The claim: Image shows soccer star Lionel Messi holding Israeli flag
An Oct. 31 Instagram post (, ) includes what appears to be a screenshot from renowned Argentine soccer player Lionel Messi’s Instagram page showing him holding an Israeli flag.
“Proving yet again that he is the GOAT,” reads the post’s caption.
It received more than 1,800 likes in three days. Other versions of the claim wereand .
Fact check roundup:
Follow us on Facebook!
Our rating: Altered
The image is altered. No such image appears on Messi’s Instagram account. The original photo shows Messi holding a sign promoting a sports memorabilia website.
Original photo shows Messi holding sign for memorabilia website
Despite the image having Messi’s Instagram handle in the upper left corner, no such photo can be found.
Thecan be seen in for Icons.com, a sports memorabilia website that has to sell signed Messi merchandise. It shows Messi holding up a sign promoting the brand, not the Israeli flag.
Messi and the Argentine soccer team were theamong Israelis and Palestinians in 2018 when Argentina was scheduled to play a match in Jerusalem. The planned match sparked protests in the West Bank and around the world from those who saw the game as a way for Israel to reinforce its claim on the city, according to the . The match was eventually canceled over safety concerns.
Argentina played a friendly game against Uruguay in Israel the following year despite an uptick in tensions in Gaza at the time,.
USA TODAY has previously debunked an array of altered content stemming from the Israel-Hamas war, including that thewith an image of the Israeli flag, that an image shows a at marching soldiers, and that a video of a rocket attack in Israel.
USA TODAY reached out to users who shared the post for comment but did not immediately receive a response.
, and the claim.
Our fact-check sources:
Thank you for supporting our journalism. You can.
Our fact-check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.
The WEBFI algorithm actively curates and presents current news from the Internet, delivering it in both written and video formats on our platform. Unlike many other news sources, WEBFI Network - News Balance Security is committed to a user-friendly experience. We refrain from displaying advertising within our content, avoid any redirects to external sites, and meticulously filter out any graphic content deemed unsafe, sensitive, or private. Our primary goal is to provide visitors with a distraction-free and secure environment, ensuring they receive the news they seek.
Importantly, WEBFI Network does not collect any personal information from our visitors, and we do not engage in newsletter subscriptions. We take pride in remaining entirely advertiser-free, thanks to the support of our contributors and our dedicated hosting service partners. It's crucial to note that the opinions and content presented on our platform do not necessarily align with WEBFI NETWORK's opinion, philosophy, or vision. We strongly uphold the principle of freedom of speech, welcoming a diverse range of perspectives and ideas.
🌐 Discover News Balance 🇺🇲 - Your Round-the-Clock Source for Unbiased News!
Experience a continuous stream of comprehensive, unbiased news coverage 24/7/365 with News Balance 🇺🇲. Our carefully curated playlist ⏯ delivers a harmonious blend of national and global politics, cutting-edge tech updates, weather forecasts, noteworthy events, and captivating entertainment news.
The best part? No subscriptions, registrations, or downloads required. Enjoy an ad-free news experience with News Balance 🇺🇲.
"Introducing Unstoppable Private WebFi Websites – Your Forever Digital Haven.
Experience a lifetime of ownership with WebFi – where your digital presence is a lifelong investment. Embark on your journey to own a private website for life.
Our private servers set the gold standard in security and performance, ensuring your website stays in top form. With our lifetime license, the days of fretting about hosting renewals are behind you.
Unlock your very own WebFi space granting you a perpetual haven for your projects, free from the burden of recurring payments. Your sole financial commitment? Domain annuities to your domain provider – nothing more!
Choose WebFi and own your digital future, secure, simple, and everlasting."LEARN MORE