Does Lionel Messi Have Asperger's Syndrome?

Lionel Messi has been through and done a lot in his life. It would be fair to say Messi does more in one month than the average person goes through in one year.

For instance, just yesterday, Messi scored two goals and basically guaranteed two things we already knew. 

One: Arsenal is going to be eliminated from the Champions League in the first knockout stage again. Two: Messi is a damn good soccer player.

But what makes little Lionel just that good? Is it his unmatched dribbles that just ghost past defenders? His incredible timing, connection and passing with his teammates? Maybe it’s his pace: simply no one can catch the little flea before he jumps or flies away. 

I contend it is none of those things. Lionel Messi is the best soccer player in the world, but not because any of his unbelievable natural talents. Lionel Messi is the best soccer player in the world because of his work ethic and ability to triumph over adversity. 

It is common knowledge and now football legend that Messi had a growth hormone deficiency problem when he was young. It was so bad that Messi was the tiniest of his teammates growing up in Argentina and his parents and doctors feared that if he didn’t receive proper treatment for his condition he probably wouldn’t even reach five feet in stature. 

But then, in stepped Barcelona FC and offered to pay for young Lionel’s hormone treatments. In exchange, the young man, who was already turning heads with his ability at home, would join the famed Barcelona youth system and be molded into a future Catalan star. Little did any of those involved know just how much of a star he’d become.

However, beyond his already legendary story of adversity that everybody knows about, there is another little known Messi story that has been making the rounds the last few years. It is speculated by some, although very extremely unconfirmed, that Lionel Messi was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome when he was a just eight years old and living in Argentina.

The little flea from Rosario was often called “el pequeño mudito” or “the little quiet one”, as he would rarely speak to or interact with his other teammates, he’d save his talking for the pitch.

Asperger’s Syndrome is a pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) on the Autism spectrum. Now, just what the hell does that mean exactly? Basically, people who have Asperger’s interact differently with the world than others do. Some of the differences include social difficulties, eccentric or repetitive behaviors and, occasionally, extreme levels of skill in certain areas. Per WebMD:

Many children with Asperger's syndrome are exceptionally talented or skilled in a particular area, such as music or math.

Asperger’s syndrome and some other forms of autism have been ksuspected to occur in some of the greatest minds in world history. Albert Einstein, Mozart, and Bill Gates are just a few of the highly skilled and gifted people who have been suspected of having Asperger's. 

Regardless of whether Messi has Aspeger's (and there isn't any hard evidence that he does, this is just a rumor), we're just glad we get to watch him be the best in the world. 

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