Argentina
Argentina
career is over after Copa América final defeat". The Guardian. 26 June 2016.  ^ " CONMEBOL
CONMEBOL
– stats".  ^ a b " Copa América
Copa América
2016: Awards". Copa America Organisation. 27 June 2016. Retrieved 27 June 2016.  ^ " Argentina
Argentina
don't want Messi to retire". Sky Sports. 28 June 2016.  ^ "Messi 'God's gift' to Argentina
Argentina
– president". AS. 28 June 2016.  ^ "La Ciudad homenajeó a Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
con una estatua en el Paseo de la Gloria". La Nacion (Argentine). 28 June 2016.  ^ "Inauguran en Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
una estatua en homenaje a Messi". El Mundo Deportivo (Spanish). 28 June 2016.  ^ "Desde Mauro Icardi y Puyol a Jorge Rial, los mensajes de aliento para Lionel Messi". La Nacion (Argentine). 27 June 2016.  ^ "Fans, President, Maradona Want Messi to Reconsider". The New York Times. 27 June 2016. Archived from the original on 6 July 2016.  ^ "#NoTeVayasLio, la campaña que inunda Argentina
Argentina
para pedir la continuidad de Messi". Informativos Telecinco
Informativos Telecinco
(Spanish). 28 June 2016.  ^ "Macri, Maradona and the Argentine people rally together to prompt Messi U-turn". Sport. 28 June 2016.  ^ "Lionel Messi: Argentina
Argentina
striker reverses decision to retire from national team". 12 August 2016.  ^ Gonzalez, Roger (3 July 2016). "La Nacion claims to know that Lionel Messi will return to Argentina
Argentina
national team". CBSSports.com. Retrieved 5 July 2016.  ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
to make Argentina
Argentina
return after brief international retirement". ESPN
ESPN
FC. 12 August 2016. Retrieved 13 August 2016.  ^ "Messi strikes back as Argentina
Argentina
sink Uruguay". beIN SPORTS. 1 September 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2016.  ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
suspended for four matches". FIFA. 28 March 2017.  ^ "Lionel Messi: Barcelona and Argentina
Argentina
forward banned for 'insulting' assistant ref". BBC Sport. 28 March 2017.  ^ FIFA.com (5 May 2017). " FIFA
FIFA
Appeal Committee passes decision on Lionel Messi". FIFA. Retrieved 6 June 2017.  ^ a b " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
hat-trick secures Argentina's passage to World Cup". The Guardian. 11 October 2017.  ^ "Messi lifts Argentina
Argentina
into World Cup with Uruguay, Colombia but Chile out". ESPN
ESPN
FC. 10 October 2017. Retrieved 10 October 2017.  ^ a b "Messi, Suarez share record for goals in CONMEBOL
CONMEBOL
World Cup qualifiers". ESPN
ESPN
FC. 10 October 2017. Retrieved 10 October 2017.  ^ a b c Schnibben, Cordt (6 June 2012). "The Golden Yell: Ronaldo and Messi Battle to Define a Football Era". Der Spiegel. Retrieved 17 August 2015.  ^ a b c d Ritter, Karl (12 July 2014). "Five Reasons Why Messi Stands out in Soccer World". Boston Globe. Retrieved 17 August 2015.  ^ "Messi, goals for 2010". Mundo Deportivo (Spanish). 7 December 2009.  ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
becomes the 'Atomic Flea'". Goal (Spanish). 20 September 2012.  ^ "Messi, The Atomic Flea who became the best in the world". AS (Spanish). 28 January 2016.  ^ a b Garside, Kevin (29 March 2010). "Arsenal v Barcelona: Lionel Messi Making Case for World's Greatest Ever Player". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 17 August 2015.  ^ Brown, Lucas (30 September 2005). " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
– the New Maradona?". UEFA. Retrieved 17 August 2015.  ^ Balagué 2013, p. 553. ^ a b Monti, Fabio (8 April 2010). "Controllo, Corsa, Tocco di Palla: Perché nel Calcio Piccolo è Bello" [Control, Stroke and Touch on the Ball: Because in Football Small Is Beautiful]. Corriere della Sera (in Italian). Retrieved 17 August 2015.  ^ a b Tomas, Francesc (25 June 2015). "Six Reasons Why Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Is the World's Best". ESPN
ESPN
FC. Retrieved 17 August 2015.  ^ Juan Jiménez (12 March 2016). "The one record Messi's ashamed of: 7 missed penalties". as.com. Retrieved 8 November 2016.  ^ Fitzpatrick, Richard (13 March 2018). "Why Leo Messi Is so Good at Free Kicks but so Average at Penalties". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 28 March 2018.  ^ McTear, Euan (23 January 2018). "Why doesn't Messi's genius translate to the penalty spot?". Tifo Football. Retrieved 28 March 2018.  ^ Scott Davis (6 June 2015). "Here's what makes Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
so impossible to defend". Business Insider. Retrieved 8 November 2015.  ^ Barney Ronay (7 May 2015). "Lionel Messi: the genius who operates to a different set of physical rules". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 November 2015.  ^ a b Matchett, Karl (25 April 2017). "The Story Behind Lionel Messi's 5 Most Iconic Barcelona Celebrations". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 18 December 2017.  ^ Richard Martin (19 April 2015). "In focus: Messi's changing role". UEFA. Retrieved 8 November 2016.  ^ "Maradona Hails Messi as Successor". BBC Sport. 24 February 2006. Retrieved 17 August 2015.  ^ Ball, Phil (23 February 2006). "Britain v Spain (Sort Of)". ESPN
ESPN
FC. Retrieved 17 August 2015.  ^ Minshull, Phil (30 March 2010). "Is Messi the Greatest Ever?". BBC Sport. Retrieved 17 August 2015.  ^ "Messi Es el Mejor Jugador que Veré Jamás" ['Messi Is the Best Player I Have Ever Seen']. El Mundo (in Spanish). 29 August 2009. Retrieved 17 August 2015.  ^ "Lionel Messi: Is the Barcelona and Argentina
Argentina
Star the Greatest Player Ever?". The Daily Telegraph. 29 May 2011. Retrieved 17 August 2015.  ^ Jenson, Pete (30 May 2015). "Lionel Messi: Is the Barcelona Forward the Greatest of Them All?". The Independent. Retrieved 17 August 2015.  ^ Cairns, Dan (8 January 2013). "How Does Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Stack up against Football Legends?". BBC Newsbeat. Retrieved 17 August 2015.  ^ "Valdano: 'Messi Es Maradona Todos Los Días'" [Valdano: 'Messi Is Maradona Every Day'] (in Spanish). FIFA. 7 October 2013. Archived from the original on 8 September 2015. Retrieved 17 August 2015.  ^ "Menotti: 'Messi Está al Nivel del Mejor Maradona Que Vi'" [Menotti: 'Messi Is at the Level of the Best Maradona That I Saw']. AS (in Spanish). 10 January 2014. Retrieved 17 August 2015.  ^ Hunter 2012, pp. 7–8. ^ Brennan, Dan (12 August 2013). "Face to Face: Javier Zanetti". World Soccer. Retrieved 17 August 2015.  ^ "Sin Dudas, Messi Es Mejor que Maradona" ['Without Doubt, Messi Is Better than Maradona']. Clarín (in Spanish). 31 December 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2015.  ^ Longman, Jeré (12 July 2014). "Adept? Yes. Adored? Not Yet". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 August 2015.  ^ Mora y Araujo, Marcela (23 December 2009). " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Is Not the New Maradona
New Maradona
– He Can Be Better than That". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 August 2015.  ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Vomits Because of Nerves, Says Argentina's Alejandro Sabella". The Guardian. 10 June 2014. Retrieved 17 August 2015.  ^ " Argentina
Argentina
federation to have affairs managed by emergency FIFA panel". ESPN
ESPN
FC. 24 June 2016.  ^ "Messi paid the salaries of Argentina's security team". Marca. Spain. 18 November 2016.  ^ "Lionel Messi's kind gesture to security staff with Argentina". Sport. 18 November 2016.  ^ Hunter, Graham (28 November 2010). "The Game's Best Rivalry". ESPN FC. Retrieved 17 August 2015.  ^ "Messi v Ronaldo". Sky Sports. 17 October 2011. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014.  ^ "Barcelona's Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Blames Media for Inventing Rivalry with Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo". The Daily Telegraph. 15 August 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2015.  ^ Snowball, Ben (11 June 2015). "Lionel Messi: Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo
