Lionel Messi was born on June 24, 1987.

Messi, who was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency at 11, struggled to garner the attention that he deserved due to his tiny stature. But his talent was undeniable. FC Barcelona agreed to bring Messi into its developmental system in 2000.

Once he secured Spanish citizenship in 2005, he was ready for his debut in the Spanish First Division.

By the 2006-07 season, Messi had solidified himself as a starter, already drawing comparisons to fellow Argentinian legend Diego Maradona.

Although he finished third in the Ballon d'Or voting in 2007, Messi was already being recognized as the best soccer player in the world. He won the award three consecutive times (2010, 2011, 2012), a feat only Michel Platini had accomplished.

With plenty left in the tank, he may very well go down as the best of all-time, if he isn't already.

He has scored 286 goals in 315 appearances with Barcelona.

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