Few names in popular culture generate the excitement that this man does. With an almost superhuman footballing ability, Lionel Messi has become the stand out name in football - and if it was not for his closest nemesis, Cristiano Ronaldo, he would be the out-and-out best player on the planet.
Having spent his career at Barcelona since the age of 13, Messi came through the world-famous La Masia academy to make his debut at 17. He has gone on to break almost every club record available, showcasing great loyalty and determination to become the biggest name in the game.
His passion is unquestionable and has helped to earn him unprecedented individual and collective successes. He has a trophy haul beyond compare, with eight league titles, seven Spanish Super Cups, four Champions Leagues, five Copas Del Rey's and three Club World Cups amongst his collection, having been the best player in Barcelona’s most successful decade ever. Messi has inspired generations with his ability, work rate and integrity, and in every corner of the globe you will see children and adults alike with ‘Messi 10’ on the back of their shirt. Whether written on the back of a T-shirt with a pen or printed on an official football shirt, fans all over the world want to be like Messi.
He is lauded for his ability to pick a pass, score from an unlikely angle and for the way the ball seemingly sticks to his feet when he dribbles. There is little on a football field that he cannot do and he has the qualities to change a game at any moment. Having had his height called in to question at a young age, Messi is able to talk about the struggles and sacrifices needed to reach the top of the beautiful game.
As well as being an inspirational football speaker, he is able to cover themes like leadership and motivation, having been a major player, winning every domestic trophy available to him and Barcelona, and reaching the World Cup Final with Argentina as the nation’s captain - there is little Messi doesn’t know about. His long standing rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo has seen the two battle it out for personal accolades over the years to be level on five Ballon D'ors each.
One of the most exciting, impressive and devastating duos to compete against each other in football’s illustrious history, the two have battled for several years to be lauded as the world’s finest player creating one of the most intense sporting rivals in the world. Both have had their name shouted from the rooftops and their ability and desire to constantly trump each other, game after game, season after season, has made them both better players.