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Saudi Arabia names Lionel Messi as 'tourism ambassador'

The Argentine footballer received a warm welcome in the kingdom as he visited Jeddah’s historic area in a bid to showcase the country’s culture and heritage

Saudi Arabia's Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khatib announced on Monday the appointment of Paris Saint-Germain and Argentina footballer Lionel Messi as the Kingdom's official "tourism ambassador".

"Today, I am pleased to welcome Lionel Messi to Saudi Arabia," wrote Ahmed Al-Khatib on Twitter. "We are excited for you to explore the treasure of the Red Sea, the Jeddah Season and our ancient history. This is not his first visit to the Kingdom and it will not be the last."

Messi, 34, has a strong friendship with Turki Al-Sheikh, the head of the Saudi General Entertainment Authority. The footballer arrived in Jeddah on Monday accompanied by a group of friends. He transferred to Paris Saint-Germain Football Club from FC Barcelona last year.

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