As we all know football players are well known for their unusual and often bizarre antics on and off the field! Many players and managers often have peculiar habits, rituals and superstitions they go through before, during and after a game. This seemingly irrational behaviour may not affect the outcome of a match, but it does give the players themselves piece of mind. Football players are often looked upon as role models, so when it comes to setting fashion trends they are on occasions credited with being the architects as well as the the victims of their own creations!
Here is a list of some of the worst fashion trends in world football!
1/ Personalised Boots:
Who came up with the idea for stitching individual names onto boots. What started off as a canny PR stunt has become a plague. Now every run of the mill tom, dick and harry in the game has their name, their initials, squad number or the names of their children on their footwear.
The trend reached its nadir last November when, following the completely pointless and fabricated row over England's players not being allowed to wear poppies on their shirts when they played Spain in a friendly, several players had a small image of the flower stitched on to their boots. There is, of course, nothing wrong with Remembrance Day and paying tribute to all those men and women who were killed during the two World Wars and other conflicts, in whatever way you see fit, but it did smack of an opportunistic gimmick from the kit manufacturers.
These days, your boots aren’t the only thing that can aid your performance. Your socks can also play a major role, which is why players are reportedly cutting up their socks. To get more of a grip in their hi-tech boots players are cutting up their socks and, instead, they use short tennis ones, with supposedly better traction. That explains why so many Premier League players are now using tape to cover up their secret.
England players often train in short tennis socks as they prefer them to thicker football socks. It is a new fashion way beyond hold-ups, that most fans assume is the reason for the tape.
However you guessed it, there is now a product on the market that players can use to give them added traction, instead of cutting up their socks.
This is where 'Trusox' comes into the equation. Trusox have seen a large player uptake in the Premier League this season, with names such as Emanuel Adebayor, Aaron Lennon (right), Demba Ba, Marouane Fellaini and Stephen Ward amongst some of the names who have been seen wearing Trusox this season.
The official line regarding this product is as follows: "The Trusox is a bit like a golf glove for your feet, and they boost your speed and agility. Whenever you need to change direction, you need to maximise power transfer. To do this, you need to ensure your foot stays secure within your boot, which is where the Trusox come into the game. Trusox stop the repetitive motions between the foot, sock and shoe to ensure you have the maximum power when you change direction. This is achieved by the non-slip applications on the outside and inside of the socks. This stops the sock from sliding on your foot and the sock from sliding within the shoe."
Heaven forbid! Whatever next!
3/ Black Face Paint:
'Eye Black' is a grease applied under the eyes to reduce glare. It is often used by athletes, particularly in North America, where sunlight or stadium lights can impair vision of an airborne ball. Eye black has been used for centuries to help reduce the glare of the sun. Traditional grease consists of beeswax, paraffin, and carbon. Anti-glare face stripes that emulate the grease are also commonly used.
A 2003 study by Brian DeBroff and Patricia Pahk tested whether black eye grease actually had anti-glare properties. The subjects' vision was tested using an eye chart while being exposed to natural sunlight. The study concluded that eye black reduced glare of the sun and improved contrast sensitivity, whereas commercial anti-glare stickers and petroleum jelly were found to be ineffective. A further study which set to improve DeBroff's methodology also found eye black to reduce glare from the sun, but less so in blue-eyed individuals and males.
Rüştü Reçber (right) is a Turkish international goalkeeper who currently plays for Beşiktaş J.K. in the Turkish Süper Lig, having previously played for Antalyaspor, Fenerbahçe and Barcelona. Yet his tribal looking war-paint wasn’t a good look. All it really did was earn peculiar glares from fans across the world.
4/ Man Bags:
This is another recent phenomenon which has been embraced enthusiastically by today's metrosexual footballers. Understandably players need a bag of sorts to carry with them containing their shower gel, shampoo, hair products e.t.c to use after training and on match day, but does it have to be one of those rather effeminate, strapless clutch bags?
Louis Vuitton seem to have cornered the market in these, probably because they are the most expensive and have the most logos per square inch.
But seriously, when you see a burly, six-foot-plus centre-forward emerge after training with one of those under their arm, in my eyes it just doesn't sit right!
5/ Football Shirts Gimmicks:
Over the years we have all been subjected to some rather eye catching shirt designs for all the wrong reasons, but the latest shirt gimmick phenomenon to be launched is rather questionable. It is unsurprisingly more about player exposure and additional finance through modern technology than about shirt design and colour.
Then there is Spanish La Liga side Sevilla, who are giving their fans the chance to have their own face printed on the club's shirts (right), for just €25 a pop.
Value for money? Well each face on a shirt is only 2mm X 2mm in size, so you do the maths!
6/ Nasal Strips:
Nasal strips are like a Band-Aid with a flexible backbone that holds the nostrils open when the strip is stuck across the bridge of the nose. Despite medical science concluding that nasal strips have little or no effect on breathing or performance the effectiveness of that nasal strips in aiding air intake during a football match, it didn't stop players, such as Robbie Fowler, from using them to decorate their nose on the field of play.
7/ Hair Styles:
From girly accessories to mohawks, footballers have been known to sport bizarre hair styles. But when the players of my home town club Bromley FC were visited by a barber last November, before their FA Cup first round match against Leyton Orient, to have barcodes shaved into their heads - they surely took hair styling to a new level.
Wayne Rooney's hair stylist was drafted in to give the underdogs the unique look for their big match. Celebrity stylist Daniel Johnson (right) was asked to shave Quick Response (QR) codes on the back of Bromley's starting line-up's heads, which, when scanned with a smartphone reader will link to betting company Betfair's mobile site.
Bromley boss Mark Goldberg added: "This is a great tie up for the club, a little unconventional, but great nonetheless. The lads were shocked when I asked them to take part but they know what this could mean for the club and they're looking forward to showing them off in our biggest game of the season."
Johnson said: "I'm used to styling footballers' hair - and trust me I've had some weird requests from them before - but this was in a different league. The QR cuts certainly put my skills to the test."
8/ Kinesio Tape:
Since when does insulation tape make you perform to a greater level? Gareth Bale (below), among others, are often seen sporting the £40 Kinseo product, which was said to allow players to get through the pain barrier and perform for longer. I have my doubts!
The official line regarding this product is as follows: "Kinesio Taping gives support and stability to your joints and muscles without affecting circulation and range of motion. Initially, orthopaedists, chiropractors, acupuncturists and other medical practitioners were the main users of Kinesio Taping. Soon thereafter, Kinesio Taping was used by the Japanese Olympic volleyball players and word quickly spread to other athletes. Today, Kinesio Taping is used by medical practitioners and athletes around the world. The Kinesio Taping Method is applied over muscles to reduce pain and inflammation, relax overused tired muscles, and to support muscles in movement on a 24hr/day basis. It is non-restrictive type of taping which allows for full range of motion.
Kinesio Tape is used for anything from headaches to foot problems and everything in between including: lower back strain/pain, knee conditions, hamstring and groin injuries, patella tracking, ankle sprains and as a support method."
The greasy patch below the neck was the hallmark of the early 2000’s, with many Premier League football stars believing the effects of such products would open their airways during a game. There may be some truth in this, but it is also known to make your eyes water, as well as inevitably staining the shirt. Instead of aiding their performance more often than not it often looked as if said player had simply blown his nose on his shirt or dropped his pre-match meal down himself.
10/ The Snood:
Luckily the International FA Board banned the wearing of snoods on the 1st July 2011, although it's bad enough that we still have to watch grown men running around wearing tights and gloves, often bizarrely accompanied by a short-sleeve shirt!