Iconic Tattoos of Famous Footballers and the Meanings Behind Them

Professional football players at the top end of the game earn a significant amount of money. We are talking over £100,000 per week and coupled with bonuses, plus image rights. The best footballers in the world are making millions every season. The question is, on what do they spend their vast sums of money? Cards, clothes, vehicles, property, and vacations are some of the most common things, but some footballers also like to spend their money on tattoos. Below, you can find out more about the iconic tattoos of famous footballers and the meanings behind them.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic does not seem to physically age and at 40 years old, he is still playing for AC Milan in the Italian Serie A. The former Swedish international has played for many of the biggest clubs in Europe, including Ajax, Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, Juventus, Inter Milan, and Manchester United. Ibrahimovic has several tattoos on his body but one of his most iconic ones is the large tattoo of a roaring lion on his back. The nose of the lion is a Buddhist symbol known as the Five Deva Faces Yantra, and the design is just phenomenal.

Daniele De Rossi

Ask any Roma fan to name a legend of the club and Daniele De Rossi’s name will be up there alongside that of Francesco Totti. De Rossi played for Roma between 2001 and 2019 before moving to Argentina. He won the Coppa Italia twice with Roma and lifted the World Cup with Italy in 2006. The central midfielder has many tattoos across his body, with his Teletubby tattoo being one of the most iconic, which he had done because of his daughter. Another of his iconic tattoos is the one placed on his calf. Here, part of his calf is covered with a warning sign – A warning sign of slide tackles incoming, representing De Rossi’s passions, fight, and spirit on the pitch. Funnily enough, the tattoo shows a player sliding tackling into the opponent’s foot, showing the humor behind the art. If he’s not getting the ball, then the player isn’t going anywhere!

Neymar Jr

Neymar Jr is a man who divides opinion in the football world, but no one can deny he is a superstar of the modern game. The Brazilian forward has won several trophies throughout his careers, such as the Spanish League title, the French League title, the Champions League, and the Copa Libertadores. He has scored 71 goals for Brazil and is highly likely to beat the current record held by Pele. Neymar Jr has become a household name and is synonymous with the game of football, just like poker is synonymous with online casino games and Big Bass Bonanza at Platincasino. Neymar has a huge array of tattoos. Perhaps one of Neymar’s most iconic tattoos is the cross with wings on his neck. He also has the Champions League trophy inked on his leg to celebrate winning the trophy with Barcelona, and Batman and Spiderman across the upper part of his back. It seems that Neymar’s favorite things are all inked across his body. However, what we are yet to see is a tattoo that is casino-related. Neymar is very open about his love for the casino, especially the game of poker.

Lionel Messi

Regarded by many as being the best player to ever grace the game, Lionel Messi is an icon of world football. He enjoyed an incredible career with Barcelona, winning every trophy possible with the club, and has set several records along the way, for goals scored and individual awards. One of Messi’s first tattoos was that of his mother on his back. However, the most iconic is the all-black tattoo on his left leg. The tattoo features his shirt number (10), a football, and his son’s (Thiago) name and hands placed on an all-black background. At first, fans thought that the hands inked on his calf were to honor Diego Maradona’s hand of God goal but later it was learned that they were in fact his son’s handprints. All the tattoo elements that make up his lower calf were inked gradually and separately. In fact, before Messi decided to cover up his whole leg in solid black ink, the elements on today’s whole tattoo were once separate. He even had a design on the front part of his leg, which today is covered with solid black ink.


The four above-mentioned players are some of the most famous players to have tattoos. However, there are several other players who have been inked, such as Sergio Ramos, Dani Alves, Kevin-Prince Boateng, and many more. Of those retired, David Beckham is perhaps the most famous footballer to have tattoos, with Thierry Henry and Djibril Cisse also boasting fantastic body art.