Lionel Messi: The Latino Celebrity with the Most-Liked Post on Instagram

Lionel Messi is the Latino likes king on Instagram…

Instagram has unveiled its most-liked posts of 2020, reflecting the highs and the notable lows of a rollercoaster 2020, with the 33-year-old Argentine soccer star earning the most likes on any post by a Latinx celebrity.

Lionel Messi

Messi ranked third on the list for his post (16.4 million likes) mourning the death of soccer legend Diego Maradona, who died in November of a heart attack at age 60.

Topping the list is Cristiano Ronaldo with 19.7 million likes on his equally heartbreaking post about Maradona.

Here’s the full list:

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo (19.7 million likes)
    2. Chadwick Boseman(19.1 million)
    3. Lionel Messi (16.4 million)
    4. Kylie Jenner (16 million)
    5. LeBron James (15.5 million)
    6. Ariana Grande (15.4 million)
    7. Kylie Jenner (15.3 million)
    8. Kylie Jenner (14.5 million)
    9. Cristiano Ronaldo (14.3 million)
    10. Kylie Jenner (14.2 million)

Diego Maradona’s Likeness Could Grace Argentina’s 1,000-Peso Note

Diego Maradona could be making money moves…

An Argentine senator wants to put Diego Maradona on the country’s bank notes and presented a project to Congress on Monday to get the late soccer star and possibly even his “Hand of God” image on a 1,000-peso note.

Diego MaradonaThe note, worth around $12.27 at Monday’s exchange rate, would feature Maradona’s face on one side and a picture of one of his most famous goals on the other, said the bill’s sponsor Senator Norma Durango.

Maradona, who died on Nov. 25, had two of his most famous goals come in the 1986 World Cup quarterfinal against England as they went on to win world football’s biggest prize.

Diego Maradona

He got the first by punching the ball past England goalkeeper Peter Shilton and the second by dribbling past half the England team to score what is still considered one of the greatest goals of all time.

“The idea is not just to recognize our most important idol but also to think of the economic question,” said Durango. “We feel that when tourists come here they will want to take a ‘Maradona’ away with them.”

Although it was not clear which one of the two goals would feature, some Argentines bristled at the thought of the “Hand of God” goal featuring on an official government document because it could be seen as condoning illegality.

The Senator for the La Pampa province said the final decision would be made by lawmakers, who are expected to hear her proposal early next year.

“The idea is to recognize Maradona, for good and for bad, who is the best known Argentine in the world,” Durango said. “I feel the project has got a great response even though some people don’t agree with it.”

The current 1,000-peso note features the national bird, the Rufous hornero.

Naya Rivera Among The Celebrities Featured in Chris Barker’s Annual Beatles-Style Tribute to 2020’s Biggest Losses

Naya Rivera is getting a special tribute…

British artist Chris Barker‘s annual Beatles-style tribute to lost celebrities features some of 2020’s biggest losses, including the late half-Puerto Rican actress/singer and Glee star, who drowned in July while on an outing with her son on California’s Lake Piru, as well as soccer legend Diego Maradona, Little Richard, Chadwick Boseman and Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen.

Naya Rivera

Barker, who has been meticulously crafting his homage to the infamous cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band since 2016 as a tribute to dearly departed pop culture icons and newsmakers — said his initial idea was to start with a blank slate in January and just add faces as the year went on.

The approach would’ve simply meant swapping out some images for more prominent ones as the year went on for a more “interactive” art project. But as this year just kept getting worse, he was glad he didn’t switch up his style.

Chris Barker's 2020 Sgt. Peppers Tribute

“Early spring I thought the devastating wildfires in Australia would be the defining moment of the year but, goodness me, 2020 just kept piling it on,” he tells Billboard. “So I had a couple of options of how to show this year was a year like no other. My immediate thought was social distancing; to have the characters all really spread out. But that would have proved really impractical.”

Instead, he stuck to the template of cramming as many singers, actors, athletes, public figures and news events as possible into the image, which this year includes everyone from police violence victim George Floyd to actors Kirk Douglas, Dave Prowse (Star WarsDarth Vader), Sean Connery, Diana Rigg, Monty Python‘s Terry Jones, Fred Willard and Jerry Stiller, as well as musical icons Florian Schneider (Kraftwerk), Peter Green (Fleetwood Mac), Kenny Rogers, Adam Schlesinger (Fountains of Wayne), reggae great Toots Hibbert, Neil Peart (Rush), Ronald Bell (Kool & the Gang), DJ José Padilla, Bonnie Pointer (Pointer Sisters) and Afrobeat star Tony Allen, among many others.

Barker’s next idea was to include a nod to how important masks were this year during the pandemic, but that would have made the concept way too complicated to pull off. After starting work a month earlier than usual (in September), he realized masking the figures would make many of them unrecognizable, and posting it around the American election as he usually does would likely leave too many important figures off in a year when the devastating hits just kept on coming.

“Who knew what else could be just around the corner? It has been such an awful, bleak year,” he said, revealing that his original background was a red sky with burning forests in a nod to the devastating Australian and American wildfires. But with Joe Biden‘s victory over one-term President Donald Trump last month and talk of a COVID-19 vaccine right around the corner, suddenly there was a glimmer of hope. And instead of sticking the Biden/Harris logo “in the middle of a burning hellscape,” the Trump campaign gave him an unexpected gift with lawyer Rudy Giuliani‘s legendarily disastrous presser at Four Seasons Total Landscaping.

“The surreal backdrop perfectly encapsulates the final nail in the coffin of the nightmarish Trump administration that inspired this whole project,” Barker said. “When I first did the 2016 montage, the loss of such an overwhelming number of iconic heroes was undoubtedly one of the defining stories of the year — even overshadowing Brexit and Trump. But this year, obviously the huge number of deaths from coronavirus is far more significant.”

With the real human cost of losses from COVID-19 piling up every day, Barker decided that the chalky floor of the Four Seasons parking lot was the perfect backdrop for an homage that also includes the losses of nearly 1.5 million worldwide to COVID, Trump’s presidency, Spencer Davis, Jeopardy host Alex Trebek, drag queen Chi Chi DeVayne, directors Alan Parker and Joel Schumacher, magician Roy Horn, Glee‘s Rivera, Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, Vera Lynn, Kelly Preston, and Gone With the Wind star Olivia de Havilland.

“Every line a reminder of a life taken, a family ripped apart. Every time I do this montage it is an emotional journey, however detached I may get from the subject matter while I’m in the thick of the Photoshop, when I put the list together for the key at the end and look at it, it is a quite sobering moment,” he said. “I know a lot of people who have lost family members this year and I always try to remember that all the people I am including have left people behind too. I have to try to be respectful to everyone and to pay tribute to them and the way they lived their lives.”

There are always a few losses that hit Barker the hardest, and this year for him it was Kraftwerk’s Schneider, Game of Thrones star Rigg and Python’s Jones.

All he asks is that if you are moved by his work, donate to the UK’s NHS charities this year.

Luis López Carrasco’s “The Year of Discovery” Wins Top Prize at Mar del Plata International Film Festival

Luis López Carrasco is celebrating his big Discovery

The 39-year-old Spanish filmmaker took home the Best International Film prize for his documentary The Year of the Discovery (El año del descubrimiento) on Sunday at Argentina’s Mar del Plata International Film Festival, the only Latin American film fest granted a Category A status by producers association FIAPF, placing it in the same league as the Cannes Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, San Sebastian Film Festival and Locarno Film Festival, among others.

Luis López Carrasco

Due to the restraints imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival hosted an online edition and offered free access to all Argentine residents.

 

Carrasco’s sophomore feature follows his debut film El Futuro, which premiered at Locarno and collected numerous awards on the festival circuit.

The Year of the Discovery portrays the flipside of 1992 Spain, which celebrated hosting the 1992 Barcelona Games and the World Expo in Seville while in Murcia, south-east Spain, enraged workers from the naval, mining and chemical sectors where companies were shut down, battled alongside students against the police, culminating with the launch of Molotov cocktails that set fire to the regional government’s Parliament.

In a video call from Spain, a grateful López Carrasco dedicated the award to his parents and brother “for being the people who most taught me how to listen.”

Colombian Camilo Restrepo’s Los Conductos won the best film prize in the festival’s Latin American competition. Winner of last year’s Mar del Plata Work in Progress competition, Los Conductos marks an attempt to explore Colombia’s civil conflicts with a style outside the canons of social realism as it follows a man in his attempts to flee from a sect and the trauma that still haunts him.

Maria Alvarez’s The Lost Time (El Tiempo Perdido) trounced a strong lineup in the Argentine competition, which included notable titles like Esquirlas, The History of the Occult and Las Ranas, to nab the best Argentine film prize.

In The Lost Time, a group of now aged friends find new and personal meaning in Marcel Proust’s seven-volume novel In Search of Lost Time at each of the 18 years they have gathered at a Buenos Aires bar to discuss it.

“In this online edition, more than 200,000 people saw the films we have programmed, and on YouTube, more than 180,000 people followed our events, so I congratulate the public who have known how to adapt to our circumstances,” said festival president Fernando Juan Lima at the online closing ceremony. “We miss the City of Mar del Plata and its movie theaters, but we are going to return,” he declared.

