Green Brook, NJ
Lionel Messi Breaking Raphael Cabrals Ankles
Lee Dos Santos
Lionel Andrés Messi (Spanish pronunciation: [ljoˈnel anˈdɾes ˈmesi], born 24 June 1987) is an Argentine footballer who plays for La Liga club FC Barcelona and is the current captain of the Argentina national team, playing mainly as a forward. He is currently Barcelona's all-time top scorer in all official club competitions, excluding friendlies.
By the age of 21, Messi had received Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year nominations. The following year in 2009 he won both the Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year, and won the inaugural FIFA Ballon d'Or in 2010 and 2011. He also won the 2010–11 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award. Messi is the fourth football player to win three Ballons d'Or, after Johan Cruyff, Michel Platini and Marco van Basten and the second player to win three consecutive Ballons d'Or, after Michel Platini. His playing style and small stature have drawn comparisons to Diego Maradona, who himself declared Messi as his "successor". He is consistently cited by football pundits, managers, fellow players and many football fans as the best contemporary player in the world.
Messi has won five La Liga titles and three Champions League titles. In 2012, Messi made UEFA Champions League history by becoming the first player to score five goals in one match, in a 7–1 win against Bayer Leverkusen. With two goals in the next round against Milan, he matched José Altafini's record of 14 goals in a single Champions League season. He also became the first player to top-score in four successive Champions League campaigns. He set the world record for most goals scored in a season during the 2011–12 season, with 73 goals. In the same season, he set the current goalscoring record in a single La Liga Season, scoring 50 goals.
Messi was the top scorer of the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship with six goals. In 2006, he became the youngest Argentine to play in the FIFA World Cup and he won a runners-up medal at the Copa América tournament the following year, in which he was elected young player of the tournament. In 2008, he won his first international honour, an Olympic gold medal, with the Argentina Olympic football team. Sportspro has rated Lionel Messi as the 3rd most marketable athlete in the world.
July 10th, 2012
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