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SPORTS | 16-01-2023 14:57

Portraits of Leo Messi are everywhere in Argentina – even in crop fields

Farmers in Argentina plant seeds to reveal giant portraits of superstar Lionel Messi.

Argentina’s World Cup triumph sent the football-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, Clarín reported — some during the cup run, others after Messi led the nation to success in Qatar. 

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.

by Jonathan Gilbert, Bloomberg

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