Lionel Messi's Tattoo Meanings
The number of Lionel Messi's tattoos is by itself interesting. He has 18 tattoos on his body, although some of them may not look that distinctive, however, each of them has a distinctive meaning we are going to discuss below.
You might have thought about Lionel Messi's tattoos & their meanings. If so, the meaning of each of Messi’s tattoos might be interesting to you. What does each of them mean? The interesting thing here is that Messi was first afraid of the pain involved in tattooing, however, it seems his fear got away after the first tattoo so that he got 17 other tattoos after that.
Lionel Messi's Tattoos Explained
As clear from the title, we are going to explain Lionel Messi's tattoos & their meanings in this post. If you’re a Messi lover and what to know about his tattoos meanings, then get ready, because this is Lionel Messi’s tattoos explained!
Mother’s Portrait (Location: Left Side of the Back)
Messi’s first tattoo is actually his mother’s portrait. Why? Because he feels very close to his mother and thinks she’s been the one to have helped him in achieving his goals. No wonder then that Messi chooses the portrait of his mother, Celia, as the first image to be painted onto his body. This is indeed an expression of love and respect that Messi has for his mother.
Messi is kind of a family person. For him family comes first. He’s also into charity. He actually founded Leo Messi Foundation in 2007 which is run by his mother and brother, Matias, and whose mission is to help children at risk.
Child Hands (Location: Left Calf)
Child hands? What is this Lionel Messi's tattoo meaning? If you just guessed these hands are his son’s hands, we should say you’re right! This is actually the joy of becoming a father for the first time that exhibits itself on the calf of the one of the finest footballers ever in the history of football. Messi actually became a father for the first time on November 2, 2012 when his first son, Thiago, was born.
Messi even didn’t attend training on the day his first son was born to be with his wife at the time of their son’s birth. He later announced the birth of his son on Facebook saying: “Today I am the happiest man in the world, my son was born and thanks to God for this gift! Thanks to my family for the support! A hug to everyone.”
Thiago (Location: Left Calf)
This Lionel Messi's tattoo meaning is quite clear: his son’s name. But why is it there under the child hands? They say there were rumors before this “Thiago” was painted onto Messi’s calf that the hands on his calf represented the “Hand of God”; the hand that actually helped Maradona score against England in the quarter final of 1986 FIFA World Cup.
You know Maradona scored a goal against England in 1986 FIFA World Cup which was first thought and judged to be a header, but later it was revealed that Maradona had scored the goal by his hand; what he called later the Hand of God. Anyway, Messi cleared all rumors by having his first son’s name, Thiago, painted on his calf just below the hands to emphasize that the hands are his son’s hands.
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Football (Location: Left Leg)
Like the previous tattoo, this Lionel Messi’s tattoo meaning is also clear: shows his passion for football. Messi had this passion from the very early childhood; he always played football with his brothers and cousins when he was a child.
And maybe the same passion has led Messi to be one of the greatest footballers of his own time and even in football history with a bunch of club and individual trophies and honors. He’s the kind of person who dedicates everything to his passion, football, and this is quite clear that he has gotten the image of a football tattooed onto his calf.
Jesus Christ (Location: Right Arm)
Like the other two previous tattoos, this Lionel Messi’s tattoo meaning is also clear: his dedication to Christianity and Jesus Christ. Messi has been raised in a Catholic family - Catholicism is Argentina’s official religion with the 92% of all the country’s population being Catholic. So, no wonder that Messi is also a Catholic. But to what degree?
To the degree that he once said If Argentina won 2018 edition of FIFA World Cup, he would walk the path between his home in Rosario to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rosary of San Nicolas which is around 31 miles as a mark of celebration - kinda pilgrimage for him.
Lotus (Location: Right Arm)
Messi has also a Lotus tattoo on his right arm. This tattoo of Messi, however, doesn’t have one clear and definite meaning. Lotus symbolizes rebirth, new beginning, purity, and enlightenment. It has also some spiritual interpretations.
But which of these symbols Messi tries to exactly refer to by having his arm get Lotus tattooed is not clear. Could it be rebirth, purity or enlightenment? You tell us what this Lionel Messi’s tattoo meaning is.
There is also another interpretation of Lotus and that is talent could grow anywhere be it Argentina or any other country in the world. Maybe that’s what Messi means by getting his arm lotus tattooed? Also consider that there are orange flowers near the Lotus that although have no specific meaning, they add to the beauty of the scene.
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Rose Window (Right Elbow)
Another tattoo with religious connotation on Messi’s body, the rose window on Messi’s body is actually inspired by Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona. Rose windows are circular windows that are mostly found in Gothic churches and cathedrals, although the term “rose window” today is a general term used for any kind of circular windows.
So, one Jesus Christ and one rose window; is Messi’s Christian temple completing?! Do you still think that he’s not a religious person? If he’s not, at least he has paid enough homage to Christianity by these two tattoos.
King’s Crown (Location: Right Arm)
If you look carefully, just below the Jesus Christ tattoo on Messi’s right arm there is a crown tattoo. They say he got this tattoo just for his wife, Antonella, because she has also a queen tattoo on her right arm. So, the king and the queen!
