Footballers With Tattoos: The Meaning Behind Them


Tattoos usually have a story to tell. Hence, each body art is like a “secret” story displayed on our skin.

And it seems that football players are huge fans regarding inking their bodies. Some top footballers with tattoos are Messi, Ibrahimovic, Ramos, Neymar, and many others.

But do you ever wonder what they mean? How important are they to footballers?

We were intrigued, too, so we did our homework, and we’d like to share it with you.

Top 10 Football Players With Tattoos

As we said, it’s not uncommon to see footballers with tattoos. Many professional football players have them.

So, let’s learn more about our favourite football player’s tatts.

Lionel Messi’s Tattoos

Lionel Messi’s Tattoo
(Source: SportingFree)

By now, you must have noticed Messi’s tattoos on his arm, leg, back, and one right below his waistline.

The winner of seven Ballon d’Or (Golden Ball) awards looks like he can’t get enough ink on his skin. That explains the 17 eye-catching tattoos he’s ‘parading’ on the football field. And best of all is that each of the tatts carries a personal significance.

However, among all that fascinating ink, we couldn’t help but focus on his back tattoo – his mother’s portrait.

The connection between a mother and son is unbreakable, just like the relationship between this football star with his mom Celia.

It’s no secret that Messi is known to be close with his mother and a family person in general. He considers his mom to be a ‘lucky charm’ in his life, and everything he’s now is thanks to the love and support he received from her.

Also read: How many red cards does Messi have?

Joe Hart’s Tattoos

Joe Hart's Tattoos
(Source: Daily Mail)

Like most football colleagues, Joe Hart, the goalkeeper for the Celtic, loves to ink his skin. This ex-star of one of the most successful English clubs, Manchester City, has four amusing tattoo designs on his arms (wrists), legs (shins), and thighs.

However, among his inkwork, one seems to stand out the most. Hart’s Black Armour tattoo on his right arm motioned a river of comments and mixed emotions among his fans.

But, as Hart himself said on his Insta profile – though this kind of ink design won’t be to everyone’s liking, still, the tattoo represents the real him.

Nicolas Otamendi’s Tattoos

Nicolas Otamendi’s Tattoos
(Source: Daily Star)

The Primeira Liga club Benfica centre-back player, Nicolas Otamendi, likes expressing himself through his tattoo art, as many others athletes do. And since this football star has 23 inks in total – we’re guessing he has a lot to share, i.e., express.

Nicolas got his first tattoo at 14 and hasn’t stopped inking unique tattoos since then.

However, of the 23 tatts, what caught our eye during the Manchester City vs Atalanta game was the tattoo that covers his entire upper back.

The tattoo illustrates four characters from famous TV series:

  • The Vikings,
  • Breaking Bad,
  • and Peaky Blinders.

We’re guessing these portraits are his favourite characters from the mentioned series. After all, there’s nothing wrong with tattooing a memorable character. Moreover, one should feel honoured for their face to be on Otamendi’s back.

Leroy Sane’s Tattoos

Leroy Sane’s Tattoos
(Source: Daily Star)

This young Bayern Munich player has six tattoos. Leroy decided that having tattoos on his back, chest, arms, and finger was a fantastic idea.

However, we’re sure he regrets that back tattoo of himself. Yes, Sane is so “into himself” that he decided to engrave a massive picture of him over his entire back.

This tattoo is the actual goal Leroy scored against Monaco (2016/17). Consequently, it’s significant to him because it was his first score wearing City’s jersey in the Champions League.

Nevertheless, it turned out that this footballer rushed into the creation of this tattoo — nowadays, he regrets that he put himself through a four-day pain for a tattoo he didn’t want.

Did you Know: Bayern Munich has one of the biggest football shirt sponsorships

Sergio Ramos’s Tattoos

Sergio Ramos’s Tattoos
(Sources: Body Art Guru; The Sun)

This famous Spaniard and one of the best centre-backs in the world has an exquisite gallery of 42 tattoos throughout his body.

