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11 players with the worst tattoos in football

Not the face! From leg-break warnings to a L-O-V-E of weapons: Greg Lea runs down 10 of the worst tattoos football has ever seen

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Nile Ranger

Ranger has never been far from controversy during his turbulent career, which is currently on hold after he was released by Southend in January 2018 for “reoccurring disciplinary issues”. The striker was once highly thought of by former club Newcastle, but the Londoner’s rap sheet has eclipsed his scoring record since he made his professional debut in 2009.

Still, at least referees have little trouble writing his name in their notebooks – and not just because they’re used to doing so. Ranger helpfully has his surname tattooed on the side of his head, a decision which ranks among the 26-year-old’s very worst.

Andres D’Alessandro

The former River Plate, Internacional and, erm, Portsmouth attacker is known as El Cabezon ('The Big Headed') in his homeland of Argentina. That nickname was bestowed on D’Alessandro because of his disproportionately large bonce rather than any inflated sense of self, but his choice of tattoo suggests both meanings may be applicable.

After filling his arms with various designs, D’Alessandro’s next step in 2015 was to tattoo a picture of his own face on his stomach. Each to their own, we suppose.

Daniele De Rossi

There’s nothing more frustrating than a footballer who overestimates his own ability. By definition, every professional player possesses a fair amount of talent, but that doesn’t mean your team’s centre-back needs to take on multiple members of the opposition before attempting a wildly ambitious through-ball.

Thankfully, De Rossi knows his limitations; while he’s by no means a bad passer, the tough-tackling Italian is a ball-winner first and foremost. Whether he needed a tattoo on his leg to prove it is another question entirely.

Sergio Ramos

This entire list could feasibly be dedicated to Ramos, who has turned his body into a canvas over the years. As well as a lion on his back and the Star of David on his arm, the Real Madrid captain has four individual markings on each finger of his left hand, which sounds a bit like overkill to us.

The most cryptic of those are the four numbers Ramos sports on his knuckles: 35, 90, 32, 19. The Spain international has invited his fans to guess the significance of each, but as yet he’s neither confirmed nor denied any of the theories. The mystery continues.

Alessandro Diamanti

The former Bologna, Livorno, West Ham and Guangzhou Evergrande playmaker has always done things his way on the pitch. A fantastic player to watch on his day, the Italian has nonetheless been guilty of being too individualistic at times in his career, which helps explain why he only ever won 17 caps for his country.

His creative flair is reflected in his ink work, where occasional flashes of inspiration are overshadowed by some questionable decision-making. The worst of the lot has to be an overly large smiley face on Diamanti’s right calf, which gets creepier the longer you look at it.

Uros Vitas

They say love makes us do crazy things – almost definitely because of people like Mechelen's Vitas. In 2017, the Serbian defender professed his love for wife Andrijana by getting her facial features permanently etched all the way up his torso – a frankly terrifying recreation that does his spouse no justice. 

We reckon a card and flowers would have done just fine, Uros.