Annie Leibovitz photographs Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronald playing chess
Image: Instagram: @leomessi

Shortly before the start of the World Cup, the two biggest soccer stars of the past few years ensure a spectacular photo. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo sit down at the chessboard for a French luxury brand.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo sit across from each other. The eyes go down to chess pieces on a suitcase. The two remain in a thinking pose. The hair is sitting. They wear sweaters or turtlenecks and jeans. And all this shortly before the start of the World Cup for Messi (35) with Argentina and Ronaldo (37) with Portugal.

“Iconic. The two football benchmarks of recent years are united,” wrote the Argentine sports newspaper “Olé” promptly on Saturday. Received within three hours ronaldo via Instagram more than 15.5 million “likes” clicks, Messi came to almost 13 million. “Winning is a matter of the mind,” they both wrote about the photo. It is a shot by the American star photographer Annie Leibovitz for a French luxury goods company. The trophy case for the World Cup in Qatar, which begins this Sunday, serves as the board.

At the same time, the campaign fueled the eternal debate on social media as to which of the two is the greatest player of his generation. And the chess analysts didn’t take long to ask: their tendency: the duel would probably end in a draw.

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