Lionel 'Leo' Messi, the name is enough to recognise who the person is and what his impact has been to the game of football, or to the emotions revolving around football. Standing 5'7" tall, the left-footed playmaker was born in Rosario to a middle-class immigrant family.
He was diagnosed with a deficiency of growth hormones at the meagre age of 10. Leo's career was about to get finished but his father's health insurance policy covered him for two years after which at the age of 13 Barcelona signed him and promised to pay for his treatment.
Unfortunately, he is not a god, he is another normal human being who is made of flesh and blood, has a family and leads a normal low-key life. People say that he is not much committed to playing for Argentina and he will never reach up to Diego Maradona's level. But the fact is that he is Lionel Messi and he is different. He has his own way and loves his country to the core. For that, he does not need to prove that to others.
People have questioned whether he should be considered a great as he does not have an international trophy while his fellow counterpart Cristiano Ronaldo does. But 'Leo' is still roaring on and continuing his fight against his critics to prove them wrong. He has scored more than 600 goals in his career. Let's celebrate the birthday of the maestro by revisiting five of his best goals.
Real Zaragoza vs Barcelona, March 21, 2010
It was a typical Messi masterpiece, he fought to win the ball near the halfway line and on his way to score the goal, he beat three defenders and the third defender twice to hit a low shot in at the far corner of the net.
Barcelona vs Real Madrid, April 27, 2011
That night he scored a hattrick against the arch-rivals in a Champions League semi-final fixture. The goal was the second of the night. He dribbled past four Madrid players much to the awe of the viewers and put the ball into the net with precision through his weaker foot.
Argentina vs Iran, June 21, 2014
In a must-win match for Argentina in the group stages of World Cup, Messi came to the rescue of his nation by scoring a blinder from outside the box which went past the Iranian goalkeeper at the top far corner of the net. This goal made the difference and came in the dying minutes of the match as Argentina could not break the deadlock till the last minute.
Barcelona vs Bayern Munich, May 6, 2015
Messi humiliated German defender Jerome Boateng as he dumped the latter who, at that time, was one of the best centre-backs of the world, on the floor before chipping the ball over Neuer's reach to seal the deal for his team. Pep Guardiola, who was on the other side of the bench, came to Barcelona as Bayern's coach after he left the former. His return was devastated by Messi which he acknowledged later in the press conference.
Barcelona vs Athletic Bilbao, May 30, 2015
The little magician in the Copa del Rey final picked up the ball just inside opponents half and accelerated from 0-19.5 mph in just 2.73 seconds. At that pace, he went past three defenders with three touches of the ball in 1.2 seconds. He then went inside the box and shot a blinder past the hands of the goalkeeper. This goal has been researched and till now, considered as an inhuman feat.