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Did You Know Lionel Messi Has Italian Origin? 5 Fun Facts About the Soccer Superstar’s Heritage

Lionel Messi is an exceptional soccer player and is known for being one of the greats. Did you know he has Italian origin?

Lionel Messi is an Argentinean soccer (football) player known for his exceptional skills and is even known as one of the best men’s football players. He recently celebrated Argentina’s World Cup win with his team this December. The country has won three World Cup tournaments in total.

1. His Family is Italian

Lionel Messi’s father’s side resided in Italy. Though he was raised in Argentina, the soccer star’s family is believed to have originated from the Recanati or Ancona region of Italy. The family moved to Argentina in 1883.

2. He Could Have Played for Spain or Italy

While both of Messi’s parents exhibited Italian ancestry (while his father predominantly held a higher percentage), he could have applied for an Italian passport. However, Italy did not seem to be interested in his soccer skills at the time due to Argentina and Spain pushing his recruitment instead.

3. His First Language is Spanish

While his ethnic heritage may be Italian, the football player’s first language is actually Spanish. It is believed that his family placed a stronger emphasis on their South American heritage rather than European.

4. His Wife Might be Italian

It is estimated that a large percentage of those from Argentina actually carry an Italian ancestry. Messi’s wife, Antonela Roccuzo has a European sounding surname. Though there is not much evidence surrounding her origin other than her place of birth, it can be implied that there may be some Italian roots.

5. His Favorite Food is Milanesa Napolitana

This Argentinian style dish can easily adopt an Italian flair and happens to be Messi’s favorite. Milanesa Napolitana can be created from beef cutlets that are breaded, fried, then topped with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and ham. It is very similar to veal parmesan. Yum!

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