Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, two of soccer’s biggest stars, play chess in Louis Vuitton’s latest campaign, which launched on Saturday. Chess fans quickly discovered that the board position was from a real game.
“Winning is a state of mind,” writes Louis Vuitton alongside a photo of Messi and Ronaldo playing chess on a Louis Vuitton checkered trunk. The picture taken by the legendary celebrity portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz was published on the channels of Messi, Ronaldo and Louis Vuitton and is already among the most liked posts on Instagram.
Winning is a state of mind. @Cristiano and #LionelMessi captured by @annieleibovitz for @Louis Vuitton. With a long tradition of making cases for the most coveted sports trophies in the world, Maison celebrates two of today’s most talented soccer players. pic.twitter.com/AU9kPyI2wL
– Louis Vuitton (@Louis Vuitton) November 19, 2022
Louis Vutton adds: “In addition to a long tradition of making caskets for the world’s most coveted sporting trophies, the Maison celebrates two of today’s most talented footballers.” The photo was released a day before the opening of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, which is likely to be the last World Cup for both superstars.
As it turned out, the position on the board is not random – on the contrary. Ronaldo and Messi look at the position from the Carlsen-Nakamura game, Norway Chess 2017. Magnus Carlsen’s second GM Peter Heine Nielsen was the first pointed that out on Twitter, and then Carlsen commented on that tweet and photo: “The second greatest rivalry of our time that mimics the greatest.”
The second greatest rivalry of our time that mimics the greatest https://t.co/9ncVVgUnzs
— Magnus Carlsen (@MagnusCarlsen) November 19, 2022
After the sixth round of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour in San Francisco, Carlsen made the following comment on Louis Vutton’s photo: “The original is from my game with Nakamura at Norway Chess 2017, a very stormy event for me. I finished with minus one, and in a few moments during the tournament, I was in danger of falling to number two, three or even four in the world. It was tough!”
Asked if the Messi-Ronaldo rivalry was comparable to the Carlsen-Nakamura rivalry, the world champion said: “Not really, but he’s good at a lot of things that I’m good at, for sure. It’s not the worst comparison in the world.”
Meanwhile, a behind-the-scenes video has surfaced where we can see both Messi and Ronaldo posing for a photo while being interviewed about the upcoming World Cup:
Yeah, so they weren’t actually in the same room. Still goated ad fair play for Louis Vuitton 👏pic.twitter.com/8FkEO04y9A
— 𓂆 WB 𓂆 (@WalidBusquets) November 20, 2022