Every four years, the world gathers to enjoy and worship the most popular team sport worldwide, football or soccer. The FIFA World Cup is a grand championship featuring the best athletes, coaches, sports directors, managers, and many other professions. But it's also an excellent opportunity for creative professionals. We designers, artists, technicians have a chance to be inspired by a country, a nation, a culture. We can approach aesthetics from a different - distant or close - part of the world. We can find the differences and the similarities with our own culture, and we can create art inspired by all this incredible journey.
I have been creating artworks inspired by the World Cups and other major sports events for more than 15 years. Sometimes commissioned by organizations, teams, or corporations and sometimes as self-initiated projects like this one.
Studying the cultural heritage of different parts of the world appreciating the traditions, customs, and creativity of other nations, tribes, groups of people, mainstream and underground, is an incredible journey I could imagine.
I enjoyed studying Arabic cultural treasures in the previous years—especially the Arabesque and Islamic patterns. For someone who has been dealing with patterns all my life, I can say the Arabesque is probably the most advanced and most challenging pattern exercise one artist can do. Advanced mathematics and geometry are needed and a lot of dedication and discipline. 
Here are the results of some of my studies in pattern design, Illustrations, portraits of footballers, logos and typographic compositions, animations. 
Special thanks to my wife and coworker Vera, who has designed most of the bannai and other types of geometric Arabic typographic compositions and animated versions. ​​​​​​​

Let's start with a 48-seconds animated presentation of this project:
The Illustrations:
And here are the mosaic portraits based on arabesque patterns. 
The best soccer players in the world are made out of their national colors.

Mohamed Salah: Egypt in Qatar 2022
Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah Hamed Mahrous Ghaly, currently playing for Liverpool FC in England's Premier League, is one of the best active football players in the world. 
Our friends and neighbors Egyptians have high hopes for this tournament.
(Partially based on a photo by Кирилл Венедиктов (CC) / Wikimedia)
Mohamed Salah - Egypt 🇪🇬
Lionel Messi: Argentina in Qatar 2022
Lionel Andrés Messi currently playing for Paris Saint-Germain in France's Ligue 1 is the second most awarded footballer of all times. There is an endless debate of who is the GOAT (Greatest of All Times) between him, Cristiano Ronaldo and others but Lionel Messi is surely an amazing champion and a great athlete to watch.
Personally I don't care about stats and awards. I really believe the guy wrote his own history and he will be remembered (obviously with Cristiano and others for ages to come)
(Partially based on a photo by Кирилл Венедиктов (CC) / Wikimedia)
Lionel Messi - Argentina 🇦🇷
Cristiano Ronaldo: Portugal in Qatar 2022
Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro is the player with the most individual trophies. A real superstar currently playing for Manchester United FC in England's Premier League. This is probably his last World Cup, even if I wouldn't bet he will stop playing soon.
(Partially based on a photo by Анна Нэсси (CC) / Wikimedia)
Cristiano Ronaldo - Portugal 🇵🇹
Neymar Jr: Brazil in Qatar 2022
Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, another star of PSG is really fun to watch. With 70 goals in 116 matches for Brazil since debuting at age 18, Neymar is the second highest goalscorer for his national team, trailing only the great Pelé.​​​​​​​ 
(Partially based on a photo by Antoine Dellenbach (CC) / Wikimedia)
Neymar Jr. - Brazil 🇧🇷
Paul Pogba: France in Qatar 2022
Paul Labile Pogba currently playing for Manchester United FC in England's Premier League is one of captains of the French national team. A great midfielder in my opinion.
(Partially based on a photo by Антон Зайцев (CC) / Wikimedia)
Paul Pogba - France 🇫🇷
Alvaro Morata: Spain in Qatar 2022
Álvaro Borja Morata Martín is a great striker. Currently playing for Juventus FC in Italy's Serie A. He is one of my favorite players because of his unique style.
(Partially based on a photo by Кирилл Венедиктов (CC) / Wikimedia)
Álvaro Morata - Spain 🇪🇸
Raheem Sterling: England in Qatar 2022
Jamaican born Raheem Shaquille Sterling is probably my favorite English player. An amazing and very creative winger and attacking midfielder currently playing for Manchester City FC in England's Premier League.​​​​​​​
(Partially based on a photo by Кирилл Венедиктов (CC) / Wikimedia)
Raheem Sterling - England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿
Ángel Di María: Argentina in Qatar 2022
Ángel Fabián Di María, another PSG player in this collection is another winger and attacking midfielder I love to watch. 
(Partially based on a photo by Кирилл Венедиктов (CC) / Wikimedia)
Argentinian football star Ángel Di María 🇦🇷
Federico Chiesa: Italy in Qatar 2022
Italy is my all time favorite national team. I have studied there, lived there and consider it my second homeland. Federico Chiesa is by far my favorite Italian player. Athletic, creative, energetic... He's currently playing for Juventus FC and he is the most promising player if Italy is not going to miss the next World Cup. 
Forza Federico! Forza Azzurri!
(Partially based on a photo by SBonsi © / Shutterstock)
Federico Chiesa - Italy 🇮🇹
The graphic compositions:
A series of designs inspired mainly from the bannai script and other traditional and contemporary Arabic typographic treatments. 

Mohamed Salah Egypt
Lionel Messi Argentina
Neimar Brazil
Raheem Sterling England
Qatar 2022
Alvaro Morata Spain
Paul Pogba France
Ronaldo Portugal
The Animations:​​​​​​​
The details:
These illustrations took hours and hours of work. Take a look at the details:

Sketches, ideas, experiments from the studies on Arabesque:
Applications in typography, logo design, poster and brochure design...
This is an experimental self initiated project. Made for educational purpose and not affiliated in any kind with the Qatar 2022, FIFA, or any other federation, team, authority or company.
Artworks are made with custom developed scripts and techniques in Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere on many Apple Mac computers. 
Many many thanks to all the photographers (mentioned above) for their photos.
Special thanks to Vera Konstanta for her precious assistance and continuous support.
Respect to the many generations of Arabic artists, calligraphers, artisans and anyone contributing to this great heritage.
Good luck Qatar 2022!
Thank you all of your visit.
If you like to see more of my sport related projects visit:
Kintsugi 2020 (For the Tokyo Olympics)
Russia 2018 (For the Russian World Cup)
Mastercard Greece: UEFA Champions League 2019 (Best Greek goals in Champions League's history)
NBA Finals 2019 (For Bleacher Report)
Bucks: The Dears from Milwaukee
PAFOS FC: The Football team of my hometown Pafos in Cyprus.
Cristiano Ronaldo: O orgulho de Portugal
Lio Messi: Els fragments de Barcelona
Oklahoma City Thunder Emoji-Hunt mosaic
Chariots of Color 2012: For the London 2012 Olympiad
NIKE Soccer 2011: For the FIFA Women World Cup 2011
Cristiano Ronaldo: El camino REAL
Turkey 2010 Basketball World Championship
Giannis Antetokounmpo / Nike: Made in Athens
Gatorade Evoluciona & New Line 3 Series campaigns
Legendary area | Легендарный Квартал
Ascot Racehorse: You Bring the Colour
Lega Basket Serie A: The New Futurists

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