Lionel Messi: How Fatherhood Shaped the Greatest Soccer Player’s Legacy On and Off the Field

   In the 2022 Qatar World Cup, the Argentine team won the Hercules Cup again after 36 years! In the eyes of many fans, all honors belong to the new generation of football king Pele and Maradona – 35-year-old Lionel Messi. Messi became famous at the age of 13 and conquered Barcelona; at the age of 18, he swept the Golden Globe and the Golden Boot; at the age of 22, he was elected as the European Footballer of the Year and the World Footballer of the Year; not long ago, he just won the seventh Golden Globe Award and became the number one in the world… …In front of the great military exploits, Messi expressed affectionately: “Everything belongs to my family. I have a family, which is more important than my dreams. I would rather be a good father and husband than be the best in the world!”
   As a star, Messi’s career has already reached the peak, but this does not prevent him from being a good husband and father. After walking into his family, he discovered that Messi, as a father, has good ways to raise children.
  The best education for children
  is to love their mothers
   . Messi will participate in the World Cup for the fifth time in 2022, and his Argentine team has waited 36 years to be led by the “greatest athlete in history” , Harvested the Hercules Cup. Just as people were cheering for Messi, he avoided the crowd and ran to his wife and children. He stuffed the Hercules Cup into the arms of his wife Antonella Rocuzzo, but he took out his mobile phone and pointed at it. The wife snapped wildly. Messi wants to record this moment: his wife Antonella accompanies him to rise from the abyss, and naturally he must share the glory with him. After taking photos of his wife, Messi showed the medals to his three sons. In the eyes of the children, they were full of pride.
   The interaction between Messi and his wife and children envied everyone. This is beyond people’s expectations, but it seems to be reasonable. Because, Messi is the “family-loving man” who can put the whole family on his body. He said: “Everything belongs to my family, which is more important than my dreams. The best education for children is first of all to respect and love their mothers!” He has been with his wife Antonella for 26 years. Playmates, lovers, and now a family of five, in Messi’s view, his family is worthy of any award.
   In 1987, Messi was born in an ordinary family in Rosario, Argentina. Behind the dazzling genius and much-anticipated appearance, Messi has had a bumpy journey. In 1994, Messi, who loves football, joined the Newell’s Old Boys Club and soon showed amazing speed and skill. Almost everyone is optimistic about this thin boy, and his buddy Lucas is even more proud of Messi, and often takes Messi home to discuss his skills together.
   On a very ordinary day in 1996, Lucas invited Messi to play at home, and Messi met Antonella for the first time at a friend’s house. She is Lucas’ cousin. When Lucas introduced her to Messi, he never expected that Messi, who was only 9 years old at the time, fell in love with Antonella at first sight. Looking back many years later, Messi still remembers the voice in his heart at that moment: “Yes, it is her, my future wife.” The shy
   Messi did not dare to confess directly to Antonella, so he wrote her a letter : “When we grow up, you will definitely be my girlfriend.” Antonella did not reply, but called Messi: “Isn’t it faster to contact each other by calling than writing?” Messi was so surprised that he jumped three feet high and received a call from the “goddess”. This was much happier than scoring a goal!
   Although Antonella didn’t understand football at all, she often went to Newell’s Old Boys Club to watch Messi play during that time. Everything was going so well until the bad news came. At the age of 11, Messi’s height was only 125 centimeters, and he was diagnosed by a doctor as “growth disorder”, also known as “dwarfism”. The doctor said that without regular injections of growth hormone, he would only grow to about 140cm in the end.
   The doctor’s diagnosis was like a bolt from the blue, shattering all Messi’s dreams about football and the future. Regular injections of growth hormone meant nearly a thousand dollars a month in sky-high medical expenses. At that time, Argentina’s domestic economy was in a downturn and Messi’s father had just lost his job. Reluctantly, his father asked Messi’s club for help, but the coach told him: “This is Argentina, the most indispensable thing is football talent!” Not only that, but the River Plate team, which originally intended to give Messi an olive branch, also suffered from high medical expenses. And gave up Messi.
   During that time, Messi was under a lot of pressure, with doubts, self-blame, and fear. Just when he fell into despair, the agent of the Spanish club Barcelona took a fancy to Messi. This means that Messi can regularly inject growth hormone.
   After signing with Barcelona, ​​Messi fought hard against “dwarfism” while training hard. He knows that he does not have the physical advantage that others are proud of, so he trains more and more hard on the basic skills, dribbling, shooting, passing people… He wants to integrate these basic football skills into his bone marrow and make football a part of his body .
