Louis Vuitton unveils campaign with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo – WWD

CHESS AND MATE: Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are used to battling it out on a football pitch, but in a new Louis Vuitton ad, modern football’s greatest rivals go head-to-head over a game of chess.

The French luxury house’s latest brand campaign, under the slogan ‘Victory is a state of mind’, was photographed by Annie Leibovitz and broke on Saturday, ahead of the opening day of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar on Sunday.

It follows Vuitton’s 2010 Core Values ​​campaign featuring legendary players Pelé, Maradona and Zinedine Zidane playing foosball. Messi and Ronaldo gaze intently at chess pieces placed on the checkerboard canvas of a Louis Vuitton Damier briefcase.

Players have dominated football for more than a decade, as detailed in a recently released book, “Messi vs. Ronaldo: One Rivalry, Two GOATs, and the Era That Remade the World’s Game,” by Wall Street Journal reporters Joshua Robinson and Jonathan. Clegg.

Between 2008 and 2017, Messi and Ronaldo won every Ballon d’Or, the award given to the best male footballer in the world, and Messi has won it twice since. From 2009 to 2018, when the pair played for Spanish sides, their clashes kept fans spellbound.

As the World Cup approaches, the stakes are high for Messi, 35, and Ronaldo, 37, as neither have won the sport’s most coveted prize despite their individual achievements.

Capitalizing on Argentina’s Copa América victory last year, Messi will be looking to lead his country to victory for the first time since 1986. Meanwhile, Ronaldo is hoping to help Portugal win their first-ever World Cup, despite his controversial split from his Manchester club. United.

Vuitton, which is used to making trophy cases for sports including tennis, basketball, rugby and Formula 1, has had a partnership with FIFA, the international football governing body, since 2010. As well as designing the travel case for the World Cup trophy, she launched a capsule collection of football-themed leather goods.

The World Cup has been plagued by controversy over corruption allegations at FIFA and questions about host country Qatar’s human rights record, prompting many brands to keep a low profile during the competition.

Messi and Ronaldo regularly top the list of most-followed celebrities on Instagram, with 373 million and 497 million followers respectively, and they’ve both ventured into fashion with casual and active lines.

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