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Lionel Messi picked as first Dubai Expo 2020 ambassador

Argentine footballer Lionel Messi has been announced as the first global ambassador for Dubai's World Expo 2020 event.

Dubai Media Office tweeted that Messi, touted as one of the most influential players of modern football, will represent Dubai's upcoming mega event. 

Reem Ibrahim Al Hashimi, director general of Dubai Expo 2020, said: "Expos are all about focusing attention on issues of global interest and global concern to help imagine a better future.

"What better way to do this than by recruiting allies among people who are already working towards better future outcomes?

"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 is perfectly placed to reach out to young people around the world, bringing them together to join us as we work towards hosting our Expo in 2020," Al Hashimi added. 

Dubai will complete an estimated $82bn (AED301bn) worth of projects in the areas of housing, entertainment and infrastructure by 2020, in anticipation of the global event.