   In the end, Messi’s height was fixed at 169 cm, but he relied on his own efforts to make up for his innate shortcomings, and finally became a generation of superstars. In 2009, the 22-year-old Messi held hands with Antonella and appeared in front of the public, disclosing their relationship. Facing the reporter’s interview, Messi said: “I used the spirit of playing football to chase my childhood goddess. I started when I was 9 years old.” In
   2012, Messi and Antonella ushered in their eldest son Thiago , In 2015, the second son Mateo was born. At the age of 30, Messi and Antonella entered the palace of marriage. At the wedding, Messi said: “All the honors I have won are not comparable to my love for her for 21 years. What makes me feel the happiest is not how many goals I scored, but the person I fell in love with when I was 9 years old is always by my side. “As a flower girl, the son saw the fancy love from his parents, and the eldest son Thiago told everyone with a proud face: “Mom is the first person that Dad loves.” Antonella was a little shy, Messi generously admitted: “Of course, the best education for you is to love your mother. Only children who grow up in loving families will meet the challenges of life with a more determined attitude.” Facing failure
  ,    In football, Messi is born to be strong and cares about victory and honor very much
But when his first child was born, everything changed—he started trying to face failure in a different way.
   In the past, when Messi returned home after losing a game, he would be very depressed. He would be in a daze by himself, not eating or talking to anyone. At that time, Thiago had already begun to be interested in football, and also witnessed the failure of Barcelona and the Argentine national team. Whenever Messi goes home after losing a game, the sensible Thiago will say: “Now we can’t talk to Dad.” Not only that, but Thiago will deliberately slow down when passing Messi, for fear of moving It’s too big to make Dad unhappy.
   Thiago’s performance made Antonella worried. Finally, once, she couldn’t help telling Messi: “When a child learns to observe words and emotions, his childhood happiness is gradually disappearing.” This sentence was like enlightenment, and Messi woke up like a dream: “I love football , football is my career, and it also gives me enjoyment, but family is more important than football.” After realizing this, Messi decided to adjust himself, even if he experienced failure, he should keep his bad emotions at the door, and never let him go. Affect the family. He said frankly: “Although sometimes, the irritability is uncontrollable, and it will always exist. It is difficult to turn the chapter. But seeing my children and my beloved wife, it will be fine.”
   In the second year after Messi married Antonella, the third son Ciro was born. As the children grow up, how to educate them has become a question that Messi often thinks about. Messi believes that fathers are more important than mothers in the education of boys. Therefore, on the days when he is not going out to play, Messi is happy to be a full-time dad, sending his sons to school, taking them to participate in various extracurricular activities after school, playing football, playing drums, playing in water… He also often organizes parent-child activities, inviting The whole family of my son’s friends participated together. Messi, who is all-powerful on the court, seems to have turned back into a “big boy” in front of his sons. He gets along with his three sons and plays all the games that boys are interested in. For his son’s birthday, no matter how busy he is, he tries his best to find time to celebrate together, trying to create a sense of ritual for the child. Messi believes that only a childhood in which his father participated in the whole process can be called a complete childhood. For this goal, Messi even declined most of the “meaningless” parties for him.
   When the youngest son Ciro was born, the second child Mateo was less than two years old. Messi realizes that Ciro is bound to take away most of the energy of himself and his wife, and he is afraid that the sensitive Mateo will be lost and leave a psychological shadow. For this reason, he deliberately took Ciro and Mateo to play the seesaw together, hoping to take the opportunity to give Mateo some inspiration. Messi helped Ciro, who was only half a year old, to sit on the seesaw and helped him shake up and down. Mateo said sensiblely: “Thank you dad and brother.” Messi took the opportunity to ask Mateo: “If there is no cooperation of my brother , can you play the seesaw by yourself?” Mateo shook his head, and Messi continued: “But my brother is still young, so I need the help of my father to complete it!” Mateo nodded half-understanding, and said: “So Dad Helping my brother is helping me!” Messi and his wife exchanged a pleasant look: they seemed to have underestimated Mateo before, but he didn’t expect that with a little reminder, he instantly understood the meaning of cooperation and help.
   Under the teaching of Messi and his wife, the relationship between the three sons has always been harmonious and friendly, especially Thiago, who learned to be a big brother who leads by example very early. Some people say that as Messi’s son, he must be the happiest child. Messi felt that this was only half true—although he had a bright star and infinite scenery, he had achieved it through his own efforts, and he never wanted to give his sons the illusion that everything was at their fingertips. For this reason, he made an agreement with his wife that as long as he had time, he would take his sons to watch his training. When the children were a little older, he also signed them up for training in the youth training team-only after sweating on the green field, the children will understand the meaning of giving, which is much more meaningful than sitting back and enjoying the benefits.
   In 2021, in the Copa America final in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Argentine team won the championship with a 1-0 victory over Brazil. Messi, who was still on the field, couldn’t wait to make a video call to his wife to show them his medals. On the phone, Messi asked the three sons: “How have you been practicing recently?” The three sons were silent, and Antonella spread his hands helplessly: “When you were away, their practice was a mess.” The eldest son Tigoya grabbed the phone and said not to be outdone: “If I have the opportunity, I can also get the medal.” Messi sat on the lawn and told the children: “No one can get the medal without practice.” Medals.” The children looked at the sweat on their father’s forehead, bowed their heads and remained silent…
   From “dwarf” to superstar, the process is as inspiring as it is brutal. Messi knows that there are still many people in the world who are troubled by “growth disorders”, and many people have to give up treatment because they cannot afford expensive medical expenses. To this end, as early as 2007, Messi established the “Leo Messi Charity Foundation” to continue to focus on children’s projects. In 2012, the media reported on a 12-year-old Moroccan boy, Kashash, who likes football and also suffers from dwarfism. After Messi learned about it, he decided to bear Kashash’s monthly medical expenses of 400 euros. Today, ten years later, with the help of Messi, Kashash has grown into a handsome boy. Not only does he have a normal life, but he can often play football on the green field he loves.
   The three sons were born with the most affluent living and growing environment, which is enviable, but often makes Messi worry in his heart. Messi intentionally made his eldest son Thiago and Kashash be friends. After learning about Kashash’s story, Thiago was deeply touched. While he was proud of his father’s good deeds, he also knew that everyone is not Born rich, the vast majority of people in this world have to work hard to get the life they want. Just like his father, “dwarfism” did not become a hindrance to him, but on the contrary became his father’s advanced generation. King’s motivation.
   Messi was very pleased with Thiago’s inspiration from Kashash. Since then, every time he competes, he will bring his whole family to the scene, the purpose is to let the children witness every moment of sweating on the field. In order to be a role model for children and be a father who works hard to move forward, this has also become a very important item in Messi’s parenting experience.
  Breaking through the demons
  is the key to success in life.
   On August 10, 2021, Messi officially joined Paris Saint-Germain, the “class bully” of Ligue 1. The children also followed in his footsteps and transferred to Paris. Messi was also worried that it would be difficult for children to adapt to the new environment, but he firmly believed that being together as a family was more important than anything else.
   As the three sons grew up, the curse that had been entangled in Messi’s heart became tighter and tighter. At the age of 11, after Messi was diagnosed with “dwarfism”, it almost became his nightmare. He was worried that his sons would inherit his “dwarf” gene. For this reason, he would take three children to the hospital every year for surgery physical examination. Every time he learns from the doctor that everything is normal for the children, Messi will breathe a sigh of relief.
   Once, while the children were watching TV at home, they happened to see Messi and Ronaldo attending an event together. Seeing that Ronaldo was a head taller than Messi, Mateo couldn’t help asking his mother: “Why is Dad so short?” Antonella told his son: “Height is not the standard for judging the quality of an athlete.” Thiago then said : “But some people say that dad is dwarfism.” Antonella thought for a while, and said: “It doesn’t matter. Look at your dad’s performance on the court, aren’t you proud?” Thiago After listening, he went back to the house and wrote a letter to his father. In the letter, he encouraged his father and hoped that his father could lead the team to become a world champion.
   Afterwards, Antonella relayed the conversation with his son to Messi. Messi knew that it was time to talk to the child about this issue head-on. For the first time in front of the children, he reviewed his journey from joining the Newell’s Old Boys Club at the age of 9 to being diagnosed with “dwarfism” at the age of 11, and then he practiced diligently while receiving treatment, and broke through his own journey time and time again. He told the children frankly: “You have my genes in your body, maybe one day in the future, you will also face the confusion of height, but I want to tell you that there is no absolute shortcoming in life, and working hard to overcome demons is the key to success.” The key to victory.”
   In 2022, Qatar World Cup, Messi achieved the Grand Slam and was officially crowned the world champion. At the same time, he is also the only player in history to win the World Cup Ballon d’Or twice. Messi once again proved to the children that there is no absolute shortcoming in life. Even if they are diagnosed as “dwarfism”, they can continue to climb in their ideal country and achieve the best of themselves.
   The excitement of Messi’s life is far more than the glory on the court. Among all the celebrities in the sports world, when it comes to doting on their wives and children, if Messi is ranked second, I am afraid no one will dare to be the first. He said: “Everything about me belongs to the family, loving my wife, protecting and encouraging my children to grow up is more important than my dreams.” Looking back on his 10 years of parenting experience, Messi sincerely said: “I am very lucky to have a good relationship with my children.” Stay together for such a long time.” In his view, he will not be a lifetime star, but he will be a good father for the rest of his life.
   On December 26, 2022, Messi and his three sons connected with Amparo, an 8-year-old Argentine girl suffering from cancer. Amparo is a small fan of Messi. After seeing the idol on the screen, she couldn’t help but burst into tears. Messi greeted her kindly: “Hello, Amparo, is your condition getting better? I hope this greeting can inspire you.” The sons also chirped and greeted the little girl in the camera: “Don’t worry, We will help you, and hope you get well soon. When you recover, let’s watch Dad play football together!”
   Messi is very pleased with the kindness shown by the children. Looking back on Messi’s childhood, you will find that he is not a legend of genius. Because of the lack of growth hormone, his starting point is even much lower than many people. But on the thorny road of growth, he met love and recognized love. While melting away the malice thrown at him by fate, he continued to release more kindness, and passed on this kindness to children with the concept of education. This, perhaps, is the best parenting book in the world.

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