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Page last updated at 14:27 GMT, Friday, 25 June 2010 15:27 UK

Messi: A shy football prodigy


Football fans are eagerly looking to Argentine football star Lionel Messi to produce some moments of magic during the World Cup.

The 23-year-old has won everything with his club Barcelona and is the current FIFA player of year. His style of play invites comparisons with fellow Argentine Diego Maradona - now the country's national coach.

Messi showed his prodigious skills very early, but because of a hormone deficiency it was feared that he would be too small and unable to cope with the physical demands of professional football.

The BBC's Candace Piette travelled to Messi's hometown, Rosario on the banks of Parana river, to find out more about the his childhood.

She spoke to former teachers who describe a shy boy in class who was more at ease on the playground, leading his friends on the football pitch.


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