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Lionel Messi is arguably the best footballer in the world at the moment. He is often compared to football legends like Pele and Maradona and it won’t be a surprise if he overtakes them soon. Here are 50 interesting facts about Lionel Messi.

1. His full name is Luis Lionel Andres Messi.
2. Messi was born on June 24, 1987 in Rosario, Argentina.
3. Messi shares his birthplace with the Argentinian revolutionary Che Guevera.
4. His family is of middle-class Italian origin. His father, Jorge, was a steelworker, and he also coached the local youth football team.
5. Messi was not very healthy and nutritious in his childhood days like the other boys around. He was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency which was stopping his normal growth rate at a tender age of 11. His parents could not afford his treatment, which was $900 a month.

6. At the age of 17, he made his league debut against RCD Espanyol and became the third youngest person ever to play on Barcelona. At that time he was also the youngest player to ever score for Barcelona.
7. Messi’s first contract with Barcelona was detailed out on a paper napkin! FC Barcelona sporting director Carles Rexach was so impressed with Messi’s skills that he wanted to make a contract immediately and there was no paper available at that time.
8. Barcelona was so impressed with Messi’s footskills that they offered to pay his medical bills and move the family to Spain just to sign him when he was 13. That probably explains why the contract was first signed on a napkin.
9. During the 2005-2006 season, Messi began being paid as a first team member.
10. Messi holds two passports – Argentina’s and Spain’s. He became a Spanish citizen in September 2005.

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