Barcelona captain Lionel Messi has been named “Master of Peace of the Year” for his fair play and commitment to social issues.
The award from the Monaco-based international organization “Peace and Sport” honors an athlete who has led a significant and sustainable sporting initiative towards peaceful change.
– Messi matches Pele’s all-time club goals record
With the Leo Messi Foundation, the Argentine star has helped promote education and social inclusion for disadvantaged children from around the world.
“This award rewards not only his fair play, his respect and tolerance on the football field, but also his commitment to children’s rights.” Peace and Sports President and Founder Joel Bouzou said. “These are values that make him a role model and can pave the way for a more just and inclusive society.”
Vice President for Peace and Sport Didier Drogba added: “Lionel Messi always shows that he is a great role model in fair play and a role model for the younger generation of players as well as for millions of children and fans around the world.”
Messi, 33, presented himself with the award, saying: “It is an honor to be named ‘Champion for Peace of the Year’. I learned respect for others as a child and I always try to apply it more importantly Worth on the soccer field.
LIONEL MESSI IS OUR MASTER FOR THE PEACE OF THE YEAR! 🌟
It is a great honor to have such an incredible athlete and person in our family #ChampionsforPeace Club, known not only for its fair play, but also for its social commitment. ☮@ TeamMessi @ Fundacionmessi # PSAWARDS2020 pic.twitter.com/kNFsxrXGGV
– Peace and Sport (@peaceandsport) December 18, 2020
“It is a pleasure to be recognized as a fair player. I would like to thank Peace and Sport and Prince Albert II of Monaco for this award and I look forward to continuing to inspire and support disadvantaged people.”
Earlier this year, Messi donated € 1 million to fight COVID-19 in Spain and Argentina. One of the projects that Messi’s Foundation has been involved in is the Funding of a new pediatric cancer center at the Sant Joan de Deu hospital in Barcelona.
A UNICEF ambassador for goodwill, Messi is active on social media Advocate for charity. The “Peace of the Year” award was previously won by South African rugby captain Siya Kolis and French midfielder Blaise Matuidi.