Is Not My Rival". Eurosport. Retrieved 17 August 2015.  ^ "Ballons d'Or winners list". The Telegraph. 2 April 2017.  ^ Arotaritei, Sorin; Di Maggio, Roberto; Stokkermans, Karel. "Golden Boot (Soulier d'Or) Awards". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 17 August 2015.  ^ Mendes, Chris (24 June 2014). "World Cup 2014: Cristiano Ronaldo's Personal Duel with Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Is Affecting His Performances for Portugal". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 17 August 2015.  ^ Hughes, Rob (13 September 2011). "Ronaldo May Look Like the Best, but There Is Someone Better". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 August 2015.  ^ Pinto, Pedro; Montague, James (29 May 2012). "Cristiano Ronaldo: I'm Better than Messi". CNN. Retrieved 17 August 2015.  ^ Lewis, Tim (24 November 2013). "Cristiano Ronaldo: He's Got a God-Given Talent – and He Knows It". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 August 2015.  ^ a b c Badenhausen, Kurt (16 May 2014). " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Reaches $50 Million-A-Year Deal With Barcelona". Forbes. Retrieved 17 August 2015.  ^ "President Obama honors the Rapids". Colorado Rapids (Owned by Stan Kroenke). 27 June 2011. Retrieved 31 March 2017. THE PRESIDENT: Absolutely. That is me and Messi. We're right up there. Absolutely. (Laughter.)  ^ Rainbow, Jamie (18 March 2014). "Stat of the Day: Top 20 Best Paid Players and Coaches". World Soccer. Retrieved 22 August 2015.  ^ Ben Reynolds (8 June 2016). " Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo
first footballer to top Forbes
Forbes
rich list of highest-earning athletes". Sky Sports. Retrieved 9 June 2016.  ^ a b " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Signs New Barcelona Contract, Set To Become World's Highest-Paid Footballer". Forbes. Retrieved 17 December 2017 ^ Long, Michael (20 May 2015). "The World's 50 Most Marketable 2015". SportsPro. Retrieved 22 August 2015.  ^ Caioli 2012, pp. 94–97. ^ "Retrospect: Adidas
Adidas
F50 Messi Collection". Soccer Bible. 18 March 2015. Retrieved 11 December 2015.  ^ "Backed by Messi". Adidas
Adidas
(press release). 25 September 2015. Retrieved 11 December 2015.  ^ a b "The World's Fourth Most Marketable Athlete – Lionel Messi". SportsPro. 27 May 2011. Retrieved 22 August 2015.  ^ Badenhausen, Kurt (10 January 2011). " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Voted Soccer's Best, But Sponsors Stay Away". Forbes. Retrieved 11 December 2015.  ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
and Dolce & Gabbana: An Assist in Style" (PDF). Dolce & Gabbana (press release). Retrieved 22 August 2015.  ^ Millerchip, Oliver (3 February 2014). "Messi to Front New Gillette Campaign". SportsPro. Retrieved 22 August 2015.  ^ "Argentine Soccer Star Leo Messi Named Global Brand Ambassador for Turkish Airlines". Reuters (press release). 6 December 2012. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 22 August 2015.  ^ McPherson, Ian (28 February 2013). "Messi Cashes in with Qatari Contract". SportsPro. Retrieved 22 August 2015.  ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Is Global Brand Ambassador for Tata Motors". Firstpost. 3 November 2015. Archived from the original on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 18 November 2015.  ^ Guinness World Records
Guinness World Records
2014, p. 102. ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
to Star on Cover of EA Sports
EA Sports
FIFA
FIFA
for Fourth Straight Year". Sports Illustrated. 15 June 2015. Retrieved 22 August 2015.  ^ Henry, Thierry (21 April 2011). "The 2011 Time 100: Lionel Messi, God of the Field". Time. Retrieved 22 August 2015.  ^ Hamm, Mia (18 April 2012). "The World's 100 Most Influential People 2012: Lionel Messi". Time. Retrieved 22 August 2015.  ^ "Messi Joins Facebook, Nets 7m Followers". ESPN
ESPN
FC. 6 April 2011. Retrieved 22 August 2015.  ^ Giuliano, Karissa (9 June 2015). "The 10 Most Popular Celebrities on Facebook". CNBC. Retrieved 22 August 2015.  ^ Borg, Chris (2 December 2014). "Ballon D'Or: Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
vs. Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo
– Battle of the Brands". CNN. Retrieved 22 August 2015.  ^ "Top 10 Most Marketable Footballers in the World" (PDF). Repucom (press release). 28 May 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2015.  ^ "Messi's Left Foot – Yours for $5.25 Million". CNN. 6 March 2013. Retrieved 22 August 2015.  ^ Krasselt, Kaitlyn (21 June 2014). "Cannes to Cannes: YouTube's Most Viewed Ads". USA Today. Retrieved 22 August 2015.  ^ Lorenzetti, Laura (3 June 2015). "YouTube Users Say This Is the 'Ad of the Decade'". Time. Retrieved 22 August 2015.  ^ "The Best Sports Photo of the Year Goes To... Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
and 'the Final Game'". Eurosport. 12 February 2015. Archived from the original on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 22 August 2015.  ^ Barker, Andrew (27 August 2014). "Venice Film
Film
Review: 'Messi'". Variety. Retrieved 22 August 2015.  ^ " Argentina
Argentina
hosts Lionel Messi's 'wedding of the century'". BBC News. Retrieved 1 July 2017.  ^ Fitzpatrick, Richard (23 June 2017). "The Machine of '87: Messi's Boyhood Teammates Recall Early Signs of Greatness". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 25 June 2017.  ^ "Messi Shares Baby Joy". beIN Sports. 17 June 2012. Archived from the original on 19 August 2015.  ^ "Messi Junior Named Thiago". ESPN
ESPN
FC. 2 November 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2015.  ^ "Lionel Messi's Wife Expecting Second Child, Barcelona Star Says". ESPN
ESPN
FC. 30 April 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2015.  ^ "Messi's Brother Confirms Birth of Barcelona Star's Second Child". FourFourTwo. 11 September 2015. Retrieved 11 September 2015.  ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
marries stunning childhood sweetheart Antonella Roccuzzo in Argentine home town". The Independent Ireland. Retrieved 1 July 2017.  ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
and wife Antonella Roccuzzo expecting their third child". ESPN
ESPN
FC. 15 October 2017. Retrieved 16 October 2017.  ^ Smith, Alex (15 October 2017). " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
and wife Antonella Roccuzzo have big news". The Mirror. Retrieved 15 October 2017.  ^ "Barcelona news: Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
announces arrival of third child after withdrawing from squad to face Malaga Goal.com". Retrieved 2018-03-10.  ^ Balagué 2013, pp. 31, 143, 570. ^ a b c d Balagué 2013, pp. 576–577. ^ Wright, Chris (5 November 2012). "After Just 72 Hours on the Planet, Thiago Messi Signs for Newell's Old Boys". ESPN
ESPN
FC. Retrieved 25 August 2015.  ^ "Leo Messi: Goodwill Ambassador". UNICEF. 25 May 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2015.  ^ Rogers, Iain; Palmer, Justin. "Barcelona Extend UNICEF
UNICEF
Shirt Deal to 2016". Reuters. Retrieved 25 August 2015.  ^ "Leo Messi Activity Highlights". UNICEF. 14 May 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2015.  ^ "Leo Messi's Son Turns One and Celebrates with UNICEF". UNICEF (press release). 28 October 2013. Retrieved 25 August 2015.  ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Fast Facts". CNN. 25 June 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2015.  ^ "Ooredoo, Messi Foundation Continue Expansion: Three New Mobile Health Clinics Launched in Algeria". Arab Times. 3 August 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2015.  ^ "' Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
and Friends' Soccer Tour Is One of Many Causes Argentine Superstar Supports". New England Sports Network. 22 June 2012. Retrieved 22 August 2015.  ^ "Partners". Leo Messi Foundation. Retrieved 25 August 2015.  ^ "Argentina's Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
wins libel case, donates damages to charity". ESPN
ESPN
FC. 7 June 2016.  ^ "Messi wins a case against 'La Razon' newspaper". Sport. 6 June 2016.  ^ Much, Mauritius; Obermayer, Bastian (5 April 2016). "The Small Kaiser". Süddeutsche Zeitung. Retrieved 10 April 2016.  ^ "Messi, father guilty of tax fraud, given suspended 21-month sentences". Sports Illustrated. 6 July 2016. Retrieved 6 July 2016.  ^ "Barcelona's Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
in tax court: I played football and trusted my father". ESPN
ESPN
FC. 2 June 2016.  ^ Caioli 2012, pp. 69–71. ^ "Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini: Matches 2015–16". BDFutbol. Retrieved 6 September 2015.  ^ "Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini: Matches 2016–17". BDFutbol. Retrieved 27 October 2016.  ^ "Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini: Matches 2017–18". BDFutbol. Retrieved 27 August 2017.  ^ "Lionel Messi: Player Profile". ESPN
ESPN
FC. Retrieved 9 September 2015.  ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
achievements". FC Barcelona. Retrieved 4 June 2017.  ^ a b " Andrés Iniesta
Andrés Iniesta
