The Trequartista – Art and Football United

Hans Ulrich Obrist and Juan Mata

The Trequartista – Art and Football United bridges MIF23 with the 2025 edition of Manchester International Festival.

Football and art come into play in this two-year project that kicked off at MIF23 with a new work by Tino Sehgal.

The Trequartista is a legendary position in football – one claimed by pioneers on and off the pitch. But in a world where styles of play are increasingly driven by stats, is their art a dying one?

The Trequartista – Art and Football United brings together 11 contemporary artists and 11 footballers to produce new works inspired by the Trequartista. Stepping into each other’s creative fields, they ask, what can art and football do for each other?

All about reclaiming the beautiful game, The Trequartista encourages a transfer of ideas between art and football – without shying away from either field's complex relationships with class, race, gender and sexuality.

The Trequartista is co-curated by renowned curator/MIF Artistic Advisor Hans Ulrich Obrist, World Cup/Champions League-winning footballer Juan Mata and writer Josh Willdigg. The project sees 11 teams of footballers and artists work their magic together over two years, culminating in a group show at the 2025 edition of Manchester International Festival.

The project kicked off at MIF23 with a world premiere of This entry – a new work by artist Tino Sehgal, made with the involvement of Juan Mata and presented at the National Football Museum and the Whitworth.

Known for artworks composed using exclusively the human body, voice and social interaction, Tino has exhibited his work at the world’s biggest art galleries – from New York’s Guggenheim to London’s Tate Modern, Paris’ Palais de Tokyo and Hong Kong’s Tai Kwun. This entry was a playful choreographic exchange between a footballer, violinist, cyclist and a singing dancer.

Just can’t get enough of the beautiful game? Keep your eyes peeled for Formations – a series of one-on-one talks between artists and footballers launching this summer.



Commissioned and produced by Factory International


The Trequartista kicked off with a world premiere of Tino Sehgal's This entry as part of MIF23. The project continues in the 2025 Festival. More information on Access for This entry can be found here.

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