Messi (World Soccer Legends)

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9780789212252: Messi (World Soccer Legends)

Profiles the Argentinean soccer star of FC Barcelona, Lionel Messi. Discusses his early childhood success, his training with the Barcelona junior team, and features fun facts like his favorite foods and his pet peeves. Updated throughout with new stats from the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

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About the Author:

Illugi J÷kulsson is a journalist, editor, and author based in Iceland.

Excerpt. ę Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Boy Wonder

When Messi was a boy his grandmother used to take care of him while his parents were at work. She would often take his older brothers to soccer practice and Messi would tag along. He had just started playing with the ball at home and was obviously talented and passionate. However, he was rather short for his age and not very powerfully built.

One day one of the teams was missing one player. It’s not clear whether it was the coach or Messi’s grandmother who suggested that little Messi should play with the older boys, but he was led to the field. He was shy and timid but wanted to play with the ball.

Messi’s grandmother and the coach decided that it would be best to have him play along the sideline so it would be easy to call him off the field if the older boys hurt him and made him cry.

The first time the balled passed to Messi nothing happened. He caught the ball with his right foot and didn’t know what to do with it. The ball just bounced away. But the next time he caught the ball with his left foot and the little guy took off. Messi surged down the field with the ball and when one of the big boys came running to take the ball off him, little Messi dodged him easily.

The coach figured he got lucky and yelled at Messi to pass the ball. But the boy just kept on running, taking on one player after another. None of them managed to get the ball off him. His grandmother and the coach watched in awe. They both knew that they’d witnessed the birth of a new genius.

At the age of five Messi started to play with a small club coached by his dad in Rosario called Grandoli. Soccer fever ran deep within the close-knit Messi family. Soon stories of the talented youngster spread and in 1995 he was training with Newell’s Old Boys, the largest club in Rosario.

Everyone could see that the boy had great potential. The trouble was that he didn’t seem to grow normally and was by far the smallest boy his age. It turned out that he suffered from growth-hormone deficiency and chances were that he would always be very short. And obviously far too small to make it to the very top.

The solution was to give Messi daily hormone injections. He didn’t enjoy it but he bit the bullet and from the age of nine Messi could give himself the injections. He started to grow again but the shots were expensive and the Messi family didn’t have the means to pay for them. Newell’s Old Boys covered the costs.

In 2000 Argentina suffered a bad financial crash, similar to the one that would hit globally in 2008. Money disappeared; everyone had to cut back on spending. Newell’s Old Boys could no longer afford to pay for Messi’s hormone injections. The boy was thirteen years old and still very small for his age. He would likely never grow to his full height.

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Descrizione libro Abbeville Press Inc.,U.S., United States, 2015. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. 2nd ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Profiles the Argentinean soccer star of FC Barcelona, Lionel Messi. Discusses his early childhood success, his training with the Barcelona junior team, and features fun facts like his favorite foods and his pet peeves. Updated throughout with new stats from the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Codice libro della libreria AAS9780789212252

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Descrizione libro Abbeville Press Inc.,U.S., United States, 2015. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. 2nd. Language: English . Brand New Book. Profiles the Argentinean soccer star of FC Barcelona, Lionel Messi. Discusses his early childhood success, his training with the Barcelona junior team, and features fun facts like his favorite foods and his pet peeves. Updated throughout with new stats from the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Codice libro della libreria AAS9780789212252

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