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Argentina native Lionel Messi has established records for goals scored and won individual awards en route to worldwide recognition as the best player in soccer.
Mia Hamm - Mini Biography (2:32)
Argentinian soccer player Lionel Messi moved to Spain at the age of 13. Messi became a star in his new country and in 2012 set a record for most goals in a calendar year and was named FIFA's "Player of the Year" a record fourth time.
Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo plays forward for Real Madrid. He's considered one of the greatest and highest paid soccer players of all time.
A phenom from the moment he first kicked a soccer ball, David Beckham began playing for Manchester United at age 18. In addition to his status as a soccer star, he and his wife Victoria Beckham are a worldwide power couple.
Mia Hamm is largely considered the best female soccer player in history. She played with the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team for 17 years, building one of the biggest fan bases of any American athlete.
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By the end of 2012, Messi had accumulated an astounding 91 goals in club and international play, eclipsing the 85 netted in a single calendar year by Gerd Muller in 1972. Fittingly, he broke one more record when he was named the FIFA Ballon d'Or winner for the fourth time in January 2013.
Almost universally regarded as the best player in the game, the boyish Messi has become the commercial face of soccer with endorsements from Adidas, Pepsi, EA Sports and Turkish Airways, among other companies. Having signed an extension with Barcelona that guarantees him a base salary of approximately $21 million per year through 2018, he is one of the world's highest-paid athletes.
Although he is famously quiet and private off the field, Messi has found ways to help out others in need. In 2007, he formed the Leo Messi Foundation to provide opportunities for disadvantaged youths. In early 2010, UNICEF named him a goodwill ambassador, with a focus on fighting for children's rights across the globe.
Messi became a father in November 2012, when his girlfriend, Antonella Roccuzzo, gave birth to their son, Thiago.
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