“We celebrate [the festival’s] continuity even with the challenges that the pandemic has imposed on us,” concurred festival artistic director Cecilia Barrionuevo. The festival paid homage to filmmaker-politician Fernando ‘Pino’ Solanas, Argentine actress-writer-director Maria Luisa Bemberg and, naturally, Argentina’s greatest hero, soccer star Diego Maradona, who died Nov. 25 from heart failure.

Augusto Costa, minister of production, science, and technological innovation, also announced that Mar del Plata would be the site of the fifth regional headquarters of Argentine film school, Enerc.

“From the government and from the ministry, we reaffirm our absolute commitment to the festival and to the audiovisual industry of the province,” said Costa.

2020 MAR DEL PLATA ASTOR PIAZZOLLA PRIZES

OFFICIAL INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION

BEST FILM
“The Year of the Discovery,” (Luis López Carrasco, Spain, Switzerland)

BEST DIRECTOR
Matías Piñeiro, (“Isabella,” Argentina)

BEST PERFORMANCE
María Villar, (“Isabella,” Argentina)

BEST SCREENPLAY

Nicolás Prividera, (“A Farewell to Memory,” Argentina)

SPECIAL JURY
“Moving On,” (Yoon Dan-bi, Korea)

LATIN AMERICAN COMPETITION

BEST FILM
“Los Conductos,” (Camilo Restrepo, Colombia, Brazil, France)

SPECIAL MENTION
“Mascarados,” (Marcela Borela and Henrique Borela, Brazil)

SPECIAL MENTION
“Fauna,” (Nicolás Pereda, Mexico)

BEST SHORT
“Correspondence,” (Dominga Sotomayor and Carla Simón, Chile)

ARGENTINE COMPETITION

BEST FILM
“The Lost Time,” (María Álvarez, Argentina)

SPECIAL MENTION
“Las Ranas,” (Edgardo Castro, Argentina)

BEST SHORT
“Homage to the Work of Philip Henry Gosse,” (Pablo Martín Weber)

BEST DIRECTOR
“Esquirlas,” (Natalia Garayalde, Argentina)

ALTERNATE STATES

BEST FILM
“My Dear Spies,” (Vladimir Léon, France)

SPECIAL MENTION
“Heliconia,” (Paula Rodríguez Polanco, France, Colombia)

WORK IN PROGRESS

BEST PROJECT
“Morichales,” (Chris Gude, Colombia, U.S.)

BEST LATIN AMERICAN DEBUT FILM, YOUNG CRITICS PRIZE
“History of the Occult,” (Cristian Ponce, Argentina)

Lionel Messi Dedicates Latest Goal to the Late Diego Maradona

Lionel Messi is paying tribute to a soccer legend… 

The 33-year-old Argentine futbol star dedicated a goal to the late Diego Maradona in his return to the F.C. Barcelona team in a 4-0 romp against Osasuna on Sunday.

Lionel Messi

Messi, who’d been rested for the 4-0 win against Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League on Tuesday, scored the fourth goal and celebrated by revealing a Newell’s Old Boys shirt in Maradona’s honor, following his death at the age of 60 on Wednesday.

Messi began his youth career at Newell’s before joining Barcelona and Maradona was on the books at the Rosario-based club at around the same time, toward the end of his playing career.

The Catalans had paid homage before kickoff to Maradona, who played for the club in an eventful yet disappointing spell from 1982 to 1984, hanging a framed signed shirt of his above the presidential box while the players held a minute’s silence in front of an old Barca shirt bearing the No. 10.

Barca, who had begun the day 14th in La Liga, won comfortably with Martin BraithwaiteAntoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho also on the score sheet.

https://twitter.com/CANOBoficial_en/status/1333062242535960579?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1333062242535960579%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fpublish.twitter.com%2F%3Fquery%3Dhttps3A2F2Ftwitter.com2FCANOBoficial_en2Fstatus2F1333062242535960579widget%3DTweet

“Maradona deserved an emotional tribute like that, we have lost a global idol,” Coutinho said. “Everyone in football admired him and we’ll all miss him.”

Griezmann added: “We didn’t know what Messi had prepared in tribute to Maradona, it was a beautiful surprise.

Neymar Signs with Puma for Long-Term Partnership

Neymar is reppin’ a new brand…

Puma has announced the signing of the 28-year-old Brazilian soccer star after the Paris Saint-Germain player left Nike following a 15-year association.

