Lionel Messi will be the face of the Dubai Expo 2020 after agreeing a deal to become the first global ambassador for the event.
The five-time Fifa Ballon D'Or winner will appear in ad campaigns and travel internationally to attend functions with key stakeholders to highlight the connections between their work and the expo.
Messi’s 80 million plus Twitter followers and huge global following represent an ideal fit for the event which aims to bring together hundreds of countries and millions of people to celebrate human ingenuity.
The 2020 expo, which will explore the theme of 'Connecting Minds Creating the Future', marks the first time that the event has been staged in the Middle East.
Director general of the 2020 expo, Reem Ibrahim Al Hashimi, said: “Lionel Messi’s performances on the football pitch bring people together, and as a result his influence reaches far beyond it. He is the ideal person to be our first global ambassador.
"He overcame youthful health challenges to achieve his dreams of international excellence through hard work; making him an inspiration. He is perfectly placed to reach out to young people around the world, bringing them together to join us as we work towards hosting our World Expo in 2020."
Expo 2020 Global Ambassadors will be recruited from leading figures in the sports, arts, music, culture and media, as well as international thought leaders in the fields of architecture & design, science & technology, business, economics, education, philanthropy and sustainability.