PHOTO: Lionel Messi’s Gigantic Dog ‘Hercules’ Looks Like It Would Totally Dwarf ‘The Beast’ From ‘Sandlot’

by Chris Haney

Everyone knows that dogs are a man’s best friend, and that’s definitely the case with soccer legend Lionel Messi and his beast of a canine.

There isn’t many things you can buy for the greatest soccer player in the world that he doesn’t already have. Lionel Messi makes millions playing for his club Barcelona FC, and millions more in endorsements. In fact, Forbes ranked Messi at No. 2 on their annual “Highest-Paid Athletes 2021” list in May. The source says Messi’s annual earnings are around $130 million, which is only outranked by UFC fighter Conor McGregor.

Therefore what do you get a man that has any and everything at his fingertips? His wife came up with a great present a few years back. The answer: a puppy, but not just any puppy. Lionel Messi and Antonela Roccuzzo have been married since 2017, but they’ve known each other since they were young children. The couple share three little boys together, but their family was missing one thing.

In January 2016, Antonela bought her husband a Dogue de Bordeaux – also known as a Bordeaux Mastiff or French Mastiff. Anyone that knows the breed knows it isn’t exactly a lap dog. French Mastiff’s grow up to be enormous as they average around 120 to 140 pounds in weight. The Messi family pup was appropriately named Hulk for his massive size, and the dog didn’t disappoint once full grown.

The family got Hulk as a puppy, but within eight months, Hulk already weighed more than 100 pounds. Supposedly the huge family dog weighs almost as much as his famous owner. For reference, Lionel Messi is 5’7″ and weighs around 160 pounds. Check out pics of Hulk’s transformation, and an adorable video of him playing soccer with Messi below.

“Lionel Messi’s dog Hulk is an absolute unit @espnfc,” SportsCenter‘s Instagram post wrote earlier today.

Lionel Messi Finally Wins International Trophy, Puts Critiques to Rest

Lionel Messi is one of the most decorated athletes to ever set foot on a football pitch. The man has broken every record imaginable just about, and lifted every trophy possible multiple times at club level in Spain. However, the one accolade that has haunted the Argentinian is earning a trophy for his home country.

Barcelona’s #10 is regarded by many fans and analysts as the greatest player of all time. He’s won six Ballon d’Or awards, which is the most prestigious individual award in soccer annually given to whoever is deemed the best in the sport each year. He has the most goals in La Liga history and has more assists than any footballer ever.

In addition, Messi has helped win 34 trophies for his club. He’s won 10 La Liga titles, four Champions League trophies, seven Copa del Rey titles, and more. Yet international glory has eluded Messi while playing for his country through the years.

The player has led Argentina for years, and even took them to the 2014 World Cup final, but Germany prevailed in extra time. Argentina also lost in the Copa América final in 2015 and 2016. But 2021 would finally be his year. While playing against Brazil in Rio de Janeiro, Argentina finally broke through on July 10th with a 1-0 victory in the final.

“I needed to remove the thorn of being able to achieve something with the national team,” Messi explained after celebrating the huge win, according to The Associated Press. “I’ve been close other years and I knew it was going to happen. I am grateful to God for giving me this moment, against Brazil and in Brazil. I was saving this moment for myself.”