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6 famous football murals in the world

Throughout the world, artistic murals of football legends decorate the streets of many different cities, helping to celebrate the iconic status and cultural impact of these athletes. These creative tributes not only enhance the aesthetics of the city but also immortalize the idols of the sport, uniquely connecting fans and communities. In honour of World Art Day, here are six murals of famous footballers that embody the unique style and artistic vision of both the artist and the athlete.

Trent Alexander Arnold Mural Liverpool

1. Gabriel Jesus

In the center of the Sao Paulo favela Jardim Peri, a towering mural of Gabriel Jesus brings vibrant colour and inspiration to the local Arena Brahma pitch. Standing 112 feet tall and stretching across the façades of over a dozen homes, this fan-created artwork captures the local hero celebrating a goal with a phone call gesture that symbolizes a tribute to his mother, Vera Lucia.

Unveiled in his hometown, where he once was photographed as a youth painting the streets during the 2014 World Cup, the mural uses the national colors of green, yellow, and blue to depict Jesus’s journey from the favelas to international football stardom. This striking visual not only celebrates his success as a professional footballer, but also serves as a beacon of hope and motivation for young footballers in his hometown, symbolizing the possibilities beyond their troubling circumstances.


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2. Trent Alexander-Arnold

In the shadow of Anfield, a massive mural of Liverpool FC’s right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold covers the façade of a terrace house. Created by the renowned French graffiti artist Akse, the three-story artwork located at the corner of Sybil Street and Anfield Road features Trent in Liverpool’s classic red kit, alongside his inspiring quote from the 2019 Champions League victory: “I’m just a normal lad from Liverpool, whose dream has just come true.”

Commissioned by The Anfield Wrap, a fan podcast, the mural celebrates both Trent’s remarkable season and his connection to his hometown of Liverpool, while aiming to motivate the community’s youth. The artwork also supports the Fans Supporting Foodbanks initiative, using its visibility to raise awareness about the crucial work being done to combat food insecurity in the area.

3. Diego Maradona

In Naples, the spirit of Diego Maradona lives on through a remarkable mural by street artist Jorit Agoch, immortalizing him both within the city and among Napoli fans. Painted to honor the 30th anniversary of Napoli winning its first Italian title, the mural was erected in the San Giovanni Teduccio “Bronx” neighborhood. The mural features a middle-aged Maradona, with touches of grey in his hair and beard gracing the side of a building.

Created shortly after his death in November 2020, this artwork commemorates Maradona’s monumental role in Napoli’s history, where he led the club to two Italian Serie A titles. This powerful tribute not only celebrates Maradona’s immense impact on the Napoli team, but also reinforces his lasting legacy within Italian football.

4. Marcus Rashford

In Withington, Manchester, an inspirational mural of Marcus Rashford by street artist Akse stands as a testament to the footballer’s impactful activism against child food poverty during the Covid-19 pandemic. Painted in 2020, the black and white mural is located on the exterior wall of Coffee House Café, less than a kilometer away from his childhood neighborhood of Old Moat.

This artwork, based on a photograph by Daniel Cheetham, not only commemorates Rashford’s efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic but also features a powerful quote: “Take pride in knowing that your struggle will play the biggest role in your purpose.” Through this mural, Rashford is celebrated not just as a Manchester United player, but as a community hero who has significantly contributed to combating child hunger in the UK.


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5. Mohamed Salah

On the route through Liverpool to Anfield Stadium, a vibrant mural of Mohamed Salah stands proudly near Anfield Road, right opposite the King Harry. Created by artist John Culshaw after Salah won a fan vote organized by the club, the mural captures Salah in the midst of his iconic goal celebration.

Officially unveiled on April 2, the artwork features two dynamic images of Salah, both decked in Liverpool’s iconic red. This artistic tribute not only marks Salah’s status as one of the club’s all-time leading scorers, but also celebrates his profound impact as a cultural icon in the city of Liverpool.


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6. Lionel Messi

In the heart of Buenos Aires, Argentina, a mural by famous artist Martin Ron pays tribute to locally born legend Lionel Messi. Painted in the classic colour-way of the Argentine national team, the mural captures Messi during his pivotal role in leading his nation to victory in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

This colourful and spirited artwork not only honors Messi’s exceptional contributions to football, but also serves as a source of national pride for the country, highlighting him as an Argentine hero. Created to inspire and unite, this mural stands as a vivid reminder of Messi’s impact on the people and country of Argentina both on and off the pitch.

Photo: ©Rik Tuinstra