Footballers Tattoos and the Stories Behind
The art of Tattooing has been practiced across the globe since at least Neolithic times, as evidenced by mummified preserved skin, ancient art, and the archaeological record.
People have different ideas about tattooing. Many believe that tattoos are a symbol of bravery, while many consider it as an art to making the skin more beautiful and still others consider it as a taboo and desecration of the skin.
In the soccer world, tattoos have different meanings, but what is interesting, is that there are not many football players who do not wear any tattoos. Nevertheless, it is interesting to know that among these names, there is one of the most famous football players of all time, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Back to the players with tattoos, you probably know that these tattoos usually have symbolic meanings; sometimes they represent milestone events in the football player’s lives, while others are used as tributes to special people. Knowing about the story behind some of the famous footballer’s tattoos, we have decided to go through the most interesting tattoos today. Join us in this article if you are also interested in this subject.
Soccer players’ tattoos and their stories
Are you ready to know more? Let’s keep on then.
Just a look at the famous Barcelona player and you will make sure that he loves tattoos.
The first point about the 29-year-old tattoos is that they are mostly religious tattoos.
On his upper right arm, there is the tattoo of Jesus Christ, while his lower right arm is covered with a drawing of a rosary bead, some clouds, and stars. There are also the initials of his parents’ names which is a sign of his gratitude towards them.
It’s interesting to know that he even has a tattoo on his finger, which translates to ‘HOPE’. This one is his fans' inspiration.
One of the most famous players in the case of football players’ tattoos, is Sergio Ramos. That’s because the famous soccer player has almost covered all his body with tattoos.
He has tattoos everywhere! On his back, his right wrist, his ear, upper neck, hip, calf, right bicep, and who knows where will he have his next tattoo?
Overall, Ramos has 42 tattoos on his body. One of his most famous tattoos, is his left tricep one; the picture of a Hexagram which is a six-pointed star, tattooed in the midnight sky full of clouds.
The six-pointed star is a symbol of the six traits, which are Love, Knowledge, Wisdom, Life, Understanding, and Loyalty. This is also called the Star of David or the Star of Freedom. It is interesting to know that Sergio got this tattoo in honor of her Grandmother, Nena who gifted a pendant of the same design to his mother.
Ramos also has the tattoo of a lion on his upper back which is the head of a Lion with the cloudy sky at dawn, plains of a jungle and a tree are tattooed in the background of the Lion. However, the lion is not the only animal Ramos has tattooed on his body. To complement his Lion, the right side of his upper back contains the tattoo of the head of a Wolf done in a night sky. In addition, there is another little wolf howling at a mountain top beneath the full moon tattooed in the background of the head of the Larger wolf tattoo.
The left side of Ramos’ lower back contains the tattoo of a heart with a flame over it being pierced by 8 daggers. There is also the word ‘Cicatrices’ hacked below the heart. The right side contains a tattoo of Jesus Christ with his hands joined in prayer holding a rosemary necklace with the Cross and stars as pendants. The crown of thorns that Jesus is wearing contains three parts with the initials, J and S written on the ones on the sides and the symbol of the Cross inked on the middle one. Below all this, are the words, MIRIAN 4 RENE followed by a Cross.
Now if we want to talk about the meaning of these tattoos, we have to say that the heart is the symbol called the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which along with the word, Cicatrices symbolizes the scars left by healed wounds. The Jesus Christ tattoo represents his religious views and the MIRIAM 4 RENE stands for his sister, Miriam Ramos, and his brother, Rene Ramos both around the number he wears on his Jersey, 4. The cross at the end is for the blessings and well being he wishes for them and his family.
Our next football player, with tattoos on his body is Daniel Agger, who himself has claimed that his tattoos are just a bunch of pictures and have no meaning. Odd! Huh? Anyway, it is definitely interesting to know more about these meaningless shapes.
His back resembles a graveyard that has the tombstones of kings from the years gone by. These kings are Gorm the Old, the Viking King Sven Forkbeard, the ‘Bluetooth’ King Harald, and King Cnut the Great.
There is also a Danish symbol, Holger the Bane. It would be interesting for you to know that the legends say the statue will turn to flesh and blood if the nation is ever threatened. Beside all these symbolic signs, there are other tattoos carved on the famous player body. YWNA are the letters hacked on the four fingers of his right hand plus the picture of a chain hanging from his neck to the stomach.
Do you know the meaning of any of these tattoos? If yes, let us know in the comment section.
