Messi: The Inside Story of the Boy Who Became a Legend
Luca Caioli, Allen & Unwin
It once was said that GOD was spelled with four letters: Pele. Nowadays it would take five letters: Messi.
The mesmerising Argentinean forward is commonly considered the best footballer in the world, playing in what is arguably the best club side in the world — ever.
Lionel Andres Messi was scouted by Barcelona when he was 13. He made his first-team debut when he was 16.
His favourite book when he was 13 was the Bible. Now he says he believes in God but prefers to read about another deity: Maradona.
When this book was written, before the World Cup in South Africa, despite being FIFA player of the year and European player of the year, Messi still considered Maradona the greatest: “I still haven’t done anything. I need to keep growing and learning.”
Messi is still too young for this to be a worthy biography. It’s a patchwork of interviews with family and coaches and players. But you get a sense of what is involved in one, short-statured boy’s meteoric rise to footballing celebrity.
Captured in the photographs — and still evident if you see him play — is his sheer joy in playing the beautiful game.