In the past five or six years tattoos have become popular in professional sports, most notably the NBA, but the world of soccer has also been touched by the ink of the tattoo artist. Check out all the top soccer players and their tattoos. I’d probably guess that upwards of 70% of all pro soccer players have at least a few tattoos these days. Here’s Christian Pulisic and one of his tattoos. Check out the other star soccer players and their tattoos by clicking on the links below.
Some tattoos appear to have deep personal meanings, while others seem to have been done on the spur of the moment and ones they the player might regret down the road.
Who has the most tattoos of all the professional soccer players? It just might be David Beckham. And that’s who we start with, whose neck, back, and arms have a growing assortment of designs and letters.
Terrance Boyd Tattoo
This the perhaps the greatest tattoo any soccer player has ever had.
Beckham has 11 tattoos in total, but this could change soon at a moments notice, as it seems he’s set on covering his body with tattoos. He has his son’s names, Brooklyn, Cruz, and Romeo on his back, a guardian angel in the shape of a cross, his wife’s name and a replica of her wrapped around her name in Hindi. He also has the Roman numerals VII to commemorate the number 7 he wore for Manchester United on his right arm. Other more intricate tattoos adorn his arms.
Who does the tattoos for Beckham? That would be: Manchester tattoo artist Louis Malloy. Who is said to be the best in the UK and who, at one point, Beckham was said to have flown into Madrid to do a tattoo. On his return to AC Milan, just after the New Year, Beckham displayed a new Jesus tattoo on the side of his stomach.
Alves has a pitcure of his wife on his right arm and then his son’s name emblazoned across his chest. He has come into his own at Barcelona. Perhaps the best signing of the 2008/2009 season by Guardiola. Barcelona have the chance to win three trophies this year if they can beat Manchester United in the Champions League final. And Dani Alves, tattoos and all, is a big reason why they’ve had so much success this year.
At right back, he works up the line with Messi creating havoc for the teams they face. He spent years playing with Sevilla before moving up to play at the Camp Nou with Barcelona. And I don’t think Barca will let him leave anytime soon.
The former Porto and Barcelona midfielder has a large picture of a Geisha on his back and a smaller tattoo on his left arm. He has struggled this year with injuries, but hopefully he can regain the form he had at Barcelona next year when he’s healthy again. He started off scoring goals for Chelsea, but after missing out on a few games due to a hamstring injury, he has never seemed to find his previous form. Deco is an artist on the field, so it’s no surprise he wanted to decorate his back with a painting.
He has a wicked outside of the foot shot and cross. He has played for Sporting, Barcelona, Porto, Inter Milan and now Chelsea. However, he hasn’t been able to break into the Chelsea side in the second half of the season when Scholari was let go.
No telling where he could end up next year. He is a unique player, who will go at players on the dribble and serves in good crosses. He just needs to regain his confidence and get steady playing time.
Rooney grew up playing for Everton but was bought by Manchester United and the young boxer’s career took off after that.
Rooney has the title of a Stereophonics album on his arm: Just Enough Education To Perform. Rooney, who used to be somewhat of a tempermental future star, has turned into a pure professional who plays with an aggressive energy that his team builds off of. He’s gone away from stupid red and yellow cards but hasn’t sacrificed all that for his determined drive to win games.
Rooney has two other tattoos, his wife’s name, Coleen and then a ornate cross.
Cisse has a number of tattoos, but the biggest and most obvious being this pair of angel like wings on his back. Does his make him faster? Think he’s fast enough already. Cisse hopefully doesn’t go the route of Dennis Rodman, who is covered with piercings, tattoos and was known to change his hair color repeatedly, like Cisse. Cisse
Cisse has played for Auzerre and Marseille in France and then Liverpool and Sunderland (current team) in the EPL. Cisse suffered two brutal broken legs, once while playing for Liverpool and then once why with France.
Another Swede on the list, the Inter Milan forward has been tearing up the Italian Serie A for a number of years now. He’s talked about moving on, perhaps to the EPL, not sure if Mourinho would let him leave. For a big man, he has great touch on the ball and skill.
Torres spent over six years with Atletico Madrid before moving to the EPL and Liverpool. He quickly established himself with Liverpool, scoring goal after goal with his head, on the volley, or on his own.
Ljungberg had an inflamed hip some years ago, and it turned out the ink in one of his tattoos caused a lymphatic gland to inflame which was pushing up against a nerve on his side. He had the gland removed and was out for a month. He has since decided against getting any more tattoos. Usually the main risk from a tattoo is the possibility of an infection from hepatitis B or C. Ljungberg has two panthers tattooed on his back.
The Swedish midfielder now plays for the Sounders in the MLS after having played for in the EPL for over ten years with Arsenal for 9 years and then West Ham United. Freddie has modeled and represented brands like Calvin Klein, Nike, Proter & Gamble, L’Oreal, Puma and Pepsi.
The Australian midfielder who once played for Leeds and Liverpool in the EPL, now plays for Turkish side Galatasaray. He has one of the few colored tattoos on this list. A wide midfielder who has great skill on the ball and can beat players.