Like many other famous football players, Neymar has many tattoos carved on his body. As many of you may know, his most famous tattoo, is the picture of his sister. In fact, Neymar loves his sister Rafaela bokram so much that he has a tattoo of her on his arm. The two have a strong bond and so he honored their close sibling relationship and showed his brotherly love by tattooing Rafaela x' face on his arm. This is while in return Rafaela has tattooed Neymar’s eyes on her arm. In addition, on Neymar’s left arm upper part there’s a tattoo of a diamond with the word ‘Sorella’ below it, which means sister in Italian. It has to be informed that Rafaela has a similar one tattoo but the title is ‘Fratello’ which means brother.
Next tattoo to talk about, regards his religious beliefs. Many of us may know that Neymar is a religious man and to show this, he has a on the triceps of his left arm. The word he has tattooed here is ‘Corintias’ which refers to a verse from the Bible.
However, that’s not all. Neymar has a crown inked on his left hand ring finger, while the name of his sister, Rafaella, can be seen on his right hand wrist, which is accompanied by the name of his son a little above. He has also shown his love for his mum by hacking her name on his left wrist.
As of 2017, Beckham had more than 50 tattoos. There are names of his sons Romeo, Cruz and Brooklyn, and of his wife Victoria. His wife's name, tattooed on his left forearm, is in Sanskrit script as "Vihctoria". He has said that the idea of having tattoos came to him in 1999 after the birth of his son. Beckham said: "When you see me, you see the tattoos. You see an expression of how I feel about Victoria and the boys. They're part of me”. In addition, the name of his daughter can be seen on his left collarbone.
In 2018, Beckham added to his collection with a tattoo of a solar system covering the left side of his scalp. Wait! That’s not all! Beckham has the tattoo of the Man of Sorrows on his right hip that he engraved after his grandfather died. This tattoo is accompanied by a Chinese proverb on the left hip, which translates to “life and death have determined appointments, riches and honour depend upon heaven”.
The number ‘VII’, his United jersey number is engraved on his lower right arm and on his back there are the names of his children, Brooklyn and Romeo, while in the middle of these two names is a sketch of the guardian angel, which was his first tattoo.
Toby Alderweireld is the next footballer we want to mention is the list of famous footballer’s tattoos. The 31-years-old Belgian has a tattoo of his brothers’ first names, “Steve” and “Sven” positioned on his left side of his chest.
On the bicep of his right arm, he has the quote tattooed: “Each day I come closer to the home where I was born”. This tattoo is a clear representation of his own life as the Tottenham player has explained: “Every day I come closer to the moment when I return home. It’s the summary of my life story.”
While Alderweireld has an overall of six different tattoos on his body, we have decided to talk about just one more and skip the rest.
Our last chosen tattoo is the Gothic Church Toby has inked inside of his right forearm. If you wonder why you have to know that The Cathedral of Our Lady in Antwerp is the largest Gothic Church in the Low Countries. A 123 meters high, northern tower, which in stone lacework is tattooed on his arm. Antwerp is Tony’s home city.
Next to talk about, is Brazil’s national team captain, Dani Alves. Overall, the São Paulo right-back has 9 tattoos and the first one to talk about is Jesus Christ art on the lower portion of his left arm.
Dani’s next interesting tattoo is what he has hacked on his chest. Taking a close look at his body, you can see the name of his kids inked- Daniel Jr and on his pelvis, Victoria along with their birthdays in roman numerals on the famous player’s chest.
Alves is known as a family lover football player, because of the tattoo of his children, and the next tattoo we are not sure whom it belongs to. In fact, on his top right arm, he has inked the face of a woman some say she’s his mum and some believe it’s his wife, Dinorah.
Widely regarded as one of the best strikers of his generation, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the next player we decided to talk about in our article.
Not only he is cool and brilliant he has a lot to say when it comes to tattoos.
Zlatan has nine different tattoos inked on his body with different colors and shapes. Time to take a closer look at them. Agree?
Zlatan has a set of numbers hacked on his right wrist which is referred to as “Zlatan Ibrahimović code”. If you are curious about this code, you need to know that it’s nothing but the birthdates of the male members in his family. They symbolize his father Sefik, late brother Sapko, another brother Aleksander and the days on which his two sons Maximilian and Vince were born. In addition, Zlatan has tattooed the names of his two sons in Arabic fonts on top of his right arm. He also has a tattoo on his left wrist in honor of his wife, Helena. The tattoo is the picture of two playing cards; the ace of hearts featuring a letter ‘H’ inside.
