Is this the greatest football advert ever made? Pepsi Max rival Nike's iconic 1998 commercial with Nutmeg Royale

Messi Pepsi Max advert
(Image credit: Pepsico)

Pepsi Max has released an advert named 'Nutmeg Royale' ahead of the 2022 World Cup, and it's sure to be an iconic piece of footage for years to come. 

Featuring some of football's best players, past and present, Lionel Messi is joined by Paul Pogba and Ronaldinho in a nutmeg tournament. Often, nutmegs are a source of great ridicule. Across the world they are met with derision, howls of laughter thrust upon the unlucky soul who has just been outwitted by the most humiliating of skills

But, initially, it isn't the trio of footballers doing the nutmegging. 

The Pepsi Max Nutmeg Royale advert

Starting with a role reversal, Messi is nutmegged as he reaches down for a Pepsi, sending the media world into a frenzy. Pogba and Ronaldinho both become victims of the skill themselves, as they concede double figures in the tournament. 

Of course, anything football related can't be missed by Fabrizio Romano, who is shown tweeting across the action during the advert. There were no "here we go's" here, though, just Messi, Pogba and Ronaldinho left to fend for themselves.

Indeed, the three footballers, not keen to be outdone, set out on a course of immeasurable action: to nutmeg anyone and anything they set their eyes on. They're all wearing the 2002 Pepsi Max football shirt during the film, too, a nod to two decades ago when the brand released that kit. 

Including Fatboy Slim's iconic 'The Rockafeller Skank' soundtrack and with Peter Drury providing the backdrop commentary, there is arguably no trick Pepsi hasn't missed – it even includes a horse named Horsinho (we're sure Arsenal tried signing him circa 2008?). 

Barcelona

Ronaldinho and Lionel Messi reunite for a new advert (Image credit: PA)

Lionel Messi of Paris Saint-Germain walks onto the pitch prior to the preseason friendly match between Paris Saint-Germain and Kawasaki Frontale at National Stadium on July 20, 2022 in Tokyo, Japan

Lionel Messi was recently crowned the greatest player of all time by FourFourTwo (Image credit: Masashi Hara/Getty Images)

Social media football influencers Luva de Pedreiro and Kaljit Atwal also showcase their talents with a ball at their feet in the advert, their inclusion intended to champion the ambition of the upcoming generation of footballers.

But perhaps the most poignant message of all in the film is when GOAT starts to protrude from Messi's throat, the soft-drink brand clearly agreeing with FourFourTwo that he is, indeed, the greatest player of all time...

Messi said of the advert: “It’s great to be back working with Pepsi Max and creating entertaining football moments for fans. I had a lot of fun shooting this campaign – it’s highly-energetic and allowed me to showcase one of my favourite football skills – the nutmeg.”

Coinciding with Pepsi Max's new international tagline 'Thirsty For More', Nutmeg Royale is attempting to showcase the brand in a fun and entertaining way. 

Pepsi Max's Senior Director, Global Marketing, Gustavo Reyna said: “When we decided to create this campaign, we knew the nutmeg was the perfect move to showcase.  

"A nutmeg move is for the quick-witted, the ambitious, and fun-lovers that are thirsty for the thrill of the game. Creating entertaining moments for our consumers to enjoy is at the core of who we are at Pepsi Max.

"It’s this unexpected fun that we really wanted to shine through in everything we do. With this film and the upcoming moments we have planned, we’ve done just that."

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Ryan Dabbs
Staff writer

Ryan is a staff writer for FourFourTwo, joining the team full-time in October 2022. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before eventually earning himself a position with FourFourTwo permanently. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer while a Trainee News Writer at Future.