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Is Lionel Messi Autistic? What Disease Was The Inter Miami Star Diagnosed With?

how to pronounce lionel messi

Is Lionel Messi Autistic?

There is no concrete evidence to prove that Lionel Messi is Autistic neither has the world cup winner confirmed the state of his health to any journalist or media platform whether he was once diagnosed with autism or not. The footballer has never been hospitalized for any health related issue for a very long time in his career. So, one can say that talks around Lionel Messi being Autistic is more or less a rumour which has now gained prominence amongst football fans and the media as they look to get the fact of the matter.

There are suggestions that the seven-time Ballon D’or winner had Asperger’s disease while growing up. It has often being reported Lionel Messi.

During his childhood, Lionel Messi exhibited difficulties in reading social cues and interacting with others, which are common traits associated with autism. A journalist from El Pais mentioned that Messi once came onto the field with a plastic spoon in his mouth, which may have been an autism-related behavior or a display of annoyance. However, the exact reason behind his behavior remained unknown and unexplored by others.

Lionel Messi Autistic

On another occasion, when a teacher asked Messi a question, a friend raised their hand for him, indicating shyness. It’s worth noting that traits of shyness can be present in individuals with or without autism.


Some sources, like Cameron Ridgway for Wessex Scene, have mentioned unconfirmed reports of Messi being diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome when he was nine years old. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, he was believed to be nicknamed ‘el pequeno mudito,’ which translates to ‘the little mute’ due to his limited speech with peers and teammates outside of necessary interactions during games and training sessions.

What Is Austim? Is Lionel Messi Autistic?

Autism, also known as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), encompasses a wide range of conditions characterized by difficulties in social skills, repetitive behaviors, and challenges in speech and nonverbal communication. According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 1 in 36 children in the United States are affected by autism.

It’s important to recognize that autism is not a singular condition but comprises many subtypes, with various influences from both genetic and environmental factors. Being a spectrum disorder, each individual with autism possesses a unique set of strengths and challenges. Their learning, thinking, and problem-solving abilities can vary widely, ranging from highly skilled to severely challenged. While some individuals with ASD may require significant support in their daily lives, others may need less assistance and can even live independently.

Lionel Messi Autistic

The development of autism is influenced by multiple factors, and individuals with ASD may experience sensory sensitivities and medical issues such as gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, seizures, or sleep disorders. They might also encounter mental health challenges, including anxiety, depression, and attention-related issues.


Typically, signs of autism become apparent around the age of 2 or 3. However, certain related developmental delays may manifest even earlier, enabling diagnosis as early as 18 months. Studies indicate that early intervention yields positive results later in life for individuals with autism.

What disease did Lionel Messi have when he was young? Growth Hormone Disorder

Growth Hormone Disorder (GHD), also referred to as dwarfism or pituitary dwarfism, is a rare condition resulting from reduced production of the growth hormone in the body. Children affected by this condition typically experience symptoms like short stature.

GHD can be either a congenital (genetic) condition or acquired later in life. Lionel Messi received his diagnosis when he was 11 years old after his parents noticed that he wasn’t growing in height as much as his peers. However, this setback didn’t deter him. Instead, he triumphed over the condition and went on to become a football champion. Here’s his inspiring story of how he overcame the challenges posed by GHD and claimed the title of a football champion.

Lionel Messi Autistic

While Lionel Messi autistic talks remain unproved, he received a diagnosis for a rare condition known as Growth Hormone Disorder (GHD), at the age of 11 which hinders proper growth according to age. Despite this challenge, the football legend from Argentina faced the condition with grace and emerged as the ‘GOAT’ of football (Greatest of All Time). Witnessing Argentina’s historic victory in the FIFA World Cup 2022 on Sunday, Messi fans were moved to tears as he proudly lifted the trophy. However, the journey to his current standing was far from easy, and his fame and success didn’t come overnight. As he once expressed, it took him over 17 years of hard work and dedication to reach this moment of happiness where people see him as a football inspiration.


Growing up in a football-loving family, Lionel Messi always harbored a natural passion for the sport. He honed his skills while playing at a local club, but his stunted growth posed a challenge. Among players his age, he was noticeably shorter. Further medical examinations revealed that Messi had a growth hormone deficiency (GHD), a rare health condition caused by insufficient amounts of growth hormone in the body, leading to impaired growth and development.

“When I was 11 years old they discovered that I had a growth hormone deficiency and I had to start a treatment to help me to grow. Every night I had to stick a needle into my legs, night after night after night, every day of the week, and this over a period of three years.

“I was so small, they said that when I went onto the pitch, or when I went to school, I was always the smallest of all. It was like this until I finished the treatment and I then started to grow properly,” Messi told the Telegraph.

How Barcelona helped Messi overcome his Growth Hormonal Disorder

To truly understand the significance of the treatment, Lionel Messi was just 4’2″ when he was 11, but thanks to the treatment, he is now 5’7″. Despite his small stature, his great talent was evident from a young age.


Gabriel Digeralamo, Messi’s youth club Newell’s Old Boys’ coach, commended his ability, recalling how he effortlessly performed keepy-uppies before games even at a young age. The club originally promised to provide medical support for his treatment, but then appeared hesitant, according to Messi’s father, Jorge. Due to financial difficulties, the family could no longer afford the treatment.

For Barcelona, the turn of events proved to be fortuitous, as they were immensely impressed with the 13-year-old Messi and quickly drafted a contract to secure his exceptional talents. The agreement included provisions for Barcelona to provide the necessary medical support for the young Argentine.

Is Lionel Messi Autistic? What Disease Was The Inter Miami Star Diagnosed With? 1

Barcelona invested approximately $1500 per month in growth hormone injections, which not only aided in increasing Messi’s height but also addressed various other internal issues related to his pituitary function, skin, teeth, vision, and immunity, offering comprehensive medical care.

Despite facing scrutiny over the use of growth hormone injections, Messi’s doctor, Diego Schwarsztein, highlighted the crucial distinction between using the hormone as a performance enhancer in adults and its legitimate use to treat a physical deficiency in a young individual like Messi.


In addition to his well-known GHD condition, there have been speculations about Messi being mildly autistic, with a potential diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome when he was eight. Asperger’s syndrome is characterized by differences in social interaction and challenges in navigating social situations. Even during his childhood, Messi was often referred to as “el pequeño mudito” or “the little quiet one” due to his reserved demeanor. However, his extraordinary footballing abilities lend credibility to these rumors. Nonetheless, until officially confirmed, these remain mere speculations.

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