Lionel Messi, captain of the Argentine national team, led this Thursday the inauguration of an imposing statue of Diego Armando Maradona, five meters high and two tons in weight, in one of the entrances to the Unique Mother of Cities Stadium in Santiago del Estero, Argentina.
In the preview of the match between Argentina and Chile for the South American Qualifiers for the Qatar World Cup 2022, Messi along with the rest of the squad and the president of AFA, Claudio Tapia, participated in the ceremony where the statue in tribute to Maradona was discovered. Also present was the governor of Santiago del Estero, Gerardo Zamora, who received a gift from AFA a shirt of the selected team with the number 10 and his name on the back.
The statue was made by the sculptor Carlos Benavídez, based in Buenos Aires and present in Santiago del Estero, who said that the work was made "entirely in bronze" with the intention of paying homage to the 'Great Captain' of the Argentine National Team ".
"At the end of December they commissioned me and it has been a pleasure, as well as being here in Santiago that I did not know. I had never come, I fell in love with the people, with their warmth," said Benavídez, a renowned plastic artist nationally and internationally for his sculptural works of figurative expressionist style.
The artist confided that Maradona's position in the sculpture "is very characteristic, with the ball stuck to his left foot" and that it is also inspired by "the time of '86, which was the time of his greatest splendor."
He even pointed out that it has tasty details for fans of the star, as it also represents "his earring and his characteristic ring" and the "10" on his back with the selected shirt and shorts.
Installed on a one-meter pedestal, the statue is located in the eastern access of the Sole Mother of Cities Stadium, overlooking the Dulce River, which separates the capital of Santiago from the city of La Banda, and the Costanera Norte avenue that also carries the name of Diego Armando Maradona.