Lionel Messi has surprised a team of children to launch the new UEFA Champions League Mastercard mascot kit – including several little Leo namesakes in a new film, Passing on the Love of Football. Priceless, and inviting four young fans to join him in a huge 15 metres by 7 metres street-art mural.
The latest campaign from Mastercard celebrates Messi’s influence on the next generation of football fans and follows research showing that one in four parents (24 per cent) would consider calling their child ‘Leo’ after the footballing icon, with 59 per cent saying he is a positive role model for inspiring determination and dedication.
A Mastercard ambassador since 2018, Messi’s positive off-the-field impact includes social media, where he currently holds the record for the most liked Instagram post of all time. Over on Twitter, fans have also called him the ‘GOAT’ (Greatest of all Time) over one million times since mid-December, double that of his closest competitor.
The street-art mural, which was painted and captured on film in Paris ahead of the second leg of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 fixtures, includes a QR code that links to an innovative augmented reality filter, enabling fans to become a mascot and put themselves in Team Leo alongside Messi.
Lionel Messi comments: “Playing football has been my life’s passion, and nothing brings me more joy than passing on my love for the beautiful game to the next generation. I look back at my own career and only hope that I can do the same for the talent of tomorrow, many of whom I will be cheering on in years to come.”
Jeannette Liendo, senior vice president marketing and communications at Mastercard, added: “Sporting heroes possess a superpower, to inspire the next generation, and give them belief that they too can achieve greatness. That’s why Mastercard is proud to be working with the UEFA Foundation and Messi to give young football fans, like the ones pictured on the mural, the opportunity to feel like the stars of the show.”
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