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

  • Hun Sen’s China visit ‘a good opportunity’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit to Beijing on Sunday to discuss economic and trade issues presents a good opportunity for the Kingdom to strengthen Chinese ties and counter punitive measures by the West, an analyst says. The prime minister’s four-day official visit to

  • Former chief bodyguard receives royal pardon

    The former chief bodyguard of late Senate president Chea Sim has received a royal pardon nearly eight years after he was sentenced to 15 years behind bars on several charges, according to a royal decree dated November 12, last year, and obtained by The Post on Wednesday.

  • Close to the edge: Hair raising pictures from Kulen Mountain

    A new hair raising attraction on Kulen Mountain has finally opened to the public, with people flocking to the protruding cliff edge overlooking green mountainous forests to take photographs. The giant overhanging rock is situated in an area known as Mahendraparvata – an ancient city of

  • US warned not to interfere despite successful meeting

    A senior Ministry of National Defence official said the Tuesday meeting between the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for South and Southeast Asia Joseph H Felter and General Neang Phat had helped strengthen relations between the two countries’ militaries. However, a senior Cambodian People’