Lionel became the youngest player to play in La Liga when he appeared for FC Barcelona in 2004 at 17. He was still 17 when he scored his first goal, which also set a La Liga record. His teenaged teammate, Bojan Krkic, broke both marks in 2007–08. Lionel assisted on the record-breaking goal.
After an U–18 tournament in Tokyo, Lionel received a standing ovation from 30,000 Japanese fans.
Lionel’s goal in World Cup 2006 made him the sixth-youngest to score in World Cup history. Pelé, at 17, is the youngest.
In 2007, Lionel finished third in the Balon d'Or voting for European Player of the Year. In 2008, he finished second, behind Cristiano Ronaldo. He finished second in 2007 and 2008 in FIFA World Footballer of the Year voting.
Lionel was named Sports Illustrated’s 2007 Latino Sportsman of the Year.
Lionel’s nine goals in the 2009 European Cup fell short of the record of 14, held by Ruud Van Nistelroy and José Altafini.
Lionel's goal against Racing de Santander in 2009 was the 5,000th in FC Barcelona history.
Lionel beat runner-up Cristiano Ronaldo for the 2009 Ballon d’Or by the largest margin ever, 473 to 233.
Lionel scored his 100th goal for Barcelona in a 2010 game against Sevilla.
Lionel was named Man of the Match in Argentina’s 2–0 victory over Greece in World Cup 2010.
Lionel was the first FC Barcelona player since Romario to score a hat trick against real Madrid in El Clasico.
Among the all-time greats who have said Lionel is the best player in the world are Ronaldinho, Samuel Eto'o, Frank Rijkaard, Víctor Fernández, Bernd Schuster, Guti, Raúl, Gianluca Zambrotta, Francesco Totti, Antonio Cassano, Alfredo di Stéfano, Diego Maradona and Pelé.
Lionel was picked as World Soccer Magazine’s Young Player of the Year three years in a row.
Lionel rakes in more than $35 million a year in salary, bonuses, and endorsements. He is annually among the world’s Top 10 earning athletes.
Lionel is sponsored by adidas and appears in their television commercials around the globe.
Lionel’s nickname is "The Flea."
Had Lionel not received growth hormones, doctors estimate he would have stopped growing at 4'7".
After Lionel began his career, Jorge and Rodrigo stayed in Spain with him, while Celia, Matias and Maria Sol returned to Argentina.
Lionel’s favorite music styles are Samba and Cumbi.
Lionel never watches TV highlights of himself.
Lionel and girlfriend Antonella Roccuzzo plan to marry in 2010. She is from his hometown of Rosario.