It’s not just on matchdays in footballing stadia around the globe where fans show appreciation for their biggest idols.
When certain players excel on the field or bring moments of joy to a packed out crowd it can often strike a chord with not only match-going supporters, but also the community as a whole.
In turn, those closely associated with said players often pay homage to the icons, cult heroes and legends of the game who have consistently shone or displayed a heart-on-sleeve mentality, past or present.
Appreciation manifests itself in different forms. From statues to songs, fans will never let fade the memory of brilliant footballing moments.
But whereas statues can often only be viewed during home games, and songs only chanted on the terraces, there is one signal of admiration that keeps football alive away from the stands: murals.
With that in mind, here are some of the most iconic football-themed pieces of artwork you can see around Europe.
Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool)
Location: L1 0BP
This glorious masterpiece can be viewed in the heart of Liverpool’s Baltic district. The realistic mural has immortalised Jurgen Klopp on Merseyside and was created by street artist Akse in December 2018.
Francesco Totti (Roma)
Club legends don’t get much bigger than Francesco Totti, who spent his entire playing career at AS Roma before retiring in 2017. The city of Rome is full of Totti artwork, from an image of him as a monk releasing doves to a huge rendition of his head on the side of a school.
However, the murals have been defaced on several occasions throughout the years, with rival Lazio fans often accused of being the culprits.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
Location: L4 0TF
This three-storey tall mural of Trent Alexander-Arnold was unveiled earlier this year on the wall of a house in Sybil Road, Anfield. It was inspired by the tyro’s meteoric rise to prominence and organised by The Anfield Wrap, a Liverpool fan podcast, who sought to commemorate a local lad fulfilling his dreams.
Surprise Premier League title winners (Leicester)
Location: LE4 1AU
It was the story of a lifetime for Leicester City fans in 2016 as Claudio Ranieri’s Foxes defied all the odds to clinch a first-ever Premier League title. Supporters won’t forget the importable feat in a hurry, but artist Richard Wilson has ensured the memory will live on forever as he emblazoned the heroes of that epic campaign on a wall in Kane Street.
Can you name which iconic Roma player is featured in this mural? Head to Squawka’s Instagram page if you know the answer for the chance to win tickets to see Roma play Napoli in Serie A.
Sean Dyche (Burnley)
Location: BB11 1SD
To mark Burnley’s return to the Premier League in 2016 professional graffiti artist Paul Jones spray painted a mural of Sean Dyche onto the side of a derelict building in Westgate, taking inspiration from a similar photo of Barack Obama.
Graeme Sharp (Everton)
Location: L4 4EJ
Graeme Sharp won two first division titles with Everton, earning an official mural on the side of Goodison Park. And just across the way on Goodison Road, Sharp – who scored over 100 goals for the Toffees – was given a more abstract illustration that seems to leap out of the wall as fans make their way to games.
Johan Cruyff (Barcelona)
?[SPORT] | Barcelona unveil special Cruyff mural at their training ground.
?The new Johan Cruyff Stadium will be welcoming supporters to the ground with a huge mural that symbolises the way the great man was always so supportive of nurturing young footballing talent. pic.twitter.com/iEIPZKlnL2
— BarçaTimes (@BarcaTimes) August 1, 2019
Location: C. d’Arístides Maillol, 12, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
Earlier this year, Barcelona unveiled a brand new Johan Cruyff-inspired mural right outside their famous Camp Nou stadium. It was created by Axe Colors, who also illustrated the tunnel at the Nou Camp, and includes two famous Cruyff quotes. The Spanish translates to: “I’d rather win 5-4 than 1-0.” The Dutchman will forever epitomise Barcelona’s philosophy.
Certain moments last forever.
We present to you the #InterWall! ?
— Inter (@Inter_en) March 20, 2018
Location: Via Pietro Borsieri, 5, 20159 Milano MI, Italy
Inter Milan officially revealed the “InterWall” in March 2018 to celebrate their 110th anniversary. However, the unveiling had to be delayed after the wall was defaced by AC Milan fans, who vandalised the mural with red paint.
Giacinto Facchetti (Inter Milan)
Location: Piazzale Angelo Moratti, 20151 Milano MI, Italy
Giacinto Facchetti spent his entire playing career at Inter and became chairman of the club in 2004 but sadly passed away two years later at the age of 64. The club retired the number three shirt in his honour, and an incredible mural soon appeared near the San Siro to pay tribute to the Italian.
Location(s): Cregagh Road, Belfast & Windsor Park Stadium
George Best is an absolute legend for Manchester United and Northern Ireland and one of the most celebrated greats of the game.
His image is etched onto the walls of Cregagh Road, Belfast and also next to Windsor Park stadium, alongside former Everton and Sunderland forward Billy Bingham.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Ajax)
Location: A childcare centre, in east Amsterdam
A statue of Ibrahimovic was recently put up in Sweden, but Ajax have been celebrating his legacy for years. The former Eredivisie star can be seen swinging his foot at a ball, clad in the club’s blue away strip on a wall in Amsterdam – the work of Kamp Seedorf
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