Lionel Messi’s Presence At Expo 2020 Dubai Is Going All Viral & Here’s Why!

by Shrestha Purkayastha
Lionel Messi’s Presence At Expo 2020 Dubai Is Going All Viral & Here’s Why!

Global football star Lionel Messi delighted fans after paying a surprise visit to Expo 2020 Dubai on Monday. The Argentinian great – who was only in action for club side Paris St Germain on Sunday evening, swapped the pitch for the pavilions of the sprawling Dubai South site. Messi, who recently clinched a record-breaking seventh Ballon d’Or award, carried a football during the trip as he posed near Expo’s popular waterfall attraction. The prolific forward, widely viewed as one of the best players in the history of the sport, met Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, Minister of Tolerance and Co-existence, and Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth, during his tour.

Lionel Messi Became The First International Face Of Expo 2020 Dubai

A force to be reckoned with on the green pitch, the Argentine professional football player became the first international face of Expo 2020 Dubai. The biggest event the Arab region has ever witnessed. Having been appointed Global Ambassador in 2016, just three years after Dubai won the hosting bid. Through Lionel Andrés Messi’s wide-ranging influential reach, the world fair hopes to ignite a spark of inspiration among the youth and rally the people for ‘Supporting Unity & Collaboration’.

Also read: Visit The India Pavilion At Expo 2020 Dubai & Win Two Complimentary Round-Trip Tickets To Any Indian Location

Picture Credits: Khaleej Times

Why Is Expo’s Global Ambassador A Household Name?

Messi’s legendary sportsmanship needs no additional introduction anyway. But in case you’re set to journey to The World’s Greatest Show, here is a snapshot of why Expo’s global ambassador is a household name even among sports muggles. Messi is an all-time top scorer for the same club with 672 goals as of May 27, 2021, under Futbol Club Barcelona; six-time winner of the prestigious football award Ballon d’Or (pictured); the most awarded Best FIFA Men’s Player; and the streak of historic records rolls on for the now free agent.

Picture Credits: Emirates 247

Messi Even Starred In His Debut Campaign Film For The World Exposition

In 2019, the player starred in his debut campaign film for the world exposition. The 60-second video garnered more than 27 million YouTube views, where Messi is seen shooting an Expo-branded football from the event site in Dubai to ‘teammates’ in Barcelona, Kenya, Calcutta and London. Immersed in a lively game of juggling and passing, the diverse cast unites to make the teamwork, kicking the final baton back to Messi, who playfully misses his own pass to children’s glee. The following year, in 2020, the superstar visited the heart of Expo 2020 Dubai, Al Wasl Plaza, to spend quality time with ten UAE school students. Selected from a draw conducted by the Expo School Programme, the students had the opportunity of a lifetime to snap pictures with the global ambassador and walk home with signed memorabilia.

Also read: 6 Most Instagrammable Spots At The Expo 2020 Dubai & Tips To Get Your Perfect Picture

Picture Credits: Khaleej Times

Messi was seen counting down the months to the anticipated opening earlier this month with another clip feature – this time he’s scoring not for the goal post but rather the crown of Al Wasl Plaza dome. With three months to go, the player is seen warming up on the terrace of an adjacent building before effortlessly shooting a ball right into the plaza’s circular skylight. The Expo 2020 Dubai global ambassador already has an established presence in international circles from being the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Goodwill Ambassador to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) advocate.