07:03 GMT18 June 2021
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    • Spectators take photos of a new statue of Spain's Rafael Nadal on day two of the French Open tennis tournament at Stade Roland-Garros in Paris, France on Monday 31 May 2021.
    • A statue of Liverpool's Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah is on display at the World Youth Forum in Sharm El Sheikh, on 5 November 2018.
    • Coup de Tete, a 5-metre statue by Algerian-born French artist Adel Abdessemed commemorating the headbutt French footballer Zinedine Zidane gave Italian defender Marco Materazzi in the final of the 2006 Fifa World Cup is removed from Doha's corniche in Qatar on 30 October 2013 after local Islamists objected to it as a work of anti-Islam idolisation. It is now on display in the Arab Museum of Modern Art.
    • A statue of Norwegian figure skater Sonja Henie (1912-1969) in Frognerparken, Oslo.
    • A man kisses a statue of soccer star Lionel Messi shortly after its unveiling in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Tuesday 28 June 2016. Fans, players, Argentina's President Mauricio Macri and the country's greatest player Diego Maradona have asked the Argentine Messi to reconsider his decision to resign from the national team after losing the Copa America final to Chile.
    • Former soccer star Diego Maradona poses in front of his statue, commissioned as a tribute by a group of fans, at the Boca Juniors Museum (Museo de la Pasion Boquense), in La Bombonera stadium, Buenos Aires on 26 November 2006. The 2.2-metres statue weighs 300kg.
    • A 12ft x 40ft sculpture of British swimming champion Rebecca Adlington is unveiled in The Serpentine in London’s Hyde Park, as part of the Kellogg’s GreatStarts Olympic campaign, to encourage the public to support Team GB at Rio 2016 Olympics.
    • A statue of American Football player Pat Tillman Jr (1976-2004). The athlete and soldier who was killed in Afghanistan after quitting the NFL's Arizona Cardinals to join the US Army Rangers, was honoured with a statue outside the University of Phoenix Stadium before the game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Dallas Cowboys on 12 November 2006 in Glendale, Arizona.
    • Tiger Woods unveils a bronze statue of himself with his late father Earl Woods, at the Tiger Woods Learning Center while announcing the launch of a nationwide youth programme called the Fist Pump Challenge in Anaheim, California on 21 January 2008.
    • Monument to Brazilian racing driver Ayrton Senna in Imola, Italy.
    • Statue of Olympic champion Fanny Blankers Koen (1918-2004) in Rotterdam, Holland. She was the first woman to win four Olympics gold medals.
    • Portuguese football player Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid poses beneath a statue of himself during the unveiling ceremony in his hometown in Funchal, Portugal on 21 December 2014.
    • A statue of American basketball player Michael Jordan in Chicago.
    • Former Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder David Beckham poses beside his newly unveiled statue at the Legends Plaza in Carson, California on 2 March 2019.
    • A monument to the Manchester United trio of George Best, Denis Law and Sir Bobby Charlton called The United Trinity is seen outside Old Trafford stadium in Manchester. The three players helped United to become the first English team to win the European Cup in 1968.
    © AP Photo / Christophe Ena
    Spectators take photos of a new statue of Spain's Rafael Nadal on day two of the French Open tennis tournament at Stade Roland-Garros in Paris, France on Monday 31 May 2021.

    Going right back to the ancient Greeks when Myron of Eleutherae fashioned his Discus Thrower in the fifth century BC, sport and art have had a strong connection, with artists frequently inspired by outstanding athletes to memorialise their contribution to sporting history. 

    With the world gradually emerging from tough coronavirus-related restrictions and lockdowns, we are being offered an increasing number of sporting events to enjoy. 

    Football stars, figure skaters, runners, basketball players - many of them have been honoured by prominent artists who have created lasting images of these stars for posterity to delight in. 

    Check out Sputnik's gallery to see some of the works and learn the details of these athletes' outstanding achievements. 

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