Lionel Messi turns 27 years old today.
If he was to take stock, he'd have to conclude that life is good. He's won every trophy while starring for Spanish club FC Barcelona the last nine years, won the FIFA World Player of the Award four times, and has a beautiful girlfriend, with whom he has a son.
In an age where love doesn't exist until it exists on social media, Messi's girlfriend Antonella Roccuzzo, who reportedly studies nutrition and prefers to avoid the spotlight, said "Happy Birthday" in the most contemporary way: she made a video of their life together and posted it to her Instagram. The video features a cute shot of the couple as kids: they have known each other since the age of five because their families are friends.
Over the years, Messi's detractors have only had one valid complaint: he'd yet to truly shine on the biggest football stage of all: the World Cup. In 2006, he became the youngest Argentinian at 17 to represent his country at the World Cup. In spite of sporadic playing time, he made a mark - scoring a goal and assisting on another against Serbia and Montenegro. But in the end he wasn't a huge factor. He didn't play at all in the loss to Germany in the quarterfinals.
By 2010, everything had changed. Messi wore the number 10 shirt and was the undisputed architect of the Argentinian attack. However, his team stumbled in the quarterfinals in a lopsided 4-0 loss to Germany (again).
This summer, Messi is making huge strides to become the successor to Maradona that everyone envisioned. Carrying the hopes of a nation on his diminutive shoulders, Messi has delivered on the pitch. The Argentinians may have struggled to impress in two World Cup matches so far. Luckily for them, they have Messi on their side. He scored a trademark goal after a mazy run in the 2-1 defeat of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Then in their second match he scored the match-winner against Iran when they appeared on the way to an embarrassing draw.
Of course, the World Cup is far from over. It remains to be seen whether Messi can fulfill his "destiny" as Argentina's messiah. His countrymen will hope the video spurs him to further greatness.
- Sports & Recreation
- Lionel Messi
- World Cup 2014