Messi’s Dad Pens Heartfelt Open Letter About His Son

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Yesterday, Lionel Messi won an unprecedented fifth Ballon d’Or. Today, he won something that might be just a little bit closer to his heart: a very public display of love from his glowingly proud dad, Jorge.

The following open letter from father to son was published in Marca this morning:

“The day that we left Argentina with a suitcase full of dreams and illusions – but also with lots of fears – Lionel seemed to enjoy the journey. Surely, in his head he was only focused on arriving and staying in Barcelona,” the card reads. “But,” it goes on, “I also imagine he was beginning to formulate the idea of succeeding at the thing he loved most: el fútbol.”

“Our family feels so proud of him because everything that he has accomplished has been achieved through hard work, leaving behind things of great value. Lionel’s spirit and will to succeed – much like his desire to improve everyday – create a valuable stimulus for all of us who are close to him.”

Messi himself typed up a card to his loyal fans, writing to thank fútbol – the sport he’s “blindly in love with” – for “the days of happiness, excitement, goals, and victories” and “those other evenings of suffering, frustrations, and defeats.” Check out his whole message (along with a surprisingly normal picture of Messi in a suit!) below: