Messi, by Luca Caioli
Sunday 31 January 2010
However extraordinary their talents, often relatively little else of note has happened in the lives of young footballers. One could almost hear the ghostwriter sigh as he dutifully penned the then 20-year-old Wayne Rooney's words: "I had an ordinary childhood, really."
This biography of Barcelona's 22-year-old Argentinian superstar Lionel Messi also has its plodding patches, and some clumsy translation, but benefits from the fact that far less is known in Britain about Fifa's 2009 Footballer of the Year than about Rooney. Shy, unstudious, subjected to years of daily injections to rectify his growth hormone deficiency, "The Flea" was transported from a happy provincial family life in Argentina to Barcelona at the age of 13, and this book is revealing about how big clubs handle such youthful talent.
Messi doesn't have much to say for himself, but family members, coaches and other football figures testify to the calm temperament that helped him survive and thrive. Worth reading, if only because many predict he will turn out to be a sensation at this year's World Cup.
Published in paperback by Corinthian, £7.99
Game of Thrones
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Caitlyn Jenner car crash: Driver who died in collision sued by surviving passengers for $18.5m
- 2 Pictures show young Palestinian girl biting Israeli soldier trying to detain boy during West Bank protests
- 3 Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
- 4 Hulk Hogan wants to be Donald Trump's running mate in the US Presidential election
- 5 Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe Ned Stark's son may have a twin sister
Edinburgh Fringe 2015: Monty Python-inspired Australian Sam Simmons wins comedy award with 'very silly' show
Game of Thrones season 6: Director promises most exciting premiere yet 'starts off with a bang'
Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Online toy marathon to launch new film
Benedict Cumberbatch in Hamlet: Technician quits after social media row with actor's fans
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Stock up on canned food for stock market crash, warns former Gordon Brown adviser
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics