Lionel Messi, Short in Stature, Legend on the Field

Your life is not determined by your circumstances. Your destiny is totally in your hands and in the series of decisions you choose to make every day. The power of choice is completely yours, whether you decide to act or not, either way is a decision made. The proverb, “the decisions you make today determine your future,” are wise words. What you fail to recognise is that the impact of those small decisions collated over time create alternative opportunities, which ultimately create an altered future. Unless you are willing to take a risk you become stifled and settled in the routine of your comfort zone. In life you can choose to remain where you are or consciously decide to adjust your life path, the power of your destiny has always been in the decisions you choose to take.

Consider the story of Lionel Messi, an Argentinian footballer, now considered to be one of the major footballers of modern times. In fact in 2016 Forbes.com estimated Messi to be the second highest paid athlete of all time, a colossal step forward considering his humble beginnings. As a youngster like most young boys Messi enjoyed playing football with his siblings. What started out as a casual pursuit eventually made him millions. Yet his journey was not without its challenges.

Lionel Messi the Early Years

Lionel Messi was born on 24th June 1987 to working class parents, his father Jorge was a factory steel worker and his mother Celia, a part-time cleaner. He had two older brothers and a sister. Football was in his blood and Messi often played with his brothers and the local boys, never intimidated by the size of the other players.

At the age of 11 Messi was diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency, a condition that stunts growth and requires expensive medical treatment. Messi’s parents were unable to afford the several hundred dollars that was required for his monthly injections. A local club, River Plate were interested in Messi but were unwilling to pay for his growth hormone treatment. However, Messi continued doing what he did best, playing football and managed to impress Sporting Director of FC Barcelona, Carles Rexach. Rexach was so amazed with Messi’s talent that he signed him up immediately, offering him a contract written on a paper napkin. The contract also included the cost of his medical injections if he moved to Spain

Messi’s Football Career Takes Off

Messi’s and his father took a leap of faith and moved to Barcelona, with no job and no money, they hoped the decision would advance Messi’s football career. Messi joined Barcelona’s Youth Academy and within a short time he excelled within the ranks. Short in stature, less than five foot, the other players were not impressed but on the field Messi dazzled with his speed and technical skills and in May 2005 at the age of 18, Messi was the youngest player to score a league goal. In 2012, Messi set the record for the most goals scored in a calendar year. Then in 2014 Messi scored a hat-trick to become FC Barcelona’s all-time leading scorer with 371 goals, beating Paulino Alcantara’s record of 369 goals. Messi led Barcelona to multiple championships and league titles. Messi is the only player to date to have won five FIFA Ballon d’Or awards (a football award presented to the best players), four of which he won consecutively. He has continued to remain loyal to the club who took a chance on him, refusing to sign lucrative deals offered by others clubs. Messi re-signed with FC Barcelona extending his contract with the club until 2018.

“Barcelona is my life. They have brought me to where I am today. I could not leave. I do not want to leave.” Lionel Messi

The decision of Messi’s family to move to Spain when he was just a young boy was a massive gamble but certainly one that paid off. Considering his modest beginnings Messi’s net worth is $218 million dollars (source: sportstardom.com) including an array of endorsements with Adidas, Pepsi and Turkish Airlines.

“I made a lot of sacrifices by leaving Argentina, leaving my family to start a new life, but everything I did I did for football to achieve my dream. That’s why I didn’t go out partying or doing a lot of other things.” Lionel Messi

Messi is undoubtedly an impressive footballer, never allowing his short stature to get in the way of his love for the game. Instead he zoned in and amplified his technical skills rendering him one of the best players of all time!

Watch the video of Lionel Messi as he takes on  3-4 players, never fearless…

 

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