On Monday, Barcelona captain Lionel Messi made FIFA The Best award three-man list alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk. It was the same finalist in the UEFA Player of the year award.
Moments after that, Messi was presented with the 2019 Balon Educativo de Scholas award by the world director of the Pope Francis’ Scholas Occurrentes Foundation, Jose Maria del Corral. The award was given to him according to votes he received from children.
The Barcelona star received the most votes from thousands of children from the Scholas network, which includes more than 500,000 institutions from 190 countries. The youngsters voted for Messi ahead of every other participant in this summer’s Copa America in Brazil, with the Argentine talisman receiving 34.38 percent of the vote.
Messi was joined at the ceremony by Barcelona vice-president Jordi Cardoner. The Barca Foundation does work in Catalan schools alongside Scholas. The trophy was made by boys from the community of Chicomo in Mozambique and was blessed by Pope Francis in the Vatican City.
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En un gran orgullo recibir el Balón Educativo por parte de @scholasoccurrentes, fundación creada por el Papa Francisco (@franciscus). Les animo a que sigan con su misión de lograr la integración de todos sus alumnos del mundo a través de propuestas tecnológicas, deportivas y artísticas que promueven la educación desde la cultura del encuentro. #ScholasDeporte #FutVal
Messi after receiving the award post a picture on his official instagram page as he appreciated the Pope for his kind gesture toward impacting the young ones.
“In a great pride to receive the Educational Ball by @scholasoccurrentes, a foundation created by Pope Francis (@franciscus). I encourage you to continue with your mission of achieving the integration of all your students in the world through technological, sports and artistic proposals that promote education from the culture of the meeting. #ScholasDeporte #FutVal”
Messi will be hoping to add the FIFA The Best award later this September and he has not won the accolade since it’s inception with his fierce rival Ronaldo winning two and his former Real Madrid teammate Luka Modric winning the last edition.
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