and Leo Messi win 30th trophy with Barcelona". Sport EN. 27 May 2017. Retrieved 28 May 2017.  ^ "Iniesta and Messi, 30 trophies as Barça players FC Barcelona". FC Barcelona. Retrieved 2018-03-03.  ^ "After Zlatan Ibrahimovic's 32nd trophy win, who are the most decorated players in football?". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2018-03-03.  ^ Sport (2016-08-18). "He's won 29 trophies... but this was also Lionel Messi's first". sport. Retrieved 2018-03-03.  ^ "European Footballer of the Year ("Ballon d'Or")". The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 9 May 2017.  ^ a b " FIFA
FIFA
Ballon d'Or: History". FIFA. Retrieved 13 September 2015.  ^ "Messi, Neuer Heralded as Brazil 2014's Best". FIFA. 13 July 2014. Retrieved 27 August 2015.  ^ a b c "Profile: Lionel Messi". UEFA. Retrieved 13 September 2015.  ^ "Messi voted 2009 World Soccer Player of the Year". World Soccer. Retrieved 6 July 2017.  ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
voted 2011 World Soccer's Player of the Year". World Soccer. Retrieved 6 July 2017.  ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
wins 2012 World Soccer Player of the Year award". World Soccer. Retrieved 6 July 2017.  ^ "World Soccer Awards: Messi leads the way as Barcelona sweep the board". World Soccer. Retrieved 6 July 2017.  ^ "Onze d'Or all-time winners". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 6 July 2017.  ^ "2015 Globe Soccer Awards". globesoccer.com. Retrieved 6 July 2017.  ^ a b c d e Otero, Paul M. (12 November 2013). "Palmarés de un Genio: El Coleccionista de Trofeos" [Honours of a Genius: The Collector of Trophies]. Marca (in Spanish). Spain. Retrieved 13 September 2015.  ^ a b "Messi, Mejor Delantero y Mejor Jugador" [Messi, Best Forward and Best Player] (in Spanish). Liga de Fútbol Profesional. 2 December 2013. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 13 September 2015.  ^ a b "Lionel Messi, 2014–15 Liga BBVA Best Player". Liga de Fútbol Profesional. 30 November 2015. Retrieved 8 January 2016.  ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
named Best Striker in La Liga
La Liga
Santander 2015–16". Liga de Fútbol Profesional. 24 October 2016. Retrieved 25 October 2016.  ^ a b c " FIFA
FIFA
Club World Cup: Awards". FIFA. Archived from the original on 7 April 2015.  ^ "Barcelona Trio Sweep Awards". FIFA. 20 December 2015. Retrieved 8 January 2016.  ^ a b " FIFA
FIFA
World Youth Championship Netherlands 2005". FIFA. Retrieved 27 August 2015.  ^ "Premios Olimpia 2015: La Judoca Paula Pareto se Llevó el Oro y los de Plata Fueron Para Messi, Marco Ruben, Andrés Nocioni y Adolfo Cambiaso" [Olympia Awards 2015: The Judoca Paula Pareto Took the Gold and Silver Was for Messi, Marco Ruben, Andrés Nocioni and Adolfo Cambiaso] (in Spanish). LRA Radio Nacional. 23 December 2015. Retrieved 8 January 2016.  ^ "Los Ganadores de Olimpia de Plata en Cada Deporte, con los Medallistas Dorados de Río entre los Destacados" [The Winners of the Silver Olimpia in Each Sport, with the Gold Medalists of Río among the Highlights]. La Nacion (in Spanish). 20 December 2016. Retrieved 21 December 2016.  ^ "Delfina Pignatiello se quedó con el Olimpia de Oro". TN (in Spanish). Buenos Aires. 20 December 2017. Retrieved 26 January 2018.  ^ a b c Caioli 2012, p. 248. ^ "BeIN Sports: Messi habría rechazado el MVP del torneo" [BeIN Sports: Messi reportedly rejects MVP award for tournament] (in Spanish). AS.com. 5 July 2015. Retrieved 5 July 2015.  ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
allegedly refuses best player award at Copa America as trophy removed from ceremony". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 5 December 2015.  ^ "Messi rechazó recoger el premio a MVP de la Copa América". Marca (in Spanish). Spain. Retrieved 5 December 2015.  ^ "Messi rechazó el MVP del Argentina-Paraguay de la Copa América". Sport. Retrieved 5 December 2015.  ^ "2008 World Soccer Awards results". worldsoccer.com. Retrieved 6 July 2017.  ^ " Bravo Award all-time winners". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 6 July 2017.  ^ "The World's Best Playmaker
Playmaker
2015". International Federation of Football History and Statistics. Retrieved 8 January 2016.  ^ Robert Ley (29 December 2016). "The World's Best Playmaker
Playmaker
2016: Lionel Messi". IFFHS.de. Retrieved 27 April 2017.  ^ "The World's Best Playmaker
Playmaker
2017: One More For Lionel Messi". iffhs.de. 7 December 2017. Retrieved 7 December 2017.  ^ a b "IFFHS: Former Results". International Federation of Football History and Statistics. Retrieved 27 August 2015.  ^ "The IFFHS
IFFHS
Men World Team 2017". IFFHS.de. 12 December 2017. Retrieved 12 December 2017.  ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
named Liga BBVA Player of the Month for January". Liga de Fútbol Profesional. 12 February 2016.  ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
named LaLiga Santander Player of the Month for April". La Liga. 12 May 2017.  ^ Spencer, Jonathan (18 December 2017). " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
picks up the Pichichi award and Alfredo Di Stefano trophy at ceremony in Barcelona following successful 2016–17 La Liga
La Liga
campaign". Daily Mail. Retrieved 26 January 2018.  ^ "Spain – Footballer of the Year". The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 1 November 2017.  ^ "Messi recibe el Trofeo EFE
Trofeo EFE
como mejor futbolista latinoamericano de la Liga BBVA". Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 14 May 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2016.  ^ EN, Sport (28 November 2015). "Leo Messi presented with the sixth Memorial Aldo Rovira award". sport (in Spanish). Retrieved 16 May 2016.  ^ CatalunyaPress.es (23 June 2017). "Messi gana el trofeo Aldo Rovira por quinta vez". Catalunyapress (in Spanish). Retrieved 22 August 2017.  ^ " FIFPro
FIFPro
and FIFA
FIFA
Present the 2015 World XI". FIFPro. 11 January 2016. Retrieved 12 February 2016.  ^ "The Best named at FIFA
FIFA
Football Awards". FIFA. 9 January 2017. Retrieved 12 January 2017.  ^ " FIFA
FIFA
FIFPro
FIFPro
World11". FIFA. 24 October 2017. Retrieved 24 October 2017.  ^ "Team of the Year 2015: Lionel Messi". UEFA. 8 January 2016. Retrieved 8 January 2016.  ^ "Facts and figures: UEFA.com Team of the Year 2017". UEFA.com: The official website for European football. UEFA. 11 January 2018. Retrieved 13 January 2018.  ^ ESM Top-Elf: Ein Bayern-Star in Europas Elite. Abendzeitung (in German). 8 June 2017. Retrieved 12 June 2017.  ^ Brewin, John (25 December 2009). "World Team of the Decade". ESPNsoccernet. ESPN. Retrieved 29 January 2018.  ^ "Ultimate Team of the Year: the all-time XI". UEFA. 12 January 2018. Retrieved 26 January 2018.  ^ Rainbow, Jamie (2 July 2013). "The Greatest XI: how the panel voted". World Soccer. Retrieved 28 January 2018.  ^ "The 2014–15 Liga BBVA Ideal XI". Liga de Fútbol Profesional. 15 June 2015. Retrieved 27 August 2015.  ^ "Atletico dominate UEFA's La Liga
La Liga
team of the season". Marca. Spain. 16 May 2016. Retrieved 30 September 2017.  ^ "Once ideal de LaLiga para UEFA: 4 del Madrid, 3 del Barça..." [UEFA's LaLiga All-Star XI: 4 from Madrid, 3 from Barça...]. Diario AS (in Spanish). 22 May 2017. Retrieved 10 June 2017.  ^ "Dream Team Winners Earn Sony Prizes". FIFA. 23 July 2014. Retrieved 27 August 2015.  ^ "El Once Ideal de la Copa América" [The Ideal Eleven of the Copa América]. La República (in Spanish). 16 July 2007. Retrieved 16 February 2016.  ^ a b "The Copa América
Copa América
2011 Dream Team". Copa America Organisation. 8 June 2015. Archived from the original on 30 September 2015. Retrieved 13 September 2015.  ^ " Copa América
Copa América
2015: Team of the Tournament". Copa America Organisation. 5 July 2015. Archived from the original on 2 September 2015. Retrieved 27 August 2015.  ^ "La Selección de Todos los Tiempos" [The Team of All Time] (in Spanish). Argentine Football Association. 4 January 2016. Retrieved 8 January 2016.  ^ "Leo Messi wins UEFA
UEFA
goal of the season award". FC Barcelona. Retrieved 26 August 2016.  ^ " Robinho
Robinho
Disputará a Messi y Riquelme la Copa América
Copa América
y el MVP del Torneo" [ Robinho
Robinho
Battles Messi and Riquelme for the Copa América
Copa América
and the MVP of the Tournament]. Diario AS (in Spanish). 14 July 2007. Retrieved 16 February 2016.  ^ "Los 10 Mejores Goles de la Copa América
Copa América
2007" [The 10 Best Goals of the 2007 Copa América]. Copa America Organisation. 6 May 2015. Archived from the original on 9 May 2015. Retrieved 16 February 2016.  ^ "ESPYs: Lionel Messi, Robbie Keane, U.S. women's team all win awards". ESPN
ESPN
FC. 15 July 2015. Retrieved 15 September 2017.  ^ "L'Equipe names Leo Messi 'Champion of Champions' in 2011". FC Barcelona. 26 December 2011. Retrieved 28 November 2017.  ^

