Recently, an interview of Lionel Messi have gone viral in Facebook. According to the Spanish subtitle in the interview, Messi seems to praise his Portuguese counterpart Cristiano Ronaldo. After fact checking, we found that the words do not match the subtitles.

In Facebook, one might have come across an interview by Argentine Superstar Lionel Messi. The interview conducted in Spanish, which is Argentina’s national language had English subtitles, where it can be seen that Messi seemed to regard Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo as the world’s best footballer. Messi also added in the interview that, “I don’t think there is any greater footballer than Cristiano Ronaldo. I am a big fan of his and have learnt a lot from him over the years”.

‘Real Madrid Football Fans India’ posted the fake video and it was shared 67k times on facebook.

The video was viewed 4.2m times, shared 67,301 times and had 69,000 likes in a Facebook page called ‘Real Madrid Football Fans India’.

Though the video might have touched the hearts of many football fans, FactWatch found that there were no similarities between the subtitle and what Messi was saying. Before analysing the Spanish interview, more information can be given about the video. The fake English subtitled interview was first uploaded in an You Tube channel called ‘Refalona’ in March 8 of this year, the video was also shared in Refalona’s Facebook page, from where it actually got viral.

You Tube:


Lionel Messi Interview – Refalona TV

Lionel Messi: "Ronaldo is the Greatest Of All Time"

Posted by Refalona on Thursday, 8 March 2018

Based on the video’s resolution and quality, it can be understood that the video has been edited from another video. Through FactWatch’s fact checking process the source of the original video can be traced back to November 25th, 2017, where the interview was published in Marca, a Spanish tabloid. The interview contained a video which was most likely zoomed and edited by the Refalino You Tube channel.

The video of both the “Marca” and “Refalino” are the same can be understood by noticing few things in the video. In both the videos, Messi’s clothes, hair and facial hair are the same. The background in the videos contained some indifference. In Marca’s video, Messi is facing to the left and a golden boot is placed behind him. In Refalino’s video, Messi is facing to the right.

If Messi’s distance from the camera is considered then it’s very clear that Refalino’s video was made after enlarging and flipping Marca’s video. Therefore, the gold boot in Refalino’s video is out of frame. In both the videos, the logo in Messi’s shirt and the mouthpiece in the recording device are in the same position. Also, throughout the video many pictures were taken at diffrent times using flash.

‘Marca’, the Spanish sports paper published the whole interview in English beside the Spanish video interview. In the whole interview, nothing related or close to what Refalino’s subtitle could be found. Throughout the whole interview, two questions were asked regarding Cristiano Ronaldo, one of them was whether he considers Cristiano Ronaldo as a competitor for the Ballon D’Or. To which Messi replied, “Though there were only two contendors in the last few years for the Ballon D’Or, now many can win it like Neymar, Luis Suarez”.

The other question regarding Ronaldo was, “Cristiano have said a long ago that you two could be good friends. Do you think it’s possible?” Messi replied, “I don’t know if it’s possible. When two people send some time together, know one another, friendship occurs. We only see each other in diffrent Award shows, we only talk then. Everything is good but we don’t see each other that much.”

Cristiano Ronaldo’s name was uttered twice in the interview, nor was he discussed outside the questions. Though the video of the interview is real, the subtitle praising Cristiano Ronaldo is absolutely fake.


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