If you belong to the Messi-mania bandwagon, you perhaps know more than we do. You probably follow this Barcelona talisman’s every move on the field, go into a tizzy at every goal he misses and secretly play Sherlock Holmes to spy on his personal life. We know it’s a tough job to think about anything beyond his football prowess, but have you really taken a look at the lower half of his body while he’s playing on the field? Or for that matter, got smitten with the star’s fascinating love of body art when he holds up his jersey to celebrate? We bet you haven’t!
Although the football world is flooded with players getting berserk tattoos, all of Messi’s tattoos have a story and deep meaning behind it. Right from the full sleeve tattoo on his right arm to the all-black decoration on his left leg, Lionel Messi has a lot of ink on his body. And when it comes to going under the needle, the footballer trusts only Roberto Lopez, who creates real masterpieces on his skin.
In our gallery, we’ll look at what inspired the superstar’s tattoos and their personal significance.
On the back
Lionel Messi’s first tattoo was a portrait of his mother’s face on his back, below the left shoulder, which he got done in 2010. The star’s mother was his major moral support since childhood and she was the primary reason why he was able to achieve his dream. This was his way of paying a tribute to her and it symbolizes that she played an important role in his life.
On the left leg
We couldn’t help but fall in love with this tattoo that is the image of his son’s small hands with his name ‘Thiago’ written on his calf. This second tattoo he got was somewhere in late 2012, and needless to say, it was done to celebrate the birth of his son. But since it appeared to have been done shabbily, he later added wings and a heart around the name.
In the summer of 2015, Messi added a few more elements to it again and covered most of his lower leg. His calf previously had a sword with wings, flower patterns, handprints and the name of his eldest son, Thiago along with No10, his shirt number. But he probably wanted to make it more eccentric and in a strange twist, decided to cover it up all in a mass of black with the baby’s hands, No10 and a football image still visible.
On the right arm
The right tricep of the football player is adorned with the image of Jesus, which signifies his goodness and faith. It also stands for the gratitude he has for all his victories, accomplishments and blissful family life. The tattoo was inked in early 2015 and also has a Roman Catholic Church from Barcelona that is inked across his arm prominently, alongside a closed lotus flower, a rose window of the building and a blossoming, open lotus.
According to his tattooist Roberto Lopez, the lotus indicates that talent can grow anywhere even when there are forces stopping it. And the rose window of the famous Barcelona church Sagrada Familia is all about the love he has for the city.
On the lower abs
Messi’s latest addition to his growing tattoo collection in 2017 is the most intimate of the lot. The footballer has got his wife Antonella Rocuzzo’s lips tattooed on the lower part of his abs, just above his groin. It is his way of expressing how he will always have his wife’s kiss with him wherever he goes. How very aww-inducing!
It’s surprising to know that we are capable of appreciating his brilliant tattoo artwork as much as we do his amazing football skills! Maybe, we admire them a little less. It’s hard to decide!