The portrait, which is built of chart sheets and five various colours of paint (black, blue, red, orange, and yellow), is 9 metres in width and 10.80 metres in length. Lionel Messi is a difficult opponent to contain on a football field. Ajay V. John, 20, of Muvattupuzha, found it difficult to nail down a huge painting of his hero on the basketball court of Nirmala College, his alma mater, in Muvattupuzha early this month.It was also not your typical portrait. The portrait, which is built of chart sheets and five various colours of paint (black, blue, red, orange, and yellow), is 9 metres in width and 10.80 metres in length. When seen from above, the portrait comes to life. Due to financial constraints, the original plan to use Rubik’s Cubes to make a mosaic portrait was abandoned. 280 chart sheets were used to construct the image, and four of those sheets were joined to create 70 large sheets. Then, on those sheets, 1.18 lakh 3 cm squares were drawn, with each square being labelled with the colour to be filled in. The portrait was painstakingly brought to life square by square over the course of over a year, according to Mr. Ajay, who is currently enrolled in an accounting degree but plans to pursue art full-time in the future. The original schedule called for the image to be unveiled on June 24, the football genius’ birthday. However, the independent work he did primarily in his own time was too much to achieve that deadline. It was therefore agreed to make it available right before the World Cup in Qatar.When it was eventually launched on November 2, Mr. Ajay and his three companions found it to be a difficult assignment. We began organising the chart sheets at 9.30 am, and three times the wind carried them away. When we eventually finished sticking them to the court for the fourth time, it was 2.30 p.m.