Lionel Messi is considered by many to be one of the greatest footballers of all time. The Argentine star has broken numerous records and won a staggering number of trophies during his illustrious career with Barcelona and the national team.

However, there has been some uncertainty around Messi’s early years and education. In this comprehensive article, we will examine Messi’s background and schooling in detail.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Yes, Lionel Messi did go to school as a child in Argentina before becoming a professional footballer.

Messi’s Childhood and Early Football Career

Lionel Messi, widely regarded as one of the greatest football players of all time, was born in Rosario, Argentina in 1987. From a young age, it was clear that Messi had a natural talent for the sport. However, his journey to becoming a professional footballer was not without its challenges.


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Diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency at a young age

At the age of 11, Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency, which affected his physical development. This meant that he had to undergo expensive medical treatment to help him grow. Despite this setback, Messi’s passion for football never wavered.

His parents, Jorge and Celia, made great sacrifices to support his dreams. They even moved from their hometown to Buenos Aires so that Messi could join the youth team of Newell’s Old Boys, a local football club.

It was during his time at Newell’s that Messi’s exceptional talent caught the attention of talent scouts.

Joined local club Newell’s Old Boys at age 6

Messi joined Newell’s Old Boys at the tender age of 6. He quickly became a standout player, showcasing his exceptional dribbling skills and innate ability to score goals. His performances on the field were so impressive that he drew comparisons to another Argentine football legend, Diego Maradona.

During his formative years at Newell’s, Messi honed his skills and developed a deep understanding of the game. His success at the club laid the foundation for his future success at both the club and international level.

Moved to Barcelona and La Masia academy at 13

At the age of 13, Messi’s talent attracted the attention of FC Barcelona, one of the most prestigious football clubs in the world. Barcelona recognized Messi’s potential and offered him a place at their renowned youth academy, La Masia.

Joining La Masia was a turning point in Messi’s career. Under the guidance of the club’s renowned coaches, Messi further refined his skills and developed a unique playing style that would set him apart from other players.

It was at Barcelona that Messi truly blossomed into the footballing genius we know today.

At La Masia, Messi had the opportunity to train with some of the best young players in the world and learn from experienced professionals. The academy provided him with a nurturing and supportive environment to thrive both on and off the field.

Messi’s time at Barcelona and La Masia proved to be instrumental in his rise to stardom. He made his first-team debut at the age of 17 and went on to achieve numerous accolades, including multiple FIFA Ballon d’Or awards and countless records broken.


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Lionel Messi’s journey from his humble beginnings in Rosario to becoming a global football icon is a testament to his talent, determination, and the support he received throughout his career. While he may not have followed a traditional educational path, Messi’s education in the sport of football has been nothing short of extraordinary.

Messi’s Primary Education

Lionel Messi, one of the greatest football players of all time, had a humble beginning when it came to his education. From the ages of 4 to 13, Messi attended a local school in his hometown of Rosario, Argentina.

This laid the foundation for his academic journey and allowed him to develop a well-rounded education alongside his budding football career.

Attended local school in Rosario from ages 4 to 13

During his time at the local school in Rosario, Messi had the opportunity to engage with a diverse range of subjects. The curriculum included core subjects like math, language, science, and social studies, which provided him with a solid academic grounding.

While his passion for football was evident even at this young age, Messi’s dedication to his studies was equally apparent.

Studied core subjects like math, language, science

Throughout his primary education, Messi delved into various academic disciplines, including math, language, and science. These subjects helped him develop critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and effective communication techniques.

While his football talent was undeniable, Messi recognized the importance of a well-rounded education and embraced the opportunity to learn and grow academically.

Teacher Maria Soler reported he was well-behaved but shy

One of Messi’s primary school teachers, Andrea Sosa, noted that he was not only well-behaved but also quite shy. Despite his extraordinary talent on the football field, Messi maintained a humble and reserved demeanor in the classroom.

This characteristic allowed him to focus on his studies and excel academically, showing that his discipline extended beyond the realm of sports.


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Moved schools after diagnosis to accommodate treatment

When Messi was 11 years old, he received a life-changing diagnosis of growth hormone deficiency. To accommodate his treatment, Messi relocated to Barcelona, where he joined the prestigious football academy, La Masia.

This move also necessitated a change in his educational journey, as he continued his studies in Barcelona while pursuing his football dreams.

While it is clear that Messi’s primary education played a crucial role in shaping his overall development, it is important to note that his journey towards becoming one of the greatest football players of all time was primarily driven by his exceptional talent and dedication to the sport.

Nevertheless, his primary education provided him with a strong academic foundation and instilled in him important values such as discipline, perseverance, and the importance of balancing academics and sports.

Secondary Schooling in Barcelona

Enrolled in high school after joining Barcelona youth academy

Despite his early success in football, Lionel Messi understood the importance of education and enrolled in a high school after joining the Barcelona youth academy. This decision showcased his determination to balance his passion for soccer with his academic pursuits.