"Spanish Primera División Statistics: Top Scorers 2009–10". ESPN FC. Retrieved 27 August 2015.  "Spanish Primera División Statistics: Top Scorers 2011–12". ESPN FC. Retrieved 27 August 2015.  "Spanish Primera División Statistics: Top Scorers 2012–13". ESPN FC. Retrieved 27 August 2015.  "Spanish Primera División Statistics: Top Scorers 2016–17". ESPN FC. Retrieved 21 May 2017. 

^

"Spanish Primera División Statistics: Top Assists 2010–11". ESPN FC. Retrieved 27 August 2015.  "Spanish Primera División Statistics: Top Assists 2014–15". ESPN FC. Retrieved 27 August 2015.  "Spanish Primera División Statistics: Top Assists 2015–16". ESPN FC. Retrieved 16 May 2016. 

^

" Copa del Rey
Copa del Rey
Top Scorer: 2008–09". World Football. Retrieved 27 August 2015.  " Copa del Rey
Copa del Rey
Top Scorer: 2010–11". World Football. Retrieved 27 August 2015.  " Copa del Rey
Copa del Rey
Top Scorer: 2013–14". World Football. Retrieved 27 August 2015.  " Copa del Rey
Copa del Rey
Top Scorer: 2015–16". World Football. Retrieved 24 May 2016.  " Copa del Rey
Copa del Rey
Top Scorer: 2016–17". World Football. Retrieved 28 May 2017. 

^ "Spanish Copa del Rey
Copa del Rey
Statistics". ESPN
ESPN
FC. Retrieved 22 October 2017.  ^

" UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League
Statistics: Top Scorers 2008–09". ESPN
ESPN
FC. Retrieved 27 August 2015.  " UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League
Statistics: Top Scorers 2009–10". ESPN
ESPN
FC. Retrieved 27 August 2015.  " UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League
Statistics: Top Scorers 2010–11". ESPN
ESPN
FC. Retrieved 27 August 2015.  " UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League
Statistics: Top Scorers 2011–12". ESPN
ESPN
FC. Retrieved 27 August 2015.  " UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League
Statistics: Top Scorers 2014–15". ESPN
ESPN
FC. Retrieved 27 August 2015. 

^

" UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League
2011–12 Statistics: Assists". UEFA. Retrieved 27 August 2015.  " UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League
2014–15 Statistics: Assists". UEFA. Retrieved 27 August 2015. 

^ " FIFA
FIFA
Club World Cup Japan 2011: Statistics". FIFA. Retrieved 8 January 2016.  ^ " Copa América
Copa América
2015 Stats Centre: Player Stats Attack". Copa America Organisation. Retrieved 27 August 2015.  ^ "Copa America 2016: Six players who have starred in the United States". Sky Sports. 25 June 2016.  ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Wins Ballon d'Or
Ballon d'Or
over Ronaldo and Neymar". BBC Sport. 11 January 2016. Retrieved 12 February 2016.  ^ "Lionel Messi: The Goal That Started the Barcelona Legend". BBC Sport. 1 May 2015. Retrieved 27 August 2015.  ^ "12 La Liga
La Liga
scoring records held by Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
and Cristiano Ronaldo". Fox Sports. Retrieved 4 March 2018.  ^ "Five incredible records shared by Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
and Cristiano Ronaldo". Sportskeeda. 3 May 2017. Retrieved 27 November 2017.  ^ "Top scorers in a single European game". UEFA. Retrieved 6 July 2017.  ^ "Five-goal Messi leaves Leverkusen spellbound". UEFA. Retrieved 6 July 2017.  ^ UEFA.com. "What records does Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
hold?". UEFA. Retrieved 2 March 2018.  ^ UEFA.com. "Records Ronaldo and Messi have not broken (yet)". UEFA. Retrieved 4 March 2018.  ^ Chavez, Christopher (16 September 2015). " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Becomes Youngest to 100 Champions League Appearances". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 13 February 2016.  ^ Saffer, Paul (11 August 2015). "Messi, Alves among Super Cup Record-Breakers". UEFA. Retrieved 13 February 2016.  ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Sets Copa América
Copa América
Assists Record, Thrills Gillette Stadium". NESN. 18 June 2016.  ^ a b "Messi Tiene Presente a Suárez". El País (in Spanish). 1 December 2015. Retrieved 14 February 2016.  ^ Hannah, Ralph (25 November 2014). "Double for Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
as Barcelona Star Takes Both La Liga
La Liga
and Champions League All-Time Goals Records in a Week". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 27 August 2015.  ^ "Messi enjoys record-breaking day for Barca". ESPN. 24 February 2018. Retrieved 5 March 2018.  ^ " FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona
1–3 Real Madrid: To be continued..." FC Barcelona. Retrieved 3 March 2018.  ^ "Most Goals Scored in a Season in the Top Division of Spanish Football". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 27 August 2015.  ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
is the first player to score 300 goals in La Liga". ESPN
ESPN
FC. 17 February 2016. Retrieved 14 May 2017.  ^ "Lionel Messi, the only player to have scored against 36 different First Division clubs". FC Barcelona. 24 February 2018. Retrieved 2 March 2018.  ^ "Messi Sets LaLiga Record With First Half Brace". beIN SPORTS USA. 24 February 2018. Retrieved 2 March 2018.  ^ " Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
breaks Argentina's all-time goal-scoring record". ESPN FC. 22 June 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2016.  ^ "Messi, máximo artillero histórico de la selección argentina". FIFA
FIFA
(Spanish). 22 June 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2016.  ^ "Messi, único dueño del gol". Argentine Football Association (Spanish). 22 June 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2016.  ^ EN, Sport (5 September 2015). "Messi's now scored vs. EVERY South American country... except Argentina". Retrieved 14 May 2017.  ^ "It's Lionel Messi's 28th Birthday, Here Are 10 of His Stunning Career Stats..." Eurosport. 24 June 2015. Retrieved 27 August 2015.  ^ "Di Maria beats Messi to Argentine Player of the Year award". The Independent. 18 December 2014. Retrieved 4 March 2018.  ^ Sport (22 December 2015). "Leo Messi, nominado al Premio Olimpia 2015". sport (in Spanish). Retrieved 4 March 2018.  ^ "Premios Olimpia 2016. Se elige al mejor deportista del año: estas son todas las ternas" (in Spanish). Retrieved 4 March 2018.  ^ "Los ganadores de los Premios Olimpia". ESPN.com.ar. Retrieved 4 March 2018.  ^ "Insatiable Messi grabs a 38th career hat-trick against Espanyol". FC Barcelona. Retrieved 3 March 2018.  ^ "Lionel Messi's record-breaking el clásico in numbers". The Independent. 23 December 2017. Retrieved 3 March 2018.  ^ a b c d e f g h " FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona
Individual Records". FC Barcelona. Retrieved 14 March 2018.  ^ a b c d e "L. Messi". Soccerway. Retrieved 27 August 2017.  ^ Wallace, Sam; Bull, J. J. (20 February 2018). "Chelsea 1 Barcelona 1: Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
punishes single mistake to take crucial away goal to Nou Camp". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 5 March 2018. 

