The Christ that is in procession this Good Friday 10,000 kilometers from Spain and has hidden the shields of two LaLiga teams

Soccer is much more than a sport, It is a lifestyle, a passion and, for many, even a religion.. Therefore, it is not strange that the biggest stars of world football entrust themselves to their gods, decide to include them among their tattoos and have their own Christ who processions this Good Friday. Faith is part of our society, our culture and also of Sports. Football holds countless stories that have marked Spanish society and politics but also anecdotes that link the beautiful sport with religion and especially with Holy Week. Many footballers are brothers and there are several Sevillian brotherhoods that have a close relationship with the city's teams. But if there is a story that is worth remembering during Holy Week is that of the “Christ of footballers” found in the Cathedral of Buenos Aires and who has one of his most fervent devotees in Pope Francis, as was Diego Armando Maradona.

And this Christ has very Spanish roots, specifically from Seville and hence his unique secret. The Christ of Love, found in the Church of El Salvador, processions on Palm Sunday in Seville but his Argentine brother does it every Good Friday through the streets of Buenos Aires.

His origins

The football players Scotta and Bertoni, after winning the 1978 World Cup in Argentina, played for Sevilla and also one of 'Luisito' Álvarez Duarte's close childhood and Salesian College friends, midfielder Pablo Blanco.

It was through the latter, like Scotta and Bertoni, who had just scored 16 goals each in the League, They commissioned the sculptor and image maker Álvarez Duarte to carve a Captive Christ in the image of the Christ of Great Love so that a piece of Seville could be in Buenos Aires.

Bertoni went to Fiorentina and the gunboat Scotta to his country's Railway, but his order was made and in 10 months of being in the sculptor's workshop, he already had it. It was an impressive carving of a Captive with a height of 1.87 meters carved from Lebanese cedar. Both footballers never wanted to reveal what the order cost them because what is important to them is its devotional value.

Other Argentine world champions also collaborated in this initiative, such as goalkeeper Ubaldo Matildo 'El Pato' Fillol, Olvaldo Ardiles, Alberto Tarantini and 'El Matador' Mario Alberto Kempes, so there are plenty of reasons to be known as “The Christ of Footballers.” .

A piece of Seville on Good Friday in Buenos Aires

The image was transferred from the San Pablo Airport in Seville to the Buenos Aires Airport by an Argentine Air Force plane and, since 1981, it has been venerated in the Buenos Aires cathedral and processions on Good Friday through the capital of Argentina among the devotion of faithful and football fans.

Once in the temple of the Argentine capital, the Christ was blessed by Monsignor Keegan – who was amazed by the Christ of Great Love during a visit to Seville – and, since then, he has been prayed for there and in the streets. Not only the people prostrate before him but also the one who was in those years cardinal of Buenos Aires and today Pope Francis, Jorge Bergoglio, who also shared with Scotta the passion for San Lorenzo de Almagro.

Despite the relatively brief period that both were in Seville, Scotta (1976-1980) and Bertoni (1978-1980) were marked by the city and this sculpture is proof of this.

But this Christ keeps another secret inside: the sculptor Luis Álvarez Duarte, who died in 2019, engraved a Sevilla FC shield inside the sculpture commissioned by Scotta and Bertoni – who were then footballers for the Nervionense team – But the artist, who was from Betis, could not hold back and also recorded that of the team of his loves.

Football and Easter united by the passion for colors.