- Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo proverbially broke the internet this past weekend
- They were seen in a photograph playing chess as part of Louis Vuitton's latest marketing campaign
- An eagle-eyed TikTok user went in-depth in analysing what was really going on in the photo
Earlier this week, a photograph emerged that shook world football.
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were seen engaged in what appeared to be an absorbing chess match. This was part of luxury brand Luis Vuitton's latest marketing campaign.
YouTube content creator Jeremy Lynch broke down what was really happening in this now iconic image of the 'GOATs'.
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Messi and Ronaldo apart
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were not in the room at the same time. The picture was taken at different times, though it was in the same room.
Chess match significance
The chess match the legendary duo is engaged in is based on a real-life one between grandmasters Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura in 2017.
Who was winning?
Ronaldo appears to be having the upper hand on Messi judging by an extra piece in his arsenal.
How did the match eventually end?
It turns out that despite Ronaldo's advantage, the match between Carlsen and Nakamura ended in a draw. This symbolises the never-ending debate about which one of the Argentinian and Portuguese is the greatest of them all.
The number '7'
Ronaldo has immortalised the number '7', which is the number of pieces he still has on the chess board.
Advantages and disadvantages
In chess, the white piece always moves first at the start of the match, putting the black at a disadvantage. This could be interpreted as Ronaldo being slightly older than Messi and having made his professional debut earlier than him. It could also be seen as Ronaldo enjoying many physical advantages over Messi, like height, build and speed. On either side of the coin, Messi can be regarded as being the perfect footballer physiologically because of his low centre of gravity, high game IQ and almost-peerless technical ability.
Who is playing as who?
In the image, Messi is playing as Nakamura, while Ronaldo represents Carlsen. This symbolises the eternal question: who is better, a fitting analogy. Grandmasters have to play each other multiple times in their careers for this question to be answered definitively. Nakamura won the most recent match-up, which should please Messi fans. However, Ronaldo fanboys and girls will be pleased to know that Carlsen is currently ranked as the number one chess player on the planet. Furthermore, the Norwegian has dominated the head-to-head tally against the Japanese, winning 86 times to 37, with 105 draws.