Dirty Tackle - World Soccer

FIFA World Player of the Year and Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi finally launched an official Facebook page on Wednesday and in its first seven hours in existence, it racked up nearly 7 million Likes, which are essentially users who decide to follow his page and the info shared through it.

As Mashable points out, that's already 40 percent as many Likes as President Obama's Facebook page and 30 percent as Justin Bieber's Facebook page. Though Messi still has a ways to go before he reaches Lady Gaga's nearly 32 million Likes or his Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo's 23 million -- both numbers racked up over the course of months, not hours -- at this rate he could give them a run sooner than later.

It seems there could have been some shenanigans at play in getting Messi such a big number in so little time, though. Some fans of Barcelona's Argentine star claim their Likes from his older unofficial pages were somehow transferred to this new one. Regardless, these numbers still prove what many of us already knew -- the guy is quite popular.

"Thank you very much for the great number of messages that I have received. I am so excited! From now on we will be more closely connected through facebook," Messi wrote on his page, which promises "news, insider stories and a bit more of my life inside and outside the pitch." We'll have to wait and see what those insider stories will be about, but there's a good chance they will include tales of magic, giggling and building Lego playsets.

Photo: Getty Images

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