Trophies: Olympic Gold Medal for Argentina
History: Lionel Andrés Messi (born 24 June 1987 in Rosario) is an Argentine football (soccer) player, who currently plays as a second striker for FC Barcelona. He has shown remarkable ability for a player so young, and is often touted in the media as "the new Diego Maradona".
Lionel Messi started playing football at a very early age for his hometown club, Newell's Old Boys. From the age of 11, he suffered from a hormone deficiency and as his parents were unable to pay for treatment in Argentina, they decided to move to Barcelona, Spain. Shortly after arriving, Lionel tried his luck with a trial at FC Barcelona, despite being only 13 years of age.
Messi excelled at the trial and rapidly found himself starting for the Barcelona B team, averaging more than a goal per game. In October 2004 Messi made his official debut for the first team against RCD Espanyol, becoming the third-youngest player to ever play for FC Barcelona. He scored his first senior goal for the club against Albacete on 2005-05-01. He was offered the chance to play for the Spanish national football team, but declined, preferring to wait for the opportunity to play for the country of his birth. In June 2004 he got his chance, playing in an under-20 friendly match against Paraguay.
Key Skill: Amazing ability to dribble at speed and pass with an effortlessness and surprise not seen for some time. He lays the ball off when you list expect it or without stopping is forward dribbling momentum.
Nickname: La Pulga Atomica (The Atomic Flea)