Neymar’s arrival was announced on the Puma website alongside the banner “The king is back” and “Welcome to the family Neymar JR.”

Neymar wrote in a statement on his Twitter page: “At the beginning of each new season, I take some time to think about my career and the choices I have made. I think about the dreams I had when I started this sport, and the path that lies ahead.

“This will be a different season, a special season. For that reason, as I have done in the past, I decided to write this text.

“I am about to live a unique experience, a new challenge. I consider myself privileged to have had a life filled with unique experiences and wonderful challenges.

“I grew up watching videos of great football legends such as Pele, Cruyff, Matthaus, Eusebio and Maradona … These were the kings of the pitch, the kings of my sport. And they had something in common — a love of the game, a drive to be the best version of themselves and a spirit that unites all. It’s not always about being the best or the greatest but instead, to inspire future generations. That is exactly what I have dreamt of for myself, to give all of me to football because football has given me everything I have. I want to do it my way, using my gift.

“New challenges, new responsibilities, I understand that. I wish to bring back the legacy that those athletes created on the pitch. I was to help bring back memories from each of their football histories and the magic they gave us in their classic leather boots — and through boots like those, leave behind my own legacy. They each played in PUMA, and each of them created their magic in The KING.

“And so now, as I begin this new season, I want the KING to reign on the pitch and inspire generations as it has inspired me and others.

“To be in this project, associating myself to those Kings of football, through KING, it is a dream. For these reasons, from today onward, I have the honour to unite with the brand that helped the biggest legends of football become what they are. Every time I lace my boots, my KING boots, I will do anything to achieve all of my dreams to honour my name and that of all those great ones who wore the KING before me. This will be my PUMA history. The KING is back!”

Sources told ESPN that only four executives knew about the deal to land Neymar and it was “a big secret in the company” that they had been working to sign the player for several months.

He returned to training with PSG on Friday after missing their opening Ligue 1 fixture of the campaign, a 1-0 defeat at Lens, following a positive test for the coronavirus.

Neymar joined PSG from Barcelona in 2017 for a world-record €222 million fee and has won three Ligue 1 titles in Paris. He also helped the French club reach the Champions League final in August, where they were beaten 1-0 by Bayern Munich.

During his time at Barca he won the Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup and two La Liga titles.

Diego Maradona ThisClose to Returning to Management with Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata

Diego Maradonamay be heading back to the world of soccer…

The 58-year-old Argentine legend, the focus of an acclaimed documentary, is closing in on a return to management at Argentine first division club Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata.

Diego Maradona

Maradona met with the club this week and the deal is “80 percent” agreed, Maradona’s lawyer Matias Morlatells ESPN FC, with a definitive meeting set to take place on Thursday.

Maradona had admitted on Tuesday that he’d like to coach in his homeland, but on Wednesday denied that a deal had been signed with Gimnasia, or that he’d met with anyone at the club.

“I don’t think that toying with the hopes of the fans is ok,” wrote Maradona. “I still haven’t met with anyone.”

But Morla posted a video later on Wednesday of Maradona talking directly to Gimnasia fans: “I want to make clear that I’ve very recently undergone an operation. I did have contact with people from Gimnasia, but I’ve not spoken to anyone recently

“For them to have considered me … due to my achievements far away or because they are Maradona fans is a very beautiful thing, really touching and it fills my heart.”

Maradona then made a point of getting up and walking around to prove he is fit, after a right knee operation in late July.

“They say that I can’t move. Look! Look!” stressed Maradona in the video. “Am I ready to coach or not? All of you Lobo [Gimnasia] fans, I hold you here [points to heart].”

Maradona joined Mexican second division club Dorados de Sinaloaone year ago and led the team to consecutive Ascenso MXfinals in his two seasons, losing both to newly promoted Atletico San Luis— owned by Atletico Madrid— after extra time in the second leg.

But Maradona left in mid-June in order to undergo a knee operation, following indications he was happy in Mexico and wanted to continue, with Dorados also content with how things had gone.

Gimnasia is dead last in the Argentine league after five rounds of matches in the new season, having lost its last four games.

Maradona had invited his Argentina teammate Gabriel Batistutato be part of the coaching staff at Gimnasia and take training sessions, but the former striker declined the invitation due to a scheduled operation on Sept. 17 in Switzerland.

“I want to thank Diego Maradona for the offer I’d been waiting for for so long,” wrote Batistuta on Twitter. “I wish him all the best!”

Altitude Releases Trailer for Diego Maradona-Themed Documentary

Diego Maradonais kickin’ it old school… so to speak.

Altitude has released the first footage from its Cannes Film Festival-bound documentary Diego Maradona, which centers on the 58-year-old Argentine retired professional footballer and current manager of Mexican second division club Dorados.