Bibliography

Balagué, Guillem (2013). Messi. Orion Books. ISBN 978-1-4091-4659-9.  Caioli, Luca (2012). Messi: The Inside Story of the Boy Who Became a Legend. Corinthian Books. ISBN 978-1-90685-040-1.  Caioli, Luca (2015). Messi: More than a Superstar. Icon Books. ISBN 978-190685-091-3.  Guinness World Records
Guinness World Records
2015. Guinness World Records. 2014. ISBN 978-1-908843-65-4.  Hunter, Graham (2012). Barça: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World. BackPage Press. ISBN 978-0-9564971-8-5.  Lisi, Clemente Angelo (2011). A History of the World Cup: 1930–2010. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-7754-2.  Tomkins, Paul (2007). Above Us Only Sky: Liverpool FC's Global Revolution. Anchor Print Group. ISBN 978-0-9556367-0-7. 

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lionel Messi.

Wikiquote has quotations related to: Lionel Messi

Find more aboutLionel Messiat's sister projects

Media from Wikimedia Commons News from Wikinews Quotations from Wikiquote Learning resources from Wikiversity

Official website (in Catalan) (in Spanish) Profile for FC Barcelona Profile at La Liga Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
at ESPN
ESPN
FC Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
at BDFutbol Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
at Soccerway Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
at Soccerbase Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
at National-Football-Teams.com Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
FIFA
FIFA
competition record Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
UEFA
UEFA
competition record

v t e

FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona
– current squad

1 Ter Stegen 2 Semedo 3 Piqué 4 Rakitić 5 Busquets 6 D. Suárez 8 Iniesta (c) 9 L. Suárez 10 Messi 11 Dembélé 13 Cillessen 14 Coutinho 15 Paulinho 17 Alcácer 18 Alba 19 Digne 20 Roberto 21 Gomes 22 Vidal 23 Umtiti 24 Mina 25 Vermaelen Coach: Valverde

Argentina
Argentina
squads

v t e

Argentina
Argentina
squad – 2006 FIFA
FIFA
World Cup

1 Abbondanzieri 2 Ayala 3 Sorín (c) 4 Coloccini 5 Cambiasso 6 Heinze 7 Saviola 8 Mascherano 9 Crespo 10 Riquelme 11 Tevez 12 Franco 13 Scaloni 14 Palacio 15 Milito 16 Aimar 17 Cufré 18 Rodríguez 19 Messi 20 Cruz 21 Burdisso 22 González 23 Ustari Coach: Pékerman

v t e

Argentina
Argentina
squad – 2007 Copa América
Copa América
runners-up

1 Abbondanzieri 2 Ayala (c) 3 Díaz 4 Ibarra 5 Gago 6 Heinze 7 Palacio 8 Zanetti 9 Crespo 10 Riquelme 11 Tevez 12 Carrizo 13 González 14 Mascherano 15 G. Milito 16 Aimar 17 Burdisso 18 Messi 19 Cambiasso 20 Verón 21 D. Milito 22 Orión Coach: Basile

v t e

Argentina
Argentina
men's football squad – 2008 Summer Olympics – Gold medal

1 Ustari 2 Garay 3 Monzón 4 Zabaleta 5 Gago 6 Fazio 7 Sosa 8 Banega 9 Lavezzi 10 Riquelme (c) 11 Di María 12 Pareja 13 Acosta 14 Mascherano 15 Messi 16 Agüero 17 Buonanotte 18 Romero 22 Navarro Coach: Batista

v t e

Argentina
Argentina
squad – 2010 FIFA
FIFA
World Cup

1 Pozo 2 Demichelis 3 C. Rodríguez 4 Burdisso 5 Bolatti 6 Heinze 7 Di María 8 Verón 9 Higuaín 10 Messi 11 Tevez 12 Garcé 13 Samuel 14 Mascherano (c) 15 Otamendi 16 Agüero 17 Gutiérrez 18 Palermo 19 Milito 20 M. Rodríguez 21 Andújar 22 Romero 23 Pastore Coach: Maradona

v t e

Argentina
Argentina
squad – 2011 Copa América

1 Carrizo 2 Garay 3 Zabaleta 4 Burdisso 5 Cambiasso 6 G. Milito 7 Di María 8 Zanetti 9 Higuaín 10 Messi 11 Tevez 12 Andújar 13 Pareja 14 Mascherano (c) 15 Biglia 16 Agüero 17 Rojo 18 Pastore 19 Banega 20 Gago 21 Lavezzi 22 D. Milito 23 Romero Coach: Batista

v t e

Argentina
Argentina
squad – 2014 FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup
runners-up

1 Romero 2 Garay 3 Campagnaro 4 Zabaleta 5 Gago 6 Biglia 7 Di María 8 Pérez 9 Higuaín 10 Messi (c) 11 M. Rodríguez 12 Orión 13 A. Fernández 14 Mascherano 15 Demichelis 16 Rojo 17 F. Fernández 18 Palacio 19 Álvarez 20 Agüero 21 Andújar 22 Lavezzi 23 Basanta Coach: Sabella

v t e

Argentina
Argentina
squad – 2015 Copa América
Copa América
runners-up

1 Romero 2 Garay 3 Roncaglia 4 Zabaleta 5 Gago 6 Biglia 7 Di María 8 Pereyra 9 Higuaín 10 Messi (c) 11 Agüero 12 Guzmán 13 Casco 14 Mascherano 15 Demichelis 16 Rojo 17 Otamendi 18 Tevez 19 Banega 20 Lamela 21 Pastore 22 Lavezzi 23 Andújar (Marchesín) Coach: Martino

v t e

Argentina
Argentina
squad – 2016 Copa América
Copa América
Centenario runners-up

1 Romero 2 Maidana 3 Roncaglia 4 Mercado 5 Kranevitter 6 Biglia 7 Di María 8 Fernández 9 Higuaín 10 Messi (c) 11 Agüero 12 Guzmán 13 Funes Mori 14 Mascherano 15 Cuesta 16 Rojo 17 Otamendi 18 Lamela 19 Banega 20 Gaitán 21 Pastore 22 Lavezzi 23 Andújar Coach: Martino

Awards

Awards and achievements

Preceded by Luciana Aymar Olimpia de Oro 2011 Succeeded by Sergio Martínez

Preceded by Rafael Nadal L'Équipe
L'Équipe
Champion of Champions 2011 Succeeded by Serena Williams
Serena Williams
(female) Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt
(male)

Preceded by José Mourinho Gazzetta dello Sport Sportsman of the Year 2011 Succeeded by Usain Bolt

v t e

FIFA
FIFA
Player of the Year

FIFA
FIFA
World Player of the Year

1991: Matthäus 1992: Van Basten 1993: Baggio 1994: Romário 1995: Weah 1996: Ronaldo 1997: Ronaldo 1998: Zidane 1999: Rivaldo 2000: Zidane 2001: Figo 2002: Ronaldo 2003: Zidane 2004: Ronaldinho 2005: Ronaldinho 2006: Cannavaro 2007: Kaká 2008: C. Ronaldo 2009: Messi 2009: Messi

FIFA
FIFA
Ballon d'Or

2010: Messi 2011: Messi 2012: Messi 2013: C. Ronaldo 2014: C. Ronaldo 2015: Messi

The Best FIFA
FIFA
Men's Player

2016: C. Ronaldo 2017: C. Ronaldo

See also: Ballon d'Or

v t e

Ballon d'Or

France Football
France Football
magazine award

Ballon d'Or
Ballon d'Or
(1956–2009)

