False: This video shows Lionel Messi hugging his mother after the World Cup win.

By: Rahul Adhikari
December 20 2022

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False: This video shows Lionel Messi hugging his mother after the World Cup win.


The Verdict False

A video of Lionel Messi hugging the national team's chef Antonia Farías was misreported as the striker hugging his mother.

Claim ID 35e2de41


Argentina won the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar after defeating France in a penalty shootout in the final match. Users shared videos and images from the celebrations after the match, and one such video on Facebook claimed Lionel Messi hugged his mother after the final match. The viral video shows a woman wearing an Argentina jersey running toward Messi and hugging him. This claim was also published by many news websites and channels around the world. However, this is false.

In Fact

A few relevant keyword searches led us to the official pictures of Messi with his mother after the final match, and we found that she was not wearing a white and blue jersey. Reuters published official photos with the caption, "Argentina's Lionel Messi hugs his mother Celia Maria Cuccittini after winning the World Cup." Celia was seen wearing a dark blue jersey, which is starkly different from the white-blue jersey the woman was wearing in the viral video. We found a few other images of Celia Maria Cuccittini from the final match, which were published by Getty Images. She was seen standing with Messi's wife, Antonella Roccuzzo, wearing a dark blue jersey. It's evident that the woman in the viral video is not Messi's mother.

According to Argentinian news outlet La Nacion, the woman hugging Messi in the viral video is Antonia Farías, the chef for the Argentina national team . The report, translated from Spanish, reads, "Antonio ran toward Messi as soon as she saw jersey no 10. She hugged him with a lot of joy, and Messi whispered a few words in her ear."

U.S.-based digital news platform Infobae, which covers news about Argentina, published the viral video in a news article titled "Lionel Messi hugs Antonia, the cook of the national team.” According to the report, Antonia Farías is 42 years old and has been working with the team as a cook for a decade. She is one of the key persons in the team's management and has accompanied the team on many tours in the past, including Copa America in Brazil and FIFA in Qatar. In 2018, during the FIFA World Cup in Russia, the team celebrated Messi and Antonia's birthday together. An image of the celebration has also been included in the article. The Argentina national team's Twitter handle, Selección Argentina, also posted a photo of Antonia and Messi's birthday celebration on June 25, 2018.

The Verdict

The woman hugging Messi in the viral video is not his mother. According to reports, the Argentinian striker was seen hugging the national team's chef Antonia Farías after the world cup win. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before