Lionel Andrés Messi is an Argentine footballer who plays in La Liga for FC Barcelona and captains the Argentina national team, mainly as a forward.
By the age of 21, Messi received Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year nominations. The following year he won both the Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year in 2009, and won the inaugural FIFA Ballon d'Or in 2010 and 2011. He also won the 201011 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award. His playing style and small stature has drawn comparisons to Diego Maradona, who himself declared Messi as his "successor"