Just a picture of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi seated on opposite sides of a chess board was enough to send the entire football world into a frenzy. The picture was taken for a Louis Vuitton advert campaign, but its release 24 hours to the biggest global tournament certainly was strategic.
Victory is a State of Mind.
@Cristiano and #LionelMessi captured by
@LouisVuitton. In addition to a long tradition of crafting trunks for the world’s most coveted sporting trophies, the Maison celebrates two of the most talented football players today.
For over a decade, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have shattered nearly every record possible with insane consistency and work ethic. One common adversary which has, however, gotten the better of both men is the FIFA World Cup. Both men have never won the tournament, and in fact, have never scored in it’s knockout stages. Now aged 35 and 37 years old respectively, the 2022 edition of the tournament provides the last chance for either of them to stake their claim to be the GOAT.
With their campaign, Louis Vuitton subtly provided a timely reminder of how much is on the line for both men, who would gladly give anything to hold the coveted trophy aloft at the Lusail Stadium on December 18th.
Fun fact: Super Eagles striker Odion Ighalo scored the first-ever goal at this stadium on 9th September 2022 in the Lusail Super Cup.
Lionel Messi leads an Argentina side brimming with confidence on the back of a 36-game unbeaten run that has delivered the Copa America and Finalissima titles. La Albiceleste will be looking to banish the ghosts of 2014 and go one step further in Qatar. Cristiano Ronaldo, on the other hand, leads a talented Portugal side that thrashed Nigeria in their warm-up game to the tournament.
While both Messi and Ronaldo maintain maximum respect for one another on and off the pitch, it is undoubtedly going to be a full-blown battle if both men face off in Qatar. With the tournament set to kick off in less than 24 hours, we can only hope that we see one of these men finally get their hands on this trophy.
NB: For those asking about the chess match in the picture, experts say the only possibility from that match would have been a draw given the pieces each had.