Lionel Messi: Barcelona move was a difficult decision
Lionel Messi talks about the early stages of his career as part of the all adidas campaign
My name is Lionel Andres Messi and I was born on 24 June 1987 south of Rosario, in the province of santa Fe, Argentina. I play as a right forward for FC Barcelona and for the Argentinian National Team.
I have dual citizenship, Argentinian and Spanish, as I completed the two-year Spanish residency requirements in 2005. They call me Leo, Lio or La Pulga, but the one I am most used to is Leo.
My family has told me that from a very early age, when I was learning to walk, I had a passion for the ball. Clearly, I don’t remember that, but it’s not hard to imagine myself running after a ball.
As many of you may already know, as a child, when I was about eight, I had to undergo special treatment in order to have a normal rate of growth.
I always remember that every night I would sit on my bed and have injections in my legs. It wasn’t fun, I can assure you, but I wanted to become a footballer so much that it was worth it.
The problem was that the treatment was very expensive and my family couldn’t afford it. Mum and Dad tried everything and I will always be grateful for that.
In the end, it seemed like the solution was in Spain, in Lerida, where some of our relatives live. My Dad was offered a job and, at the same time, it was my chance to go for a trial with Barca.
Luckily, the trials went well and before I knew it I had earned the opportunity to play in Barcelona. At that time, I always remember, my family and I had to make a very difficult decision.
The question was whether to go back home or to try our luck in Barcelona. It sounds like an easy choice to make, but it saddens me to think about that time.
One day my dad asked me: “What would you like to do, Leo?”
“I’d like to stay”, I answered.
I said that with great conviction and the hope of fulfilling a dream. I will never regret having made that decision, knowing that I would always have my family’s unconditional support.