Argentina’s new Maradona, Lionel Messi is arguably one of the greatest football players of his generation and is the highest earning soccer player in the world, but it was Messi’s positive outlook and determination when he was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency which made him a real winner on and off the field…
Born: June 24, 1987, Rosario, Argentina
Zodiac Sign: Cancer
Net Worth: $90 million (estimated)
Successful For: Professional Soccer Player (FC Barcelona)
”It takes sacrifice as well as talent.”
Keys to Success:
- USE YOUR CHALLENGES TO MOTIVATE YOURSELF: Lionel Messi was always shorter than his teammates and opponents, but instead of making it an excuse or complaining about it, he used it to give him that extra boost of drive. He is one of the shortest, however best players in the game and when he steps onto that field, his height is not what you will be looking for. He has the right dose of motivation that ignites his success.
- FOCUS ON HELPING OTHERS, IT WILL COME BACK TO YOU: Messi has his own charity, donates often and is even an ambassador for UNICEF. His generous and humble ways have made him a well rounded character. In a fan site interview, Messi said: “Being a bit famous now gives me the opportunity to help people who really need it, especially children”. This is what makes him a genuine star. Messi understood that he had to help himself FIRST, and when he was strong enough he was capable of helping others.
- HAVE A POSITIVE MINDSET NO MATTER WHAT LIFE THROWS YOUR WAY: When he was diagnosed with hormone deficiency, he GREW the right mindset. Where most would have given up, messi thrived. He NEVER took the poor me approach but rather realized very early that he needed to look at things in a better perspective. In fact, so optimistic, Messi once said “I am the happiest man alive, and I am happy for myself, for my family and for my country”. In response to Messi’s own childhood medical difficulties, through his charity, he had the privilege to support Argentine children diagnosed with medical conditions by offering treatment in Spain and covering the transport, hospital, and recuperation costs.
“Something deep in my character allows me to take the hits and get on with trying to win.”
Did You Know?
A 13-year-old Messi signed his first contract with Barcelona on a used napkin. He was so keen that he wanted to ensure they signed him before the end of dinner. So the club’s sporting director, Charly Rexach, called for the barman at their restaurant meeting and prepared a contract on what now hangs in Messi’s lawyer’s office as the most celebrated paper napkin.
Road to Success:
Messi was born to a father who was a factory worker, and his mother was a part-time cleaner. His paternal family is originally from the Italian city of Ancona. At the age of 5, Messi began playing football for Grandoli, which was a local club coached by his own father.
Smaller Than The Rest, Soon To Be The Best:
When he turned 7, he was recognizably smaller than most of the boys he played with, but could always keep up. Messi switched to Newell’s Old Boys who were based in his home city of Rosario. At the age of 11, possibly one of his biggest driving forces which would lead him to success would occur.
Diagnosed With Growth Hormone Deficiency:
Messi was diagnosed as suffering from a hormone deficiency that restricted his growth. Unlike most people who would use this as an excuse to give up, Messi would grow a deep inner belief and strength in him to rise up to the challenge and become the star he knew he was. A Primera Division club showed interest in Messi’s progress, but did not have enough money to pay for the treatment for his condition, as it cost about $900 a month. Medication wasn’t cheap either, about £500 a month which Messi’s parents couldn’t afford to pay for on their own.
Leaving South America For A New Life:
So, at the age of 13, when Messi was given the chance to play in Barcelona with the opportunity to have his medical bills covered by the team, Messi’s family picked up and moved across the Atlantic to make a new home in Spain. He was short but extremely fast with a fierce style of play, and he moved quickly through the ranks of the team’s junior system, and by just the age of 16, Messi had made his first appearance for Barcelona. He put himself in the record books on May 1, 2005, as the youngest player to ever score a goal for the franchise. That same year he would lead Argentina to the under-20 World Cup championship, scoring on a pair of penalty kicks to propel the team over Nigeria. Lionel Messi`s story is a true inspiration for overcoming obstacles in life, and how to bring that deep inner drive to conquer our dreams and ambitions.
“The best decisions aren’t made with your mind, but with your instincts.”
Lionel Messi is definitely one of the best of his generation who is the highest earning soccer player in the world earning $44.6 million/year. His speed, intensity and skill have been often compared to the soccer god himself, Diego Maradona. He received several Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year nominations by the young age of just 21 and the next year, Messi took it a step further and won both of these awards; he would even win the Ballon d’Or again the following year. He steered Barcelona to a wealth of success, most notably in 2009 when he helped them capture the Champions League, La Liga, and Spanish Club titles.
Charities & Good Deeds:
Outside of soccer, Messi shows he has a deep care for the world as he has established himself as a well known humanitarian and a philanthropist. Some of his work along with being a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF includes creating the Leo Messi Foundation, which is a charity supporting access to education and health care for vulnerable children.
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