Focused on soccer training but took some traditional classes

While Messi’s primary focus was on soccer training, he also dedicated some time to traditional subjects such as math, science, and literature. Although he may not have spent as much time in the classroom as his peers, he recognized the value of a well-rounded education.

Maintained academic eligibility to play professionally

Throughout his journey to becoming a professional football player, Messi understood that maintaining academic eligibility was crucial. By staying on top of his studies and meeting the necessary academic requirements, he ensured that he could continue pursuing his dreams on the field.

It is worth noting that while there may not be specific publicly available information about the exact classes or grades Messi took during his secondary schooling in Barcelona, his commitment to education underscores his dedication and well-rounded approach to life.

Balancing Football and Academics

When it comes to Lionel Messi’s education, it is evident that he faced unique challenges in balancing his academic pursuits with his budding football career. As a young prodigy, Messi frequently missed classes due to his commitment to his youth team.

Missed classes frequently due to youth team duties

From a young age, Messi displayed exceptional talent on the football field, which led to his inclusion in the prestigious FC Barcelona youth academy, La Masia. This opportunity, however, came at a cost.

Messi often had to miss classes to attend training sessions and matches, making it difficult for him to maintain a regular academic schedule.

Despite his frequent absences, Messi’s dedication to his education remained strong. He recognized the importance of balancing both his football and academic pursuits, and he found ways to stay on track.

Relied on private tutoring to keep up with schoolwork

To bridge the gap caused by his missed classes, Messi relied on private tutoring to keep up with his schoolwork. He received personalized instruction from dedicated teachers who helped him stay on top of his studies while allowing him to pursue his football dreams.

This approach not only ensured that Messi did not fall behind academically, but it also allowed him to continue honing his football skills. By receiving one-on-one attention, he could tailor his educational experience to fit his unique circumstances.

Earned high school degree but did not attend university

Despite the challenges he faced, Messi managed to earn his high school degree. This accomplishment is a testament to his determination and ability to juggle both his football and academic commitments.

However, it is worth noting that Messi did not attend university. His decision to pursue a professional football career at an early age meant that he had to prioritize his training and competitions over formal higher education.

Sacrificed formal education to realize soccer ambitions

While Messi may have sacrificed formal education to pursue his soccer ambitions, it is important to recognize that his dedication and hard work on the field have led to remarkable success. He has become one of the greatest football players of all time, winning numerous individual awards and helping his teams achieve remarkable victories.

It is evident that Messi’s journey serves as an inspiration to aspiring athletes who may find themselves torn between their academic and sporting pursuits. His story showcases the importance of perseverance, adaptability, and finding alternative paths to achieve one’s goals.

For more information on Lionel Messi’s education and his remarkable journey, you can visit


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Messi’s Perspective on His Own Education

Lionel Messi, widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, has often been asked about his own education. While Messi did attend school during his childhood in Rosario, Argentina, he did not pursue higher education opportunities.

Despite this, Messi has expressed regret over the lack of options available to him and other aspiring athletes.

Expressed regret over lack of higher education opportunities

Messi has spoken openly about his regret regarding the limited educational opportunities he had as a young athlete. In an interview, he mentioned that he would have liked to continue his studies, but the demanding training schedule and travel commitments associated with his football career made it difficult.

This highlights the challenges faced by many young athletes who prioritize their sports careers.

Stated that school ‘was just something I had to do’

While Messi acknowledges the importance of education, he has also admitted that school was not his passion. In an interview, he stated that school “was just something I had to do” while he pursued his dreams of becoming a professional footballer.

This candid admission reflects the single-minded dedication and focus Messi had towards his football career from a young age.

Encourages children to value academics as well as sports

Despite his own limited educational background, Messi understands the importance of a well-rounded education. He has consistently encouraged children to prioritize academics alongside their sporting pursuits.

Messi believes that a strong educational foundation is crucial for long-term success and personal development, even for those aspiring to become professional athletes.

Promotes charitable educational initiatives like Project Messi

Messi’s commitment to education extends beyond his personal journey. He actively supports charitable initiatives that focus on providing educational opportunities to underprivileged children. One such initiative is Leo Messi Foundation, which aims to improve access to education and promote a love for learning among children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Through his involvement in such projects, Messi demonstrates his belief in the transformative power of education.


In summary, Lionel Messi did receive a basic education during his childhood and adolescence. He attended primary school in his hometown of Rosario, Argentina before moving to Barcelona and enrolling in high school there while training at La Masia.

However, the demands of his blossoming football career forced Messi to miss a lot of classes. With the help of private tutoring, he was able to earn a high school degree but did not go on to university.

While Messi does not hold any advanced degrees, he recognizes the importance of education and uses his platform to promote academic opportunities for children around the world.

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