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Lionel Messi

(1987- ) Leo Messi is an Argentine footballer who currently plays for the Spanish team FC Barcelona and captains the Argentina national team as a striker or winger. He is considered one of the best football players of his generation, in 2009 and 2010 he won the Ballon d'Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year. His playing style and ability has been compared to Diego Maradona's, who himself declared Messi as his "successor".

On January 7, 2012, Lionel Messi won a record-breaking fourth consecutive FIFA Ballon d'Or at the awards ceremony in Zurich.

Messi began playing football being a kid and Barcelona noticed his potential and offered them treatment for his growth hormone deficiency, so he moved with his family to Spain. Making his debut in the 2004–05 season, he made a new record in the team for the youngest footballer to score a league goal.

In 2006, he became the youngest Argentine to play in the FIFA World Cup and he won a runners-up medal at the Copa América tournament the following year. In 2008, in Beijing, he won his first international honor, an Olympic gold medal, with the Argentina Olympic football team.

In 2007 Messi established the Leo Messi Foundation, a charity supporting access to education and health care for vulnerable children. On 11 March 2010 he was announced as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF. Messi's UNICEF ambassador activities are aimed at supporting children's rights. Messi is supported in this by FC Barcelona, who also has a strong association with UNICEF.

On January 7, 2012, Messi won a record-breaking fourth consecutive FIFA Ballon d'Or at the awards ceremony in Zurich.

Messi captained the Argentina side in their first match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, leading them to a 2–1 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina on 15 June 2014.

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