With the Qatar World Cup making headlines, Louis Vuitton decided that Cristiano Ronaldo, and his almost 500 million followers on Instagram, and Lionel Messi, with 376, should star in an advertising campaign of the two playing a game of chess on top of a briefcase with the brand’s iconic logo.
One of the most liked photos in Instagram history, everything about Annie Leibovitz’s photo was carefully curated, including the position given on the board, which harkens back to a game Magnus Carlsen and American Hikaru Namakura played in Stavanger (Norway) in 2017.
It was actually Carlsen’s second GM Peter Heine Nielsen who first pointed it out on Twitter, with Carlsen then commenting: “Second greatest rivalry of our time mimicking the greatest.”
As for the event back in 2017, things didn’t go well for Carsen that day, as he was at risk of dropping to No.2 or No.3 in the world that day.
“The original is from my game with Nakamura in Norway Chess 2017, a very tumultuous event for me,” Carlsen said about the photo.
“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!”
Asked if the Messi-Ronaldo rivalry is comparable to that of Carlsen-Nakamura, the world champion responded.
“Not really, but he’s good at a lot of stuff that I’m good at, for sure. It’s not the worst comparison in the world,” he said.
Cristiano keen to emulate chess success at World Cup
Ronaldo spoke about that chess game in his pre-match World Cup press conference, stating that he would like to checkmate Lionel Messi on the field of play.
“It will be my fifth World Cup, I am focused and very confident that I will do well,” Ronaldo said.
“We’re check-mating in life, not just in chess. I would like to be the one to checkmate Messi. Let’s see. It would be nice. Since it happened in a game of chess, in football it would be more.”
Ronaldo also commented on the ad campaign itself.
“It was a campaign I wanted to do, a campaign I had been looking for for a long time,” Ronaldo continued.
“It was a source of pride.”