Man Utd star Cristiano Ronaldo and PSG star Lionel Messi are approaching a social media record after their viral and unprecedented photo.
On the pitch, the two players have faced each other on 36 separate occasions.
But, prior to the tournament getting underway, the two footballing legends took part in a partnership with fashion company Louis Vuitton, facing off in somewhat of a different setting and scenario.
In the photo, which has been viewed across the world, Ronaldo and Messi can be seen playing a chess match on top of a Louis Vuitton briefcase.
Posted on both their Instagram pages - which, added together, have amassed over 875 million followers - the caption reads: "Victory is a State of Mind. A long tradition of crafting trunks photographed by @annieleibovitz for @louisvuitton."
That the image shows both players carefully plotting their next move is perhaps symbolic of their incredible careers, which has seen them rack up over 1600 goals at professional level.
Both will look to add to those tallies in Qatar. For now, though, they are edging closer to an Instagram record - and it is some feat.
Ronaldo, Messi nearing Instagram record
Prominent celebrity names in the top 10 photos, as of November 2022, include singer Ariana Grande, Spiderman star Tom Holland, and a photo of Messi at his PSG unveiling.
The Argentinian has now dropped out of the top 10 - by himself.
That is because his photo with Ronaldo, at the time of writing, has amassed over 26 million likes. Ronaldo, who has 123 million more followers than his legendary footballing rival, has 33 million likes on his post.
The existing record for most-liked Instagram post of all-time stands at 55.9 million likes. So, whilst the posts by Ronaldo and Messi have not broken the record by themselves, their combined number of likes does technically make it the most-liked Instagram photo in history.
For now, they'll have to settle for second on the all-time list - not something either man is used to doing on a football pitch.
Featured Image Credit: Instagram/Lionel Messi/Cristiano Ronaldo / Alamy
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