Lionel Messi though retired now, there’s no doubt he would always remain one of the best soccer players to have ever happened to the game. These interesting facts you probably don’t know about the soccer giant but should definitely know.
10 Interesting Things you Don’t know About Messi are as following :
#1. Barcelona signed up Messi because of a video.
An agent who first spotted Messi recorded him juggling oranges 113 and tennis balls 120 consecutive times with his feet. Naturally impressed by the video, that the agent sent Barcelona, Messi and his coach were called in to sign an agreement. Interestingly, they wanted to sign him immediately and since a paper towel was the only piece of paper nearby, they had an agreement signed on it.
#2. He speaks Catalan when drunk.
Though Messi moved to Barcelona when he was only 13, he has still retained his Argentinian accent. Lionel Messi never speaks Catalan but was found speaking it only once while he was drunk and celebrating Barcelona’s victory.
#3. Messi has his own Hand of God.
During the match of 2006-07 against Espanyol, Messi scored a goal drawing Barcelona 2-2. This memorable goal, mimicked Maradona’s famous Hand of God that he played against England in 1986 World Cup and earned Messi the nickname ‘Messidona’.
#4. Messi has an undying love for food and Coca Cola.
Lionel Messi was labeled as “the start of porcelain” by the press referring to his love for food and the troublesome situation it created for the coach Pep Guardiola in training him. They even had to remove all soda-dispensing machines because of Messi’s weakness for Coca Cola.
#5. He can sleep for 12 hours at a stretch.
Messi loves to sleep so much so that he can sleep for more than 12 hours at a time and even gets annoyed on woken up! He perhaps developed this habit while undergoing his treatment, which required him to sleep a lot to help with the cell regeneration.
#6. Barcelona paid for Messi’s hormonal therapy.
Lionel Messi suffered from Growth Hormone Deficiency (GHD) as a child and required hormone therapy costing $900 per month to overcome it. But since his family couldn’t afford the treatment, Barcelona offered to take care of all the expenses on a condition that Messi had to move to Spain post that.
#7. He adores his country, family and friends.
Besides having a tattoo dedicated to his mother and son and honoring his grandma every time he scores a goal, Messi once drove to his hometown just to have lunch with his family and back for the practice the next day. He is also connected to his childhood friends with text messages and loves his hometown, Rosario. He’s even the International Ambassador for the town.
#8. He’s a UNICEF goodwill ambassador.
Messi became the goodwill ambassador of UNICEF in the year 2010 where he has worked to support children’s rights around the world. He also donated €600,000 for a children’s hospital in Rosario.
#9. Messi’s family manages his public image.
Messi is one of the few soccer players who doesn’t have an agent. However, his father and elder brother have established a company and hired a sports marketing consultant to look after Messi’s image.
#10. The Spanish Dictionary has a word dedicated to Messi.
The Santinalla dictionary contains a word ‘inmessionante’ that means
a) the unlimited potential for self-improvement; or
b) an adjective to describe the best soccer player.