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The Secret Behind the Viral Chess Photo of Ronaldo and Messi

A day before the opening ceremony of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the legends of football  Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi shared a picture of  themselves in a game of chess. The recent viral chess photo of Ronaldo and Messi has taken the internet by storm. So, what is the secret behind it?

The photograph was taken by the American portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz, the genius behind this masterpiece. However, while it is true that this portrait was fantastic, fans were somehow disappointed. You see, this photo was partially photoshopped, in other words, Ronaldo and Messi did not meet to take this picture at the same time,  instead, each of them was portrayed at a different time.

 Despite this, the recent viral photo has managed to captivate the world. But why? It’s faked after all. Simply put,  there was a mystery behind it. The mystery behind the photo is now solved. (And it's not what you might think!)

This photograph was taken as a part of the French luxury brand Louis Vuitton’s campaign. And as already stated it shows both Ronaldo and Messi indulging in a game of chess, but what is iconic here, is that the chessboard was an LV trunk, which is valued at around US$ 161,000.

 The LV trunk bag is the same bag that was used to enclose the WC trophy of the 2018 World Cup. LV has done the same thing in different world cups, like in 2010, and 2014. And this year, LV is going to design the FIFA WC trophy case yet again.

 What is more, if we look carefully at the placement of chess pieces,  they are in the same placement as a popular game between two chess grandmasters Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura from 2017. But why these placements specifically? This specific game between Carles and Nakamura ended in a draw. So, in essence, LV is trying to end the popular argument of who is better Ronaldo or Messi.


In my opinion, the magnificence of this photo is not about the photo itself, it is about the fact that this world cup will be the last world cup before these two legends retire. It is the last chance for either of them to achieve their dreams of winning. It is about two legends, who we were raised watching, passionately supporting, and now witnessing their last world cup.  It’s the final showdown before we move into a new era of football. 

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