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  5. Happy Birthday Lionel Messi, Let's take a look at five lesser-known facts about football legend

Happy Birthday Lionel Messi, Let's take a look at five lesser-known facts about football legend

On his 35th birthday, here are five facts about the star footballer Lionel Messi.

Aachal Maniyar Written by: Aachal Maniyar New Delhi Updated on: June 24, 2022 19:40 IST
Lionel Messi
Image Source : INDIA TV

Happy birthday Messi

Football legend Lionel Messi turned 35 years old on Friday. The star player was born on June 24, 1987, in Argentina’s Rosari. He was named Luis Lionel Andres Messi. 

Messi is one of the greatest footballers and his talent is praised all over the world. At the age of 11 when he was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency. But the deficiency couldn't hamper his talent. He broke several records and has reached various milestones in his career so far.

To celebrate this auspicious day, here are some interesting and lesser-known facts about Messi:

  • Messi tops the Forbes list of highest-paid athletes, 2022: 

In the list of athletes like Lebron James, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Roger Federer, Messi claims the number one spot. A major boost in endorsements led to his first rank in Forbes’ annual ranking of the world’s highest-paid athletes. He led the list for the second time after 2019.  

  • Messi has two passports:

Messi has two passports. He is a citizen of Spain and Argentina. The star footballer who plays for Argentina, Spanish citizenship in the year 2005. Spain had offered him a place in their national team but Messi declined the offer.

  • Why Messi's nickname is The Flea?

'La Pulga' is a Spanish word that translates to 'The Flea' and is one of Messi's famous nicknames. According to reports, his elder brothers used to call him 'La Pulgita' which means 'little flea'  since childhood. It later changed to 'La Pulga' (The Flea).

  • Messi's international debut lasted as short as just 47 seconds:

Messi made his international debut on August 17, 2005. It was an international friendly match against Hungary in Budapest. Leo came as a substitute in the second half of the match in place of

Lisandro Lopez. He was out of the very first match as he received a red card.

  • Messi inherited his Barcelona jersey number 10 in 2008 from iconic footballer Ronaldinho:

Messi wore a jersey numbered 30 on his debut for Barcelona. At that time legendary player Ronaldinho had the jersey number 10.  It was in 2008 when the Brazilian player left Barcelona and Messi got his hands on his popular t-shirt numbered 10.