BUENOS AIRES—An Argentine artist has painted a giant mural of late soccer legend Diego Maradona in Buenos Aires to commemorate what would have been the World Cup winner’s 62nd birthday at the end of October.
Muralist Martín Ron filled the 1,600-square-meter (17,000- square-ft) wall in the heart of the city with a depiction of Maradona, based on a photo of him urging his team on during the World Cup final against Germany in 1990, which Argentina went on to lose.
“We already know that he was the best player in the world, but who was he as a person? He was a warrior, he went up against adversity, even all injured, he faced whatever came at him,” Ron, 41, told Reuters.
Maradona died of cardiac arrest at the age of 60 in late 2020, which sparked off a nationwide period of mourning for the troubled star who was revered by millions and nicknamed “D10S,” a play on his shirt number and the Spanish word for “God.”
The nearly completed mural will take in total some 25 days of work for Ron and a team of seven artists, and uses 800 liters (200 gallons) of paint. Ron said it was the largest mural of Maradona ever—around 45 meters (148 ft) high, similar in height to New York’s Statue of Liberty.
Ron added three stars to the mural to represent Argentina’s two World Cup wins in 1978 and 1986—and what he hopes will be another in Qatar this year.
Cars driving by honked their horns and passersby stopped to take photos.
“On a sporting level, he is my greatest idol,” said Sebastián Martínez, a 46-year-old physical education teacher who had a Maradona tattoo on his leg. “It is a nice tribute to him.”
By Lucila Sigal