“Second greatest rivalry of our time.” Magnus Carlsen reacts to the stunning photo of Messi and Ronaldo.

The entire world was blown away when the biggest football stars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo shared a classy photo together to campaign for luxury fashion, Louis Vuitton. The photo captures the two elite athletes playing a game of chess opposite each other. And the position looks pretty familiar..

The FIFA World Cup hype erupts as football fans rally around possibly the greatest photo on the internet. Luis Vuitton had just published a photo of Argentinian star, Lionel Messi and Portuguese icon, Cristiano Ronaldo together. In classy wear and a bluish ambiance, the two superstars play a game of chess.

The photographer, Annie Leibovitz is also the person behind the iconic photo that captured 3 football legends, Pelé, Diego Maradona, and Zinedine Zidane playing foosball together.

Chessboard might portray Carlsen-Nakamura rivalry

The photo of Messi and Ronaldo together overwhelmed many fans around the world. Most of the hype is due to their long-term rivalry that spanned over the past decade. The world discussed every aspect of the photo and of course, the chess position on the board took some attention.

Messi-Ronaldo chessboard mimics Carlsen-Nakamura
Image via Peter Heine Nielsen

It was revealed that the chessboard mimics a real match that happened between Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura in 2017. We don’t exactly know whether it was on purpose or if it was pure coincidence. But the chess community had fun discussing the matter and both Nakamura and Carlsen also left a comment.

Hikaru Nakamura, reigning World Fischer Random Chess Champion, commented on the photo, “I was wondering why this chess position looked familiar!”

Hikaru Nakamura comments on Messi-Ronaldo photo.

Meanwhile, Carlsen who is known for his short and witty statements responded to the fact. “Second greatest rivalry of our time mimicking the greatest,” the 5-time world champion stated.

Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura are also known to have rivalry or most of the time some light banter between both of them. While Carlsen dominates the classical mode thoroughly, Nakamura is a beast in the faster-paced Blitz. Both of them are currently on top of the world’s leaderboard in Chess, with Carlsen in first place and Nakamura in fifth.

The 2017 Norway Chess clash, portrayed in the Messi-Ronaldo photo ended in a draw. This marks a beautiful ending to legendary rivalries.

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Sarah

Sarah "KZ" Zulkiflee

| Twitter: @kayzeesarah

Born and grew up in Malaysia, but a citizen of the world. High-key addicted to everything Dota 2. Spams support heroes but Ancient Apparition is an all-time favorite (a 100% Ice Blast accuracy). Only PMA during the day.