False: Argentina released a 1000 peso commemorative note featuring Lionel Messi after winning the 2022 World Cup.

By: Ishita Goel
January 9 2023

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False: Argentina released a 1000 peso commemorative note featuring Lionel Messi after winning the 2022 World Cup.


The Verdict False

There is no official announcement about a 1000 peso commemorative note featuring Messi's face being released by Argentina's central bank.

Claim ID f899fd05


Argentina's victory at the FIFA World Cup 2022 has spawned many misleading and false posts about the national football team captain, Lionel Messi. One such Instagram post shared images of a 1000 peso note, the currency of Argentina, with Messi's image and captioned it, "Argentina has released a 1000 peso commemorative note featuring Leo Messi's image, with his signature, after winning the World Cup." The post claimed that the financial government body officials wished to mark the nation's historic World Cup triumph. The post attributes the news to the Mexican national daily newspaper El Financiero. However, the announcement has not come from officials and is unfounded.

In Fact

The claim arises from an article published by El Financiero on December 19, 2022, headlined, "Will we have a thousand-peso bill with Messi's face for the Argentine title?" However, we noted that the news report attributed in the post clearly mentions that the suggestion to feature Messi's face on the 1000 peso bill was a joke, proposed by members of the Argentine Central Bank as a means to immortalize the victory.

Further, the Central Bank of the Argentine Republic's (BCRA) website has not released any such statement regarding the note. The section of the website dealing with "Banknotes and Coins/Commemorative Issues" lists all the special issues. The last release under "legal tender coins" commemorates the Football World Cup Qatar 2022. BCRA states, "Within the framework of the International Commemorative Coin Program for the Football World Cup Qatar 2022, the BCRA has issued silver and gold coins." These are 5 and 10 peso coins, issued on November 30, 2021, and dedicated to the FIFA World Cup 2022. We found that the country has also issued several commemorative coins for previous football World Cups.

Argentina's present 1000 peso note design features the rufous hornero, the country's national bird, with the reverse side capturing the artistic recreation of the Pampas plains, the bird's habitat. According to the BCRA, the has been in circulation since December 1, 2017. It is the fourth bill out of six of the new series called "Argentina's native fauna." Additionally, as announced on May 23, 2022, Argentina will soon have another 1000 peso banknote depicting José de San Martín, the Father of the Nation and the Liberator, as part of a new series featuring historical figures.

Further, BCRA's main communication manager Fernando Alonso told the news agency AFP that there are no current plans to feature Messi's face on paper money.

We also traced the viral photo of the banknote to the Instagram account "ellseven," whose bio reads: "Seven - Designer." On December 19, the user posted the first image of the viral note and wrote a caption in Spanish, explaining their reasoning behind the creation. Roughly translated, it reads: "I designed a new 1000 peso banknote. The Argentine national team is playing perfectly in this World Cup, and I needed to dedicate an art. So I spent several days thinking and mixing ideas until this beauty came out, I hope you like it a lot, and tomorrow give all the encouragement this selection deserves." The account also posted other animated versions of the same image. 

Therefore, this is clearly a creative effort being shared with the false claim that the Argentine authorities have released it.

The Verdict

A designer's vision of Argentina's 1000 peso banknote with Messi's face has gone viral, claiming that it is an officially issued note. The report that also gave rise to this viral claim mentions clearly that members of the Argentine central bank proposed the idea only in jest. However, viral posts sharing this claim and the photo on social media have not carried this clarification. Therefore, we have marked the claim false. 

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