1956: Matthews 1957: Di Stéfano 1958: Kopa 1959: Di Stéfano 1960: Suárez 1961: Sívori 1962: Masopust 1963: Yashin 1964: Law 1965: Eusébio 1966: Charlton 1967: Albert 1968: Best 1969: Rivera 1970: Müller 1971: Cruyff 1972: Beckenbauer 1973: Cruyff 1974: Cruyff 1975: Blokhin 1976: Beckenbauer 1977: Simonsen 1978: Keegan 1979: Keegan 1980: Rummenigge 1981: Rummenigge 1982: Rossi 1983: Platini 1984: Platini 1985: Platini 1986: Belanov 1987: Gullit 1988: Van Basten 1989: Van Basten 1990: Matthäus 1991: Papin 1992: Van Basten 1993: Baggio 1994: Stoichkov 1995: Weah 1996: Sammer 1997: Ronaldo 1998: Zidane 1999: Rivaldo 2000: Figo 2001: Owen 2002: Ronaldo 2003: Nedvěd 2004: Shevchenko 2005: Ronaldinho 2006: Cannavaro 2007: Kaká 2008: C. Ronaldo 2009: Messi

FIFA
FIFA
Ballon d'Or
Ballon d'Or
(2010–2015)

2010: Messi 2011: Messi 2012: Messi 2013: C. Ronaldo 2014: C. Ronaldo 2015: Messi

Ballon d'Or
Ballon d'Or
(2016–present)

2016: C. Ronaldo 2017: C. Ronaldo

FIFA World Player of the Year
FIFA World Player of the Year
(1991–2009) FIFA
FIFA
Ballon d'Or
Ballon d'Or
(2010–2015) The Best FIFA
FIFA
Men's Player (2016–present)

v t e

World Soccer Player of the Year

1982: Rossi 1983: Zico 1984: Platini 1985: Platini 1986: Maradona 1987: Gullit 1988: Van Basten 1989: Gullit 1990: Matthäus 1991: Papin 1992: Van Basten 1993: Baggio 1994: Maldini 1995: Vialli 1996: Ronaldo 1997: Ronaldo 1998: Zidane 1999: Rivaldo 2000: Figo 2001: Owen 2002: Ronaldo 2003: Nedvěd 2004: Ronaldinho 2005: Ronaldinho 2006: Cannavaro 2007: Kaká 2008: C. Ronaldo 2009: Messi 2010: Xavi 2011: Messi 2012: Messi 2013: C. Ronaldo 2014: C. Ronaldo 2015: Messi 2016: C. Ronaldo 2017: C. Ronaldo

v t e

La Liga
La Liga
Foreign Player of the Year - Don Balón Award

1976: Neeskens 1977: Cruyff 1978: Cruyff 1979: Stielike 1980: Stielike 1981: Stielike 1982: Stielike 1983: Barbas 1984: Barbas 1985: Schuster 1986: Valdano 1987: Sánchez 1988: Alemão 1989: Ruggeri 1990: Sánchez 1991: Schuster 1992: Laudrup 1993: Đukić 1994: Stoichkov 1995: Zamorano 1996: Mijatović 1997: Ronaldo 1998: Rivaldo 1999: Figo 2000: Figo 2001: Figo 2002: Zidane 2003: Nihat 2004: Ronaldinho 2005: Riquelme 2006: Ronaldinho 2007: Messi 2008: Agüero 2009: Messi 2010: Messi

v t e

La Liga
La Liga
Forward of the Year - LFP Awards

2009: Messi 2010: Messi 2011: Messi 2012: Messi 2013: Messi 2014: Ronaldo 2015: Messi 2016: Messi

v t e

La Liga
La Liga
Best Player of the Year - LFP Awards

2009: Messi 2010: Messi 2011: Messi 2012: Messi 2013: Messi 2014: Ronaldo 2015: Messi 2016: Griezmann

v t e

EFE Trophy

1990–91: Fernández 1991–92: Zalazar 1992–93: Zamorano 1993–94: Romário 1994–95: Zamorano 1995–96: Simeone 1996–97: Ronaldo 1997–98: Roberto Carlos 1998–99: Rivaldo 1999–2000: Herrera 2000–01: Acuña 2001–02: Saviola 2002–03: Ronaldo 2003–04: Ronaldinho 2004–05: Forlán 2005–06: Aimar 2006–07: Messi 2007–08: Agüero 2008–09: Messi 2009–10: Messi 2010–11: Messi 2011–12: Messi 2012–13: C. Ronaldo 2013–14: Diego Costa 2014–15: Suárez 2015–16: Navas

v t e

FIFA
FIFA
Club World Cup Golden Ball

2000: Edílson 2005: Rogério Ceni 2006: Deco 2007: Kaká 2008: Rooney 2009: Messi 2010: Eto'o 2011: Messi 2012: Cássio 2013: Ribéry 2014: Ramos 2015: Suárez 2016: Ronaldo 2017: Modrić

v t e

FIFA U-20 World Cup
FIFA U-20 World Cup
awards

Golden Ball

1977: Bessonov 1979: Maradona 1981: Gabor 1983: Geovani 1985: Silas 1987: Prosinečki 1989: Bismarck 1991: Peixe 1993: Adriano 1995: Caio 1997: Olivera 1999: Keita 2001: Saviola 2003: Matar 2005: Messi 2007: Agüero 2009: Adiyiah 2011: Henrique 2013: Pogba 2015: Traoré 2017: Solanke

Golden Shoe

1977: Guina 1979: Díaz 1981: Koussas 1983: Geovani 1985: Losada 1987: Witeczek 1989: Salenko 1991: Scherbakov 1993: Zambrano 1995: Etxeberria 1997: Adaílton 1999: Couñago 2001: Saviola 2003: Johnson 2005: Messi 2007: Agüero 2009: Adiyiah 2011: Henrique 2013: Assifuah 2015: Kovalenko 2017: Orsolini

Golden Glove

2009: Alvarado 2011: Mika 2013: De Amores 2015: Rajković 2017: Woodman

v t e

Footballer of the Year of Argentina

1970: Yazalde 1971: Pastoriza 1972: Bargas 1973: Brindisi 1974: Raimondo 1975: Scotta 1976: Passarella 1977: Fillol 1978: Kempes 1979: Maradona 1980: Maradona 1981: Maradona 1982: Gatti 1983: Bochini 1984: Márcico 1985: Francescoli 1986: Maradona 1987: Fabbri 1988: Paz 1989: Alfaro Moreno 1990: Goycochea 1991: Ruggeri 1992: Islas 1993: Medina Bello 1994: Navarro Montoya 1995: Francescoli 1996: Chilavert 1997: Salas 1998: Batistuta 1999: Saviola 2000: Riquelme 2001: Riquelme 2002: Milito 2003: Tevez 2004: Tevez 2005: Messi 2006: Verón 2007: Messi 2008: Messi & Riquelme 2009: Messi & Verón 2010: Messi & Martínez 2011: Messi & Riquelme 2012: Messi & L. López 2013: Messi & M. Rodríguez 2014: Di María & Pratto 2015: Messi & Ruben 2016: Messi & Belluschi 2017: Messi & Benedetto

v t e

UEFA
UEFA
Club Footballer of the Year

1998: Ronaldo 1999: Beckham 2000: Redondo 2001: Effenberg 2002: Zidane 2003: Buffon 2004: Deco 2005: Gerrard 2006: Ronaldinho 2007: Kaká 2008: C. Ronaldo 2009: Messi 2010: Milito

v t e

UEFA
UEFA
Club Football Awards

Best Goalkeeper

1997–98: Schmeichel 1998–99: Kahn 1999–2000: Kahn 2000–01: Kahn 2001–02: Kahn 2002–03: Buffon 2003–04: Baía 2004–05: Čech 2005–06: Lehmann 2006–07: Čech 2007–08: Čech 2008–09: Van der Sar 2009–10: Júlio César 2010–16: Not awarded 2016–17: Buffon

Best Defender

1997–98: Hierro 1998–99: Stam 1999–2000: Stam 2000–01: Ayala 2001–02: Roberto Carlos 2002–03: Roberto Carlos 2003–04: Carvalho 2004–05: Terry 2005–06: Puyol 2006–07: Maldini 2007–08: Terry 2008–09: Terry 2009–10: Maicon 2010–16: Not awarded 2016–17: Ramos

