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L. Messi

Messi plays football against himself in adidas' The Ultimate Rondo

15:11 GMT 18/11/2022
Messi adidas rondo
adidas have a released a new film, with Argentina talisman Lionel Messi playing football against different iterations of himself.
  • adidas release new film
  • Messi plays football...against himself
  • The Ultimate Rondo, out now

WHAT HAPPENED? Have you ever wanted to play football against… yourself? Thought about what it would be like to challenge yourself in centre midfield or try to save one of your own penalties? Everyone has. And in adidas’ new film, we get to see the world’s greatest player going up against himself in one of football’s most iconic rituals: the rondo.

In the next chapter of their Impossible is Nothing story, adidas have released The Impossible Rondo, a 30 second film which brings Messi’s World Cup career to life through the latest artificial intelligence and VFX advancements.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Combining green screens with genuine archive footage, the technology involved is incredible, but the real magic here is that we get to see five different versions of Messi playing football together. And for football fans who can trace their own lives through Messi’s development from wonderkid to GOAT, there’s something dreamlike to that vision.

There’s the 2006 version: long-haired and ready to take on the world. There’s Lionel in 2010, hair slightly cropped and going into battle with Diego Maradona as Argentina manager. In 2014, Messi got all the way to the final at Brazil’s historic Maracanã Stadium, losing to an extra time Mario Gotze goal. That version of Messi is there too, alongside the 2018 version with more beard and more tattoo, and the contemporary version who walks off with his arm around his younger self at the end. Proud blue and white stripes flapping in the breeze, adidas F50 boots evolving into adidas Nemeziz, that first touch always true and constant.

WHAT NEXT FOR MESSI? Over the next four weeks, Messi will be looking to add the World Cup to his packed-out trophy cabinet that includes 11 domestic titles, four Champions Leagues, and seven Ballons d’Or. This film, tracing the boy from Rosario to the man with the world at his feet, makes you feel like he could just do it.