WHY MESSI? BECAUSE HE BROKE THE SILENCE
Lionel is a leader. To get to where he is now, he needed to fight and break the silence.
He fell in love with a soccer ball when he was very little. He was small, but his dreams were big.
The youth coaches in Rosario did not want him to play because he looked weak and prone to injury, but his grandmother Celia convinced them, fighting with them often to let her grandson play. Today, Lionel thanks her for believing in him by looking up at the sky and reaching up to her every time he scores a goal.
He was always supported by his family while he confronted many obstacles. When he was a child, a hormone deficiency kept him from growing normally, but he learned how to manage it and even how to administer the injections in his legs himself. He then emigrated from Argentina to Spain, leaving behind his friends and family, and had to adapt to his new country. Lionel played for Fútbol Club Barcelona for many years, using his feet and the ball to express himself.
His parents started the Messi Foundation in his name to give back to the community and make children around the world their top priority, since they are the most vulnerable members of society.
Lionel’s mother, also named Celia, visited one of the most Chagas-affected areas in northern Argentina a few years ago. She became familiar with the affected patients and has since made great efforts through the Messi Foundation to keep the disease from being forgotten and silenced.
Most of the Chagas patients she met grew up playing in unpaved dirt streets, like many of Lionel’s childhood friends, which created the classic “pavement versus dirt” rivalry among groups of children.
Lionel is quiet like Chagas disease, and his moves and goals touch the hearts of his fans like Chagas does to its patients.
Leo emigrated from Latin America, like many patients with Chagas.
They call him the Flea, but this insect is different from the pests that transmit Chagas.
In the fight against Chagas we need Leo’s goals translated into better diagnoses and treatments, not just the fight against the vector insects.
Lionel always advocates for teamwork and this team intends to do the same…
Leo Messi Foundation