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A biopic on Argentine footballer Lionel Messi in pipline

Updated: Thursday, May 9, 2013, 13:26 [IST]

Los Angeles: Epic Pictures Group is preparing a film about the life of Argentine footballer Lionel Messi that is set to debut at theaters coinciding with the start of the 2014 World Cup, the digital edition of Variety reported on Wednesday. The film, which will be in the style of Rocky, according to the publication, will be based on the soccer star's biography "Messi: The Inside Story of the Boy Who Became a Legend", by Luca Caioli. Epic will undertake to finance and produce the film.

Epic's chiefs, Patrick Ewald and Shaked Berenson, are currently negotiating with scriptwriters and directors to take the reins of the project. Messi, 25, who plays for FC Barcelona and the Argentine national team, is considered to be the best soccer player in the world at present. In January, he made history by becoming the first soccer player to win FIFA's Ballon d'Or prize for the fourth consecutive time.

The producers are intending to focus the story on Messi's childhood, his humble beginnings and how he overcame his physical disadvantages, especially his 5-foot-7-inch height, to become one of the best players of all time. "The goal is to make a powerful and positive film that will leave audiences feeling inspired to go after their dreams no matter how impossible they may seem," Patrick Ewald said. (IANS/EFE)

We bring you some unknown facts and rare pictures of Lionel Messi. Continue to see them in the slide show.

Lionel Messi

On 24 June 1987, Lionel Andrés 'Leo' Messi was born to a factory steel worker Jorge Horácio Messi and a part-time cleaner Celia María Cuccittini. At the age of five, he started playing football for Grandoli, a local club coached by his father Jorge. In 1995, Messi switched to Newell's Old Boys. He became part of a local youth powerhouse that lost only one match in the next four years and became locally known as 'The Machine of 87'.

Lionel Messi

At the age of 11, Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency. Local powerhouse River Plate showed interest in Messi's progress, but were not willing to pay for treatment for his condition, which cost $900 a month. Carles Rexach, the sporting director of FC Barcelona, who realised his talent, offered him a contract written on a paper napkin. Barcelona offered to pay for Messi's medical bills if he was willing to move to Spain. Messi and his father moved to Barcelona, where Messi enrolled in the club's youth academy.

Lionel Messi

He played in Barcelona's junior Infantil B and Cadete B and A teams from 2000 to 2003. With brilliant growth in his performance, he debuted for FC Barcelona C team on 29 November 2003 and for FC Barcelona B. Then onwards there is no look back for this talented soccer star. Today, he plays as a forward for La Liga club FC Barcelona and the Argentina national team. He serves as the captain of his country's national football team.

Lionel Messi

By the age of 21, Messi had received Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year nominations. The following year, in 2009, he won his first Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards. He followed this up by winning the inaugural FIFA Ballon d'Or in 2010, 2011 and 2012. He also won the 2010-11 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award. He is the first football player in history to win four FIFA/Ballons d'Or, all of which he won consecutively.

Lionel Messi

Messi has won five La Ligas, two Copas del Rey, five Supercopas de España, three UEFA Champions Leagues, two Super Cups and two Club World Cups. In March 2012, Messi made Champions League history by becoming the first player to score five goals in one match. Commentators, coaches and colleagues have consistently rated him as the best footballer in the world and as one of the greatest players in the history of the game.

Story first published:  Thursday, May 9, 2013, 12:12 [IST]
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