Diego Maradona

Directed by Asif Kapadia, the documentary was constructed from more than 500 hours of rare footage. It centers on the career of the celebrated soccer star during his time at Italian club Napoli in the 1980s.

The film will chart the iconic sporting story of how the genius soccer star arrived at the ailing Italian side Napoli and turned them into a force, winning their first ever national championship. 

The glory also came with a price, however, as Maradona became almost a prisoner in the city. His inner demons were never far away.

The film will play Out Of Competition and Maradona will attend the Cannes Film Festival. 

The film will roll out in cinemas from this summer.

Nicolas Goldschmidt to Star as Diego Maradona in Amazon Prime Video’s Biopic Series “Maradona: Blessed Dream”

Nicolas Goldschmidt is headed to the football pitch..

The 31-year-old Argentine actor has been cast as the legendary and notorious soccer star Diego Maradona in Maradona: Blessed Dream, an Amazon Prime Video biopic series being produced by RAZE, Dhana Media and BTF.

Nicolas Goldschmidt 

Nicolas Goldschmidt will star alongside Nazareno Casero and Juan Palomino in the series, which follows Maradona’s life from infancy to his present life and his journey playing for Barcelona, Napoli, Boca and leading his national team as captain for Argentina.

The actors will each play a different stage in Maradona’s life. Goldschmidt will play Maradona during his early years, Casero will play him during his rise to fame with club teams like Barcelona and Napoli, and Argentina’s national team, and Palomino will take him on in the darker times.

The first season will begin filming in Argentina, followed by Uruguay, Spain, Italy and Mexico.

RAZE is the production company launched by Sofia VergaraLuis Balaguer and Emiliano Calemzuk to create Latin-centered content.

The series will be available in more than 200 territories on Amazon Prime Video, and later distributed on linear platforms through Disney Distribution.

Goldschmidt previously appeared in the Farsantes and Mis amigos de siempre. Casero starred in the film Estamos Juntos. Palomino has starred in Sálvame María.

Messi Returning to Play for Argentina’s National Team In Time for World Cup Qualifiers

It’s a welcome change of heart for Lionel Messi

The 29-year-old has announced his return to Argentina’s national team for their World Cup qualifiers in September, ending his short-lived retirement from international football.

Lionel Messi

Messi called it quits after missing a penalty in the shootout defeat to Chile in this summer’s Copa America Centenario final — the third consecutive loss for Argentina in a major final.

“I see that there are a lot of problems in Argentina football and I don’t want to create more,” Messi, who was included in the Albiceleste‘s 18-man squad to face Uruguay and Venezuela, said in a statement on Friday. “I don’t want to cause harm, on the contrary, my goal was to help in any way I could.”

Messi, who is Argentina’s all-time leading scorer with 55 goals in 113 appearances, made reference to federation problems a few days before the Copa final, saying the AFA, Argentine football’s governing body, was “a disaster” after the team suffered delayed flights and experienced problems finding opponents for training games.

“There are many things that need to be fixed in Argentine football. But I prefer to help from inside rather than stand on the outside and criticize,” the statement continued.

“A lot of things ran through my head on the day of the [Copa America] final. And I seriously considered leaving the team. But I love my shirt and my country too much.

“I want to thank all the fans who wanted me to keep playing for Argentina. I hope we can give them joy very soon.”

With the CONMEBOL deadline to name the squads for September’s World Cup qualifiers looming on Friday, newly-appointed Argentina manager Edgardo Bauza had expressed confidence Messi would change his mind and opt to return to the team, and that belief was rewarded with Messi’s confirmation later in the day.

Bauza, who took over as national team coach after the resignation of Gerardo Martino last month, had flown to Spain to meet Argentina players in Barcelona on Thursday and reassure them there would be order in the national team despite ongoing chaos in the football federation.

He said he didn’t pressure Messi to reconsider his decision to retire from international duty and had “only talked football” with the striker, but claimed Messi wanted to return.

“There is no doubt in my mind that he wants to return to play for the national team,” Bauza told reporters in Argentina. “I saw him with a great desire to return.”

Argentina are preparing for September qualifiers against Uruguay and Venezuela after crashing out in the group stage of the Olympics for the first time since 1964.

The federation, which had been led by Julio Grondona since the 1970s, has been in turmoil since his death in 2014.

In June, FIFA stepped in and named a committee to run its daily affairs, with a stipulation that elections must be held by July 2017.

Argentina legend Diego Maradona claimed the chaos within the federation was institutional and that Messi had been right to comment on it.