Global ICT and telecommunications firm Huawei has announced the appointment of international footballer Lionel Messi as the latest Global Brand Ambassador to the company.

In a statement the tech firm said Messi represents its values, particularly the ability to deal with challenges in the pursuit of excellence.

“Lionel Messi will help our brand to encourage people to focus, persevere and breakthrough; to connect with greatness, especially in Europe, Asia, and Latin America, where Huawei puts great devotions. We both honor the path we walked to what we have achieved, and with each new challenge we renew our commitment to find the path to success.” said, Kevin Ho, President, Handset Business, Huawei Consumer BG.

“We are happy to announce our collaboration with an extraordinary individual who inspires people all over the world to pursue their dreams, to face challenges to become better with each day. A man who shares a lot of the same values with the Huawei brand and who is always looking for opportunities to reach greatness.” said Tyrone Liu, CEO Consumer Business Group for Huawei Latin America.

The ICT firm has attached its brand to similar initiatives including collaboration with teams such as the América, Santa Fe, Sporting Cristal, Arsenal, Atlético de Madrid and AC Milan, as well as with specific individuals including Robert Lewandowski and Alexis Sánchez

Messi said: “You have to fight to reach your dream. You have to sacrifice and go all in, always looking forward to achieving greatness. The day you think there are no improvements to be made, you have to keep working for reaching other achievements.”

Since its official launch on 26th November 2015, Huawei has shipped around 3 million Mate 8 smartphones globally.

In South Africa the company has secured 10% growth within the smartphone market and between 10% and 15% in other regions across the continent.