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By John Glenday, Reporter

March 6, 2023 | 2 min read

Mastercard has teamed up with Argentine football legend Lionel Messi to celebrate its long-term sponsorship of Uefa Champions League mascots.

The footballing tradition sees young fans walk onto the field of play alongside their idols, with one fan delighted by a surprise appearance from Messi himself.

Last month, Messi debuted the UEFA Champions League mascot uniform, which will be worn by all mascots during this season’s knock-out stage. In this video, Mastercard gathered some children who all happened to share the name Leo.

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On hand to distribute personalized playing shirts to each of his charges, the footballer embodies the hopes and dreams parents place on their children when coming up with a name.

Shown videos of parents explaining what the name Leo means to them, a visibly moved Messi (also known as Leo) shared his gratitude with some of his closest fans.

As part of the campaign, Mastercard launched a sweepstake to give one lucky fan from the UK, Germany or France the chance to walk onto the pitch alongside Messi at the FC Bayern München vs Paris Saint-Germain F.C game on March 8.

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