Adidas mural celebrates young football legend

Gabriel Jesus mural

Brazilian footballer Gabriel Jesus is no stranger to street art. Back in 2014, when he was the tender age of 16, Jesus was photographed painting the streets of his São Paulo neighbourhood following host country Brazil's semi-final defeat to Germany. Fast-forward four years and Jesus is in Russia playing for his country. Back home, he's on the streets again, this time as a mural.

Paint The Streets – The Gabriel Jesus Mural sees Adidas football celebrate the amazing journey of Jesus as he achieved his dream of playing for his beloved Seleção (Brazil's national team). Brought to life in collaboration with a local street art collective and the local community, the giant mural was painted across 20 houses in the player's hometown of Jardim Peri.

"I began playing football on the streets," Jesus explains in the accompanying Paint The Streets video. "My mother gave me a ball, and from then on there was only football in my life." Check it out below.

This is the latest in a series of artistic tributes to the World Cup, with other favourites including a series of competition-themed designer beer mats. What we like about this mural, though, is that it aims to inspire other young footballers to follow their dreams, just like Jesus. 

Having come a long way from painting the streets of São Paulo green and yellow as a reference to his country's team, Jesus still remembers where he started out. "Brazilians are very creative, not only in football, but in life as well," says the prodigious player. "At the end, I owe my creativity to Peri, it's what got me here."

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Fingers crossed Jesus can do his country proud in this year's competition.

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Dom Carter

Dom Carter is a freelance writer who specialises in art and design. Formerly a staff writer for Creative Bloq, his work has also appeared on Creative Boom and in the pages of ImagineFX, Computer Arts, 3D World, and .net. He has been a D&AD New Blood judge, and has a particular interest in picture books.