Social media users circulated a photo along with a false claim that it showed Portuguese captain Cristiano Ronaldo, standing next to a screen showing Lionel Messi, cheering on the Argentine footballer. This is among several false claims that have surfaced on social media in the run up to the World Cup final in Qatar.

On December 16, Facebook page called ‘Jokes Nepal’ shared the following status with the photo claiming that Ronaldo was supporting Messi at the World Cup in Qatar. The status read: “Cristiano Ronaldo: My son is a Messi fan. My wife is from Argentina. And I am a Messi fan too. So our whole Ronaldo family supports Argentina for the world cup 2022.” 

The post has subsequently been removed [screenshot]. The post, which has gone viral on Twitter and Facebook, was also shared by the Facebook page, ‘Thug Life Kathmandu’ [screenshot]. 

Two-year-old photo

Nepal Check used Google reverse image search to verify the photo in the viral post. Google displays photos that have been previously published. We found that Ronaldo had posted the photo on his Instagram account on October 15, 2020. The Portuguese football star was unable to play for Portugal in the UEFA Nations League match against Sweden due to a positive  Covid test, according to Goal. He had posted the photo with a television screen of the stadium to express support for his team members.

We found that the photo was digitally altered to purportedly show Argentina’s captain Messi on the screen. Therefore, the post is false.

ClaimClaimed byNepal Check Verdict

Social media posts show Ronaldo supporting Messi during the World Cup final.
Social media usersFalse
Nepal Check verdict after fact-checking the claim posts show Cristiano Ronaldo supporting Lionel Messi during the World Cup final.