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LIONEL MESSI - The Magic
LIONEL MESSI has been awarded the FIFA Ballon d’Or for the third successive year.
Barcelona’s 24-year-old Argentina striker beat team-mate Xavi and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo to the title of the world’s best player.
Messi, man of the match in the Champions League final in 2011, also won the Primera Division, Spanish Supercopa, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup last year.
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and Xavi both paid tribute to Messi.
Ferguson said Messi could now be judged alongside the greats of world football through the ages, even though he is still only 24.
Lionel Messi factfile:-
1987: June 24 – Born in Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina.
1995: Joins Newell’s Old Boys.
1998: Diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency at age of 11.
2000: Moves to Barcelona, aged 13.
2003: November 16 – Makes first-team debut in friendly at Porto at the age of 16.
2004: October 16 – Appears in first official Barca match, aged 17, in 1-0 derby win at Espanyol.
2005: May 1 – Becomes youngest player to score for Barcelona by netting against Albacete.
-June – Helps Argentina to World Youth Championship triumph in Holland. Messi is competition’s top scorer and is named player of the tournament.
-August 17 – Makes full Argentina debut as second-half substitute in Hungary, only to be shown a red card within two minutes.
-September – Granted EU passport by Spanish government.
2006: May – Helps Barca retain Primera Division title and win Champions League, although he misses out on Champions League final win over Arsenal in Paris due to injury.
-June 16 – Becomes youngest player to represent Argentina at a World Cup with substitute appearance against Serbia & Montenegro. Also nets final goal in 6-0 win to become fifth youngest goalscorer in World Cup history.
2007: July – Named Young Player of the Tournament after helping Argentina to Copa America final, where they lose to Brazil.
-December 2 – Finishes third behind Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo in Ballon d’Or voting.
-December 13 – Again misses out to Kaka, this time finishing second to the Brazilian in FIFA World Player of the Year poll.
2008: July 3 – Included in Argentina squad for Olympic Games in Beijing, prompting protracted dispute between the Argentinian federation and Barcelona, who want the player available for Champions League qualifiers.
-August 7 – Barca announce they will allow Messi to remain with Argentina squad for the duration of the Olympics.
-August 23 – Helps Argentina to gold with a 1-0 victory over Nigeria in the final in Beijing’s Bird’s Nest stadium.
-December 2 – Finishes second behind Cristiano Ronaldo in Ballon d’Or voting.
2009: May 27 – Scores second goal as Barcelona beat Manchester United 2-0 to win Champions League final in Rome. Also helps Barca win the Primera Division and Copa del Rey titles in an unprecedented treble.
-October 14: Helps Argentina reach the World Cup finals with 1-0 win in Uruguay.
-December 1: Wins Ballon d’Or.
2010: April 6 – Scores four as Barcelona knock Arsenal out of the Champions League.
-May – Equals Ronaldo’s club record of 34 goals in a league season as Barca win the Primera Division title again.
-June – Plays every game as Argentina reach quarter-finals of the World Cup before being knocked out by Germany.
-November 20 – His second hat-trick of the season in Barca’s 8-0 win over Almeria takes him to 100 goals in La Liga.
2011: January 10 – Wins FIFA Ballon d’Or.
-May: Ends campaign having helped Barca to Champions League and Primera Division glory. Finishes the season with 50 goals in league, Copa del Rey and Champions League action.
-August – Named Argentina captain by new coach Alejandro Sabella.
-December – Part of the Barcelona squad which wins the Club World Cup in Japan.
2012: January 9 – Retains FIFA Ballon d’Or prize.
-This season Messi moves past César Rodríguez's record of 232 goals to become the Club's all time top goalscorer. He achieves this on the 20th of March 2012 in a 5-3 victory over Granada in which he scores a brilliant hat-trick.
-March 7, 2012, the football world watched in awe as he scored five goals in a single game against Bayer 04 Leverkusen.
-May 5, 2012, the Leo Messi legend was extended in the derby against Espanyol, when he made it to an unprecedented 50 goals in a league season, having scored four goals in three different matches. A remarkable season ended with one of the finest goals of his career in the Copa del Rey final against Bilbao.
-In this season he has scored in every competition he played in, totally an astonishing 73 as Barça conquered the Spanish Supercup, European Supercup, Champions League, Clubs World Cup and the Copa del Rey.
- He also ended 2011-12 season as the UEFA Champions' League Top Scorer for a fourth consecutive time, with 14 goals. He was one of the top assist providers of the tournament with 5 assists and finished the season with 73 goals and 29 assists in all club competitions, with more goals and assists than any other player.
Most goals scored in a season in all competitions: 73 goals
Most goals scored in a single league season: 50 goals
Most goals scored in a single UEFA Champions League season: 14 goals
Most La Liga hat-tricks in a season: 8 hat-tricks
Most UEFA Champions League hat-tricks: 3 hat-tricks
Only player to score 2 hat-trick in a Champions League season
Highest scorer in a single UEFA Champions League game: 5 goals
Most UEFA Champions League top scorer award: 4 awards
The only player to receive the UEFA Champions League top scorer award 4 years in a row
Most La Liga home goals in a season: 35 goals
Most consecutive league matches scored in: 10 matches
Youngest player to score 150 league goals: 24 years and 270 days
Most goals scored in the Supercopa de España: 8 goals
Most goals scored in FIFA Club World Cup: 4 goals
Fastest Barcelona hat-trick: completed in 17th minutes
Barcelona Record Goalscorer: 253 goals
Barcelona Record Goalscorer in UEFA Champions League: 51 goals
Barcelona Record Goalscorer in European Competitions: 52 goals
Barcelona Record Goalscorer in international Competitions: 56 goals
Last edited by pam_skull : 6th July 2012 at 12:38 PM.
The marine red neck gives the
shirt a classic yet modern
appearance, and also features the
red and yellow of the Catalan flag
on the outside and the ‘More Than
a Club’ slogan on the inside. The
blue on the shirt is darker than the
shade that has appeared in more
recent editions, and the typeface
was chosen to reflect Catalan
" The blue shorts include a red
stripe down the side, and the word
"Barça" on the back. The blue socks
also have the 'Barça' name in
yellow lettering, using the same
typeface as the shirt. They also
feature the innovative soles that
help with balance and have gone
down so well among
the 2012-13 Primera Division
season will begin on the weekend
of August 18 and 19. This is in line
with the schedule for the recently
concluded 2011-12 campaign, which
was slated to kick off on August 20
but was postponed by a week due
to player strike action.
Jordi Cardoner also drew attention to
the Club’s sporting success this
season: “it was really positive – we
won 17 titles” and also praised the
“exemplary” behaviour of the fans
over the campaign.
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