In the heart of the iconic city of Moscow, the capital of the Putin-land in Russia stands the Russian Academy of Arts. For the longest time, it’s been known as the USSR Academy of Arts and at present, it happens to be among the largest and most revered cultural institution in the country.

And of course, there’s little surprise to learn just how important the subject of art really is, in mother Russia. After all, art education is considered a serious vocation and an enthusiastic pursuit in the country. Art has shaped the landscape of Russia for centuries together. Names like Mikhail Kaneev, Lev Russov, Arkhip Kuindzhi and, Boris Kustodiev are household names.

But in the current sense of the world, so are the names of Messi and Ronaldo- two of the planet’s most famous footballers who happen to be in Russia, participating in what could be possibly called the magnum opus of all sporting competitions: FIFA World Cup 2018. And believe it or not, both Messi and Ronaldo happen to be a permanent part of the famous Russian Academy of Arts, truth be told.

In case you are wondering why then prepare to embrace your favourite footballers in a different light altogether.

Messi and Ronaldo
AP News

Here’s what’s happened. It is confirmed news that both Messi and Ronaldo have been immortalised as paintings in the famous Russian Academy of Arts in Moscow, Russia. The collection at the Russian Academy of Arts also happens to have a painting of former French footballer, turned actor, Eric Cantona.

It is believed that it was the idea of the Russian government to “immortalise” two of the greatest footballers on the face of the earth, at this point in time. Endeavouring to make the Russian Academy of Art an important shining beacon, the sparkle of two of the latest footballers has been added to the academy.

In a simple instance, it could be suggested, Messi and Ronaldo aren’t just great footballers; they happen to be the fulcrum of the current footballing spectre in the world. Interestingly, even Egyptian football star Mohamed Salah has also been honoured at the prestigious academy. When the news of Salah’s induction at the Russian Academy of Arts broke out on social media, it sent hundreds of thousands of his fans back in Egypt into a tizzy. However, this could act as a healing balm to assuage the feeling of being knocked out from the group stage in the tournament.

Speaking on the occasion of the grand celebration at the Russian Academy of Arts, the Olympic Channel seemed keen to share its feeling regarding Messi and Ronaldo’s celebratory induction.

The artwork is a brainchild of Italian Gabrizio Birimmbelli,” according to a video released by the Olympic Channel. Anastasia Sergeeva, who is a part of the museum told the Olympic Channel that, “Birimmbelli is not a professional artist, he is just a big fan of football. So he uses modern technologies like computer graphics to make these pictures.”

“Beyond the pitch, these football legends look to earn the crown,” the Olympic Channel tweeted.

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