A video accompanied by a post is being widely shared on social media claiming that the crowd in the video were Paris fans waiting at the airport for Messi. Let us fact-check the claim made in the post.
Claim: Video of Paris fans waiting at the airport for Messi.
Fact: The video is from deer district, Milwaukee in the US and not from Paris. The crowd in the video had gathered during game six of the NBA finals between Milwaukee Bucks and the Phoenix Suns on 20 July 2021, which the Milwaukee Bucks won. After a tearful Messi bid farewell to FC Barcelona on 08 August 2021, he arrived in Paris on 10 August 2021 to complete his transfer to Paris Saint-Germain. Messi was welcomed in Paris with much fanfare, the visuals of which are different from that of the viral video. Hence, the claim made in the post is FALSE.
When reverse image search is done on the screenshots of the video, a tweet with a similar image was found. This tweet posted on 21 July 2021 says that tens of thousands of fans packed the deer district where the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Phoenix Suns to the NBA Championship. News articles (which have similar visuals) about the Milwaukee Bucks’ victory can be seen here, here, and here. On 20 July 2021 people gathered in the Deer District for Game 6 of the NBA Finals at Fiserv Forum. Milwaukee Bucks fans celebrated their team’s NBA championship in Deer District.
Taking the cue that this video is from an NBA game in the deer district, Milwaukee, we searched on google with relevant keywords. A YouTube video uploaded by the official NBA channel was found with similar visuals.
The NBA Video and the viral video have certain similarities. The building of Mecca Sports Bar and Grill and the trees in front of the building are looking similar when both the videos are compared side by side.
When ‘deer district’ is searched on google maps, one can see a similar image of the venue where the viral video was taken.
After a tearful Messi bid farewell to FC Barcelona on 08 August 2021, he arrived in Paris on 10 August 2021 to complete his transfer to Paris Saint-Germain. Messi was welcomed in Paris with much fanfare, the videos of which can be seen here and here. The visuals in these videos are different compared to the viral video.
To sum it up, a video of fans gathered for an NBA game in the US is falsely shared as Paris fans waiting for Messi at the airport.