Iconic Artworks Dedicated to Soccer
The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Sunday, July 21, 2024

Iconic Artworks Dedicated to Soccer

The difference between art and sports is barely indistinguishable, especially when considering soccer as inspiration. Often hailed as ‘the beautiful game’ and as the most popularly played and followed sport in the world, there are millions who consider soccer to be an artform in and of itself, practiced by talented maestros with skill that goes beyond physical prowess at the highest levels.

For this reason, it’s hardly surprising that soccer has inspired numerous artists, who are usually keen fans of the sport, producing their own visions of why this game captures the imagination. From classic artworks to pop culture iconography, no sport has led to such prolific representations and in so many different mediums. It also tends to be a safe bet that such artworks will always be popular and well received by their target audience.

Speaking of which, soccer often boasts the biggest audience when it comes to wagering. This is why football betting is popular no matter where you are in the world, estimated to boast a global audience of more than 4.7 billion followers. That said, it always pays to research the best sports betting sites, which is why SBO has produced a detailed guide to that effect, covering how to find the best offers and promotions, accompanied by detailed site reviews.

Many soccer fans even consider successful betting to be an artform, as predicting results can be highly challenging, which means they often go looking for strategies and tips. Meanwhile, usually with the same kind of dedication and passion, artists focus their efforts on producing works aimed at standing the test of time, honoring and paying homage to this remarkable sport.

Michael Browne – The Art of the Game (1997)

During his time at Manchester United in the 1990’s, French striker Eric Cantona was hailed as “Eric the King” by adoring fans. He was hugely influential during a period when the team began to dominate English football, whilst also providing inspiration to an up-and-coming generation of hugely talented young players at the club.

Cantona was even regarded as a messianic figure by some, including artist Michael Browne, who glorified the success of the player and United, placing the Frenchman as the central figure in ‘The Art of the Game’. Beneath and from left to right, the ‘disciples’ are Philip Neville, David Beckham, Nicky Butt, and Gary Neville.

To the top right and sat astride a chariot is Sir Alex Ferguson, the legendary Manchester United manager, being crowned as emperor by another young player, John Curtis. In the background and reflecting the classic nature of this artwork, their achievements backed by a Romanesque triumphal arch. So impressed with this piece, Cantona actually purchased the original painting, which now resides amongst his own personal collection of artworks, and is occasionally loaned to museums.

Jorit Agoch – Human God (2017)

For many connoisseurs of the beautiful game, Diego Maradona is the greatest player ever to have graced a soccer pitch. Despite his relatively diminutive stature, he was a larger-than-life figure who generated an almost cult following, especially in the Italian city of Naples, inspiring the local team SSC Napoli to their historic first league title.

During the course of seven seasons at the club, Maradona inspired Napoli to previously unprecedented success, and some would say he did so almost single-handedly with his otherworldly talents, in what was otherwise considered to be a rather average team. For the religious denizens of Naples, he continues to be worshiped like a god for the success he inspired.

There are numerous murals of this footballing icon throughout the city, although nearly all of them feature the player in his prime. Local street artist Jorit Agoch took a different approach in 2017, when inspired to paint ‘Human God’ on the side of a ten-storey apartment building, located in a poor district of the city. This features the aged face of Maradona, still watchful over the people who continue to adore him, even beyond his untimely death in 2020.

Miguel Ruiz Jiménez – Monument to Granada Fans (2010)

In an era when soccer is dominated by the biggest and economically most powerful clubs, their teams packed with millionaire superstars on lavish contracts, the humble football supporter can often seem like nothing more than an accessory in the background. Nevertheless, without fans the sport would be nothing, were it not for them loyally filling the stands on matchdays, loyally supporting their teams through thick and thin.

This was the idea behind a sculpture located near to Nuevo Los Cármenes, the home of local soccer team Granada CF, paying homage to their long-suffering fans at a time when the club was finally on the rise. Indeed, the club had almost gone bankrupt and out of existence, just a few years before ‘Monumento a la afición del Granada Club de Fútbol’ was unveiled. The sculpture features two players challenging for a ball, represented by a globe, urged on by cheering fans.

Inspired to pay homage to the fans of Granada CF, of which he is one, artist Jiménez is a famed local architectural sculptor, widely recognized for his works in Spain and throughout the world. As a renowned ceramics expert, he has also produced unique reproductions and restorations, including many featured at the most iconic landmark in Granada, The Alhambra, the fortress and palace complex built by the Nasrid Dynasty which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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