Hundreds of murals of Lionel Messi have been painted around Buenos Aires since Argentina won the World Cup in Qatar just over a year ago. All photos by Buenos Aires Street Art.
Such is the passion for football in Argentina, that home owners and local businesses have paid, hired or given permission for street artists to paint a seemingly endless amount of portraits on their walls, buildings and even vehicles featuring the World Cup-winning captain. Some artworks of Messi are on a grand scale, others are in the form of stencils or even graffiti letters with Messi’s name.
Before Messi helped Argentina win the World Cup in Qatar, you could find a few stencils or artworks of the former Barcelona legend around the city – but they weren’t easy to find. Now it seems after securing Argentina’s third World Cup victory, if there is a wall space, mmm, who or what should we paint? Not him again! It seems there is no limit to Messi mural mania.
Such is Messi’s popularity, it seems that almost anyone is cashing in on his fame. Conan O’Brien visited Buenos Aires in December and his production team paid Argentine street artist Maxi Bagnasco to paint a mural of the U.S. chat show host flanked by Messi and The Pope on Gorriti Street in Palermo Hollywood. Many north American tourists seem to find the mural hilarious how O’Brien would deem himself worthy or famous enough to appear alongside the world’s greatest footballer and the head of the Roman Catholic Church. Like most Argentines, we just don’t really get the joke.
Many bars and pubs have also commissioned murals of Messi on their walls and fronts like La Chopperia in Palermo Soho painted by artist Uasen 94.
Other murals feature Diego Maradona passing the baton on to Messi or D10S looking down on him from heaven.
Argentine stencil artist Cartooneros has painted numerous stencils of Messi around Buenos Aires.
In the Province of Buenos Aires and more working class areas, there is also no shortage of murals of Messi.
Even on the roads and motorways in Buenos Aires, you can spot vehicles painted with portraits of Messi like this truck with the football legend holding the World Cup trophy.
You can also find murals of Messi in the province of Buenos Aires like this one in Tandil painted by Oliver Sink depicting the Balón d’Or winner as a Greek god.
Before Argentina’s World Cup win, you couldn’t find many murals or stencil featuring Messi. This mural (above) by artist and illustrator Javier López painted in Saavedra is the only mural we’ve photographed celebrating Argentina’s Copa America victory in 2020. The mural includes the names of each player in Argentina’s team and squad as well as the manager Lionel Scaloni.
Also see our post about more Messi street art in Buenos Aires painted before World Cup 2022.
All photos © Buenos Aires Street Art