The Bank of Argentina did not issue a banknote with Lionel Messi’s image after the World Cup
AFP, published on Tuesday 03 January 2023 at 16:28
Following Argentina’s victory at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in December, rumors surfaced that the country’s central bank has issued, or is planning to issue, banknotes bearing Lionel Messi’s image. These allegations were widely shared on social media along with an image of a 1,000 peso bill featuring the Argentina team captain. But it is wrong: the image does not represent the official tickets in circulation, but was made by an artist who posted it on Instagram shortly before the World Cup final, to pay homage to the Argentina team, as he explained to AFP . The Central Bank of Argentina also confirmed that no banknote projects featuring the player’s image were on the agenda at the end of December 2022.“Argentine central bank releases 1,000 Argentine peso banknote featuring Lionel Messi and Argentina’s world champions“, say Facebook publications totaling several hundred shares in France and Africa since the end of December.
Other publications state that this release would be soon or “consideredby the Central Bank of Argentina.
The same rumors have been circulating widely in English in many countries such as India, Bangladesh, Philippines, Nepal, United States, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. They have also been broadcast in several languages including Spanish (1, 2, 3, 4), Burmese and even Korean.
All of these publications convey the same image of a 1,000 Argentine peso note. On one side a celebratory image of the Argentine team, and on the other the face of its captain during the World Cup in Qatar, Lionel Messi, author of two goals and then a shot on goal that led to a victory for his team in the final against France.
Screenshot taken on Facebook, 03/01/2023 Screenshot taken on Facebook, 03/01/2023
Unofficial ticketsHowever, the transmitted images do not show an official banknote, planned or already in circulation, in Argentina.
These photos do not appear on the Central Bank of the Argentine Republic (BCRA) website, which lists the various official banknotes.
Instead, we find the images of the official 1,000 peso banknote, on which, at the end of December 2022 and the beginning of January 2023, the drawings of the red horn, Argentina’s national bird, appear.
Screenshot of 1,000 Argentine peso banknote dated 03/01/2023, taken from the website of the Central Bank of ArgentinaFernando Alonso, the BCRA’s chief communications officer, indicated on 22 December 2022 to AFP that the Central Bank of Argentina wasn’t considering including an image of Lionel Messi on the currency after the World Cup in Qatar. “We have no intention of issuing coins with Messi’s image on them.“, has indicated.
Where do these tickets with the effigy of Messi come from?The first image spread in viral posts on social media, which appears on the back of the tickets, shows the Argentine team celebrating victory in the match between the winners of the European Championship and South America, called the Finalissima, in June 2022, and therefore has nothing to do with the World Cup final in Qatar.
We can recognize the scene in a video available on the UEFA website, the union of European football federations, published on June 2, 2022.
Screenshot of the Argentine team lifting the trophy as they win the 2022 Grand Final, taken from the UEFA website on 03/01/2022Reverse image search retrieves the second image, showing Lionel Messi’s head, broadcast on 17 December 2022, on day before the World Cup final, on the Instagram account”ellseven“, who regularly shares artistic creations related to sports or sportsmen.
The post description reads: “Design of a new 1,000 Argentine peso banknote. The Staircase [l’équipe argentine, dont l’entraîneur est Lionel Scaloni, NDLR] he is playing perfectly in this World Cup and I needed to dedicate one of my creations to them, so I spent several days thinking, until I had the idea for this one, I hope you like it. Tomorrow I will encourage this selection with all my strength as it deserves“.
Screenshot of the Instagram post of the “ellseven” account, taken on 03/01/2022AFP contacted the author of this post, named Lautaro Rodríguez, who confirmed that he created the image of the post to share his support for the Argentina team.
“This drawing is mine. I drew it the week before the final and uploaded it the day before the final“he explained to AFP in late December.”Later, a video with my design appeared on TikTok, where it was mentioned that the Central Bank would propose this idea, which did not happen. And from this TikTok started to go viral on all networks“, He added.
He has since posted more images of his creation, announcing its sale as “collector card“.
New tickets expected, without sports figuresTherefore, if the Central Bank of Argentina does not plan to produce banknotes in honor of the national football team or its captain, it is still in the process of developing banknotes with new illustrations”.which will certainly enter circulation in the second half of 2023“, his representative Fernando Alonso explained to AFP.
This series of banknotes featuring the image of prominent personalities in Argentina was released in May 2022 and does not include athletes.
Screenshot of the presentation of the future banknotes, taken from the website of the Central Bank of Argentina on 03/01/2022Enrique Mouján, the communication manager of the Argentine Mint, the official body in charge, among other things, of ‘printing money’, also considered that the banknote with the image of Lionel Messi was “clearly a joke“.
The BCRA has already issued commemorative coins for some milestones, which circulate only in limited quantities. This is how pieces dedicated to the 2022 World Cup are born. However, they do not show the face of Lionel Messi or the Argentina national team, but a foot with crampons kicking a ball.