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Interview

Street football

Two new books exploring the art and colour of the beautiful game have got us turning the pages

WORDS Sheridan Bird

One of the pleasures of strolling through a city for the first time on the eve of a Champions League match is finding unexpected art celebrating local heroes. Whether it’s the rise of social media or companies cottoning on to the reach of huge hand-painted images, it feels as if there are more murals dotting the cityscape than ever. Writer and broadcaster Andy Brassell reveals some of the best around the world in his book Football Murals: A Celebration of Soccer’s Greatest Street Art.

As Brassell points out in his introduction, murals “speak for us when we’re still looking for the words to express that unconditional commitment and that shared understanding we have for our teams and their history. There’s no language, no loss of tone or nuance, no misunderstanding. Just admiration, aesthetic, passion and devotion.”

The 89-page adventure features marvellous renderings of many of the current Champions League’s biggest stars, from Lionel Messi to Kylian Mbappé, Harry Kane to Mo Salah. Some are classic portraits, others display a more abstract approach. All radiate love. Mammoth pictures on the end of a row of terraced housing are a time-worn favourite in the United Kingdom. In Spain, France, Italy, Brazil and Argentina, public walls and tower blocks are the preferred canvas.

Each chapter is based on a single colour or a famous combination, such as the red and black of AC Milan that was dreamt up by English founder Herbert Kilpin.
By

It’s not just current faces either: fans of Johan Cruyff, Zinédine Zidane, Pelé, Kenny Dalglish and Diego Maradona won’t be disappointed (the former Argentina and Napoli No10 gets his own chapter). Managers don’t miss out; there is plenty of adoration for Jürgen Klopp and José Mourinho. Indeed, the mural of the Portuguese coach on his moped was transferred to canvas and displayed on the University of Tirana building in the Albanian capital ahead of last season’s Europa Conference League final.

Art can be a political tool, and Brassell includes a piece dedicated to US star and equal rights activist Megan Rapinoe. Marcus Rashford’s sterling work to help underprivileged children is also documented. Then there are the more unusual offerings, like Pelé giving Paul McCartney a cheeky kiss on the cheek, Zlatan Ibrahimović and Romelu Lukaku having a feisty tête-à-tête, and Maradona’s face doubling up as a window. Whoever your idol, you’ll probably find them in Brassell’s lovingly curated tome – and you might even learn something about one or two personalities you didn’t know so well.

True colours

Do you know which two-time European Cup winners were inspired by Italian revolutionary Giuseppe Garibaldi when they chose their principal colour in 1865? Or which Champions League conquerors boast a bee as their symbol?

The answers, and plenty more, can be found in Calciorama: I Colori della Passione (The Colours of Passion), by Osvaldo Casanova, Gino Cervi and Gianni Sacco. Written in Italian, this fact-packed tome explores football across the colour spectrum. The bold and vibrant illustrations from Casanova – a regular CJ contributor –  bring the anecdotes to life. Each chapter is based on a single colour or a famous combination, such as the red and black of AC Milan that was dreamt up by English founder Herbert Kilpin. The book explores his “devilish” motivations among a vast array of origin stories.

As for the posers we asked at the start, Nottingham Forest were the team that plumped for Garibaldi red. And yes, 1997 Champions League victors Dortmund have a bee mascot. Whatever your club allegiance, Calciorama is a highly informative and visual treat.

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Interview

Street football

Two new books exploring the art and colour of the beautiful game have got us turning the pages

WORDS Sheridan Bird

One of the pleasures of strolling through a city for the first time on the eve of a Champions League match is finding unexpected art celebrating local heroes. Whether it’s the rise of social media or companies cottoning on to the reach of huge hand-painted images, it feels as if there are more murals dotting the cityscape than ever. Writer and broadcaster Andy Brassell reveals some of the best around the world in his book Football Murals: A Celebration of Soccer’s Greatest Street Art.

As Brassell points out in his introduction, murals “speak for us when we’re still looking for the words to express that unconditional commitment and that shared understanding we have for our teams and their history. There’s no language, no loss of tone or nuance, no misunderstanding. Just admiration, aesthetic, passion and devotion.”

The 89-page adventure features marvellous renderings of many of the current Champions League’s biggest stars, from Lionel Messi to Kylian Mbappé, Harry Kane to Mo Salah. Some are classic portraits, others display a more abstract approach. All radiate love. Mammoth pictures on the end of a row of terraced housing are a time-worn favourite in the United Kingdom. In Spain, France, Italy, Brazil and Argentina, public walls and tower blocks are the preferred canvas.

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Each chapter is based on a single colour or a famous combination, such as the red and black of AC Milan that was dreamt up by English founder Herbert Kilpin.
By

It’s not just current faces either: fans of Johan Cruyff, Zinédine Zidane, Pelé, Kenny Dalglish and Diego Maradona won’t be disappointed (the former Argentina and Napoli No10 gets his own chapter). Managers don’t miss out; there is plenty of adoration for Jürgen Klopp and José Mourinho. Indeed, the mural of the Portuguese coach on his moped was transferred to canvas and displayed on the University of Tirana building in the Albanian capital ahead of last season’s Europa Conference League final.

