RIYADH — The Argentinian international football star Lionel Messi recalled the precious moments of his visit to Saudi Arabia earlier this month.
Messi, captain of the Argentinian national team that won the 2022 FIFA Qatar World Cup and the tourism ambassador of Saudi Arabia wrote on his Twitter account: “An incredible memory. I spent, along with my family, an exciting day exploring Diriyah, the birthplace of the Saudi state, and home to 300 years of history.”
The star of the French team Paris Saint-Germain and former Barcelona icon posted a number of pictures of his tour. These pictures include the one in which he appears putting a falcon on his hand. Another picture shows Messi enjoying his vacation with wife and children at the historic place of Diriyah, in addition to a tour inside the neighborhoods of Diriyah. He also posted a picture, posing with Arabian horses. Messi also posted his picture with a number of children, young men and girls in the historic Diriyah area.
In May 2022, the Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) announced that the Paris Saint-Germain footballer is its new official brand ambassador. In the same month, he visited Jeddah. Later, he returned to Jeddah to play a friendly match that brought together players of Paris Saint-Germain and a group of Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal stars, during which he faced his rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khateeb, said in a statement on his Twitter account: “Welcome Messi to the land of tradition and the origin of history: Diriyah, on an enjoyable tourist tour that included various experiences with his wife Antonela Roccuzzo, and their sons Matteo and Siro, where he met the generous and hospitable Saudi people in the Al-Turaif neighborhood.”
Last month, Messi, 35, published a picture of a large number of palm trees and trees on his Facebook account, with comments: “Who thinks that Saudi Arabia has all this huge amount of green environment? I like to explore its unexpected wonders whenever I get the chance.”
During his trip to Al-Turaif neighbourhood in Diriyah, Messi and his family spent the first day of their holiday visiting an authentic Saudi farm, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. They watched a palm-weaving demonstration against the backdrop of the majestic trees, which are a symbol of prosperity in Saudi Arabia. The Messi family enjoyed playing with and feeding the Arabian gazelle.
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