FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show People ‘Waiting For Lionel Messi’ In Paris?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Editor

An image shared on Facebook over 400 times allegedly shows thousands of people packed onto the streets of Paris “waiting for Lionel Messi.”

Verdict: False

The picture shows a crowd at this year’s Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago, Illinois.

Fact Check:

The team Paris Saint-Germain announced Tuesday that it had signed world-renowned soccer player Lionel Messi. His two-year deal with the French soccer club included an option for a third year, according to the Associated Press.

Messi’s signing prompted thousands of fans to later gather outside the team’s stadium in Paris to celebrate, according to Business Insider. One image shared on Facebook showing thousands of people packed closely together claims to be from that gathering.

“The people of Paris waiting for Lionel Messi,” reads the Facebook post’s caption. “WOW!” (RELATED: Did Lionel Messi Say He Would Not Play A Soccer Match Against Israel?)

The picture, however, was not taken in Paris and is unrelated to Messi joining the French soccer club. A reverse image search revealed it actually shows a crowd at the 2021 Lollapalooza music festival that took place in Chicago, Illinois, from July 29 to Aug. 1.

It was featured in a Business Insider article with a caption that indicates it was taken by aerial photographer Colin Hinkle. He tweeted the photo from his Twitter account on July 30, writing “2021 @lollapalooza” and tagging the location as Chicago.

“That’s actually shot off the balcony of where I live,” Hinkle told Business Insider. “I live in a 52nd floor of a building that faces Grant Park and directly over top of Lollapalooza. Every year, I usually am around that weekend, and I get a camera with a long zoom lens on it, and I take photos and share them.”

Actual photos of people gathering in Paris to celebrate Messi’s arrival can be viewed on Getty Images and Reuters Pictures.

Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Editor
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