Lionel Andrés "Leo" Messi Cuccittini is an Argentine professional footballer who plays for Spanish club FC Barcelona and the Argentina national team. He is a forward and serves as captain for Argentina. Lionel Messi is an Argentinian footballer widely regarded as the one of the greatest players of the modern generation. He plays for FC Barcelona and the Argentina national team. He has won FIFA world player of the year four times (a record already). He has often been described as Diego Maradona’s successor because of his prolific goal scoring record and ability to dribble past opponents. Lionel Messi was born, 24 June 1987, in Rosario, Argentina to a working class family. His father was a factory steel worker, and his mother a cleaner. He began playing from an early age, and his talent was soon apparent. However, at the age of 11, Messi was diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency (GHD).