Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - At Argentinian football club, Maradona is God and Messi is Adam




At Argentinian football club, Maradona is God and Messi is Adam

Children play football at Sportivo Pereyra de Barracas club in Buenos Aires, where local artist Santiago Barbeito has created a footballing version of Michelangelo's 'Creation of Adam' on the ceiling, on Tuesday. AFP
Children play football at Sportivo Pereyra de Barracas club in Buenos Aires, where local artist Santiago Barbeito has created a footballing version of Michelangelo's 'Creation of Adam' on the ceiling, on Tuesday. AFP

At Argentinian football club, Maradona is God and Messi is Adam

There is no question that football is like a religion in Argentina.

And one of the football-mad country’s greatest players, Diego Maradona, is known for his notorious “Hand of God” goal against England in the 1986 World Cup.

Now, on the ceiling of one club in Buenos Aires, in a painting modelled after Michelangelo’s work in the Sistine Chapel, Maradona is God, extending his hand to Adam – Lionel Messi.

Argentina-born Pope Francis, an avowed football fan, would certainly smile at the grand gesture made by the club Sportivo Pereyra, located in the Barracas district of the capital, where football and other team sports are played.

“For us, this pitch is our temple – a sacred temple of football, and what better than to have a fresco on the ceiling that is worthy of a temple,” coach Ricardo Elsegood said.

“The Sistine Chapel has God and Adam, and the chapel of football has Messi and Maradona.”

In this version of Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam, instead of the angels surrounding God, other football stars are featured: Juan Riquelme, Gabriel Batistuta, Mario Kempes, Sergio Aguero, Claudio Caniggia, Ricardo Bochini and Ariel Ortega.

The players are clad in the classic sky blue and white striped jersey of Argentina’s national team.

The club, where many children play, is located in the southern part of Buenos Aires, not far from the stadium of the Boca Juniors, Argentina’s most successful club.

“It’s as if Maradona had bestowed upon Messi the gift of continued good football,” explains the artist who painted the work, Santiago Barbeito.

For Elsegood, it was a simple decision.

“We realised the ceiling was rather dark. We thought at first of painting it blue with white clouds. But one day, the artist came and said it would be better to do it with Messi and Maradona,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from