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Lionel Messi walks through the Lusail Stadium in Qatar after Argentina defeated France in the World Cup final in December 2022.
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Messi, right, attends elementary school in Rosario, Argentina, in 1992. He was born in Rosario on June 24, 1987, the third of four children born to Jorge Messi, a steel factory worker, and Celia María Cuccittini.
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Messi, above, poses with members of his family in Rosario in 2003. Below him, from left to right, are brother Rodrigo, sister María Sol, father Jorge, mother Celia, nephew Tomás and brother Matías. When he was a child, Messi was diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency. He played for the local club team, Newell’s Old Boys, before signing with Spanish club FC Barcelona at age 13. As part of the contract, Barcelona agreed to pay for Messi’s hormone treatments.
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Messi is congratulated by his Barcelona teammates after scoring his first goal for the club on May 1, 2005. Messi was 17 years old.
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Messi poses with the Argentina shirt for the magazine El Gráfico in June 2005. A couple of months later he would make his debut with the absolute of his country.
Messi makes his Argentina debut against Hungary in August 2005. He came on in the 63rd minute, but received a red card after two minutes for a perceived elbow into a defender.
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Messi, left, celebrates with teammates Ronaldinho, center, and Rafael Márquez after Barcelona won the Spanish league title in May 2006. Less than two weeks later, Barcelona won the Champions League, the Messi’s first with the club.
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Messi, left, and his Argentina teammate Julio Cruz arrive in Italy for a friendly match in May 2006. Argentina was preparing for the World Cup in June.
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Messi signs autographs while training ahead of the World Cup in Germany in June 2006.
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A poster of Messi is seen at the Argentina World Cup base in Herzogenaurach, Germany, in June 2006.
Messi scores against Serbia and Montenegro during a World Cup group stage match in June 2006. Messi was the youngest Argentine to play and score in a World Cup. Argentina advanced to the quarterfinals that year, losing to Germany in a penalty shootout.
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Messi, left, and his Argentina teammate Sergio Aguero celebrate after winning gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Messi kisses his boot after scoring with a header against Manchester United. His boot had come off as he landed on his jump.
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Messi leaps for a header, scoring a goal in the Champions League final against Manchester United in May 2009. Barcelona won 2-0.
In December 2009, Messi was recognized as the world’s best footballer by winning the Ballon d’Or for the first time. He has now won the award a record seven times.
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Messi takes a free kick during a Spanish league match against Atlético Madrid in 2011. During the 2011-12 season, Messi scored 73 goals, setting the all-time record for most goals scored in a season for one of the top leagues in European soccer.
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Messi, left, stands next to Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo during a match in Madrid in March 2014. The two superstars clashed many times over the years, both on and off the pitch as they competed for prize money.
Messi walks with his Argentina teammates after losing the World Cup final to Germany in July 2014. Messi won the Ballon d’Or award given to the best player of the tournament.
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Messi scores a goal during a Spanish league match against Sevilla in November 2014. He notched a hat trick and became the league’s all-time top scorer with 253 goals.
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Messi takes the microphone from Ronaldo after they were selected for the FIFA World XI in 2015.
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Messi collapses to the ground after missing the penalty shootout that decided the Copa América final in June 2016. After the loss to Chile, Messi said he would probably retire from international football. He did not do it.
Messi celebrates with his Barcelona teammates after winning the Spanish Super Cup in August 2016.
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Messi married Antonella Roccuzzo in Rosario in 2017. They have three children together: Thiago, Mateo and Ciro.
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Messi collects his sixth Ballon d’Or in 2019. He added a seventh in 2021.
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Messi arrives for a Barcelona training session in September 2020. It was his first time back since a failed attempt to leave the club that summer.
After years of heartbreak with Argentina, Messi finally won a major international trophy when he captained Albiceleste to the Copa América title in July 2021. It was Argentina’s first major title in 28 years.
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Messi bids a tearful farewell to Barcelona after it was announced in August 2021 that he would be leaving the club after more than 20 years. Messi won 10 league titles and four Champions League titles with Barcelona.
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Messi is presented with his new club, Paris Saint-Germain, in August 2021.
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Messi celebrates after scoring during Argentina’s victory over the Netherlands in the World Cup quarterfinals in December 2022.
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Messi kisses the World Cup trophy after the 2022 final. Messi holds up the Ballon d’Or trophy, which is awarded to the best player in the tournament.
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Messi lifts the World Cup trophy.
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Messi walks out of celebrations after winning French Ligue 1 with Paris Saint-Germain on June 3, 2023. After two seasons and an increasingly tumultuous relationship with the club, Messi has confirmed his departure. He has not confirmed where he will play next.