Football legend’s statue gets mocked for humongous bulge but the artist says it's deliberate
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An Argentinian sculptor has taken creative license and provided a statue of the legendary former River Plate player and coach Marcelo Gallardo with a huge golden bulge.
Well, that's one way to be celebrated.
The 26-foot-tall sculpture was unveiled outside the club's Monumental Stadium, depicting the football star holding the Copa Libertadores above his head.
However, the bugle below his midsection is almost the same size.
The noticeable crotch tent left many in hysterics, as one person joked on Facebook: "Earning such achievements as the most successful coach in that club is really 'hard'."
Another said: "Wow, does the sculptor want to highlight all the man's charms."
A third commented: "Well, that should have conservatives clutching their pearls. Lol."
While another wrote: "The new battle of the bulge."
However, sculptor Mercedes Savall maintains that enhancing the icon's crown jewels was all in the name of art.
"This is [soccer], fans always ask the players and the manager to 'put a lot of eggs [effort] into it' and it was like a subliminal message through the sculpture," Savall told Infobae.
And according to the artist, Gallardo had no complaints.
"Luckily, he didn't ask for explanations about the statue, he let me work in peace," she told the outlet.
She also told the radio show De Aca en Mas the statute is meant to be observed 'underneath'.
"It's more [the bulge] noticeable in a photograph than in person. It was based on the Bull of Wall Street [in New York]. I exaggerated that part and I understood that it has to do with a gesture towards the fans. It's not sexual, it has to do with other things, such as vitality. The real fans understand it," she added.
The Argentinean is the most successful manager in the club's history.
Gallardo represented Argentina in two FIFA World Cups before he retired in 2011.
He then became the manager of River Plate, leading the team to win 14 trophies, including three Copa Libertadores triumphs, before leaving in October to take a break from coaching.
At the unveiling of his new sculpture over the weekend, the coach made no mention of the elephant in the room.
Instead, he focused on thanking the club.
"I want to express my gratitude to my family, my friends, my coaching staff and the players who have accompanied us,' he said, as per Daily Mail.
"This club is great for its history but also for its glories. Thanks to the fans. I will always love you. I grew up in this club and I will die in this club."