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21 Facts About Lionel Messi You Never Imagined

Many experts and fans believe Lionel Messi is one of the best footballers in the world. Some believe he is the best since Diego Maradona. Messi has earned the title of Europe’s Ballon d’ Or a record-tying five times. He holds the single season scoring record. He’s captained FC Barcelona to the longest winning streak in La Liga history and over two dozen titles.

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In the summer of 2008, he helped the Argentina national team win an Olympic gold medal. Plus, he has become only the second player to score over 600 senior career goals. However, there are many factors that define his successes and disappointments. Here are 21 facts about Lionel Messi that make this soccer great a fascinating person.

 When a Flicker becomes a Flame

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Messi met his future wife when he was 5 years old. Her name his Antonella Roccuzzo. They met in their native town of Rosario. She is the cousin of Leo’s best childhood friend, Lucas Scalia. Ten years ago, they started a relationship that produced three sons: Thiago, Mateo and Ciro.

The Big Payoff

There was a time when the second highest paid athlete in the world would play for cookies. While he was an adolescent player at the Newell’s Old Boy’s club in Rosario, one of his youth coaches found that Leo had a fondness for alfajores. To motivate his young player, the coach offered him a deal of one cookie per goal.

 Salute to Grandma Celia

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Perhaps the greatest influence in Leo’s soccer career was his maternal grandmother, Celia. She introduced him to organized soccer. Celia persuaded the coaches to let her tiny grandson play with the bigger, older boys. This is why his goal celebration features a kiss to the heavens. It is a tribute to Celia. Sadly, Celia passed away when Leo was 10-years-old.

The Price of Growth is Change

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Shortly after Celia’s death, a physician diagnosed Leo with a growth-hormone deficiency. The treatment involved a painful, daily needle injection of medication. From his salary at the steel plant, his father, Jorge, paid for the expensive treatment for two years. The Newell club offered to help financially. Jorge agreed. When this arrangement did not pan out, Jorge sought out other options. The FC Barcelona club offered Leo a contract that included paying his medical bills.

His Mentor

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Early in Leo’s professional career, the great Ronaldinho became his mentor. This great player referred to the 16-year-old Leo as his “little brother.”

Atomic Speed

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Nicknamed the “Atomic Flea,” Leo Messi can run faster with the soccer ball than without it. Using a technique called, left foot “la pelota atada,” he can run a full speed with the ball positioned on his left foot.

The Ultimate Show of Respect

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In 2012, after breaking Gerd Muller’s 40-year-old record for most goals scored in a calendar year (85), Messi sent Muller a number 10 Barcelona jersey. He signed it, “With respect and admiration.”

That Quiet Charm

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Despite being far less flamboyant than Christiano Ronaldo or David Beckham, Messi is a mega-bankable athlete.  He placed second on the 2015-16 Forbes List of highest paid athletes. In 2018, France Football reported that he became the first player to eclipse the 100-million-euro threshold in one year.

That Elusive Prize

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On his website, Messi states, “I would trade all of my personal achievements just to win a World Cup with the national (Argentina) team.” The World Cup is the grand prize in the soccer world. His fans and his detractors will not let him forget it.

A Run-in With the Law

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A court in Catalonia ruled that Leo and his father were guilty of tax evasion. The court issued Jorge a 21-month suspended sentence and a half million euro fine. It ordered Leo to pay a € 2 million fine. 

 A Kid’s Champion

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Leo Messi is a child advocate. In 2007, he established a charitable program that makes health care, sport and education available to underprivileged youth. He has been a UNICEF ambassador since 2010.

Best Buds

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Leo’s best friend is Sergio Aguero, an Argentinian soccer player and actor. When he first met Messi, he was fascinated by the Messi’s fancy boots.

Grabbing the Gold

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Messi was on the 2008 Argentinian team that won an Olympic gold medal. He provided the assist that sealed the win over the Nigerian team.

The Early Start

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Leo was only 17 when he started his professional career. He became the youngest player, at that time, to represent Barcelona in official competition. He signed his first pro contract at age 18.

