A recent 45-minute documentary on Lionel Messi, which starts with his discovery in Argentina and runs through the end of last season.
By the age of 21, Messi received Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year nominations. The following year he won both the Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year in 2009, and won the inaugural FIFA Ballon d’Or in 2010 and 2011. He also won the 2010–11UEFA Best Player in Europe Award. His playing style and small stature has drawn comparisons to Diego Maradona, who himself declared Messi as his “successor”.
Messi has won five La Liga titles and three Champions League titles. After scoring 12 goals in the 2010–11 Champions League, Messi became only the third player (after Gerd Müller and Jean-Pierre Papin) to top-score in three successive European Champion Clubs’ Cup campaigns, and the first since the Champions League changed its format in 1992. Messi is the fourth football player to win three Ballons d’Or, after Johan Cruyff, Michel Platini and Marco van Basten and the second player to win three consecutive Ballons d’Or, after Michel Platini (however, two of his Ballons d’Or are FIFA Ballons d’Or, which he won consecutively). In 2012, Messi made UEFA Champions League history by becoming the first player to score five goals in one match, in a 7–1 win against Bayer Leverkusen. With two goals in the next round against A.C. Milan, he matched José Altafini’s record of 14 goals in a single UEFA Champions League season. After a further two goals the following week against Real Zaragoza, Messi became the first player since Gerd Müller in the 1972–73 campaign to score 60 goals in a single European season.
Messi was the top scorer of the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship with six goals, including two in the final game. In 2006, he became the youngest Argentine to play in the FIFA World Cup and he won a runners-up medal at the Copa América tournament the following year. In 2008, in Beijing, he won his first international honour, an Olympic gold medal, with the Argentina Olympic football team.
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