Co-founders Patrick Ewald and Shaked Berenson have acquired all rights to the book MESSI: The Inside Story Of The Boy Who Became A Legend by European sports journalist Luca Caioli.

Epic will finance and produce the project about Lionel Messi, the current Argentina and Barcelona football striker widely regarded as the greatest player of his generation.

The producers are out to writers and directors and have earmarked a release date to coincide with the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil next summer.

Caioli interviewed a pantheon of family members, football experts and greats to recount the Rocky-style story about the boy from humble origins who overcomes physical shortcomings to dominate football. The book was originally published as MESSI: The Boy Who Could Not Grow.

Interviewees include Messi’s parents and extended family, coaches at Grandoli and Newell’s Old Boys and players like Frank Rjikaard, Gianluca Zambrotta and Pablo Zabaleta.

“The goal is to make a powerful and positive film that will leave audiences feeling inspired to go after their dreams no matter how impossible they may seem,” said CEO Ewald.

“The amazing story of Lionel Messi will appeal to people both young and old,” said COO Berenson. “Audiences will be uplifted by this incredible tale of fighting for your dreams.”

“I am very excited to be working with Epic Pictures Group on this powerful story,” added Caioli. 

Epic Pictures’s Big Ass Spider! recently premiered to packed houses at SXSW. Other recent projects include Vikingdom starring Dominic Purcell, horror anthology V/H/S and Mall, a collaboration with Linkin Park.