Lionel Messi’s Face Appears Everywhere in Argentina, Even in Crop Fields

Winning the World Cup for the first time in 36 years has briefly diluted the pain associated with living in a country with rampant inflation and soaring interest rates

Lionel Messi celebrates with the FIFA World Cup Trophy in Lusail City, Qatar on Dec. 18.
By Jonathan Gilbert
January 14, 2023 | 10:45 AM

Bloomberg — Argentina’s World Cup triumph sent the soccer-mad nation into such a frenzy that some of its farmers planted seeds to reveal giant portraits of superstar Lionel Messi when the crops started growing.

Using computer technology, a handful of artistic farmers on the Pampas changed the density of seeds sown in different parts of their fields so that tighter-packed areas took on a darker shade. The result: a 50-hectare (124-acre) image of Messi’s face is visible from space.

The portraits are the brainchild of agronomist Carlos Faricelli. Twenty-six growers across Argentina’s storied farm belt have so far requested the digital planting formula that conjures up Messi’s image, Clarin reported — some during the cup run, others after Messi led the nation to success in Qatar.

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It serves as a lighthearted hiatus to a brutal drought — by some accounts the driest stretch in more than 60 years — that’s roasting soy and corn crops vital to Argentina’s economy.

Winning the World Cup for the first time in 36 years has briefly diluted the pain associated with living in a country with rampant inflation and soaring interest rates. And for farmers, there’s the added joy of the backbone of the team — players and coaches alike — having their roots in little-known towns on the Pampas.

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