This rises the question on how do sportsmen grow, and which conditions favour their development. pituitary gland // also see Pineal gland Highlight in comments: and thats why he has superhuman abilities (with 10 votes in favour and 1 against) Bonus track | Messi en Sin Cassette 2005
By Glen Williams For Mailonline
Published: 17:12 BST, 20 March 2018
Barcelona icon Lionel Messi has candidly spoken about having to administer his own childhood hormone injections.
Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone disorder, otherwise known as idiopathic short stature, which resulted in him having to inject his own legs every night.
'I injected my legs once every night,' he told America TV. 'I started at 12 years old. It was not something that left an impression on me.'
The Argentina striker had to inject his legs every night, starting at 12 years of age
He added: 'At first my parents gave me the injections from when I was eight years old until I learnt. It was a small needle. It did not hurt, it was something routine for me that I had to do and I did it with normality.'
It also brought about a huge financial outlay for his family. Messi's parents reportedly paid £1000 a month for the hormones until the Argentina striker's first club, Newell's Old Boys, offered to help with the payments.
He was then picked up by Barcelona and moved from South America in 2001, aged just 13, to train at the famous La Masia academy.
The Catalan giants then offered to pay for all his medical treatment until he finished the course of injections the following year.
Once Messi moved to Barcelona at the age of 13, the Catalan club paid for rest of his treatment
'It was not very difficult for me to come to Barcelona,' said the 30-year-old. 'I adapted quickly but my family did not. My siblings wanted to go back and they did.
'I was left alone with my father and he asked me "What should we do?", I told him "I want to stay".'
It's safe to say the condition did not affect the player's career trajectory. He has managed 374 goals in 410 outings for Barcelona and claimed five Ballon d'Or awards.
He will also lead his country at this year's World Cup in Russia, hoping to secure their first world title since 1986.
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According to Great Ormond Street Hospital’s website:
"Growth hormone is produced by the pituitary gland located deep inside the brain."
Human Growth Hormone has been used by athletes to dope in the past – and is on Wada’s banned substances list, but there is no suggestion Messi has violated any Wada rules. According to Wada, benefits of use:
"include the reduction of body fat (lipolysis), the increase in muscle mass and strength (anabolic effect), as well as its tissue-repairing effects (recovery) on the musculo-skeletal system."