Daddy Knows Best

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Most top pro footballers use high powered sports agents to negotiate their contracts. Leo defies that logic by having his father serve as his agent in all financial dealings.

What Goes Around, Comes Around

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Leo may end his career where he started out. The hard feelings between the star player and Newell’s have soften over time. Messi has had plans to end his career with the home club for a long time.

A Big Omission

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Messi has had a long, successful relationship with FC Barcelona. However, there are some signs that Leo’s relationship with the organization is fading. None of the club’s coaches or board of directors were invited to his 2017 wedding to Antonella. Goal.com reported that even his favorite coach, Pep Guardiola, did not attend.

Royal Pairing

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In 2013, Messi starred in a Turkish airline advertisement with Kobe Bryant. Their mock selfie competition became the most-watched ad on YouTube that year.

I am Who I am

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Leo turned down an opportunity to play for the Spanish national team because he sees himself as an Argentinian. Conversely, many Argentinian fans consider him a Spaniard.

As Good as the Paper It is Written On

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Leo’s first pro contract was written on a napkin. Barcelona coach, Carles Rexach, was so blown away with the young man’s talents, he wrote up the contract on the first piece of paper he could find.

Off Limits

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Messi’s buyout clause is € 250 million. It is a clear sign that FC Barcelona is saying “bug off’ to the competition.

The Workout Routines of These 11 Latina Celebrities

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The Workout Routines of These 11 Latina Celebrities

Have you ever wondered what your favorite celebrities do to maintain their gorgeous bodies? Although some people are genetically blessed with smooth skin, amazing curves, and a built-in 6-pack, for most people maintaining a Hollywood body takes work, and lots of it. Today, we’re going to explore the workout routines of some of our favorite Latina celebs, and bring you all their tips and tricks to help shake up your everyday workout routine.

1. Jennifer Lopez

Instagram @jlo


Bombshell J-Lo is the definition of a triple threat- she can sing, dance, and act (hello, have you seen The Wedding Planner?) Plus, with her smoking hot boyfriend Alex Rodriguez at her side, there’s no stopping her now.

Instagram @jlo


To keep looking so amazing at 46, J-Lo maintains a great fitness regime- starting with her healthy eating habits. She almost never drinks alcohol or coffee, and doesn’t smoke. She works out every day using the Tracy Anderson method, and makes sure to wash her face so the sweat doesn’t clog her pores. Even if she’s not performing that day, she makes sure to keep active through a dance cardio program like Zumba.   

2. Demi Lovato

Twitter @ddlovato


Texas-born Demi Lovato is primarily a singer now, but she first got her start in TV shows on the Disney Channel. Even though she’s had trouble with illicit substances in the past, now that she’s out of rehab, it’s likely she’ll be back to her regular workout routine in no time.  

Instagram @ddlovato


Demi gets her amazing buns, sculpted shoulders, and defined triceps through a specialized martial arts workout. She had it designed for her so that she could do it on the road, and even though the moves are all pretty simple, it’s exhausting to do. All of the moves work the entire body, so it’s super effective in a short amount of time.

3. Sofia Vergara

Instagram @sofiavergara


Curvy bombshell Sofia Vergara definitely has some abuelas to thank when it comes to her amazing figure- curves like that cannot be faked. The Modern Family star works out with two separate trainers- Gunnar Peterson (whose past clients include Kim Kardashian and Angelina Jolie), and Justin Gelband.

Instagram @sofiavergara


Sofia’s trainers makes sure that their workouts are effective for celebrity clients, who are often short on time and need to get their sweat on in 40 minutes or less. Sofia also avoids carbs, sugar and alcohol later in the day. If she overindulges, she’ll often do a food cleanse for a month or so to get back on track.

4. Jessica Alba

Instagram @jessicaalba


Actor and Honest Company founder Jessica Alba’s Latina genetics definitely play a role in her gorgeous physique. However, she’s not afraid to admit that she does a lot of work to maintain her beautiful bod. On days that she doesn’t work out, she makes exercise part of her family time by going on walks with her daughters.

