Meet Messi, the Adorable Dog Who Stole the Show at the Oscars

Messi the Dog at the Academy Awards, in Los Angeles, California, USA in March 2024
Messi the Dog at the Academy Awards, in Los Angeles, California, USA in March 2024. Photo by Rob Latour/Shutterstock (14370027b)

Some of Hollywood’s biggest stars attended this year’s Academy Awards, but one adorable puppy managed to outshine them all. Messi from Anatomy of a Fall was the special guest at this year’s Oscars, and here’s everything you should know about him.

Named after Argentine football player Lionel Messi, the seven-year-old border collie was a huge sensation in his home country of France long before the Oscars rolled around. His owner Laura Martin Contini is a professional dog trainer and she did a great job preparing him for the role of a lifetime in Anatomy of the Fall.

Messi was a part of some of the film’s most memorable scenes, and the director Triet told The Hollywood Reporter that his character Snoop “was not just another character or some animal running around [but] as much a part of the film’s ensemble as any of the other actors.”

Messi was honored with the Palm Dog at the Cannes Film Festival, and his star kept on rising once Anatomy of the Fall became an international sensation. He attended the Oscars luncheon after the film received five nominations, and later hit the red carpet at the 96th Academy Awards and had his own seat in the audience.

Messi won everyone from Ryan Gosling to Billie Eilish over this award season, and his owner and trainer Laura Martin Contini is grateful to everyone who showed him love.

“There were a few interviews in France, but what we’ve been experiencing here in America -with the attention to this dog and his acting — it’s beyond anything we anticipated. It’s probably the maximum that you can accomplish in this field,” Contini told The Hollywood Reporter.