Art can be a political tool, and Brassell includes a piece dedicated to US star and equal rights activist Megan Rapinoe. Marcus Rashford’s sterling work to help underprivileged children is also documented. Then there are the more unusual offerings, like Pelé giving Paul McCartney a cheeky kiss on the cheek, Zlatan Ibrahimović and Romelu Lukaku having a feisty tête-à-tête, and Maradona’s face doubling up as a window. Whoever your idol, you’ll probably find them in Brassell’s lovingly curated tome – and you might even learn something about one or two personalities you didn’t know so well.

True colours

Do you know which two-time European Cup winners were inspired by Italian revolutionary Giuseppe Garibaldi when they chose their principal colour in 1865? Or which Champions League conquerors boast a bee as their symbol?

The answers, and plenty more, can be found in Calciorama: I Colori della Passione (The Colours of Passion), by Osvaldo Casanova, Gino Cervi and Gianni Sacco. Written in Italian, this fact-packed tome explores football across the colour spectrum. The bold and vibrant illustrations from Casanova – a regular CJ contributor –  bring the anecdotes to life. Each chapter is based on a single colour or a famous combination, such as the red and black of AC Milan that was dreamt up by English founder Herbert Kilpin. The book explores his “devilish” motivations among a vast array of origin stories.

As for the posers we asked at the start, Nottingham Forest were the team that plumped for Garibaldi red. And yes, 1997 Champions League victors Dortmund have a bee mascot. Whatever your club allegiance, Calciorama is a highly informative and visual treat.

Interview

Street football

Two new books exploring the art and colour of the beautiful game have got us turning the pages

WORDS Sheridan Bird

One of the pleasures of strolling through a city for the first time on the eve of a Champions League match is finding unexpected art celebrating local heroes. Whether it’s the rise of social media or companies cottoning on to the reach of huge hand-painted images, it feels as if there are more murals dotting the cityscape than ever. Writer and broadcaster Andy Brassell reveals some of the best around the world in his book Football Murals: A Celebration of Soccer’s Greatest Street Art.

As Brassell points out in his introduction, murals “speak for us when we’re still looking for the words to express that unconditional commitment and that shared understanding we have for our teams and their history. There’s no language, no loss of tone or nuance, no misunderstanding. Just admiration, aesthetic, passion and devotion.”

The 89-page adventure features marvellous renderings of many of the current Champions League’s biggest stars, from Lionel Messi to Kylian Mbappé, Harry Kane to Mo Salah. Some are classic portraits, others display a more abstract approach. All radiate love. Mammoth pictures on the end of a row of terraced housing are a time-worn favourite in the United Kingdom. In Spain, France, Italy, Brazil and Argentina, public walls and tower blocks are the preferred canvas.

Each chapter is based on a single colour or a famous combination, such as the red and black of AC Milan that was dreamt up by English founder Herbert Kilpin.
By

It’s not just current faces either: fans of Johan Cruyff, Zinédine Zidane, Pelé, Kenny Dalglish and Diego Maradona won’t be disappointed (the former Argentina and Napoli No10 gets his own chapter). Managers don’t miss out; there is plenty of adoration for Jürgen Klopp and José Mourinho. Indeed, the mural of the Portuguese coach on his moped was transferred to canvas and displayed on the University of Tirana building in the Albanian capital ahead of last season’s Europa Conference League final.

Art can be a political tool, and Brassell includes a piece dedicated to US star and equal rights activist Megan Rapinoe. Marcus Rashford’s sterling work to help underprivileged children is also documented. Then there are the more unusual offerings, like Pelé giving Paul McCartney a cheeky kiss on the cheek, Zlatan Ibrahimović and Romelu Lukaku having a feisty tête-à-tête, and Maradona’s face doubling up as a window. Whoever your idol, you’ll probably find them in Brassell’s lovingly curated tome – and you might even learn something about one or two personalities you didn’t know so well.

True colours

Do you know which two-time European Cup winners were inspired by Italian revolutionary Giuseppe Garibaldi when they chose their principal colour in 1865? Or which Champions League conquerors boast a bee as their symbol?

The answers, and plenty more, can be found in Calciorama: I Colori della Passione (The Colours of Passion), by Osvaldo Casanova, Gino Cervi and Gianni Sacco. Written in Italian, this fact-packed tome explores football across the colour spectrum. The bold and vibrant illustrations from Casanova – a regular CJ contributor –  bring the anecdotes to life. Each chapter is based on a single colour or a famous combination, such as the red and black of AC Milan that was dreamt up by English founder Herbert Kilpin. The book explores his “devilish” motivations among a vast array of origin stories.

As for the posers we asked at the start, Nottingham Forest were the team that plumped for Garibaldi red. And yes, 1997 Champions League victors Dortmund have a bee mascot. Whatever your club allegiance, Calciorama is a highly informative and visual treat.

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