Father: Jorge Messi, factory worker
Mother: Celia Cuccittini de Messi
Children: Ciro, Mateo and Thiago
As a young boy, Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency. At age 13, he signed with Futbol Club Barcelona and moved to Spain. As part of the contract, FC Barcelona agreed to pay for Messi’s hormone treatments.
1995-2000 – Plays for the local club team, Newell’s Old Boys, in Rosario, Argentina.
2000-2003 – Signs with FC Barcelona and works his way up through Barca’s youth squads.
November 16, 2003 – Makes his team debut, as a replacement in a friendly match against FC Porto.
October 16, 2004 – Makes his official debut for FC Barcelona against Espanyol. Barca wins 1-0.
March 11, 2010 – Messi is announced as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
June 2013 – Prosecutors in Barcelona file tax fraud charges against Messi and his father for the period between 2007 and 2009. The complaint alleges that Messi and his father, aiming to lower their Spanish tax bill, sought to manage the player’s lucrative income from image rights through shell companies set up overseas. Messi denies all allegations of wrongdoing.
May 2014 – Signs a new contract with FC Barcelona for a reported annual net of €20 million ($27 million).
June 2014 – A Spanish state prosecutor asks the judge to drop the tax fraud charges against Messi, but not his father.
July 28, 2014 – A judge rules that the tax fraud case against Messi and his father will proceed, despite the Spanish state prosecutor’s June request that the charges against Messi be dropped.
October 8, 2015 – A Spanish court rules that Messi and his father will stand trial for tax fraud charges.