Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi featured in their first joint promotion for luxury clothing giants Louis Vuitton. The photograph, which both footballing aces shared, has garnered overwhelming attention.
For over a decade, the two stars have split opinions over who is football’s true GOAT (Greatest Of All Time).
Neither player has managed to lift the World Cup trophy. Qatar 2022 could be the decisive moment in history for one star to one-up the other.
For now, the duo swapped their cleats for chess pieces neatly assembled on a Louis Vuitton suitcase (via The Daily Mail).
The 3rd round meeting between chess grandmasters Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamaru allegedly inspired the iconic photo.
The match between Carlsen and Nakamaru ended in a draw.
A draw is unlikely something either footballing star will take lightly, even in a battle of wits.
Moreover, there can only be one winner crowned in the World Cup.
Ronaldo shared the paid partnership image on his Instagram account, captioning it: ‘Victory is a State of Mind. A long tradition of crafting trunks photographed by @annieleibovitz for @louisvuitton.’
Consequently, the post put the hotly contended contest between rival fans of Ronaldo and Messi on ice. The world celebrated, recognising the momentous occasion captured in the iconic photo. Collectively, followers embraced the wholesome moment where the sentiment shared was not Ronaldo or Messi but Ronaldo AND Messi.
Louis Vuitton has leveraged footballing royalty before. Famed photographer Annie Leibovitz captured football heroes Pele, Diego Maradona, and Zinedine Zidane for Louis Vuitton in 2010.
Behind-the-scenes footage of the two titans showed a pleasant atmosphere on set. Each decorated attacker heaped praise on their preferred Louis Vuitton suitcase.
Ronaldo and Messi are both preparing for the World Cup. The 35-year-old Argentine played against the UAE in Argentina’s pre-World Cup friendly. His 37-year-old Portuguese rival, however, was absent from Portugal’s friendly against Nigeria. Despite arriving in Doha on Friday, Ronaldo missed the warm-up game with a stomach bug.
The Last Dance
Whether Ronaldo or Messi is your GOAT, it’s impossible to deny either’s impact on this era of football. They are easily this generation’s most decorated talents, with 12 Ballon d’Or’s between them and a trophy hall to rival any top team’s trophy cabinet.
Messi is two Ballon d’Or’s clear of Ronaldo, while Ronaldo boasts more European cups.
Neither has had the distinct pleasure of winning the World Cup… yet.
Winning the World Cup could effectively end the goat debate, but until then, the world can revel in the fact that we shared the opportunity to watch two of football’s most extraordinary talents play what might be their last World Cup.
The world will cross its fingers as the globe waits and hopes to see Ronaldo and Messi meet in a head-to-head battle of the greats, reminiscent of the La Liga duels.