Saudi Arabia to host Lionel Messi in March as the nation’s tourism ambassador

Riyadh — Lionel Messi, a legendary player in football, will return to Saudi Arabia in March as the country’s ambassador of tourism, Ahmed al-Khateeb, said on Wednesday.

The well-known Argentine footballer’s most recent trip to Saudi Arabia took place in May 2022, shortly after he was appointed the nation’s Tourism Ambassador.

“I am happy to welcome our Tourism Ambassador and star Lionel Messi and his family and friends this month on his second visit to Saudi to enjoy our most beautiful tourism destinations, connect with our people and enjoy unique experiences!” al-Khateeb wrote in a tweet.

Messi visited Jeddah during the highly anticipated Jeddah Season festival, which attracted hundreds of thousands of tourists over the course of 60 days, on his final official trip as the city’s tourism ambassador.

Messi’s appointment as the Saudi Tourism Ambassador is a result of the government’s effort to promote Saudi Arabia as an attractive travel destination for visitors from around the world.

Since Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo joined Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr football club in Riyadh on January 1, football has dominated international media attention of the country.

One of the most paid football players, the superstar will reportedly earn $213 million annually for the next two and a half years.