The footballer and his tattoo: the rule rather than the exception

You have to look through the wide range of football on TV to see a match that is not graced by the huge collection of tattoos on arms and legs. Taking off a shirt after a goal is no longer allowed, to the disappointment of scoring players who often have their entire upper body full of works of art and like to show it off.

Precious hobby

First of all, getting tattoos is quite an expensive hobby if you do it as many football players prefer to do, namely in large quantities and dimensions. With the transfer fees and signing fees that you hear in the talk shows, you don’t exactly get the impression that a player from say Manchester City has to worry about groceries, energy costs or taking out cheap car insurance for one of his cars. So there is always room for a huge lion on the back like that of Olympique Lyon striker Memphis Depay. Or the collection of drawings on the body of Zlatan Ibrahimovic (AC Milan).

Role models and the doubling of the number of tattoo parlors

The two greatest players in Europe are Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Strangely enough, the first got his first tattoo relatively late (in 2010) and Ronaldo’s body is still spotless. The Italian Juventus striker donates blood every year and wants to be 100 percent sure that his veins remain clean. In any case, the rest of the players’ guild has largely become a colorful procession of walking works of art. For years, footballers have acted as role models for their young followers, who certainly copy them in terms of appearance. It will therefore come as no surprise that the number of tattoo parlors has doubled in five years.

Uncomfortable situations in the future career

Football players should take into account a transfer to another club when getting a tattoo, especially if this concerns the rival. The failed comeback of bird of paradise Andy van der Meyde, who once broke through at Ajax, led to a riot at PSV when he ended up there after his European adventures. Eindhoven supporters did not like the fact that AJAX was still on his calf in Gothic letters and demanded that the picture be removed. And what has happened in the meantime with the portrait of Yolanthe Cabau on the hip of his former teammate Wesley Sneijder is anyone’s guess. Analyst and geek René van der Gijp did have a suggestion: ‘Then you put on a stubble beard and glasses and you have Herman Brusselmans. No problem’. These kinds of situations give an extra dimension to getting a tattoo, especially if you are a professional football player.

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