Lionel Messi is one of the world’s best football players who comfortably occupies an enviable spot in the hearts of soccer fans of this generation, as well as the history book of greatness. The football star is a skillful forward with great agility when it comes to slicing through opponents and narrow spaces on the field.
Messi has won the coveted Ballon d’Or six times (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019) and scooped 34 trophies with his favourite team, Barcelona. The trophies include six Copas del Rey, 4 Champions League titles, and 10 La Liga titles. His creativity and exceptional goal-scoring ability have also earned him several prestigious individual awards and unbeatable records; the star player, at the time of writing this piece, has scored 35 hat-tricks in La Liga, 433 goals in La Liga, and also assisted his teammates 177 times during competitive games. Outside of Barca, Lionel has crossed the ball into the net for his country several times, a feat that endeared him to the Argentine football body and fans.
Beyond his dominant left foot, impressive on-field connection with his teammates, and intimidating career timeline, here are lesser-known facts about the prolific forward’s height, weight, body stats, and height treatment history.
Life Before Fame
Although this professional football genius is widely known as Lionel Messi, his full name is actually Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini. He was born in a town in Argentina called Rosario on 24th June 1987 to an Italian magnet manufacturing worker mother known as Celia Cuccittini and a steel factory worker with Spanish and Italian ancestry, Jorge Messi.
The footballer grew up with two older brothers named Matías and Rodrigo, as well as a younger sister called María Sol. Jorge trained all his kids to have a keen interest in football; he began coaching Lionel at a local club known as Grandoli when he was four years old and also encouraged his three boys to play football together. Messi’s earliest interest in football was greatly inspired by his maternal grandmother, Celia. Prior to his professional career, he played at La Masia (Barcelona’s youth academy) after which he formally joined the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) in the month of February 2002 as a member.
He kicked off his youth career with Barcelona in the year 2001 and began his senior career with Barca’s team C in 2003 until 2004 and later with the club’s team B until 2005, making a total of 32 appearances while scoring 11 goals.
Lionel Messi became a senior team player in the Spanish football club in 2004 and so far, he has made over 460 appearances and scored over 430 goals for FC Barcelona.
— Leo Messi 🔟 (@WeAreMessi) January 31, 2020
How Tall Is The Footballer?
Lionel Messi may have shown a great deal of uniqueness, mastery, and professionalism in football techniques but the Barcelona star is widely considered as one of the smallest football players of this generation. Height, no doubt, is a definite advantage on the field but in the case of Messi, he has recorded much success with his comparatively small stature that naturally places him on a low center of gravity.
Messi’s height is officially listed as 5 feet 7 inches even though the Wall Street Journal suggests the footballer doesn’t measure up to that. With the help of his small stature, the Argentine forward has perfectly mastered the art of penetrating through defenders while dribbling and squeezing himself in-between players with no fear or hesitation.
Messi Vs Ronaldo – Who is Taller?
Juventus player Cristiano Ronaldo is considerably taller than his Barcelona counterpart. Lionel Messi’s height is largely considered as the reason he hardly scores with his head, unlike his Portuguese rival who is well-known for netting numerous points with his head, agility on his feet, and rising above his opponents when meeting the ball mid-air goals. Ronaldo’s tall frame is measured to be 6 feet 2 inches.
Interestingly, Lionel is not the only iconic player standing on the under-6-feet line. The likes of Xavi Hernandez (5 feet 8 inches), Andres Iniesta (5 feet 8 inches), Argentine legend Diego Maradona (5 feet 7 inches), and Brazil’s most celebrated footballer Pele (5 feet 7 inches) are relatively compact.
Like the following star players – Luka Modric, David Silva, Juan Mata, Marcelo, Eden Hazard, Theo Walcott who also stand below five-feet-nine, Messi’s height doesn’t in any way characterize wholly who he is as an international footballer and one of the greatest players of the 21st century.
Did Lionel Messi Improve His Height?
Yes, Lionel Messi improved his height due to an uncommon case of growth hormone deficiency he suffered at a young age. While growing up as a talented footballer, Messi was very fragile and much shorter than his peers in his hometown. It became clear that he needed urgent help to fix his height after he was diagnosed with Growth Hormone Deficiency (GHD) at the age of 10. The cost of treatment for the disease was estimated at $1,000 per month which was on the high side for his family and the local clubs River Plate and Newell’s Old Boys which initially showed interest in him, later pulled out as a result of the amount of money involved.
Lionel Messi’s treatment process was finally sponsored by FC Barcelona in a bid to solidify their interest in him – many thanks to an associate of the club called Josep Maria Minguella, as well as Charly Rexach and Joan Lacueva of Barca’s management team.
The Argentine football legend completed his treatment at the age of 14 and later signed his first professional deal with Barcelona on a paper napkin.
