Israeli-led startup Sirin Labs signed on Barcelona soccer star Lionel “Leo” Messi as its brand ambassador prior to launching an initial coin offering “crowdsale” on December 12 that moved $144 million worth of SRN cryptocurrency tokens in seven days.

Switzerland-based Sirin Labs, with R&D in Tel Aviv and an office in London, is developing secure open-source consumer electronics, including the Finney ultra-secure mobile phone, for the blockchain era.

Cofounder and co-CEO Moshe Hogeg posted a photo of himself and the celebrity footballer on his Facebook page.

“Happy and excited about Leo Messi’s joining Sirin as the company’s new presenter,” he posted in Hebrew. “I have no doubt that it will greatly help us in our mission to make the technology available to the general public through our next phone and the software we are developing.”

Cap: Lionel Messi, soccer star and now Sirin Labs brand ambassador.

On his Facebook page, Messi posted: “I am usually busy trying to decentralize defences and after digging deeper into Blockchain and decentralized systems, I’m excited to join SIRIN LABS as an ambassador to make blockchain more friendly with their upcoming operating system for smartphones!”

Messi, a native Argentinean, won the FIFA Ballon D’Or prize for the best soccer player in the world five times and will be part of the Argentine national team at the World Cup 2018.

Messi visited Israel in August 2013 with other Barcelona teammates. Another world soccer star playing in Spain, Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo from Portugal, was in Israel in 2016 to film a TV commercial for Internet provider HOT.