Off late, Lionel Messi has been on the news for all the wrong reasons, especially after the Copa America 2019. He had accused the officials of corruption and favouritism towards the Brazilian team. As a result, the Argentine could be flirting with a two-year ban from International football.
However, there is another side to Lionel Messi, that not many see in front of the cameras. Lionel Messi is actually quite a charitable person, and recently his family restaurant went above and beyond the call of duty. To be precise, the restaurant helped out homeless families when the country was struck by a cold wave, by providing free hot meals.
Speaking to Marca, restaurant manager Ariel Almada said, “We’ve also been giving out coffee, soft drinks and even some wine to some. Many people came and were very respectful. We’re going to keep this up for 15 days, every night between 19:00 and 21:00.”
Marca even reported that The Leo Messi Foundation will be donating €200,000 for a number of initiatives. They include, building a new water pump and handing out food supplies.
Back in 2018, the foundation collaborated with the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF). They donated €2.6m to complete the €30m funding for the construction of the SJD Pediatric Cancer Center in Barcelona.
In addition to that, the foundation’ partnered with the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF). Their joint aim was to support the development of different projects in Kenya.
Also through his foundation, Lionel Messi helped build 20 classrooms for schools in Syria. His philanthropy began as a result of him growing up facing numerous hardships. However, the impetus came in 2007 after visiting a hospital for terminally ill children.
It was only after this visit that Lionel Messi became inspired to set up his own foundation. The Lionel Messi Foundation has since gone onto help with medical research and fund medical centres in Argentina, Spain and around the world.