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Heavenly Treatment for Messi, Maradona

China Daily | Updated: 2018-04-27 10:36
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Buenos Aires artist Santiago Barbeito has painted the ceiling of the arena at the Sportivo Pereyra de Barracas club to depict a version of Michelangelo's famous'Creation of Adam'. The mural, which represents the enduring tradition of Argentine soccer, depicts Lionel Messi as'Adam' while 1986 World Cup hero Diego Maradona is 'God', surrounded by 'apostles' Sergio Aguero, Mario Kempes, Ricardo Bochini, Gabriel Batistuta, Claudio Caniggia, Juan Roman Riquelme and Ariel Ortega. [Photo/Agencies]

'Sacred temple' in Buenos Aires has unique fresco, Agence France-presse reports

There is no question that soccer is a sort of religion in Argentina.

And one of the soccer-mad country's brightest stars, Diego Maradona, is known for his infamous "Hand of God" goal against England in the 1986 World Cup.

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

Argentina-born Pope Francis, an avowed soccer fan, would certainly smile at the grand gesture made by the club Sportivo Pereyra, located in the Barracas district of the capital, where soccer 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?" said coach Ricardo Elsegood.

"The Sistine Chapel has God and Adam, and the chapel of soccer has Messi and Maradona."

In this version of Michelangelo's "Creation of Adam," instead of the angels surrounding God, other Argentine soccer greats are featured: Juan Roman Riquelme, Gabriel Batistuta, Mario Kempes, Sergio Aguero, Claudio Caniggia, Ricardo Bochini and Ariel Ortega.

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