The world-famous watch company Audemars Piguet, with 135 years of uninterrupted history, is extremely thrilled to welcome Lionel Messi into its fascinating world. This outstanding footballer, whose manner of pursuing the dreams serves as an inspiration to everybody, has been greeted by the brand’s CEO Philippe Merk.
Lionel Messi started playing football at a very early age in his hometown's Newell's Old Boys. From the age of 11, he suffered from a hormone deficiency and as Lionel's parents were unable to pay for the treatment in Argentina, they decided to move to Barcelona, Spain.
In the 2003-2004 season, when he was only 16, Messi made his first team debut in a friendly match with Porto, which celebrated the opening of the new Dragao stadium. During the following championship-winning season, on October 16 2004, Messi made his first appearance in an official match, in Barcelona's derby win against Espanyol at the Olympic Stadium.
Later on, he was offered a chance to play for the Spain national football team, but he turned it down, as he wanted to wait for the opportunity to play for the country of his birth. In June 2004, he got his chance and played in a U-20 friendly match against Paraguay.
In June 2005, Messi starred for the Argentina U-20 team that won the Football World Youth Championship played in The Netherlands. Messi picked up the Golden Boot as top scorer with 6 goals, and the Golden Ball for the best player of the tournament. Despite his youth, Lionel has already drawn comparisons with Diego Maradona, the best football player of all time. On September 25, 2005 Messi obtained Spanish citizenship and was finally able to make his debut in that season's Spanish First Division.
In 2009, this young talented sportsman was bestowed with a number of titles and distinctions: FIFA 2009 World Player of the Year, as well as the 2009 Golden Ball award and Player of the Spanish League. These awards also include the team’s successes with FC Barcelona, such as the 2006 and 2009 UEFA Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup and Spanish League.
Leo Messi is very proud to be a part of the renowned company’s family. The choice of Mr. Messi as Audemars Piguet's ambassador is fully justified by numerous common denominators the footballer shares with the brand. Audemars Piguet also had to overcome a number of difficulties to reach a pinnacle of splendor.
Both Lionel Messi and Audemars Piguet are eager to pass their valuable experience to younger generations. The famous footballer achieves this goal through his new “Fundacion Leo Messi”, set up in 2009. The illustrious brand, meanwhile, carries out the activity of the kind through its own foundation. This remarkable partnership is expected to give birth to several important social projects.