Lionel Messi uses celebration to promote Paediatric Cancer Centre

Lionel Messi's celebration for the first of his two goals against Sevilla on Wednesday was intended to help raise money for the building of a new Paediatric Cancer Centre in Barcelona.

The Barca forward had already created a goal for Luis Suarez in his side's 3-0 win over Sevilla when he fired in from close range to double his side's lead in the first half.

His celebration saw him head off towards one of the pitchside cameras at Camp Nou, where he swiped two fingers across his cheek.

Social media was soon rife with speculation about what the gesture meant, with it quickly becoming clear it was related to his involvement in the #ParaLosValientes (#ForTheBrave) campaign.

Messi confirmed as much after the game on his official Facebook page, writing: "I challenge you all to paint your faces #ParaLosValientes: Because we can all help to make the building of a Paediatric Cancer Centre a reality, so that many more children around the world can receive treatment using the latest medical advances."

The overall aim of the campaign is to raise €30 million to build a centre for treating and researching childhood cancers in Barcelona.

So far, according to the #ParaLosValientes website, a total of €4,085,783 has been raised and that figure is still rising.

Messi's celebration was an attempt to raise awareness for the campaign by reproducing the icon associated it with it, symbolically drawing on to his face two warrior stripes.

The project has the support of the Leo Messi Foundation, the FC Barcelona Foundations and the business school IESE.