Leo Messi calls out to "Unite for children"
In March 2010, UNICEF appointed Lionel (Leo) Messi, FC Barcelona and Argentina national team football star, as a global Goodwill Ambassador.
Messi’s relatively short career has taken him to the summit of world football. He was named the FIFA World Player of the Year in 2009, a year in which he also won the Golden Ball award for the best European footballer of the year. While Messi’s accomplishments as a player are well known, it is his determination to use his fame to help the world´s most vulnerable children that has led to his appointment as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
“Football has given me a lot of joy and opportunities and I feel grateful to UNICEF for this chance to give support to children," said Messi. ”I hope that in my role as a global Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF I will be able to support children who need our help.”
His team, FC Barcelona, last year achieved a historic sweep of the football championships in 2009, winning the UEFA Champion´s League, the FIFA Club World Cup, La Liga, the Copa del Rey, the European Super Cup and the Spanish Super Cup.
In 2006, FC Barcelona and the FC Barcelona Foundation signed a global agreement with UNICEF. Since then, the club has worn the UNICEF logo on its shirt, broadcasting a message about the rights and needs of children as a symbol of the club’s values and its solidarity with children.
For more than half a century, UNICEF’s Goodwill Ambassadors have helped improve the lives of children and women around the world, by creating public awareness of children’s issues and helping to mobilize resources.