Only seconds after Leo Messi was awarded his fourth consecutive FIFA Ballon d’Or – a feat no other player in the history of the game has achieved- adidas reacted with a purpose made film congratulating the world’s greatest player. An entirely gold-painted animation, featuring a Messi goal from 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. The film celebrates Leo’s four golden years of majestic, thrilling, balletic football.
Richard Swarbrick, the artist entrusted with the challenge, acknowledges, having the chance to paint Messi in gold has been an “absolute joy”, but not without “a few sleepless nights.” He paints every single frame by hand, before using ‘Photoshop’ and ‘After Effects’ to animate.
In the film, adidas wanted to include what they had hoped – and believed – would be Leo receiving his fourth ‘World player of the year’ award. This meant having Richard and a team of “loyal animation assistants” on standby, ready to finish it in record time. “We wanted to make sure we reacted to the news faster than anyone else…but with something quality that we can all be proud of.” A feat that seemed appropriate considering who the film was about.