Follow Vogue Man Arabia

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi Make History with Their First Joint Promotion for Louis Vuitton x Fifa

Photo: Annie Leibovitz. Courtesy of Louis Vuitton

Football fans stopped in their tracks when a moody picture featuring Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi together was unveiled this weekend. The reason behind the iconic image? A Louis Vuitton campaign, shot by renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz, ahead of the opening of the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar. It marks the first joint promotion for the two football stars who have won every Ballon d’Or award between 2008 and 2017, and are expected to play their last international tournament at this year’s World Cup.

As the picture garners over a total of 57 million likes and counting, eagle-eyed fans have noticed a number of extraordinary details about it. In line with the campaign’s name ‘Victory is a State of Mind’, the image captures Ronaldo and Messi thinking over a game of chess, symbolizing the mental aspect of football which is touted less often than its physical side. The duo is also seen playing on top of a Louis Vuitton trunk, which is no ordinary one, but one that holds the World Cup trophy, as part of the French fashion house’s longstanding tradition of crafting award cases for sports including tennis, basketball, rugby and Formula 1.

What’s more, the chess pieces on the “board” are not random, and in fact, recreate a remarkable moment in a 2017 match between chess champions Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura, according to “Second greatest rivalry of our time mimicking the greatest,” commented Carlsen on a post about the hidden detail and on Louis Vuitton’s post, added: “The original is from my game with Nakamura in Norway Chess 2017, a very tumultuous event for me. I ended up with minus one, and at several points during the tournament, I was in risk of dropping to number two or three or even four in the world. It was tough!”

Read Next: The 5 Best Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 Fan Zones in Dubai

View All
Vogue Collection