Lionel Messi became the latest teen superstar of Argentine soccer in 2005. That year he was named the player of the tournament at under-20 World Cup; played his first game for the Argentine national team (against Hungary on 17 August); and scored his first goal (on 1 May) with the professional team FC Barcelona, where he played alongside another South American sensation, Ronaldinho. That year Messi also turned 18. He was soon being compared to an earlier Argentine soccer hero, Diego Maradona. Like Maradona, Messi is an attacking, goal-scoring forward; Barcelona’s official site calls him “highly creative.” Messi was a member of Argentina’s 2006 World Cup team. In 2009 he helped Barcelona win a rare triple: the Copa del Rey, Spain’s La Liga championship, and the Champions League.
Messi is 5’6″ tall; his nickname is “The Flea”… Rosario was also the birthplace of Che Guevara… Messi scored a famous solo goal for FC Barcelona against Getafe CF on 18 April 2007. He took the ball just inside the half line and sprinted past five defenders and the goalie before booting the ball home from a sharp angle. The goal is often compared to Diego Maradona’s dashing solo “goal of the century” vs. England in the 1986 World Cup.