A video showing Lionel Messi hugging a woman on field after winning the FIFA World Cup on Sunday is going viral on social media platforms. Those who shared the video claim it shows the Argentine captain embracing his mother Celia María Cuccittini after the win over France in the tournament’s finals. Newschecker found the claim to be untrue. The woman seen in the viral clip is not Messi’s mother.
Several Twitter users shared the video claiming to show an emotional moment between Messi and his mother after the World Cup win.
Archived versions of such tweets can be seen here, here, here and here.
The video has also found its way to YouTube.
Archived versions of such videos can be seen here, here and here.
Multiple news outlets also identified the woman seen in the viral video as Messi’s mother. Archived versions of some of such news reports can be seen here, here, here and here.
Also Read: Ronaldo’s Thumbs Up For Messi? No, Viral Image Is Edited
A Google search for “Celia Cuccittini,” & “FIFA world cup” yielded multiple reports carrying the viral video, and claiming that the woman seen embracing Messi as his mother. The search, however, also threw up a report by The Sun, dated December 18, 2022, that featured a photograph of an elderly woman with the Argentine footballer with the caption, “Messi enjoyed a special moment with his mother Celia Maria Cuccittini.”
Notably, the woman seen in the photograph was wearing a violet colour T-shirt while the one seen in the viral clip donned the official jersey of Argentina team.
Further, we found several pictures of Messi’s mother cheering for Argentina at the stands on Getty Images website. In all such pictures, Cuccittini is seen in the same violet jersey as in The Sun’s report. Such images can be seen here, here and here.
Additionally, the website also featured a photograph showing Messi hugging his mother after the World Cup win, however the visuals were entirely different from the one seen in the viral clip. The image can be seen here.
Reuters also published several photos of Messi’s family from the World Cup finals in which his mother can be seen in a violet jersey only. Such images can be seen here.
In addition to the jersey colour, we noticed several differences in the appearances of Messi’s mother and the woman seen in the viral clip. Firstly, the woman in the viral clip appears to be shorter than Messi’s mother. Her hair length is also different. Additionally, the woman in widely circulated footage is seen wearing a wrist watch and has a tattoo on her hand. But in photos of Cuccittini – posted by Getty/Reuters – we did not spot any tattoos or wrist watch. The same can be seen below.
Further, we replayed the last few minutes of the recorded version of the FIFA World Cup final match on JioCinema and spotted the woman in the Argentina jersey greeting other team members, before approaching Messi and then went on to meet others.
Who Is The Woman Seen In The Video?
While several social media users claimed that the woman seen hugging Messi in the viral video is the mother of Kun Ageuro, a former football player who is close friend of Messi, Spanish language news reports identified her as Antonia Farías, who works as a cook for the Argentina team. Such reports can be seen here, here, and here.
Newschecker could not independently verify the identity of the woman seen in the viral video. However, she is not Messi’s mother.
Viral post claiming to show Lionel Messi hugging his mother after Argentina’s win over France in the recently concluded FIFA World Cup finals is false.
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