UNICEF appoints Messi a Goodwill Ambassador

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has been appointed a UNICEF global

Goodwill Ambassador.

The 2009 FIFA World Player of the Year received the honor in

a ceremony in Barcelona.

A UNICEF statement said Messi’s “determination to use his

fame to help the world’s most vulnerable children” led to his being

chosen for the role.

The appointment strengthens UNICEF’s association with

Barcelona. Since 2006, the soccer club has paid the organization

for the right for its players to wear the UNICEF logo on their

match shirts.

Messi said he was “grateful for this chance to give support

to children.”