Football Artwork

There’s a Portuguese expression you may have heard, “o jogo bonito”. No one makes certain who initially coined the expression ‘the beautiful game’ to describe football, however in Brazil, host of the 2014 World Cup as well as a nation where only the Catholic Church can match the sporting activity in popularity, football and also charm are an all-natural pair. For your average Brazilian aficionado, football is not simply an initiative to place a sphere into a net. It has, at its pinnacle, a visual dimension– it is not just a game, but an art.

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The Los Angeles County Museum of Art recently hosted an exhibition that celebrated the beauty of football. The showstopper was a video installation called Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait, which captured the enigmatic French footballer Zinedine Zidane in action during a single match. The artists, Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno, used 17 cameras to focus solely on Zidane’s movements, rather than the ball. The result was a mesmerizing portrayal of a player who appeared to be in his own world, running, adjusting his socks, and sweating profusely. It was like watching a play where all the characters had been edited out, except for the tragic hero at the center of it all.

Zidane is not just a footballer; he’s an artist on the pitch. His Algerian-French background and his tempestuous personality make him a captivating subject for works of art. His most famous moment, when he headbutted an Italian opponent during the 2006 World Cup final, has been immortalized in various forms. The Algerian-born French artist Adel Abdessemed created a 16-foot bronze sculpture of the headbutt, while the German filmmaker Harun Farocki reimagined the final as a 12-screen video installation called Deep Play. Farocki’s work showed how watching football on television is just one perspective on a multi-faceted event.

Football is not just about winning matches and scoring goals. It’s about the beauty of the sport and the artistry of the players. As Italian footballer Andrea Pirlo said, “Football is played with the head. Your feet are just tools.” So, the next time you watch a game of football, appreciate the artistry on display and remember that you’re witnessing something truly beautiful.