Soccer Players Playing in Tights
When did this start happening? Why do soccer players wear tights? It hasn’t gotten that much colder over in Germany, England and Italy has it? Is climate change starting to cause professional soccer players to pull on some tights or leggings?
Even gamers in some corners are clamoring to have the option to have the soccer players their playing with in video games wear tights or compression skins in games like FIFA Soccer 10 and other soccer video games.
And these aren’t any old tights either. These are thermal tights in an array of colors, from black to red to gray to green. Call them tights or compression skins or whatever. Heck, call them underwear or leggins, but most say they're compression pants that are usually for players coming off an injury who want to keep a hamstring, calf or groin injury warm and the tights help keep the muscles lose so they don't tighten up.
The first person I remember playing in tights was the Brazilian Ronaldo when he was at Inter Milan. I can't seem to dig up a photo though. But he, understandably, had a good reason for wearing tights. He’s from the warm beaches of Brazil and playing for Inter Milan in Italy proved to be a bit colder than he'd expected on occasion.
However, some of the soccer players playing in tights these days grew up playing in the cold or even the snow. Robben is from Holland, where they have their fair share of cold temperatures during the year. Robben did go from Spain to Germany though, so that is a bit of a change in climate, but I’m sure he’s acclimated by now, right? I guess not. Robben loves to wear tights whenever he plays no matter the temperature.
I can understand the need to maybe wear tights if there’s snow on the ground and it’s below freezing, but sometimes these players are wearing tights while some of their teammates are in short sleeves. I’ve heard even some wives of the players complaining about the tights, telling their husbands they look terrible. Again though, if you're coming off an hamstring pull or groin injury, then it makes sense to keep that area warm by wearing some compression tights.
Bayern Munich told Arjen Robben that he's has to wear tights that match the team’s shorts color on the day, and not the gray ones he was wearing. So red tights when they wear red shorts and white tights when they wear white shorts. That’s the least he could do. But he’s even got other Bayern Munich players into wearing the tights, like Frenchmen Franck Ribéry. Don't know of the Bayern brass are happy about that.
Would Alex Ferguson let his players wear tights? If Giggs can do it I guess anybody can. I think Wayne Rooney might have even wore tights in a game or two.
Is this going to be a new trend? Are youth players going to be scooping up tights from Nike and Adidas soon? I understand the gloves and even the scarves that many a player wear in the Serie A, but tights, I’m not so sure they're really needed.
The Brazilian duo over at AC Milan, Pato and Ronaldinho, are in favor of the black tights when the temperature drops below their liking, as they wore in their recent Champions League match versus Manchester United.
Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it though.
Yes, they’re able to make incredibly thin yet warm under garments these days, so maybe they actually make you feel more comfortable and hold everything together let’s say. And for those injury prone players, maybe the tights help ward of a hamstring or calf strain, so they’re more than worth it.
Exceptionally talented players can get away with wearing whatever they want. White shoes, pink shoes, green shoes; who would have thought those colors would become the cool colorway for soccer shoes?
Years ago, in youth soccer, odd colors used to mean you couldn’t play the game. The white shoed players were the ones who didn’t really know how to play soccer. Actually, maybe those kids just couldn’t afford the cool shoes. Maybe player the players who are wearing tights today are setting the trend. They don’t care what other people think and that's what they're so good.
I remember wearing game shorts over my sweats when it was cold, not thin, light sweats, but thick almost bulky sweats. And when I had the sweats on underneath I was more apt to slide tackle. Get stuck in. But the tights wearing players are the fancy dribblers, the artists. The ones I admire. The players that take other players on.
If Robben or anyone else is wearing tights in the coming months, when it’s warm, well that’s another story.
No matter what though, Robben keeps the ball tethered to his foot and has blazing speed. He takes players on and score goals, whether he’s wearing tights or not, and whether they’re black tights, red tights, white tights or gray tights.
If you're playing for Rubin Kazan, and playing in Kazan, Russia, then it makes sense to wear tights, as both of these players smartly have done.
This summer's World Cup down in South Africa, could get a little chilly. Will we see players in leggings or tights? Who knows what they allow in the tournament. They might end up banning the use of that horn, the vuvuzela, and then along with it ban tights too.
Sources: Images from DayLife