Lionel Messi is now 34-year-old and has been a professional footballer in the last 17 years. His club, FC Barcelona have been using different means to celebrate the iconic footballer who is currently busy with the Argentina national team in the ongoing Copa America.
Lionel Messi was born on June 24, 1987, in Rosario, Argentina. He left his country when he was 13-year-old for Spain where he joined Barcelona’s football academy.
34 years old.— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) June 24, 2021
17 years of elite football.
1 Leo Messi#Messi34 pic.twitter.com/9cR9lrHsJW
Within four years at the academy, Lionel Messi groomed his football skills so well that he gained promotion to Barcelona senior team in July 2005, almost 9 months after he made his debut for the team in October 2004 aged 17.
In a short while, Lionel Messi established himself so well in Barcelona that he helped the club to win their first treble in the 2008-2009 season. His performance did not go unnoticed as he won his first Ballon d’Or in his football career aged 22.
❌ G⚽️AL OF THE DAY— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) June 24, 2021
✅ #MESSI'S 10 BEST GOALS OF THE DAY 🎂 pic.twitter.com/JobKNo91b0
From that point, Messi became unstoppable as he went on to win four consecutive Ballon d’Or. He surpassed his perceived career rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, in 2019 when he won a record 6th Ballon d’Or.
Some of the outstanding things Lionel Messi achieved before he turned 34-year-old
Lionel Messi is always criticized for not doing enough to help the Argentina national team to win a major title. This has frustrated him on a couple of occasions that he once announced his retirement from the national team.
However, he continued to try his best to break the jinx of not winning a major title with his national team. He and his Argentine teammates are currently topping the Copa America Group A with 7 points in 3 games, two points above second-placed Chile.
Aside from that, he has performed so well in club football that most fans of the game believe that he is the greatest of all time. Some of the accolades and records he has that made them believe so include:
- He is the first player to win 6 Ballon d’Or.
- He has a record six European Golden Shoes.
- He has won a club-record 34 trophies, including ten La Liga titles, seven Copa del Rey titles, and four UEFA Champions Leagues.
- He has the most goals in La Liga (474).
- He has the most hat-tricks in La Liga (36)
- He has scored over 750 senior career goals for club and country.
- He has the most goals ever by a player for a single club (672).
- The most assists in La Liga (192).
🎆 Only the BEST celebrations for the BEST!— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) June 24, 2021
Send Leo #Messi a Happy Birthday message (photos, videos, artwork) with the hashtag #Messi34! pic.twitter.com/mdjNG8dTSt
Messi and his contract tussle with Barcelona
Lionel Messi turned 34-year-old without sorting out his contract with FC Barcelona where he has been since he became a professional footballer in 2004.
His contract with the club would expire on June 30, 2021, and yet, the club has not made an official announcement over it despite the back and forth that have been going on between the club and Messi’s representatives.
Initially, reports claimed that Lionel Messi has agreed on terms with Barcelona to sign a deal that would see him play at Barcelona for two seasons and then move to the Major League Soccer to play for Inter Miami.
Though the report went viral, Barcelona nor the representatives of the football icon have not made an official statement regarding the reports. Hence, Messi might end up being a free agent if Barcelona fail to tidy up things with him before the end of next week.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding the future of the football icon, Barcelona president Joan Laporta is confident that the Argentine star would sign a new contract with the club before his current contract expires.