Cannavaro has been the captain for Juventus, Real Madrid, and his Italian national team. He is the anchor of the team. He is the last man who makes the game or goal saving tackle. He has played for Napoli, Parma, Inter, Juventus and Real Madrid. After three years with Madrid he is returning to Juventus. At the age of 35, he is close to retiring from the game soon.
Kai, who is from Kahuku, Hawaii, has 19 tattoos in total and has said that she got each one when she was going through a difficult time – each tattoo representing something meanful to her, from lyrics she’s to images and designs. She has the most tattoos of anyone on this list and currently plays for Sky Blue FC in the WPS.
One if not the greatest professional soccer player of all time, Diego has a tattoo of Che Guevara on his arm and then a tattoo of Fidel Castro on his leg. He went to Cuba on a number of occasions to visit Castro and to do rehabilitation for his addition to cocaine. Diego has come a long way, from World Cup hero to drug addict to Argentina’s national team coach.
The man from Nacogdoches, Texas who went from the New England Revolution to one time rappper to Fulham to the United States national team. Dempsey is perhaps the first United States field player to make it out right as a professional footballer – start consistantly for his side. Brian McBride, Carlos Bocanegra, and John Harkes maybe in that category as well, but Dempsey maybe the most creative. In the photo below he sports his new arm sleeve tattoo – looks like somekind of warrior. The test for Dempsey is to make a big statement in the World Cup. Take the team on his back if need be to get them a win.
Australian and Everton midfielder has an intricate tattoo sleave on his arm. Cahill spent seven years with Millwall before joining Everton, where’s he has been for the past five years. He’s also famous for crossing his arms like he’d been cuffed, after he scored, in reference to his brother who had been jailed recently.
Jones didn’t have a future with the German national team so he’s signed on to play for the United States. Jones plays for Schalke 04 in the German Bundesliga. His month is German and his father an American serviceman. He could play for the United States in the 2010 World Cup. He also will easily be the player with the most tattoos. He’s a player who is not afraid to get stuck in on the tackle.
Yes, Donovan has a tattoo believe it or not. I didn’t believe it either when I first heard about this. But it’s truth, Donovan has a tattoo on the inside of his left wrist of a hummingbird. Don’t believe it, take a look at the picture of the LA Galaxy forward below. Maybe Beckham will be bad influence on him and he’ll get a few more tattoos.
His wife, Bianca Kajlich, has a tattoo of a female hummingbird nesting on her left wrist. Donovan said: "Hummingbirds mate for life and are monogamous, unlike humans."
Ireland has a giant pair of wings tattooed on his back, as you can see in the image below.
At 23 years of age, Ireland has plenty of good years ahead of him. However, the Irishmen he hasn’t played for his country since he lied to then Ireland head coach Steve Staunton so he could leave the team to see his girlfriend. Ireland said his grandmother had died, when really his girlfriend had a miscarriage. Hopefully Ireland will be called back into the national team, especially when he’s playing so well for Manchester City.
Everton and U.S. national team goalkeeper Tim Howard doesn’t flaunt his tattoos or take he shirit off that often. So many people don’t even know he has them, but he’s got quite a few and looks like he’ll add some more.
Ramos plays for right back for Real Madrid and the Spanish national team. He’s an active player who loves to get into the attack.
Califf plays for FC Midtjylland in Denmark as well as the U.S. national team. He also played in the MLS for the LA Galaxy and the San Jose Earthquakes. It’s a bit hard to see, but he’s got quite a sleeve tattoo on his right arm – color included.
Barcelona’s keeper sports a warrior tattoo on his arm. He helped his side win the treble last year. Even though he’s one of the most successful goalkeepers in Barcelona history, he doesn’t seem to get the respect he deserves. Barca have signed him through 2014 though.
The Real Madrid midfielder doesn’t get as much attention as Cristiano Ronaldo or Kaka, but he could be just as valuable to the team. He scores big goals and threads through silky passes. He’s got a few tattoos on the inside of his arms.
Rome, Italy born and bred Paulo Di Canio has played for a wide range of some of the best clubs in the world, from Lazio and Juventus in Italy to Celtic, West Ham, and Charlton up north in Great Britian. However, his career has been tainted by his fascist salute to the ultra fans of Lazio. He has scored over 100 goals in his career and always played with a flair and style that’s shown in his tatoos.
Will Barcelona ever steal back Fabregas from Arsenal? How did Barca let him get away? I think the trade happens but not for some time. Fabregas is still young and has plenty of years left in him. And he’s got plenty of more time to add more tattoos. Right now it looks like he’s just got the one on the elbow.
Totti has played for one team and one team only in his career: Roma. And he’s scored over 180 goals for the side. He’s the leader and tailsman for his club. And he’s got a Roman warrior tattoo on his arm even though it’s obvious that’s he’s not afraid to go into battle for his club or country.
The Inter Milan defender is most famous for being head butted by Zidane in the World Cup final. But he’s a hard-nosed defender who is known for scoring goals with his head. He stands at 6 feet 4 inches, so he’s dangerous in the air. He also loves to tackle hard and sometimes his aggressiveness goes too far.
After a strong 2010 World Cup for Ghana, the hard man type midfielder went from Portsmouth to AC Milan, where it seems like he’s found a home and is playing well. It also looks like he’s added a few tatoos since then.
Messi has a picture of his Mom’s face on his back shoulder.
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