Long-term soccer rivals Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi put aside their differences to pose for Annie Leibovitz’s lens.
The resulting photo shows the world’s two most famous soccer players playing chess on top of a Louis Vuitton bag, who organized the advertisement.
Leibovitz’s image was posted on both star’s Instagram profiles this weekend where it has so far received a conjointed 65 million likes.
A photo of an egg holds the record for the most-liked Instagram post ever with almost 56 million likes.
As of publication, Ronaldo’s post has 36 million views with Messi lagging behind on 28 million, already putting both posts on the top 10 most-liked Instagram posts of all time with Ronaldo’s in second spot behind the egg photo.
It’s yet another coup for Leibovitz, arguably the world’s most high-profile photographer. However, fans were left disappointed after the above behind-the-scenes videos revealed the soccer duo wasn’t actually in the same room together.
Messi and Ronaldo were asked to pose in their respective positions before being composited together in editing.
— Annie Leibovitz (@annieleibovitz) November 19, 2022
Leibovitz used a Fujifilm GFX100S for the shoot and can be seen showing photos on the back of the camera to Messi.
“It was sensational,” says the Argentinian. “It’s true that we had such a good time during the shoot.”
It’s the first time that the two rivals, who are often compared to each other, have worked together on the same project.
The photo comes just before the start of the World Cup tournament held in Qatar. For both Messi and Ronaldo it will be their fifth World Cup and most likely the last.
Ronaldo has endured a difficult time at Manchester United, even giving a recent interview to Piers Morgan where he criticized the Premier League giants. He will hope to guide Portugal into the latter stages of the World Cup.
Messi on the other hand has been in good form for Paris Saint-Germain and Argentina has been tipped as one of the favorites to win the World Cup. Despite both players winning almost everything there is to win, neither has ever won soccer’s most coveted trophy.
USA begin their tournament today against Wales at 14:00 Eastern Time.
Image credits: Photo by Annie Liebovitz/Louis Vuitton