MANILA, Philippines -- Only seconds after international football star Leo Messi was awarded his fourth consecutive FIFA Ballon d’Or last Monday, sportswear giant adidas released a special animated film congratulating "the world’s greatest player" on the video-sharing site YouTube.
The film, an entirely gold-painted animation clip featuring a Messi goal from 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, has now been viewed more than 600,000 times.
Richard Swarbrick, the artist entrusted with the challenge, acknowledged in a statement that the opportunity to paint Messi in gold has been an “absolute joy,” but not without “a few sleepless nights.” He painted every single frame by hand before using Photoshop and After Effects to animate.
Expecting Messi to bag his fourth Ballon d’Or, Swarbrick said he and a team of “loyal animation assistants” were on standby, ready to finish the film 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,” he said.
The film can also be viewed at the official Facebook page of Adidas Philippines.