Best Midfielder

1997–98: Zidane 1998–99: Beckham 1999–2000: Mendieta 2000–01: Mendieta 2001–02: Ballack 2002–03: Nedvěd 2003–04: Deco 2004–05: Kaká 2005–06: Deco 2006–07: Seedorf 2007–08: Lampard 2008–09: Xavi 2009–10: Sneijder 2010–16: Not awarded 2016–17: Modrić

Best Forward

1997–98: Ronaldo 1998–99: Shevchenko 1999–2000: Raúl 2000–01: Raúl 2001–02: Raúl 2002–03: Van Nistelrooy 2003–04: Morientes 2004–05: Ronaldinho 2005–06: Eto'o 2006–07: Kaká 2007–08: C. Ronaldo 2008–09: Messi 2009–10: Milito 2010–16: Not awarded 2016–17: C. Ronaldo

v t e

UEFA
UEFA
Men's Player of the Year Award

UEFA
UEFA
Best Player in Europe

2010–11: Messi 2011–12: Iniesta 2012–13: Ribéry 2013–14: Ronaldo 2014–15: Messi 2015–16: Ronaldo

UEFA
UEFA
Men's Player of the Year

2016–17: Ronaldo

v t e

Trofeo Alfredo Di Stéfano

2007–08: Raúl 2008–09: Messi 2009–10: Messi 2010–11: Messi 2011–12: C. Ronaldo 2012–13: C. Ronaldo 2013–14: C. Ronaldo 2014–15: Messi 2015–16: C. Ronaldo 2016–17: Messi

v t e

FIFPro
FIFPro
Player of the Year awards

World Player of the Year

2005: Ronaldinho 2006: Ronaldinho 2007: Kaká 2008: C. Ronaldo

Young Player of the Year

2005: Rooney 2006: Messi 2007: Messi 2008: Messi

v t e

Bravo Award

1978: Case 1979: Birtles 1980: H. Müller 1981: Wark 1982: Shaw 1983: Bonini 1984: Righetti 1985: Butragueño 1986: Butragueño 1987: van Basten 1988: Ohana 1989: Maldini 1990: Baggio 1991: Prosinečki 1992: Guardiola 1993: Giggs 1994: Panucci 1995: Kluivert 1996: Del Piero 1997: Ronaldo 1998: Ronaldo 1999: Buffon 2000: Casillas 2001: Hargreaves 2002: Metzelder 2003: Rooney 2004: C. Ronaldo 2005: Robben 2006: Fàbregas 2007: Messi 2008: Benzema 2009: Busquets 2010: T. Müller 2011: Hazard 2012: Verratti 2013: Isco 2014: Pogba 2015: Berardi

v t e

Golden Boy award winners

2003: Van der Vaart 2004: Rooney 2005: Messi 2006: Fàbregas 2007: Agüero 2008: Anderson 2009: Pato 2010: Balotelli 2011: Götze 2012: Isco 2013: Pogba 2014: Sterling 2015: Martial 2016: Sanches 2017: Mbappé

v t e

La Liga
La Liga
top scorers

1929: Bienzobas 1930: Gorostiza 1931: Bata 1932: Bata 1933: Olivares 1934: Lángara 1935: Lángara 1936: Lángara 1940: Unamuno 1941: Pruden 1942: E. Suárez 1943: Martín 1944: E. Suárez 1945: Zarra 1946: Zarra 1947: Zarra 1948: Pahiño 1949: César 1950: Zarra 1951: Zarra 1952: Pahiño 1953: Zarra 1954: Di Stéfano 1955: Arza 1956: Di Stéfano 1957: Di Stéfano 1958: Badenes, Di Stéfano & Ricardo 1959: Di Stéfano 1960: Puskás 1961: Puskás 1962: Seminario 1963: Puskás 1964: Puskás 1965: Ré 1966: Aragonés 1967: Waldo 1968: Uriarte 1969: Amancio & Gárate 1970: Amancio, Aragonés & Gárate 1971: Gárate & Rexach 1972: Porta 1973: Marianín 1974: Quini 1975: Carlos 1976: Quini 1977: Kempes 1978: Kempes 1979: Krankl 1980: Quini 1981: Quini 1982: Quini 1983: Rincón 1984: Da Silva & Juanito 1985: Sánchez 1986: Sánchez 1987: Sánchez 1988: Sánchez 1989: Baltazar 1990: Sánchez 1991: Butragueño 1992: Manolo 1993: Bebeto 1994: Romário 1995: Zamorano 1996: Pizzi 1997: Ronaldo 1998: Vieri 1999: Raúl 2000: Salva 2001: Raúl 2002: Tristán 2003: Makaay 2004: Ronaldo 2005: Forlán & Eto'o 2006: Eto'o 2007: Van Nistelrooy 2008: Güiza 2009: Forlán 2010: Messi 2011: C. Ronaldo 2012: Messi 2013: Messi 2014: C. Ronaldo 2015: C. Ronaldo 2016: L. Suárez 2017: Messi

v t e

Copa del Rey
Copa del Rey
top scorers

1993: Urban 1994: Coca & Gudelj 1995: Penev 1996: Pantić 1997: Klimowicz 1998: Rivaldo 1999: C. López 2000: Arenaza, Barata, Cembranos, Gâlcă, Hasselbaink, Míchel & Yordi 2001: Salva 2002: Guti & Raúl 2003: Portillo 2004: Raúl 2005: Huegún, Alejandro & Muñoz 2006: Ewerthon 2007: Saviola 2008: Soler 2009: Messi & Luis Fabiano 2010: Maxi 2011: Messi & C. Ronaldo 2012: Infante 2013: Costa 2014: Messi 2015: Aspas & Neymar 2016: Guidetti, Messi, Munir, Negredo & Suárez 2017: Ben Yedder & Messi

v t e

European Golden Shoe

L'Équipe
L'Équipe
award

1968: Eusébio 1969: Zhekov 1970: Müller 1971: Skoblar 1972: Müller 1973: Eusébio 1974: Yazalde 1975: Georgescu 1976: Kaiafas 1977: Georgescu 1978: Krankl 1979: Kist 1980: Vandenbergh 1981: Slavkov 1982: Kieft 1983: Gomes 1984: Rush 1985: Gomes 1986: Van Basten 1987: Cămătaru / Polster 1988: Çolak 1989: Mateuţ 1990: Sánchez & Stoichkov 1991: Pančev

Unofficial

1992: McCoist 1993: McCoist 1994: Taylor 1995: Avetisyan 1996: Endeladze

ESM award

1997: Ronaldo 1998: Machlas 1999: Jardel 2000: Phillips 2001: Larsson 2002: Jardel 2003: Makaay 2004: Henry 2005: Henry & Forlán 2006: Toni 2007: Totti 2008: C. Ronaldo 2009: Forlán 2010: Messi 2011: C. Ronaldo 2012: Messi 2013: Messi 2014: C. Ronaldo & Suárez 2015: C. Ronaldo 2016: Suárez 2017: Messi

v t e

European Cup and UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League
top scorers

European Cup

1955–56: Milutinović 1956–57: Viollet 1957–58: Di Stéfano 1958–59: Fontaine 1959–60: Puskás 1960–61: J. Águas 1961–62: Di Stéfano, Løfqvist, Puskás, Strehl & Tejada 1962–63: Altafini 1963–64: Kovačević, Mazzola & Puskás 1964–65: Eusébio
Eusébio
& Torres 1965–66: Albert & Eusébio 1966–67: Piepenburg & Van Himst 1967–68: Eusébio 1968–69: Law 1969–70: Jones 1970–71: Antoniadis 1971–72: Dunai, Macari & Takač 1972–73: Müller 1973–74: Müller 1974–75: Müller & Markarov 1975–76: Heynckes 1976–77: Cucinotta & Müller 1977–78: Simonsen 1978–79: Sulser 1979–80: Lerby 1980–81: McDermott, Rummenigge & Souness 1981–82: Hoeneß 1982–83: Rossi 1983–84: Sokol 1984–85: Nilsson & Platini 1985–86: Nilsson 1986–87: Cvetković 1987–88: R. Águas, Ferreri, Hagi, Madjer, McCoist, Míchel & Novák 1988–89: Van Basten 1989–90: Papin & Romário 1990–91: Pacult & Papin 1991–92: Papin & Yuran

