Soccer – Messi’s life to be portrayed in Cirque du Soleil show

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(Reuters) – Cirque du Soleil are to base a new show around the life of Argentina soccer great Lionel Messi, the Montreal-based group of performing artists said on Tuesday.

The show, which will be produced in conjunction with PopArt Music and Sony Music, will tour the world in 2019, although exact dates and venues have not been published.

It follows Cirque du Soleil extravaganzas focused on the life and careers of music artists such as the Beatles and Michael Jackson.

“It feels both crazy and incredible that Cirque du Soleil will create a show based on my life, my passion, my sport,” Messi, 31, said in a video on the group’s website.

“Cirque du Soleil is a family favorite of ours. I have no doubt this show will amaze people as their shows always do.”

The five-time FIFA World Player of the Year left Argentina when he was still a boy to join Barcelona, the club where he has spent his entire soccer career.

Messi suffered considerable difficulties as a child and was so small he was given growth hormones to help him develop.

He is considered one of the greatest players of all time after winning all the major club honors with Barcelona.

Messi’s international career has been less successful, with no major titles for his country in spite of reaching four finals including the World Cup 2014 showpiece in Brazil.

(Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Ken Ferris)

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - La Liga Santander - Valencia v FC Barcelona - Mestalla, Valencia, Spain - October 7, 2018  Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates scoring their first goal   REUTERS/Heino Kalis/File Photo