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About Lionel Messi Lionel Andrés "Leo" Messi (pronounced /'li:ɒnɛl æn'drɛs 'mɛsiː/; born 24 June 1987 in Rosario) is an Argentine footballer of Italian descent[3][4] who plays currently for Spanish La Liga club FC Barcelona and the Argentine national team. Messi is considered to be one of the best football players of his generation,[5][6][7] having received several Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year nominations by the age of 21. He was selected as both the FIFPro and World Soccer Magazine Young Player of the Year for three years running from 2005–2008. His playing style and ability have drawn comparisons to football legend Diego Maradona.[8] Indeed, Maradona himself declared Messi his "successor".[9]Messi began playing football at a young age and his potential was quickly identified by FC Barcelona. He left Newell's Old Boys's youth team in 2000 and moved with his family to Europe, as Barcelona offered treatment for his growth hormone deficiency. Making his debut in the 2004–05 season, he broke the La Liga record for the youngest footballer to play a league game, and also the youngest to score a league goal. Major honours soon followed as Barcelona won La Liga in Messi's debut season, and won a double of the league and UEFA Champions League in 2006. His breakthrough season was in 2006–07: he became a first team regular, scoring a hat-trick in El Clásico and finishing with 14 goals in 26 league games. Perhaps his most successful season was the 2008–09 season, in which Messi scored 38 goals to play an integral part in a treble winning campaign. Messi was the top scorer with six goals, including two in the final game of the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship. Shortly thereafter, he became an established member of Argentina's senior international team. 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 Beijing in 2008 he won his first senior international honour, an Olympic gold medal, with the Argentina Olympic football team.

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Argentina Football Players Ranking

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Rank Name Total
1. Lionel Messi 12286
2. Maradona 3009
3. Mario Kempes 1085
4. Gabriel Batistuta 724
5. Aldo Pedro Boy 526
6. Alfredo di Stéfano 380
7. Sebastián Veron 320
8. Daniel Passarella 180
9. Gonzalo Higuaín 166
10. Javier Mascherano 148

Football Players Ranking

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Rank Name Total
35. Antar Yahia 13486
36. Khodadad Azizi 12959
37. H. Mulla Mohammed 12534
38. Peter Shilton 12333
39. Lionel Messi 12286
40. Andrei Arshavin 11233
41. Georgi Asparuhov - 11171
42. Goran Pandev 10100
43. Zvjezdan Misimović 10030

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