But where does the nickname of the one who is considered one of the best footballers of all time come from? Currently in Qatar to compete in the very last World Cup in its history, Lionel Messi continues to trace his legend. His Argentina team managed, not without difficulty, to qualify for the round of 16 of the 2022 World Cup, during which they will face Australia to try to reach the quarter-finals. Before one of the last most important matches of his career, it’s time to look back on the story of this extraordinary player.

The question that many football fans have never asked themselves, as the nickname of La Pulga has always stuck with him is to know what earned him to be called like that? It all started more than fifteen years ago. It was in 2005 that the Pulga became Leo Messi’s official nickname. While playing at FC Barcelona, ​​Messi scored a new goal, against the Racing Santander team, during a Spanish championship match. After this new leg, an Argentinian journalist present in the Camp Nou stadium nicknamed him the Pulga, in reference to his small size and his extraordinary responsiveness.

#Qatar2022 Applaudan, apalaudan, no dejen de aplaudir pic.twitter.com/gjM8JSas4c

— Select Argentina (@Argentina) November 30, 2022

Lionel Messi suffered from a growth retarding illness

This little name then becomes his official nickname, so much the followers of football find that it suits him like a glove. But Lionel Messi doesn’t seem so embarrassed to be called that. It must be said that he is already used to it: his two older brothers, Rodrigo and Matias, have already called him for several years Pulguita, which means the little chip, because of the growth problems experienced by the star. of Paris Saint Germain.

Aged 10, Lionel Messi passes several medical tests because his parents are worried about his growth, much later than the majority of other children his age. The verdict is in: he suffers from hypopituitarism, a problem stemming from a deficit of somatotropin secretion, which gives him the appearance of a younger child, due to his frail build.

Despite this disabling disease, FC Barcelona is seduced by the technical prowess of Lionel Messi. The Spanish club is sure to hold a new football prodigy and then decides to fully support the treatment of the young Argentinian, valued at more than 1000 dollars at the time, an astronomical sum for his family. Thanks to this treatment, the “Pulga” has since grown and now measures 1.70m. For the immense career that we all know.

Lionel Messi: the disease that earned him his nickname "Pulga"

Lionel Messi © Zuma Press

Maria T.
Maria T.

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