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UNICEF: FC Barcelona's Leo Messi Named Goodwill Ambassador

BARCELONA, Spain, 11 March 2010 Lionel Leo Messi, one of FC Barcelonas bright young stars and a member of the Argentine national football team joined the ranks of celebrated UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors today. In a sun-filled room above Camp Nou, FC Barcelonas legendary home in the heart of the Catalonian capital, the 22-year-old footballer signed a two-year commitment to work on behalf of the worlds most vulnerable children. Three hundred people attended the packed event including UNICEF staff, government officials, family members, teammates, FC Barcelona President Joan Laporta, Mr. Messis coach, a passel of journalists and a dozen very excited schoolchildren. I know there are a lot of children that have diseases, many that dont have an education, many that dont have good nutrition. I am ready to do everything I can to help them in my collaboration with UNICEF,¨ said the newly minted Goodwill Ambassador. We are very proud and very excited to welcome you to the UNICEF family, Director of Private Fundraising and Partnerships Philip O´Brien told Mr. Messi, speaking on behalf of Executive Director Ann M. Veneman. This is a commitment you are making not to UNICEF, but to children, he added.

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