Football legend Lionel Messi visited the site of Expo 2020 Dubai on Monday, where he toured the pavilions of the United Arab Emirates and Argentina and met with officials.
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The Argentinian sports star met with Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak al-Nahyan, the UAE’s Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, Commissioner General of Expo 2020 Dubai, as well as Minister of Culture and Youth Noura bint Mohammed al-Kaabi.
“Each pavilion has its own thing, its own place, it shows you its culture, its country, it makes you see and learn from each one of them. And I think the place is very big and very impressive,” Messi told Expo reporters.
“When I [visited in 2020], there was practically nothing, and in a year and a bit they turned it into something extraordinary.”
Videos and photos shared by Expo visitors showed crowds surrounding Messi as he toured different parts of the world’s largest fair, including the famous waterfall attraction near al-Wasl Plaza and Jubilee Park.
There were also videos shared showing fans chasing after the golf cart that was transporting Messi through the site.
The Argentinian football player had signed a contract with Expo 2020 Dubai taking on an international role as an ambassador “of the world's greatest show,” according to state news agency WAM.
As of December 13, Expo 2020 Dubai had seen a staggering 6.3 million visits since it first opened its doors to the public on October 1.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, organizers have maintained preventative measures that apply to all visitors, staff and volunteers. Everyone must be vaccinated or is required to provide a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the visit.
Face masks are also required both indoor and outdoor. Sanitization stations can be found throughout the Expo site.