Lionel Messi Fast Facts
By CNN Library
updated 1:28 PM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – JULY 13:
(Photo): Lionel Messi of Argentina looks on during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
(CNN) — Here is a look at the life of soccer player Lionel “Leo” Messi, who plays for FC Barcelona and Argentina’s national team.
Birth date: June 24, 1987
Birth place: Rosario, Argentina
Birth name: Lionel Andrés Messi
Father: Jorge Messi, factory worker
Mother: Celia Cuccittini de Messi
Children: with Antonella Roccuzzo: Thiago, November 2, 2012
FC Barcelona’s all-time leading scorer.
Winner of the Ballon d’Or, or footballer of the year, for a record four consecutive years (2009-2012).
According to Forbes in 2014, made an estimated $64.7 million in salary and endorsements.
As a young boy, Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency. At age 13, he signed with Futbol Club Barcelona and moved to Spain. As part of the contract, FC Barcelona agreed to pay for Messi’s hormone treatments.
1995-2000 – Plays for the local club team, Newell’s Old Boys, in Rosario, Argentina.
2000-2003 – Signs with FC Barcelona and works his way up through Barca’s youth squads.
November 16, 2003 – Makes his team debut, as a replacement in a friendly match against FC Porto.
October 16, 2004 – Makes his official debut for FC Barcelonaagainst Espanyol. Barca wins 1-0.
2007 – Establishes the Leo Messi Foundation, working to improve access to education and health care for children.
August 2008 – Leads Argentina’s soccer team to a gold medal at the Summer Olympics in Beijing.
March 11, 2010 – Messi is announced as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
2011-2012 season – Sets the all-time record for most goals scored in a single season for a major European football league, with 73 goals.
June 2013 – Prosecutors in Barcelona file tax fraud charges against Messi and his father for the period between 2007 and 2009. The complaint alleges that Messi and his father, aiming to lower their Spanish tax bill, sought to manage the player’s lucrative income from image rights through shell companies set up overseas. Messi denies all allegations of wrongdoing.
June 25, 2013 – Prosecutors in Barcelona, Spain, tell CNN that Lionel Messi paid €10 million ($13 million) in taxes to cover the tax period 2010-2011, but efforts to prosecute him for alleged tax fraud from 2007 to 2009 are still ongoing.
August 14, 2013 – Messi and his father, Jorge Messi, make a “reparatory” payment of €5 million ($6.6 million) to Spanish authorities for allegedly committing tax fraud between 2007 and 2009.
September 27, 2013 – Messi and his father testify in a Barcelona court in a preliminary hearing over allegations they defrauded Spanish tax authorities of more than $5 million.
March 16, 2014 – Scores a hat-trick (three goals during a game), to become FC Barcelona’s all-time leading scorer with 371 goals, eclipsing the record set by Paulino Alcantara, who scored 369 goals.
May 2014 – Signs a new contract with FC Barcelona for a reported annual net of €20 million ($27 million).
June 2014 – Spanish state prosecutors ask the judge to drop the tax fraud charges against Lionel Messi, but not his father.
July 13, 2014 – Messi wins the Golden Ball award for the best player of the World Cup tournament.