I know it is a bit of a strange question to ask, ‘what kind of education did Lionel Messi have?’, but it is something I was pondering yesterday.
We know so much about Messi’s life on the pitch and his supreme talent, but there are other parts we know very little about.
I mean I was presuming that it was obvious fairly early on that Messi didn’t have to worry too much about a conventional education, such was his footballing ability.
But then I thought, what was it like to be at school with Lionel Messi?
Obviously, he would have been head and shoulders above anyone else, but was it obvious from an early age he would go on to become one of the greatest footballers ever?
Let’s try and piece together his educational background.
What Kind of Education Did Lionel Messi Have?
Messi attended Escuela Nº 66 General Las Heras from the age of 6 in Argentina until he left for Spain in 2000. In Spain he was educated at Leon XVIII School, part of Barcelona’s famed LA Masia academy. He also never studied in Bangladesh!
Messi’s Education in Argentina
Way, way back before Lionel Messi was born, Argentina was one of the ten richest countries in the world.
This was at the beginning of the 20th century.
Millions of people migrated to the country from Italy and Spain in particular for the high quality of life and vibrant economy.
Ironically around a century later the Messi family would make the trip the opposite way and by this time the country they were leaving was not the strength it once had been.
Much of this was blamed on political instability and a problematic education system.
That has been addressed in recent decades and many believe the country will eventually regain its position as an economic powerhouse in the decades to come.
When it comes to education, children in Argentina start school at the age of 6. They are in primary school from the age of 6 to 11 and then secondary school from the age of 11 to 17.
Little is known of Messi’s school life in Argentina, but he did attend Escuela Nº 66 General Las Heras, located in the Santa Fe province of Rosario not far from where he lived.
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By all accounts, Messi was an average student, and the only comment I could find on his early schooling was a quote from a teacher who said of Messi: “He was a quiet child, but he always came with a ball. He looked something different when he went to recess and played the ball.”
However quite understandably his old school is hugely proud of their most famous pupil.
In 2015 they unveiled a huge mural of Messi in his Argentina shirt that measured 40 square metres and took almost 400 gallons of paint to create.
It covers the entire face of one of the school’s walls.
Messi’s Education in Spain
Very soon after Messi finished primary school his family relocated to Barcelona and he joined Barcelona’s famed La Masia.
La Masia is the name of Barcelona’s football training facilities and it includes accommodation and education spaces as well.
It was here Messi attended Leon XIII School – the school every La Masia resident attended. He later recounted his time there saying:
“As soon as I arrived in Barcelona, I started training. I didn’t sleep at La Masia, but I went to Leon XIII (an elementary school) where all the kids from other cities were studying at. I spent every afternoon with those kids… They also knew what it was like to be far away from their families and friends.”
Messi was in the same year as Cesc Fabregas and Gerard Pique.
Julio Jesus de Dios Moreno, who was in the same youth team as them, remembers Fabregas as “the class swot and ‘pretty good at school’, but admits: “Studying was the last thing anyone wanted to do. We had to achieve decent marks; otherwise, the coaches wouldn’t let us play matches on Saturday mornings.”
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Rumours that Messi would fall asleep in class and continually forget to bring his books to school abound, but are unconfirmed, but the video above does hint there might be some truth to it!
Years later in an interview with a Chinese TV company, Messi simply said he had a high school education level and that he spent more time in class each week than at football training.
By the time Messi was 16 he had made his first-team debut, by the time he was 17 he had scored his first Barcelona goal and on his 18th birthday, he signed his first contract as a senior player with a €150million buyout clause.
By then it was obvious that no matter what the level of Messi’s education was, he would never need to work a manual job in his life!
Did Lionel Messi Study in Bangladesh?
Somehow a rumour has started that Messi went to school in Narayanganj, a city in the centre of Bangladesh.
This is most definitely NOT true! Messi only ever studied in Argentina and Spain.
The first instance I could find of Messi going to Bangladesh came in 2011 when Argentina played a friendly against Nigeria in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. A video above shows more details of this.
Where Do Lionel Messi’s Children Go To School?
Until fairly recently, Messi’s children, Thiago, Mateo and Ciro, attended the British School of Barcelona.
Then, of course, Messi moved to France and he needed to find a new place for them to study.
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They are now enrolled at the American School of Paris. A prestigious international school around 10km from the centre of Paris.
The school comprises around 600 students from 60 different countries, and the four-hectare campus includes numerous football pitches, two gyms, two libraries, two cafes and much more.
Yearly tuition fees at the school range from €19,570 to €36,550 depending upon the child’s age.
So it seems like Lionel Messi wasn’t really an academic high flyer, but who needs to be when you are as good at football as he is!
I presume for Messi school was just something he had to get through until he could devote himself completely and entirely to football.
Oh, and Lionel Messi most definitely never studied in Bangladesh!
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