Argentine international star Lionel Messi recalled the precious moments of his visit to Saudi Arabia earlier this month.
Messi, the captain of Argentina's national team that won the 2022 FIFA Qatar World Cup and the tourism ambassador of Saudi Arabia, wrote on his Instagram account: “Great memory spending a sensational day exploring Diriyah with my family, 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 with a falcon perching on his hand. Other pictures show Messi enjoying his vacation with his wife and children at the historic Diriyah palace, and a tour in the neighborhoods of Diriyah. He also posted a picture posing with Arabian horses and another with a number of children, young men and women in the historic area.
In May 2022, the Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) announced that the Paris Saint-Germain star 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, including Cristiano Ronaldo.
Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khateeb said in a statement on Twitter: “Welcome Messi to the land of tradition and the origin of history, Diriyah." During the highly enjoyable tour Messi, with his wife Antonela Roccuzzo and their sons Matteo and Siro, had various memorable experiences including "meetings with the generous and hospitable Saudi people in the Al-Turaif neighborhood," Al-Khateeb wrote.
Last month, Messi, 35, published a picture of a large number of date palms and other trees on his Facebook
page, 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 the Al-Turaif neighborhood 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.