To a large extent, Messi’s growth hormone helped his football career and also ensured that his height matched his athletic strength, speed, and agility. In addition, the injections also countered other internal challenges he had such as poor vision, teeth and skin problems, poor immunity, and pituitary function. The Barca talisman was just 4 feet 2 inches before the treatment but now he stands at a height of 5 feet 7 inches even though he is still considered to be short and small.
While the footballer’s GHD is well-known to the public, there is another unconfirmed and lesser-known side of his health. Speculations have it that the Barca forward wearing the No. 10 jersey was slightly autistic at his young age and was diagnosed with Asperger‘s syndrome at the age of 8. Although this claim is largely considered as mere speculation, the fact that Lionel Messi was dubbed “the little quiet one” as a child due to his inability to socialize with his teammates could mean the claim has an element of truth in it.
That notwithstanding, Lionel Messi’s magical football talent unarguably places him above any sort of controversy or imperfection. Not only that, but Barcelona’s decision to give him a chance also remains one of the biggest commitments in footballing history.
What Treatment Did Lionel Messi Use and How Does It Work?
People who suffer GHD are usually fragile with very low bone density. In the case of Lionel Messi, he was very fragile and small in stature to the point that many teams refused to sign him because they were not sure if he would be an asset to them. Talking about the method(s) used for his treatment, there are no detailed accounts of the whole process but we do know that GHD is generally treated by injecting growth hormones into the body. As for how it works, it is treated via constant therapy that lasts not less than two years.
It is on record that a single session of Messi’s growth hormone therapy cost Barcelona about $1500 per month for the injections. In the long run, the footballer was able to reach an average height with the help of medical treatment from experts after he joined FC Barcelona’s youth academy, La Masia.
How Effective Is The Treatment, Is It Common Among Other Athletes?
The exact reason for GHD is not largely known but some of its leading causes include brain tumour, radiation therapy, and infections. According to researchers, Human Growth Hormone (HGH) therapy is very effective and safe for people with GHD and other short stature-related conditions such as Turner Syndrome.
The use of human growth hormone substances among athletes is considered illegal, especially in the U.S. This is because it also acts as a performance enhancer in people that are normal. Normal athletes who undergo the treatment process primarily do so to gain physical benefits or a sporting advantage which is commonly frowned at by sports authorities. HGH was banned for athletic purposes for the first time in 1989 by the International Olympic Committee, even though it is highly abused in all levels of sports.
What’s Lionel Messi’s Weight?
It is important to maintain an impressive form and fitness in sports, especially football. This is due to the level of agility, strength, and speed it demands. Unlike CR7 who is mostly followed by fitness enthusiasts for his rigorous workout plan, Lionel Messi maintains a comfortable weight with the help of his coaches, using a regular exercise regime. The Barcelona talisman currently weighs 72 kg and has never been slowed down by his weight on the field.
Despite crossing the age of 30, the prolific player still maintains a high level of speed and agility due to his suitable weight. He is yet to show signs of slowing down, instead, the father of three has been busy adding more gloss to his sparkling career.
Lionel Messi’s relevance at the top, great form, and weight are tied to his diet. Before the year 2014, the Argentine forward was known for his love for pizza, fast food, and fizzy drinks, which he got addicted to as a teenager. So, in a bid to maintain ideal weight for football and also build his muscles for games in the future, Lionel began to work with renowned Italian dietitian Giuliano Poser in 2014. In place of refined cereals and heavily sugared foods, dried fruit, olive oil seasoned-salad, fresh fruit, seeds, and nuts were recommended for the footballer while his staples constitute of pasta and whole grain rice.
— Leo Messi 🔟 (@WeAreMessi) January 30, 2020
Lionel Messi doesn’t consume much meat like before while his addiction to fizzy drinks has since been taken care of. He now takes a well-known South American drink called Mate Tea. The drink is richly infused with caffeine and seems to suit his body better.
The footballer’s weight loss was noticed for the first time when he returned to his club after the 2014 World Cup. It was discovered that he had lost three kilograms and was faster with the ball on his feet. Lionel now bands together with a member of his club’s nutrition team Doctor Maria Antonia Lizarraga Dallo.
All The Facts About Lionel Messi’s Other Body Stats
Lionel Messi’s greatest asset is not only his powerful left foot; his stunning physique is yet another advantage to his career. The Barcelona star doesn’t go shirtless all the time but when he does, he often looks way hotter than a footballer. Unfortunately, the exact measurements of his biceps, chest, waist, arms, and other body features are not up for public consumption but it is a known fact that he has a pair of brown eyes and sports brown hair.
It is evident, however, that he has enough muscle mass and athletic body which are greatly covered with over 10 significant tattoos. Messi’s love for body ink has grown over the years; his body has been used as a canvas by tattoo artists a lot of times. Most of his ink designs have a bearing on his family which shows how much they mean to him.
The Barcelona forward’s shoe size is 10 (US). He currently plays with Nemeziz Messi 19.1 firm ground soccer cleats, which was recently launched by Adidas.