If there’s one thing that drives the youth of Goa crazy, it’s football. Over the past few years, this football crazy fever has heightened with the introduction of the Indian Super League (ISL), giving Goa its own brand in the football sphere – FC Goa.
Artist Dattaraj Naik a multidisciplinary artist hailing from Goa has encapsulated that passion for football and the beloved FC Goa team, by painting one of Goa’s biggest football themed murals on a wall near St. Sebastian Church in Aquem, Salcete. The mural depicts the state’s love for football through the eyes and aspirations of a young child, and features a boy sitting at a study table while dreaming about playing football.
The dream of every young child
This mural represents a common situation among the school children in Goa who try to keep a balance between academic studies and their favorite sport, football. It brings forth the dreams and aspirations of a young child who wants to get out onto the field but is held back due to academics and other circumstances.
Football is a religion in Goa – one that encompasses all and sundry in the state.
The mural was commissioned by St+ Art Foundation, one of India’s leaders in the Street Artspace, as a ‘gift’ to Goa, along with the FC Goa Football club. Hanif Kureshi, the founder of the organisation stated, “The Street Art Foundation has always endeavored to make art more accessible to the public and creating spaces that speak to the soul. With this mural, I think we were able to touch the hearts of many. Football is a religion in Goa – one that encompasses all and sundry in the state. Every child in Goa dreams of playing the game. This is an attempt to bring out the same. We hope to create more such pieces in the days to come. This, I hope will give budding artists a platform to show their talent and bring a vibrancy to the whole place.”
The mural also sees a Gaur in the background which represents the club FC Goa, which represents Goa in the ISL. Fans and football followers across Goa come together to support their home team and the sport.