Lionel Messi is by far the greatest footballer of his generation. And the little magician from the streets of Rosario, Argentina has no intention of slowing down anytime soon.
Lionel's footballing ability was spotted by scouts from a early age. And the local team of Newell's old boys were showing a interest in the pocket dynamo. But also at the same time an even bigger footballing giant was looking at the young prospect in the form of European Champions FC Barcelona.
And it was the Catalan club that persuaded Messi to uproot from his native Argentina and move with his family to north eastern Spain.
Not many people were aware at the time, but Lionel was going through a period of intensive growth hormone treatment which would later allow the little magician to progress within the Barcelona ranks.
Messi arrived at the Camp Nou in 2003-04, but it wasn't until 2008-09 that the watching world would see the emergence of a global phenomenon. The same way that Michael Jordan mesmerized supporters of the game of basketball, Lionel Messi would hypnotise the footballing world with his array of soccer brilliance.
In such a small space of time this boy from the back streets of Rosario had transformed from a relatively unknown to the pinnacle of footballing icon.
He has really captured the imagination of the global game. And during a very short career he's already won several La Liga championships, European Champions League trophies, and the global World footballer of the year award.
Lionel Messi collecting The World Footballer Of The Year Award 2010
It is safe to say that this young man has the world at his feet. He finds himself plying his trade at the world's best domestic club team. And the Camp Nou Barcelona has most certainly become Lionel Messi's Colosseum. This pint size gladiator has sambaed, shimmied, bamboozled, and danced his way into footballing history. Along side the likes of Diego Maradona, Pele, George Best, Johan Cruyff and Bobby Charlton he has become a global ambassador for the glorious game of football.
This season is no different to the previous campaigns in the life of Lionel Messi. He continues to torment and destroy his opponents with technical skill and brilliance. And the 47 goals in all competitions illustrates the magnitude of the 24 year.
Last week in a league fixture against Granada Lionel Messi shot into the Barcelona record books when he scored a hat-trick, taking the Argentinian to 234 goals. A record that was previously held by Cesar Rodriguez over 50 years ago.
Lionel Messi in action against Granada
The game became Barcelona's sixth consecutive league win taking the Catalan's to within 5 points of leaders Real Madrid. And with Messi in such magnificent form you wouldn't bet against the Barca club from catching the Galactico's.
Lionel Messi is definitely the real deal. He is a role model for the beautiful game of football. And at the tender age of 24 he still has the capabilities to improve and develop even more.
The world of football love's Lionel Messi. And in a sport where we are constantly shown the darker side of the beautiful game. It's extremely refreshing and reassuring to see a footballing genius who's also very humble.