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On her workout days, she’ll wake up early (think 5:15 AM) to fit in a hot yoga or Spin class. Her favorite classes are YogaSculpt, a hot yoga full-body workout. She loves to work out with friends to keep herself accountable, and so the classes are more enjoyable.

5. America Ferrera

Twitter @AmericaFerrera


American-Honduran actress America Ferrera is one of the most outspoken activists within the Latina community. She’s worked for amazing organizations like Voto Latino and the Time’s Up legal defense fund, and spoke at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

Instagram @americaferrera


America recently spoke out about how being active and pushing her body to its limits has been incredibly empowering for her. She ran her first triathlon in 2017 and since then has trained for at least one more. She stopped weighing herself, and instead focuses on how she feels.

6. Salma Hayek

Instagram @salmahayek


Actress Salma Hayek loves to show off her body- especially her gorgeous cleavage – in dresses that fit and flatter her shape in incredible ways. 52-year-old Hayek was born in Mexico, and moved to the United States in 1991. She gave birth to her daughter Valentina in 2007, and since then has said that she doesn’t have time to work out.

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Instead of working out, Hayek claims that by holding her body in a specific way that helps tone muscles, she can maintain her enviable physique without regular exercise. She does enjoy yoga occasionally, and generally eats whatever she likes.

7. Penelope Cruz

Instagram @penelopecruzoficial


Although she first got her start as a model, Penelope Cruz has had a successful career as an actress since her first role in Hollywood in 1992. Married to actor and fellow Spaniard Javier Bardem, she gave birth to their two children Leo and Luna in 2011 and 2013, respectively.

Instagram @penelopecruzoficial


After giving birth to her children, Cruz got back into pre-baby shape by following the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes lean proteins, veggies, and healthy fats like olive oil. She loves to take Bikram yoga classes, which she says give her energy, and she does lots of dance workouts at home.

8. Eva Mendes

Instagram @evamendes


As an actress and mom of two young girls, Eva Mendes doesn’t have much time to spend on herself. When she gets time alone, she usually heads to the gym, or does a workout at home, between three and five times a week.

Instagram @evamendes


Mendes admits that her indulgences are all pretty normal- she loves candy, especially Cadbury Crème Eggs, and her mom’s Cuban black beans. To ensure her skin is glowing, she takes fish oil supplements, and uses coconut oil as a facial moisturizer.

9. Cameron Diaz

Instagram @camerondiaz


Although Cameron Diaz has always been gorgeous, lately her sculpted arms are giving us some real fitness envy. Even though she says that she’s retired from acting- her last role was in the 2014 film Annie- she’s still been seen out and about in Hollywood.

Instagram @camerondiaz


To get her incredible arms, Diaz works out with trainer Teddy Bass, who got her to switch from lighter weights and more reps to a system that uses heavier weights and fewer reps. He also makes sure to include confidence-boosting exercises, which help pull the shoulders back and improve the posture.

10. Christina Milian

Instagram @christinamilian


Singer/songwriter, actress, and mom of one Christina Milian is rocking a ridiculously hot body- and isn’t afraid to show it off. When she’s not hanging out with her 6-year-old daughter Violet, recording, or filming, she tries to get in as much exercise as possible.

Instagram @christinamilian


She doesn’t like high-intensity workouts, so she tends to stick to more sedate activities like hiking. She does love cardio and strength training, and will often pop on one of her own albums to help pump her up.

11. Eva Longoria

Instagram @evalongoria


Since her divorce from basketball star Tony Parker seven years ago, Eva Longoria has vowed to always maintain her health through exercise and eating healthy, protein-rich foods. She loves to mix up her routine, but running is definitely her favorite activity. She does it wherever she is in the world.

Instagram @evalongoria


Every day, she tries to work out before she eats breakfast. Sometimes it’s a run, or yoga, and then she’ll tuck into plate of egg whites with spinach and turkey bacon, or fruit and yogurt. She eats a healthy lunch, but will often indulge her cravings for dinner. When she’s not running or doing yoga, she’ll take a SoulCycle class, or go to pilates.

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