Audemars Piguet recognized Lionel Messi's strength of character. Strength to persue his dreams. As a child in Rosaria, Argentina, Lionel spent his time playing ball and he was good. His family realised a champion in him. At ten it seemed his dreams would come to a grinding halt when he was diagnosed with a hormonal disease that potentially could effect his growth. However, this would not deter his family ,who after doing much research into the various Argentinian Clubs, finally enrolled him into the recruitment testing at FC Barcelona in Spain. As a result of his football skills, he was admitted to the Masia. the Barcia training center who covered not only his football training, but also his various medical expenses.
Lionel’s family left Argentina and moved to Catalonia in order to witness Lionel Messi’s first steps on the Camp Nou football pitch. From those first steps Lionel Messi’s talent has grown in leaps and bounds. He is fast, creative and can dribble with mind boggling ease. His skill has bought him a well deserved position as a striker for the legendary FC Barcelona and for his national team. Like many of the world’s greatest soccer players, Lionel Messi dons the N° 10 shirt. His mastery of the game has earned him quite a number of titles: FIFA 2009 Player of the Year, the 2009 Golden Bell Award and Player of the Spanish League.
It is little wonder why Audemars Piguet chose Lionel Messi to join its team. As Phillipe Merk, CEO of Audemars Piguet said,
“ Lionel Messi is an exceptional man, the greatest player of his generation. This young and talented athlete not only embodies pure sporting genius, but also the courage and determination of a man who fights against all odds to pursue his dreams. Above and beyond his intrinsic value, we are welcoming a big-hearted man with valuable human qualities into the Audemars Piguet family.”
Audemars Piguet has had its own obstacles in its past 135 years, some of which were cleared only through raw determination and foresight. Both Lionel Messi and Audemars Piguet will join together and strive to pass this will to achieve and conquer obstacles to the next generation. Messi with his foundation, “Fundacion Leo Messi” created in 2009 uses his fame to gain public awareness to the plight of woman and children around the world.
He says, “ You have to believe in yourself and never lose sight of your dreams … but sometimes our dreams need a little helping hand.”
This year, Lionel Messi became a UNICEF goodwill ambassador.
Audemars Piguet has chosen well, and as per its three main virtues - tradition, daring and excellence – Lionel Messi lives up to all of them.