And even with 42, we managed to find one that carries a special meaning for Ramos.

We’re talking about his left-triceps tattoo – The Six Starred symbol.

The tattoo is a Hexagram – a six-pointed star in the midnight sky filled with clouds.

What’s so unique about this tattoo is not only the symbolism it conveys but moreover the fact that Sergio has it as a memory of his grandmother Nena.

Neymar’s Tattoos

Neymar’s Tattoos
(Source: Reddit)

The Brazilian forward, now in PSG, don’t let his colleague Sergio Ramos win this “ink battle.” So instead, Neymar offers its fans 46 theatrical ink works.

Knowing this fact about him tells you more about his attraction to tattoos than what we can say.

Of the 46, one, in particular, is our favourite one – The Super Hero tattoos on his back.

Neymar admires these three superheroes: Spiderman, Batman, and Goku.

Among other tattoos that he has on his body, Neymar also has a roulette tattoo on his right leg.

Related: Is Neymar the most hated football player?

Mario Baloteli’s Tattoos

Mario Baloteli’s Tattoos
(Sources: Pinterest;

The ex “Citizen” striker, Balotelli, loves tattoos like any footballer. And he uses them to express an opinion or feeling of his own. Mario has eight tattoos, most of which come pretty strong with some ‘powerful’ messages.

This is a tattoo quote that says, and we cite: “I am the punishment of God; if you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you.”

It sounds a bit spooky, religious, and powerful – all at the same time. But, hey, you better watch out if you sin — you don’t want Balotelli to be your “punishment.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s Tattoos

Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s Tattoos
(Sources: Opera News Details; Pinterest)

This Swedish football superstar has 14 tattoos on different parts of his body. What’s even more fascinating are the 15 removable tatts he added to honour people struggling with poverty and hunger.

Of the many he has, we chose one interesting Koi fish on the left side of his upper back.

A grey Koi fish symbolises overcoming difficulties and obstacles in life.

The tattoo must be significant to Zlatan since he mentions it in his book “I am Zlatan.” Therefore, one can interpret this tattoo as Zlatan’s way of dealing with fame and everything he has given to the beautiful football sport over the years.

Mauro Icardi’s Tattoos

Mauro Icardi’s Tattoos
(Source: The Mirror)

The Galatasaray centre-forward player has his body covered with numerous tattoos (30). Apart from two arm sleeves, a full-front tattoo, and a huge back tattoo, he also has some inkwork done on his legs.

So, his tattoo artist better finds a good spot for another marvellous tattoo – if Mauro feels the need for ink anytime soon.

But let’s shed more light on his famous full-front tattoo – a lion and his cubs.

This is a tattoo dedicated to his daughters, Isabella and Francesca. The King of the jungle represents strength, confidence, loyalty, intelligence, and protection.

This beautiful tattoo has deep meaning and is obviously very dear to Mauro since it covers his chest and stomach entirely.

Dani Alves’s Tattoos

Dani Alves’s Tattoos
(Source: Body Art Guru)

Alves is one of the players with the most trophies, and he has 37 different tattoos.

Does this make him a tattoo freak? Maybe, but he can’t be a more giant ink freak than his colleague Neymar (46 inkwork done).

Since he has a broad choice of body art, we decided to dedicate a piece of our article to his upper chest tattoo (Daniel Jr.) and low waist tattoo (Victoria).

These tattoos don’t require much description. Daniel Jr. is Dani’s son, and Victoria is his daughter. This is Dani’s way of expressing his pride, joy, and love for his children.

Interesting fact: Most parents (tattoo fans) usually dedicate a special place on their skin to their children, just like Alves did.

Final Words

There you have it, guys, a list of the top 10 footballers with tattoos.

However, the most important thing about each tattoo these football legends have is the story they tell. From name and date tattoos to club logos, names of teams, to religious and family portraits.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *