Ten school students from the UAE netted an opportunity of a lifetime yesterday: a chance to meet one of the most celebrated athletes in history, Expo 2020 Dubai ambassador Lionel Messi.
Chosen in a draw held by the Expo School Programme, the students from across the UAE, met the superstar playmaker at the Expo 2020 site where he joined them on a tour of Al Wasl Plaza, Dubai’s next architectural marvel.
Joined by Expo mascots Rashed and Latifa, Messi also took pictures, signed souvenirs and memorabilia, and spent time with the students, making them the envy of millions of sports fans around the world.
“It was very enjoyable to meet and spend time with the students – their generation will provide the next superstars in sport and many other walks of life, leading us all to an optimistic new future,” said Messi.
Messi was also glad to have seen first-hand the progress being made in preparations for The World’s Greatest Show of human brilliance and achievement, including the jewel at its centre, Al Wasl Plaza.
“Like everyone, I will be thrilled to visit Expo 2020 after it opens in October to see for myself the many innovations, live shows, international dishes, arts and cultures from more than 190 countries as the world’s leading showcase of human brilliance and achievement,” he said.
Among the most-decorated footballers in history, Messi is a record-breaking six-time winner of the prestigious Ballon d’Or and current FIFA Men’s Player of the Year, and Argentina’s all-time top scorer. As captain of the national side, has led the South American country to three major tournament finals, including the FIFA World Cup in 2014 when he was voted best player of the tournament.
Expo 2020 opens its doors for six months from 20 October 2020. Through the Expo School Programme, millions of school student visits from across the UAE will experience the first World Expo ever held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region, and the largest event yet held in the Arab World.