On the dawn of his Champions League debut for Paris Saint-Germain, adidas and Lionel Messi have teamed up to celebrate football and send a strong message to the next generation, by placing thousands of exclusive balls all over the Ile-de-France region.

Still a weird prospect, that iconic Champions League theme ringing out, the Parc des Princes under the lights… and then seeing Lionel Messi in a PSG shirt. Still, the Argentinian is all set to make his Champions League debut for the Ligue 1 side, complete with his latest signature boots. But ahead of the match, Messi and Adidas have teamed up for a unique event that’s hoped will inspire young people to believe in their dreams and the opportunities that football and sports in general open up for them.

So, ahead of the game against Man City tonight, 2,200 special balls – all signed by Messi – will be distributed among 17 towns, including four places in Paris, with around a hundred balls in each location. Overall, the entire Ile-de-France area will be covered, including some iconic football locations such as the now famous Evry Skylight, the Place de la République in Paris or the new adidas playground recently unveiled in Nanterre.

Speaking of the event, Messi said: “Whether it be in a stadium in front of thousands of spectators or alone in my garden, when I touch the ball I invariably feel the same joy and passion I experienced at the very beginning of my career. A ball is all I need to start dreaming about something greater. Through this event I hope to reach out to the young generations and inspire them to follow their dreams, because nothing is impossible”.

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