What would a great goal be worth on the art market?
Having seen replays of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s remarkable backheel goal for Inter Milan on Saturday, I reckon it’s one of those rare moments when football reaches the realm of art.
I realise you risk sounding like a wally by comparing something frivolous like football to such a serious business.
I’m not saying it was as good as the Mona Lisa or the Sistine Chapel ceiling. But there’s a lot of rubbish around that passes itself off as proper art. One Italian artist, Piero Manzoni, famously sold cans of his own excrement in the 1960s and while I’m no critic, given the balance and coordination Ibrahimovic showed at the San Siro, I know which I prefer.
I’d say the Sweden striker’s goal was worth a minor piece by Picasso, maybe one of his sketches or his painted ceramics. I think it’s fair to say that nothing we’ve seen on a football field (yet) rivals the masterpieces of greats like Raphael, Michelangelo or Turner.
I’d rank soccer’s most sublime moment, Maradona’s second goal against England at the 1986 World Cup, alongside a major modern work like Andy Warhol’s Campbell Soup Cans.
Of course, the value of an artwork is in the eye of the beholder. For me, Gary Mabbutt’s own goal in the 1987 FA Cup final had as much surreal beauty as Salvador Dali’s The Persistence of Memory, although I’ll probably only have the backing of a few fellow Coventry fans on that one.
What do you think? How much are your favourite football moments worth with respect to artworks? Have I been mean in my assessment of Maradona’s great goal against England? Or is comparing football to art just barmy?
PHOTO: Inter Milan’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates after scoring a stunning goal against Bologna during their Serie A match at the San Siro, Oct. 4, 2008. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini