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Lionel Messi is from Argentina. He was a leading figure on the Argentinian team that competed in the 2010 World Cup. Being from Argentina, Messi is considered by many to be the heir apparent to the soccer deity himself, Diego Maradonna. Messi is seen in this light because of his incredible balance when he runs and his ability to control the middle of the field, similar to Maradonna himself. There are others who are afraid to categorize him in the same light because Messi has not won on the International Level as Maradonna has. Yet, due to the fact that soccer is such a prominent sport in his native Argentina, and that he occupies such a prominent spot in this arena, Messi is the subject of intense adulation and intense dislike when he fails to perform or deliver for Argentina, such as this past summer's World Cup competition. When he is not competing for Argentina, Messi plays for the Barcelona Club and earns close to 20,000,000 USD a year.
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