The countdown is on with less than a month to go before the biggest football exhibition of its kind kicks off at Wolverhampton Art Gallery.

Football: Designing the Beautiful Game will showcase items from some of the game’s greatest players, including Pelé and Lionel Messi, alongside memorabilia from local footballing heroes.

The world class exhibition opens on Saturday, 25 May – FA Cup Final Day – and features more than 200 objects on loan from The National Football Museum in Manchester and the FIFA Museum in Zurich, as well as from private collectors.  

To reflect Wolverhampton’s rich footballing history items from the Wolves Museum will also be on display, while family friendly activities are being created to add to the fun.

Football: Designing the Beautiful Game is an international touring exhibition by the Design Museum in London which reveals the remarkable design stories behind the world’s number one sport.

Visitors can expect to discover how innovation has been used to push the game to its technical and emotional limits. From the master planning behind the world’s most famous football stadiums and the cutting edge materials used in today’s boots to the graphic design of team badges and grassroots initiatives which push back against the sport’s commercialisation.

The exhibition’s ‘second half’ features a screening of a film about another of the games’ greatest players – Zinédine Zidane.

Filmed by contemporary artists Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno ‘Zidane, a 21st Century Portrait’, follows the French star in real time over the course of a single match in 2005.

It’s assembled from footage shot by 17 synchronised cameras and captures Zidane from multiple angles, both up close and afar, and follows him even when the central action of the match moves elsewhere. 

Football: Designing the Beautiful Game, which heads to Wolverhampton from the FIFA Museum in Zurich, is a rare and fun insight into the people and processes which have made football the game it is today.

Fittingly the event is set to open at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Lichfield Street (WV1 1DU), on one of the biggest dates in the footballing calendar – FA Cup Final day. The exhibition will run until Sunday 1 September. It is free to enter, although prebooking is advised.

Fans can watch the film ‘Zidane, a 21st Century Portrait’ at the Gallery from Saturday 29 June to Sunday 20 October. Pre booking is advised for that too.

The exhibition is free and tickets can be booked via Wolverhampton Arts and Culture.

The exhibition can be seen during Gallery opening hours: Monday to Saturday (10.30am to 4.30pm) and Sunday (11am to 4pm).

Football: Designing the Beautiful Game is in collaboration with the National Football Museum and the FIFA Museum.