The next player with awesome tattoos on our list is Lionel Messi. Known as the best player of all time, Messi must definitely be on our list. The Argentine star has 18 tattoos, in which there is a tattoo of his mum on his back. Messi has always been very close to his mother and considers her as his lucky charm for helping him to achieve his dreams.
His next interesting tattoo is the ‘HandPrints’ Tattoo on his left calf muscle. He inked this tattoo on his calf after he became a father for the very first time on November 2, 2012, as it is the handprints of his newborn baby boy ‘Thiago’. This is while he also has his son’s name Tattoo on his left calf muscles.
Besides the tattoos related to his son, the famous footballer has the tattoo of his wife’s eye on his right arm. His other tattoos are a football on his left leg, Jesus tattoo on his right arm, Lotus tattoo on his right arm, Rose Window tattoo on his right elbow, King Crown tattoo on his right arm, Giant Clock tattoo on his right forearm, Timepiece Cogs tattoo on his right forearm, Rosary tattoo on his right forearm, Number ’10’ tattoo on his left leg, Dagger with Wings’ tattoo on his left leg, all his three sons’ birthdates tattoo on his both legs, Kissing Lips tattoo just below his waistline, and ‘Mateo’ tattoo on his right arm.
The next football player on our list is Djibril Cisse as he has many interesting tattoos inked on his body. In fact, he is one of the most heavily tattooed players in the world with more than 40 shapes and pictures inked on his skin with floral designs, Chinese symbols, and a spider’s web to a pair of wings.
The most famous tattoo of the player is the two black angel wings on his back.
Next is Depay! One of the most famous footballers in the world with one of the most famous tattoos! Known as “A king of tattoos”, he has hacked one of the most mesmerizing pictures on his back. The Lion! Lions have always been famous when it comes to tattoos as they represent power, strength, courage, wisdom, pride, royalty, dignity, and self-confidence. However, Depay believes that his lion represents him. In an interview, Memphis said, ‘The lion on my back represents me – I have the heart of a lion. I got it done in Manchester. It took a long time because it’s so big, maybe like 24 hours in total. The lion is for me, ‘the king of the jungle,’ and I always stayed on my feet even though it was rough.”
It also has to be mentioned that he has a lion tattoo on his left leg as well.
He also has a tattoo of a dream Chaser on his chest, ‘Thought’ tattoo on his left forearm, ‘Shamrock Leaf’ tattoo on his jugular notch, ‘Wings’ on his collarbone area, ‘Cross’ on the back of his head, and many more! That’s how he has earned the nickname of “king of tattoos” and he really deserves it! Don’t you agree?!
The famous Barcelona player plays as a midfielder for the club and the Chile national team. While he is famous for the style of his playing, he is also known for his tattoos. One of his most interesting ones is the ‘Never Give UP’ tattoo that he has inked under his neck. He also has a tattoo on the center of his collar which shows us a cross adjoined with wings on its sides. On the left side of his neck, he has a tattoo of two five-pointed stars with his initials inked on them. However, it has to be mentioned that these are not all he has inked on his skin, and there are many more tattoos all over his body.
A goalkeeper for American club Colorado, Tim Howard is one of the most famous soccer players in the United States. As far as we know, the 41-year-old soccer player has four interesting tattoos inked on his skin which include a ‘superman’, the ‘dragons’, the ‘Crucifix’, and ‘a woman and a man’. In case of his superman tattoo and its meaning, it has to be said that it symbolizes strength, endurance, honor, and stableness.
While the meaning of dragon is obvious to everyone, we have to talk about his crucifix more. You may know that the crucifix is a heart and a cross which is one of the most significant combinations to remind us of faith. His last tattoo is a woman and a man in honor of his mother and grandfather in a military civil code.
Our last footballer to be on the list is famous PSG striker, Mauro Icardi. Icardi got married to Wanda Nara, Maxi Lopez’s ex-wife, in 2014 and they have two daughters; Francesca and Isabella. Both of them had their name tattooed on their father’s chest, while he also has inked his step children’s name; Valentino, Constantino and Benedicto on his body. He also has the face of a massive lion on his chest and stomach.
Ronaldo has no tattoos because of blood donation!
The sensitive soccer player doesn't have tattoos on his body just because he donates blood regularly. In fact, unlike many of his fellow football stars, Ronaldo refuses to get a tattoo because heis used to donating blood at least twice a year. In addition, he became a bone-marrow donor, when his teammate told him about his son that was struggling with leukemia in 2011 and he encourages everyone to join him in helping others in this way. Interesting! Isn’t it?
Who else do you think has to be mentioned on our list? Let us know in the comment section.