Little is known about the rare disease Lionel Messi had as a child that almost made him retire from his career


Few people know to get to this day, superstar Lionel Messi once had to go through a rare disease.

Last night, the Argentina team won 3-0 against Croatia in the semi-finals, officially winning the golden ticket to the 2022 World Cup final.

Today, people are full of praise for football star Messi because he has played extremely impressively. This striker contributed 1 goal and 1 assist to the Argentina team.

Few people know that to get to this day, superstar Lionel Messi had to go through a rare disease of world football. Although he is at the peak of his career as a player, every time he repeats it, he himself feels nervous, emotional, unable to hold back tears.

The fatal disease that football superstar Messi had as a child

As a child, Lionel Messi was diagnosed with congenital growth hormone deficiency . That’s why his appearance is quite short compared to his peers. At the age of 10, Messi was only 1m27 tall at that time. 

It is known that the disease that Messi has is extremely rare in the world. On average, only 1 person suffers from 20 million people and the cost to treat this disease is extremely expensive.


Dr. Diego Schwarsztein was the first to examine and discover Messi’s disease. The doctor gave Messi a treatment regimen for nearly $1,000 a month. Messi will be injected under the skin daily, continuously for about 3-6 years. It was expected that the cost of treatment would amount to about 600,000 pesos per year (equivalent to 150,000 USD, at the exchange rate at that time).


The cost of this treatment is beyond the means of Messi’s family, even this is a very large number in all Argentine clubs. That made his dream of playing football almost ended.

Finally, because of the natural ability of the football star, the Barcelona club decided to help the 13-year-old boy that year to heal. Thanks to the sponsorship of Barcelona, ​​Messi has been injected with growth hormone to develop skeletal muscle as well as body. Thanks to that, from a boy only 1m4 tall, Messi has gradually matured and reached a height of 1m69. With this height and physique, the football superstar is like “a tiger with more wings”, he has all the necessary conditions to show his natural talent.

Doctors reveal signs of children with growth hormone deficiency

Huynh Thoai Loan (Head of Endocrinology, Children’s Hospital 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam): Growth hormone is a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland of the brain. If there is a lack of growth hormone, the child will be stunted and malnourished. In the case of children with growth hormone deficiency, they need to be treated with growth hormone supplements to help them achieve maximum height.

When growth hormone deficiency, children often show 2 signs:

1. The baby’s height is lower than the average standard based on the growth chart by age of the World Health Organization.


Average height growth chart according to WHO age standards.

2. If you see that the baby has not increased by one centimeter for 6 months in a row, you should think about the possibility of growth hormone deficiency.

Also according to Dr. Thoai Loan, a few possible causes of growth hormone deficiency include: Having congenital diseases that make the child born small for gestational age; people without pituitary gland; pituitary gland does not secrete enough growth hormone…

The expert recommends that parents with young children suspecting growth hormone deficiency should take their children to see and see an endocrinologist, not to arbitrarily supplement with hormones. Hormone treatment for children should be applied as soon as possible and lasts until 12 years of age.


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