We don’t about Messi’s wife, but Messi himself is the king of football, in fact, in terms of the number of club and individual honors and rewards he has won. Don’t forget that no other footballer in the history of football - even football legends - has not won Ballon d'Or six times as Messi has done, so, that crown may be there to remind you that he’s the king of football!
Antonella Eye (Location: Right Arm)
This Lionel Messi’s tattoo meaning is quite clear; it shows Messi’s affection for his wife. Messi and Antonella know each other since they were five, and they have been in a serious relationship since 2008. In 2017 they got married to each other and the fruits of this marriage are three sons: Thiago born in 2012, Mateo born in 2015 and Ciro born in 2018.
And what more about the eye? As soon as one looks at it, he/she can recognize that’s a woman’s eye. Also consider that the eye is near Jesus Christ, lotus, and rose window tattoos. Seems that Messi loves his wife as much as he loves his religion.
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Giant Clock (Location: Right Forearm)
What is this Lionel Messi’s tattoo meaning? A giant clock? That giant clock there may mean Messi cares for time as the most valuable asset any person has in his/her own life. It is really so, and in our belief, Messi is trying to convey that message to us by having his right forearm clock tattooed.
And as you see the clock looks like an old one that works with the movement of cogs. That again emphasize the importance of time? Even each single second is important? Also we believe the clock is there for decorative reasons, too. As you see it’s big and beautiful and reminds one of the first mechanical devices built by mankind.
Clock Cogs (Location: Right Forearm)
Cogs fill up the space between the giant clock on Messi’s forearm and his wrist. Two of them look part of them is behind the clock which has made the scene more realistic not to mention that the whole scene also looks three dimensional.
As we already mention, the clock on Messi’s forearm connotes the importance of time. And cogs? They are inseparable parts of a clock that actually make a clock work, so the whole collection - we mean the clock and its cogs - refer to the same thing the giant clock itself refers to: time is important.
Rosary (Location: Right Forearm)
And what is this Lionel Messi’s tattoo meaning? Rosary actually forms the outline of Messi’s hometown, Rosario, and the rosary tattooed onto the Barcelona star’s forearm also refers to that rosary. Beautiful or what? Whatever it is, it at least refers to something - we mean it is not meaningless.
The artist who tattooed Messi, Roberto Lopez, once said about this rosary tattoo that the Messi’s intention concerning the rosary tattoo has been creating a scene that depicted different stages of his life. It seems that has not been possible and that has not happened; what is happened is that the rosary scene on Messi’s forearm has been highlighted by orange flowers.
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South America and Europe Map
They say Messi has also had the map of South America and Europe Map tattooed onto his right arm, but the exact location of it is not known and even there is no photo to confirm that. We doubt if Messi has such a tattoo at all.
Number 10 (Location: Left Leg)
This Lionel Messi’s tattoo meaning should be clear to you if you’re a football fan. The jersey with number 10 is always reserved for the best forward and striker in a team! And Messi is the best forward Barcelona has ever had - No other player in the history of Barcelona has scored as many goals as Messi has scored (634). He also wears No. 10 Jersey in the Argentinian national team.
So we think Messi has the right to get that number 10 tattooed onto his body. Since he’s the top scorer in Barcelona’s history it seems that the Jersey with number 10 is not enough for him! There should be a sign that remains; a permanent one. And what is better than a number 10 tattoo?
Dagger with Wings (Location: Left Leg)
This Lionel Messi’s tattoo meaning is interesting: A dagger with wings is the token of protection from your guardian angel and the ability to rise above danger. Messi is conveying the massage that his guardian angel has been protecting him and maybe helped him to be such a successful footballer? You tell us!
Also if the dagger was surrounded by flames or there were flames on it, that would be the symbol of Christianity or purity. Even if you look close at Messi’s dagger tattoo, you don’t find any flames, so Messi has not been religious at least in this case.
Birthdates (Location: Both Legs)
There are two birthdate tattoos with little difference on both Messi’s legs. The birthdates are actually the birthdates of his sons and his wife. The difference between them is that the birthdates on Messi’s left leg are nothing more than dates, while the ones on his right leg are accompanied by their respective person’s name.
And why such difference? Because his right leg had more space for the names to be tattooed, while on his left leg the dates are tattooed inside the child hands - there was no more space for names.
The birthdates of Messi’s sons are like this: Thiago, November 2, 2012, Mateo, September 11, 2015, and Ciro, March 10, 2018, and his wife, Antonella, was born on February 26, 1988. So you can see four birthdates on both Messi’s legs.
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Kissing Lips (Location: Below the Waistline)
Is that the sign of Leo Messi’s affection for his wife? Seems so, but since the tattoo is kissing lips, and some say those lips represent Antonella’s lips, it could be the other way round; we mean that could be the sign of Antonella’s love for Messi.
Whatever the direction of love - Messi to his wife or vice versa - kissing lips is for sure the symbol of love. And where it is tattooed - near the reproduction organ - also signifies the love which actually leads to reproduction.
Mateo (Location: Right Arm)
This tattoo of Messi does not need much interpretation. It’s a name and it’s his second son’s name. However, knowing that Messi has also got his first son’s name, Thiago, tattooed onto his leg, the question is that why doesn’t he have a tattoo of his third son’s name, Ciro, on his body?
This is for sure not on purpose, because the Barcelona star feels affection for all the members of his family and he might have a plan to get his third son’s name tattooed onto his body too, who knows?