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Lionel Messi: The early years
  • Lionel Messi, Barcelona (Photo by Michael Regan - PA Images via Getty Images)
  • Lionel Messi, Argentina (Photo by Michael Regan - PA Images via Getty Images)
  • Chelsea's Paulo Ferreira (r) struggles to contain Lionel Messi during the Champions League match between Chelsea and Barcelona, on Stamford Bridge, London, on Wednesday 22nd February 2006. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Photo credit should read: Chris Young/PA (Photo by Chris Young - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
  • Argentina's Lionel Messi (16) in action as Argentina beat Serbia-Montenegro 6-0 in the World Cup in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, June 16, 2006. (Photo by Lionel Hahn/Abaca Press/KRT)
  • Barcelona's Deco, Leo Messi and Ronaldinho stand dejected after Chelsea's Didier Drogba scored the opening goal (Photo by Mike Egerton - PA Images via Getty Images)
  • Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Liverpool's Xabi Alonso battle for the ball (Photo by Adam Davy - PA Images via Getty Images)
  • Barcelona's Leo Messi and Liverpool's Alvaro Arbeloa in action (Photo by Peter Byrne - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
  • Switzerland's Philippe Senderos and Argentina's Lionel Messi battle for the ball (Photo by John Walton - PA Images via Getty Images)
  • Rangers' Sasa Papac (left) challenges Barcelona's Lionel Messi during the UEFA Champions League Group E match at Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow. (Photo by Andrew Milligan - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
  • Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo, AC Milan's Kaka and Barcelona's Lionel Messi at the FIFA World Player Gala (Photo by John Walton - PA Images via Getty Images)
  • Barcelona's Lionel Messi is handed the wrong trophy after being named runner up in the FIFA World Player of the Year award at the FIFA World Player Gala (Photo by John Walton - PA Images via Getty Images)
  • Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring the third goal (Photo by Mike Egerton - PA Images via Getty Images)
  • Barcelona's Leo Messi is stopped by Manchester United's Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final First Leg match at Nou Camp, Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Martin Rickett - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
  • Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo (l) and Barcelona's Leo Messi battle for the ball (Photo by Mike Egerton - PA Images via Getty Images)
  • Argentina's Lionel Messi and Brazil's Lucas in the Men's Semi Final at the Workers Stadium in Beijing, China. (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
  • Argentina's Angel Di Maria celebrates with Lionel Messi after scoring the winning goal against Nigeria in the Men's Football Competition at Beijing's National Stadium (Photo by Tony Marshall - PA Images via Getty Images)
  • (left to right) Barcelona's Xavi Hernandez, Liverpool's Fernando Torres, Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo, Barcelona's Lionel Messi and AC Milan's Kaka at the FIFA World Player Gala 2008 (Photo by Adam Davy - PA Images via Getty Images)
  • Argentina's Lionel Messi takes the ball past France's Jeremy Toulalan (L) and Lassana Diarra (R) (Photo by Stephen Pond - PA Images via Getty Images)
  • Barcelona's Lionel Messi (2nd right) celebrates with his team mates after scoring the third goal. (Photo by Adam Davy - PA Images via Getty Images)
  • The Barcelona team. (Front row L-R) Lionel Messi, Thierry Henry, Daniel Alves, Andrs Iniesta, Xavi. (Back row L-R) Eric Abidal,Gnegneri Yaya Toure , Rafael Marquez, Gerard Pique, Samuel Eto'o and Vctor Valdes (Photo by Nick Potts - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
  • Chelsea's John Terry (right) and Barcelona's Lionel Messi (left) battle for the ball (Photo by Rebecca Naden - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
  • Manchester United's Wayne Rooney (left) and Barcelona's Lionel Messi battle for the ball. (Photo by Mike Egerton - PA Images via Getty Images)
  • Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates with his winners medal after the game. (Photo by Mike Egerton - PA Images via Getty Images)
  • Barcelona's Seydou Keita (left) Lionel Messi (centre) and Thierry Henry (right) celebrate with the trophy. (Photo by Mike Egerton - PA Images via Getty Images)
  • Barcelona's Lionel Messi finds himself surrounded by 5 Inter Milan defenders (Photo by Mike Egerton - PA Images via Getty Images)
  • Barcelona's Lionel Messi (left) lobs Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia to score his hat-trick goal (Photo by Adam Davy - PA Images via Getty Images)
  • Argentina's Head Coach Diego Maradona (right) celebrates after the final whistle with Lionel Messi (left) and Maxi Rodriguez (centre) (Photo by Mike Egerton - PA Images via Getty Images)
  • Barcelona's Lionel Messi runs through the FC Copenhagen's defence (Photo by Mike Egerton - PA Images via Getty Images)