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Lionel Messi named Youth Olympic Games ambassador

Lionel Messi

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring a penalty against Manchester City during their Champions League round of 16 first leg soccer match at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, northern England February 18, 2014. REUTERS/Nigel Roddis (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER)

REUTERS

The Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympics have called on Argentina’s most famous sportsman to promote the event -- soccer star Lionel Messi.

Messi, 26, was named the ambassador for the third edition of the Youth Olympics on Tuesday.

“He is an idol the world over, an example for people to follow and the perfect professional,” Buenos Aires mayor Mauricio Macri said, according to FIFA. “He is a wonderful role model that youngsters can look up to and take inspiration from.”

Messi, who plays club soccer for Barcelona, made Olympic headlines last year when he helped Madrid’s bid for the 2020 Olympics. Madrid ended up losing to Tokyo in a Sept. 7 vote.

The first Youth Olympics were in Singapore in 2010. The second edition is in Nanjing, China, later this year. The first Youth Winter Olympics were in Innsbruck, Austria, in 2012.

Messi won gold as part of Argentina’s soccer team at the 2008 Olympics.

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