Lionel Messi, an Argentinian footballer and FC Barcelona star who’s regarded as one of the greatest football players of all time, celebrates his 31st birthday on June 24.
On this joyous occasion, Sputnik recalls some of the more notable facts from Messi’s biography.
- Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency as a child. His treatment was paid for by FC Barcelona after Messi moved to Spain at the age of 13 to play for the club.
- The Argentinian footballer won an impressive number of accolades during his career, including five Ballon d’Or awards and five European Golden Shoes.
- In 2012, he earned his place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the top goal scorer for club and country in a calendar year.
© AP Photo / Francisco SecoBarcelona's Lionel Messi shoots a free kick during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017
- In 2007, Messi established a charity called the Leo Messi Foundation, which supports access to health care, education and sport for children. The footballer created this organization after paying a visit to a hospital for terminally ill children in Boston.
- In 2010, he was appointed as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador, taking part in campaigns aimed at HIV prevention, education and the social inclusion of disabled children.