Lionel Messi is widely renowned as one of the greatest footballers ever but the Argentina captain had to overcome a few terrifying and challenging encounters in his hometown of Rosario while playing football. Due to a growth hormone deficiency, Lionel Messi had to find a way to cope with relatively taller opposition even though some of them were only out to cause harm to the then prodigy. At a young age, Lionel Messi was threatened and roughed up by local players while growing up but the Barcelona star somehow found a way to evade those rough tackles and stood up against death threats, his cousin Maxi Biancucchi explains.
While speaking to Ataque Futbolero via Ole, one Lionel Messi cousin named Maxi Biancucchi stated how some big players in the neighbourhood of Rosario would threaten to 'kill' the six-time Ballon d'Or winner. In the interview, Biancucchi explained how Lionel Messi escaped death from the rough kids around the block. He said, "They wanted to hit, injure and try to kill him (Lionel Messi), but he put up with it."
Biancucchi, who currently plays his football at Paraguayan club Rubio Nu also added that Lionel Messi would do impressive things on the football field and word on the talented youngster soon spread around Argentina. The 35-year-old Biancucchi used to wake up early on weekends to watch his cousin, an eight-year-old Lionel Messi take to the field with the locals in the neighbourhood. Messi joined domestic club Newell's Old Boys in 1994 before moving to Barcelona in 2001. At Barcelona, the 32-year-old has won a club-record 34 trophies till date.
Last year, Messi spoke to TyC Sports.and stated that it would be a 'dream' to return to Argentina and play for former club Newell's Old Boys before the end of his career. Although Biancucchi shares that dream with Messi, he stated that the insecurity of returning to the country and family obligations might prevent Messi from returning to his hometown at a later stage in his career. Messi has scored 24 goals for Barcelona this season across all competitions and propelled the Spanish giants to the top of the LaLiga table.