Lionel Messi, currently the world’s hottest footballer, may not have scored in the World Cup, but he continues to weave magic for Spanish giants Barcelona. The 5ft, 7-inch striker’s father Jose was a factory worker in Rosario, Argentina, while his mother Maria Celia worked part-time as a cleaner to help the family income. They had to move to Barcelona when Messi was still young to be treated for growth deficiency syndrome, an affliction that requires expensive treatment on a regular basis. Barcelona FC, recognizing Messi’s talent, offered to look after his medical expenses.
Source: ‘Goal! A Football World Cup Quiz and Fun Book’ by Austin Coutinho, Popular Prakashan, 2010.