Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughStyle over substance - footballers have too much spare time on their hands - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Style over substance - footballers have too much spare time on their hands - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Style over substance – footballers have too much spare time on their hands

What has caused such a rapid increase in the number of players getting tattoos, or changing their hair style almost as often as they change their underwear?
Is it vanity that has seen this recent trend for body art, or a style of fashion that is slowly spreading?
Could it be that getting an outrageous haircut is the only way for certain players to attract any attention, especially if their sporting skills aren’t of the highest quality, and if so, is this trend likely to spread to other sports and walks of life?

 The modern day footballer has a short but enviable career. Especially for those that make it to the elite level, money is never going to be a problem, and at the end of their careers they can look forward to a very comfortable retirement well before the age of forty.

Mind boggling salaries are commonplace, and after purchasing several mansions and luxury cars, the excitement of having so much money begins to dwindle.
An average day for a footballer consists of a few hours training in the morning, some massage and physiotherapy work, a squad meeting and then some lunch. Often they are finished by around 1pm, so could it be that footballers have too much time on their hands and money to burn? Perhaps as a result of boredom they have decided to spend their afternoons combining a round of golf with a snip at the barbers, and a session on the X-Box combined with a quick trip to the tattoo parlour?

Body ink was not particularly common amongst players in the past and only recently has it become a common sight to see players with their arms covered with their children’s names, favourite numbers, or religious symbols. As for hairstyles during the 70’s and 80’s, the choice was normally between a perm and a mullet, or if neither took your fancy then you just let it grow wild.
Today there is a much greater variety, from cornrows to quiffs, dreadlocks to side-partings, and just about everything else in between. There is also the opportunity to dye it a different colour, get beads in it, or even accessorize with the use of headbands and bandanas.

 Some might say that a certain Mr Beckham started the craze, and although he wasn’t the first player to do either, he has certainly been the most exposed in terms of media coverage. The youngsters of today, including players, want to copy the styles and fashion that they see on the television and internet. 

Brand Beckham has resulted in the man being hailed as not only a great footballer, but also as a fashion icon and sex symbol. To those looking on from the outside it must appear that he has everything, and so others attempt to recreate his look.

However, a lot of players seem to copy their teammates like obedient sheep and end up with tattoos and bizarre hairstyles just for the sake of fitting in. Whilst true that any fashion style is fashionable because of the general acceptance that it is popular, football does appear to have taken a unique route on this. No other sport can show so many of its professionals going for such a similar look, and surely it is no coincidence. For a sport where individuals are not recognized as being intellectually blessed, it would seem that the majority are happy to live up to the stereotype by jumping on the bandwagon without a second thought.

What about the managers? Are we soon to see them sporting facial tattoos like Mike Tyson, or multi-coloured mohawks that could have a player’s eye out with a swift swing of the neck?
Will the pre-match tactics talk be replaced with a hair and grooming session, first team coaches replaced with beauticians and ink artists, and training bibs dropped in favour of Ralph Lauren overalls?
There are those that believe we are already on the slippery slope, but I think that it will be a very long time before we see this situation, if ever. Managers are there to control, discipline, teach, and inspire, whilst the players are there to learn, push the boundaries, and do everything possible to be different to the older generation. Some, it appears, have taken things a bit too far…

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