Did football legend Lionel Messi just die suddenly in a high speed car accident?!
Take a look at the viral claims, and find out what the facts really are!
Updated @ 2023-09-25 : Added new details, and a video fact check!
Originally posted @ 2023-04-23
Claim : Lionel Messi Died Suddenly In High Speed Car Accident!
People are sharing TikTok and YouTube videos which claim that football legend Lionel Messi just died suddenly in a high-speed car accident, with photos of the car accident!
LIONEL MESSI DIES IN UNBELIEVABLE CAR CRASH
Messi, Xavi and Christiano dead after car accident
INFO CHOC: Lionel Messi est décédé
SHOCK INFO: Lionel Messi has died
#fyp #soccer #messi #dead rest in peace legend👑⚽️🕊️
#Rip Messie Messie❤️ respect for Messie ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️⚽️🥅
Messie the best of the world ❤️🇦🇷❤️❤️#Messie
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Truth : Lionel Messi Did NOT Die In High Speed Car Accident!
This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS created and propagated by people to generate income from page / video views and advertising, and here are the reasons why…
Fact #1 : No Legitimate Media Outlet Reported His Death
These social media posts, as well as YouTube and TikTok videos have been circulating for months now, but people don’t seem to notice that no legitimate media has reported on Lionel Messi’s death!
Lionel Messi is one of the world’s best footballer and a mega celebrity. His death would have been covered extensively by the media across the globe! And his fans would have mourned his death on social media.
Yet, no legitimate media outlet has reported that Lionel Messi died recently from any cause, never mind a tragic car accident. Why should you believe no-name websites, or random YouTube / TikTok videos?
Fact #2 : Lionel Messi Is Still Alive + Well!
Lionel Messi (born Lionel Andrés Messi on 24 June 1987) is still very much alive and well, as of Wednesday night, 20 September 2023, when he played for Inter Miami against Toronto FC at Fort Lauderdale in Florida. However, he was quickly taken off the field after he appeared to have a leg issue.
Inter Miami coach Gerardo “Tara” Martino later said that Messi had “an old injury that had been bothering him”, and confirmed that the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner would miss at least one more match.
Despite his old injury cropping up again, Lionel Messi is very much still alive, many weeks after those social media posts, YouTube and Facebook videos claimed that he died suddenly in a tragic car accident!
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Fact #3 : This Car Accident Photo Was From 2009
To convince you that Lionel Messi died (even though he’s still alive), the fake news creators had to make use of unrelated car crashes.
In this example, the video claimed that Lionel Messi, Xavi, and Cristiano Ronaldo, died in this car accident.
The truth is – that is a photo of a Ferrari 599 that crashed in October 2009, on the Great Ocean Road in southern Victoria, Australia. The driver was a 64 year-old man called Carlo Vaccari.
Mr. Vaccari lost control while driving his Ferrari 599 at 80 km/h and ploughed into two motorcyclists travelling in the opposite direction. He was convicted of careless driving, but only fined $3000.
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Fact #4 : This Car Accident Photo Was Posted In 2014
It is unknown when this car accident happened, but this undated car accident photo was posted by WreckedExotics.com on August 13, 2014.
Apparently, the driver lost control of his Ferrari 458 Italia while trying to overtake another car, and crashed into a trash bin. The driver left the scene of the accident, possibly under the influence of drugs / alcohol.
Even though this incident happened in Madrid, Spain, this photo is old and has nothing to do with Lionel Messi.
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Fact #5 : This Car Accident Occurred In 2012
This photo does not show Lionel Messi’s fatal car crash. This accident actually occurred at around 9 PM on 1 September 2012, at the E42 highway near Francorchamps in Belgium.
The driver was a 63 year-old man from Saint-Ghislain, and was obviously not Lionel Messi.
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Fact #6 : Lionel Messi Death Hoax Is Driven By Fake Fact Check Too
This Lionel Messi death hoax is, ironically, just another fake fact check article by MediaMass Project, which keeps “updating” the dates in their fake fact check article:
News of footballer Lionel Messi’s death spread quickly earlier this week causing concern among fans across the world. However the April 2023 report has now been confirmed as a complete hoax and just the latest in a string of fake celebrity death reports. Thankfully, the 36-year-old footballer is alive and well.
Their claim of a viral R.I.P. Lionel Messi Facebook page is false. There is no such Facebook page. It is their standard fake fact check spiel for fake celebrity deaths.
The statement from Lionel Messi’ unnamed rep confirming that he is not dead is exactly the same as statements from other celebrities whose reps MediaMass claimed were victims of death hoaxes, like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Barry Gibb, Bruce Willis, Clint Eastwood, Celine Dion, Cristiano Ronaldo, Dolly Parton, Harrison Ford, Justin Bieber, Lucy Liu, Madonna, Melanie Laurent, Morgan Freeman, Oprah Winfrey, Robert Pattinson, Simon Cowell, Sylvester Stallone, Taylor Swift, Toby Keith, and Tom Hanks.
Hidden in the description page for the MediaMass Project is a disclaimer that they are a “satire” website. That’s the usual “cover” for websites peddling fake news.
Regardless of their reasons, anything posted by MediaMass.net must be considered as fake news, until proven otherwise.
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Fact #6 : This Is Just Fake Celebrity News
This is yet another example of fake celebrity news created to generate page views and money through advertising, just like these examples:
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- Is There An Ebola Outbreak At Burning Man 2023?!
- Celine Dion Just Died Suddenly In Hospital?!
- Did Clint Eastwood Just Die From Cancer / Ligma Virus?!
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- Did Barry Gibb Of The Bee Gees Just Die Suddenly?!
- Did Simon Cowell Just Die Suddenly In Hospital?!
- Did Taylor Swift Die Suddenly In Concert Car Crash?!
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.
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