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Por Pilar Suarez
BARCELONA, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium hosted on Thursday an exclusive party to launch the new Cirque du Soleil soccer-themed show “Messi10” based on the life of the Argentina soccer great.
The show, that will open in October and tour the world next year, tells the story of a young man with the ambition, sacrifice and determination to overcome any obstacle and become the best “number 10” in the world.
Lionel Messi, 31, some of his current and former team mates from Spanish soccer champions Barcelona as well as Puerto Rican rapper Residente attended the party.
Messi did not talk to the media when he arrived at the event with his wife Antonella Roccuzzo.
Mukhtar Omar Sharif Mukhtar, director and creator of the show, said: “I feel really great because we have the opportunity tonight to open up to the world what this project is about, something we have been working out for a while and we are really happy.”
Barca’s talisman Messi has won a club record 32 trophies, including nine domestic league crowns and six Spanish Cups plus four Champions League titles, Europe’s elite club compeition.
Jose Manuel Pinto, the retired Spanish goalkeeper who played with Messi at Barca, praised the five-time FIFA World Player of the Year.
“He still has a lot to show us... There’s Messi for a long time”, Pinto said.
Messi struggled as a child when he was diagnosed with a growth hormone disorder.
The Argentine had to move to Spain to afford the expensive growth hormone treatment he needed, and at the age of 13 he joined Barca and has spent his entire career at the club.
The Cirque du Soleil show, produced in conjunction with PopArt Music and Sony Music, will premiere on Oct. 10 in Barcelona, the only city in Spain where it will be presented.
A world tour will begin in 2020, although cities and dates have yet to be announced.
The show will bring together Cirque du Soleil’s signature acrobatic world and the athleticism of and devotion for soccer, with a cast of 46 performers in a 90 minute spectacle.
It is the first foray into soccer for the Canadian entertainment group, and its 46th original production since 1984.
“I’m very happy and proud that my friends from @CirqueduSoleil thought of me for their new show that’s inspired by the passion for football. I hope you enjoy it!”, Messi said on Instagram this week. (Reporting by Pilar Suarez, Writing by Blanca Rodriguez and Joan Faus, Editing by Axel Bugge and Ken Ferris)