UEFA
UEFA
Champions League

1992–93: Romário 1993–94: Koeman & Rufer 1994–95: Weah 1995–96: Litmanen 1996–97: Pantić 1997–98: Del Piero 1998–99: Shevchenko & Yorke 1999–2000: Jardel, Raúl & Rivaldo 2000–01: Raúl 2001–02: Van Nistelrooy 2002–03: Van Nistelrooy 2003–04: Morientes 2004–05: Van Nistelrooy 2005–06: Shevchenko 2006–07: Kaká 2007–08: C. Ronaldo 2008–09: Messi 2009–10: Messi 2010–11: Messi 2011–12: Messi 2012–13: C. Ronaldo 2013–14: C. Ronaldo 2014–15: Neymar, C. Ronaldo & Messi 2015–16: C. Ronaldo 2016–17: C. Ronaldo

v t e

FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup
· Golden Ball

Best Player

1930: Nasazzi 1934: Meazza 1938: Leônidas 1950: Zizinho 1954: Puskás 1958: Didi 1962: Garrincha 1966: Charlton 1970: Pelé 1974: Cruijff 1978: Kempes

Golden Ball

1982: Rossi 1986: Maradona 1990: Schillaci 1994: Romário 1998: Ronaldo 2002: Kahn 2006: Zidane 2010: Forlán 2014: Messi

Golden Ball was first awarded in 1982.

v t e

2014 FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup
Team of the Tournament

Goalkeeper

Manuel Neuer

Defenders

David Luiz Mats Hummels Thiago Silva Marcelo

Midfielders

Ángel Di María James Rodríguez Toni Kroos

Forwards

Lionel Messi Thomas Müller Neymar

Coach

Joachim Löw

v t e

CONMEBOL
CONMEBOL
Copa América
Copa América
Player of the Tournament

South American Nations Championship Player of the tournament

1916: Gradín 1917: Scarone 1919: Friedenreich 1920: Piendibene 1921: Tesoriere 1922: Fortes 1923: Nasazzi 1924: Petrone 1925: Seoane 1926: Andrade 1927: Seoane 1929: Ferreira 1935: Nasazzi 1937: Mata 1939: Fernández 1941: Livingstone 1942: Varela 1945: da Guia 1946: Pedernera 1947: Moreno 1949: Ademir 1953: Herrera 1955: Hormazábal 1956: Míguez 1957: Sívori 1959–1: Pelé 1959–2: Silveira 1963: Blacut 1967: Rocha

Copa América Player of the tournament

1975: Cubillas 1979: Caszely 1983: Francescoli 1987: Valderrama 1989: Sosa 1991: Rodríguez 1993: Goycochea 1995: Francescoli 1997: Ronaldo 1999: Rivaldo 2001: Guevara 2004: Adriano 2007: Robinho 2011: Suárez 2015: Messi 2016: Sánchez

v t e

2015 Copa América
Copa América
Team of the Tournament

Goalkeeper

Claudio Bravo

Defenders

Jeison Murillo Gary Medel Nicolás Otamendi

Midfielders

Christian Cueva Marcelo Díaz Javier Mascherano Arturo Vidal

Forwards

Eduardo Vargas Paolo Guerrero Lionel Messi

Coach

Jorge Sampaoli

v t e

Copa América
Copa América
Centenario Team of the Tournament

Goalkeeper

Claudio Bravo

Defenders

Mauricio Isla Nicolás Otamendi Gary Medel Jean Beausejour

Midfielders

Javier Mascherano Arturo Vidal Charles Aránguiz

Forwards

Eduardo Vargas Alexis Sánchez Lionel Messi

v t e

2014–15 La Liga
La Liga
Team of the Year

GK: Bravo RB: Dani Alves CB: Piqué CB: Otamendi LB: Alba MF: J. Rodríguez MF: Krychowiak MF: Rakitić FW: Messi FW: Ronaldo FW: Griezmann Manager: Luis Enrique

v t e

2015–16 La Liga
La Liga
Team of the Year

GK: Oblak RB: Ramos CB: Piqué CB: Godín LB: Marcelo MF: Iniesta MF: Busquets MF: Modrić FW: Messi FW: Ronaldo FW: Suárez

v t e

2008 UEFA
UEFA
Team of the Year

GK: Iker Casillas RB: Sergio Ramos CB: John Terry CB: Carles Puyol LB: Philipp Lahm MF: Cristiano Ronaldo MF: Xavi MF: Cesc Fàbregas MF: Franck Ribéry FW: Lionel Messi FW: Fernando Torres Coach: Alex Ferguson

v t e

2009 UEFA
UEFA
Team of the Year

GK: Iker Casillas RB: Dani Alves CB: John Terry CB: Carles Puyol LB: Patrice Evra MF: Cristiano Ronaldo MF: Xavi MF: Kaká MF: Andrés Iniesta FW: Lionel Messi FW: Zlatan Ibrahimović Coach: Pep Guardiola

v t e

2010 UEFA
UEFA
Team of the Year

GK: Iker Casillas RB: Maicon CB: Gerard Piqué CB: Carles Puyol LB: Ashley Cole MF: Cristiano Ronaldo MF: Xavi MF: Wesley Sneijder MF: Andrés Iniesta FW: Lionel Messi FW: David Villa Coach: José Mourinho

v t e

2011 UEFA
UEFA
Team of the Year

GK: Iker Casillas RB: Dani Alves CB: Gerard Piqué CB: Thiago Silva LB: Marcelo MF: Arjen Robben MF: Xavi MF: Andrés Iniesta MF: Gareth Bale FW: Lionel Messi FW: Cristiano Ronaldo

v t e

2012 UEFA
UEFA
Team of the Year

GK: Iker Casillas RB: Sergio Ramos CB: Gerard Piqué CB: Thiago Silva LB: Philipp Lahm MF: Andrés Iniesta MF: Xavi MF: Andrea Pirlo MF: Mesut Özil FW: Lionel Messi FW: Cristiano Ronaldo

v t e

2014 UEFA
UEFA
Team of the Year

GK: Manuel Neuer RB: Philipp Lahm CB: Sergio Ramos CB: Diego Godín LB: David Alaba MF: Arjen Robben MF: Toni Kroos MF: Ángel Di María FW: Lionel Messi FW: Zlatan Ibrahimović FW: Cristiano Ronaldo

v t e

2015 UEFA
UEFA
Team of the Year

GK: Manuel Neuer RB: Dani Alves CB: Sergio Ramos CB: Gerard Piqué LB: David Alaba MF: Paul Pogba MF: Andrés Iniesta MF: James Rodríguez FW: Cristiano Ronaldo FW: Lionel Messi FW: Neymar

v t e

2016 UEFA
UEFA
Team of the Year

GK: Gianluigi Buffon RB: Jérôme Boateng CB: Gerard Piqué CB: Sergio Ramos LB: Leonardo Bonucci MF: Luka Modrić MF: Toni Kroos MF: Andrés Iniesta FW: Lionel Messi FW: Antoine Griezmann FW: Cristiano Ronaldo

v t e

2017 UEFA
UEFA
Team of the Year

GK: Gianluigi Buffon RB: Dani Alves CB: Sergio Ramos CB: Giorgio Chiellini LB: Marcelo MF: Luka Modrić MF: Toni Kroos MF: Kevin De Bruyne MF: Eden Hazard FW: Lionel Messi FW: Cristiano Ronaldo

v t e

IFFHS
IFFHS
World's Best Playmaker

2006: Zidane 2007: Kaká 2008: Xavi 2009: Xavi 2010: Xavi 2011: Xavi 2012: Iniesta 2013: Iniesta 2014: Kroos 2015: Messi 2016: Messi 2017: Messi

v t e

IFFHS
IFFHS
World's Best Top Goal Scorer

1991: Papin 1992: Bergkamp 1993: Al-Owairan 1994: Stoichkov 1995: Klinsmann 1996: Daei 1997: Ronaldo 1998: Al-Huwaidi 1999: Raúl 2000: Rivaldo 2001: Al-Dhabit 2002: van Nistelrooy 2003: Henry 2004: Daei 2005: Adriano 2006: Suazo 2007: Mputu 2008: Rico 2009: Okazaki 2010: Al-Mutawa 2011: Messi 2012: Messi 2013: Ronaldo 2014: Ronaldo 2015: Lewandowski 2016: Ronaldo 2017: Ronaldo

v t e

Best International Athlete ESPY Award
Best International Athlete ESPY Award
winners

2005: Pujols 2006: Pujols 2007: Federer 2008: Ochoa 2009: Bolt 2010–2011: Award not given 2012: Messi 2013: Bolt 2014: Ronaldo 2015: Messi 2016: Ronald

.