Considered by many the best football player of all time, Lionel Messi has joined the World Tourism Organisation to promote the value of responsible tourism.
UNWTO secretary general, Zurab Pololikashvili, appointed Messi as UNWTO ambassador for responsible tourism at Camp Nou in Barcelona, after the match against Leganés.
Messi scored a hattrick in the game, which Barcelona won 3-1.
“During my travels I have had the opportunity to know other cultures and societies as well as other ways to see the world and this is very enriching.
“The World Tourism Organisation as a specialized agency of the United Nations works to make tourism a source of development and I am happy I can join this mission of promoting responsible tourism,” said Messi.
Messi is an example of talent and constant work in football.
He is admired all around the world not the least due to the positioning he brought to the Barcelona in recent years, team with which he won a total of 30 titles, including eight Spanish Leagues, four Champion Leagues and five King’s Cups of Spain.
“Messi is a unique sportsman and an example of how willpower and constant work yield good results.
“It is a great honour to have Messi joining UNWTO and other well-known personalities in promoting the positive values and benefits that tourism represents,” said Pololikashvili.
Messi was the first football player in history who won five Ballon D´Or titles - the first four won consecutively - and four European Golden Shoes.
He joins the Spanish football player Fernando Hierro and the Spanish coach Vicente del Bosque as the first personalities that UNWTO appoints to advance the links between sports and tourism and promote the transformative power of responsible tourism.