Lionel Messi has won every possible trophy there is to win, both for his club and for the country. But the journey was far from easy. The 35-year-old Argentine is considered a soccer royalty and he has fought one very rare health problem to achieve the status.
Lionel Messi makes football look so effortless.
The way he touches the ball, dribbles past players, passes, shots, scores, assists etc
Even the way he heads the ball is special
He’s the complete package
A lot of people get tempted to think that he’s had it “easy”
He hasn’t🧵 pic.twitter.com/H7VEcNYhTB
— Edmund 💉||World Champion 🏆 (@EdmundOris) June 24, 2022
Lionel Messi won the World Cup with Argentina just the last month of the last year to achieve his lifelong dream. He became the best player in the tournament by scoring seven goals across seven World Cup matches including a pivotal brace in the final. The Argentine phenomenon has received GOAT status unanimously from soccer fans all around the world. However, nothing was put on a plate for the 7x Ballon d’Or winner.
At the tender age of 11, a young Leo was diagnosed with a rare growth hormone condition. Doctor Diego Schwarzstein noticed that young Leo has hardly grown up at all in the past two or three years. The narrative in the 90s was, a good physical presence was needed to become a professional soccer player, alongside talent. Messi was only 4’2” when he was diagnosed with the problem.
The treatment required Human Growth Hormone (HGH) injections into the alternate leg every single day. The ex-Barcelona superstar said in an interview that those injections weren’t scary for him. He said, “I injected my legs once every night. I started at 12 years old. It was not something that left an impression on me,” talking about his nightmarish journey like it was nothing in an interview with Soccer Stories.
How did Lionel Messi pay for his hormone treatment?
The HGH injections were the only way to treat 11-year-old Leo’s condition but the cost of the treatment was scary high. It was next to impossible for his family to pay $900 every month continuing for several upcoming years. Messi’s first club Newell’s Old Boys paid some of those expenses but it was still very difficult for his family to continue the treatment.
FC Barcelona came to the rescue of Lionel Messi, who would go on to become their greatest player in history. On December 14th, 2000, a Barcelona scout in Argentina saw Leo Messi playing and offered him a written contract on a napkin to join Barcelona. Messi went to Spain with his family in the following year and the club paid for his treatment until he was cured completely in 2014.
Is Messi still on growth hormones?
Lionel Messi has had a very difficult path to the very top due to his medical issues. His Growth Hormone Deficiency (GDH) was the biggest obstacle to achieving his dream. Later on, Messi suffered from Asperger’s condition, which is a mental condition somewhere identical to autism.
Romario, “Newton and Einstein had a certain level of autism – I hope that, like them, Messi surpasses himself every day and continues to give us his beautiful brand of football.” pic.twitter.com/fqCJrqT03K
— Messi Worldwide (@Messi_Worldwide) April 19, 2021
Thankfully now though, the Argentinean is completely normal in terms of both mental and physical health. He is no more on any type of medication. His family, his clubs, and topmost the man himself never lost faith in his talent. We wish to see La Pulga have a healthy life up and beyond his soccer career.