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Lionel Messi is an Argentine professional soccer player who plays as a forward for the Spanish football club Barcelona and the current captain of the Argentine national football team. Along with the Portuguese star forward Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi is widely regarded as one of the two best players of his generation in the world, and by some of his fans, the greatest of all time. Known for his versatile role as a capable playmaker and a decisive striker on the field and international stardom off the field, Messi commands one of the largest fan bases in online football communities.
Messi began playing football in 1994, at the age of six, by joining the youth team for the Argentine football club Newell's Old Boys, where he honed his skills as a prolific goalscorer by scoring nearly 500 goals for the youth team, before moving to Spain to train at FC Barcelona's renowned youth academy La Masia in 2001. Upon completing his youth training at the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) in 2003, Messi received an offer to play with Arsenal FC in the English Premiere League, although he declined and decided to remain with Barcelona. In November that year, Messi made his official career debut as a substitute for Barcelona during a friendly match against the Portuguese club Porto FC.
As of July 2018, Lionel Messi has more than 90 million fans and followers on Facebook, only second to the Portuguese striker and his rival Christiano Ronaldo in football fandom, 2.64 million followers on Twitter and over 96 million followers on Instagram. Like many other football players with massive followings on social media, Messi maintains a firmly branded presence across through his official counts.
Crying Messi":/memes/crying-messi is a reaction image and photoshop meme based on a photograph of Argentinian football player Lionel Messi frowning in dismay after missing his opening kick against the Chilean national football team during the penalty shoot-out at the 2016 Copa América Centenario Final.
Messi commands among the largest fan bases of all public figures on Facebook. Within seven hours of launching his official Facebook page, it had amassed almost seven million followers. In 2014, a survey conducted by sports research firm Repucom revealed that 87% of respondents in 15 international markets were familiar with Messi, making him the second-most recognizable football player behind Ronaldo.
 Bleacher Report – Lionel Messi: 300+ Goals, Already the Greatest of All Time?
 La Estrella De Panama – Meme de Messi por fallar penal y asistencia con el Barca contra el Levante (ES)