Lionel Andrs Messi born 24 June 1987) is an Argentine footballer who plays for La Liga club FC Barcelona and is the current captain of the Argentina national team, playing mainly as a forward. He is currently Barcelona's all-time top scorer in all official club competitions, excluding friendlies. By the age of 21, Messi had received Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year nominations. The following year in 2009 he won both the Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year, and won the inaugural FIFA Ballon d'Or in 2010 and 2011. He also won the 201011 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award. Messi is the fourth football player to win three Ballons d'Or, after Johan Cruyff, Michel Platini and Marco van Basten and the second player to win three consecutive Ballons d'Or, after Michel Platini. His playing style and small stature have drawn comparisons to Diego Maradona, who himself declared Messi as his 'successor'.
Contributions by Sebastiankessel, Marianocecowski, and Muchness.