Column: International soccer has been glamorized
One thing is for certain, football, or "soccer," has come quite a ways since the 1970s. Glitz and glamour have taken over and quickly brushed aside the workman's mentality that encompassed the 70s, 80s and the emergence of "beautiful" footballers in the 90s. In todays era of football, the talent may be more eccentric, more flashy, more of everything as compared to the previous generations. And moreover, footballers have transformed from the rough and tumble in the years previous to more of a fake rough and tough style.
The days where a player would sustain a crunching tackle and remain on his feet are long gone. Now, players are more apt to falling to their deaths like a sniper is in the crowd rather than remaining on their twinkle toes. How many times are players going to be susceptible to a small knock on their heels and gash in pain as if they've been run over by a wrecking ball? I, for one, await the days where a world footballer like Roy Keane will emerge from the world and thrash nearly every attacker that steps into his engine room. And for heaven's sake, if a man of Keane or Gennaro Gattuso's stature ever emerged from the depths of forever, I'd imagine a red card being thrown his way every third match.
World footballers nowadays are far too concerned with their hair and appearance, rather than their play on the pitch. How many times have we seen a player like Cristiano Ronaldo or Gareth Bale fix their hair, or gently caress their beautiful locks as if they know the camera is right on their face? Far too often. Understandably, both Ronaldo and Bale can, at times, get away with their "prettiness" and metrosexual tendencies because of their moments of brilliance on the pitch for Real Madrid, but I'd far rather have a man like Wayne Rooney or John Terry on my squad. The grit, the grind and the daily work rate, as opposed to the perfect hair.
Then again, some will say, Rooney looks like an ogre and Terry had sexual relationships with his teammates wives, so deciding the lesser of two evils is utterly difficult.
Understandably, as modern medicine has taken its turn for the better, world footballers no longer divulge themselves in boozing it up (in public at least). The 80s drinking culture in England was absolutely disgraceful and frowned upon in today's footballing world, but 30 years ago it was socially acceptable. Players like Bryan Robson, George Best, Alan Shearer and more were well versed in a drink or two, or seven. Now, if a player is even around a glass of wine or a cigarette they're thrown to the dogs.
The looks and alcohol aren't the only main components of life as a footballer that have changed over the years. Tattoos have taken over the bodies of nearly every player throughout the world, obviously some more than others. Hard-nosed defending was an entity of the game that players in the 80s and 90s took immense pride upon; however, tattoos in today's game have hid the manly persona and instead embarked the players on a sense of falsehood. Daniele De Rossi has the calf warning sign tattoo on his body, Daniel Agger has Viking tattoos and YNWA on his knuckles. And do not get me started on Djibril Cisse's choice of tattoos, apart from his outrageous hair. For those of you familiar with my new obsession, "Prison Break," Michael Scofield's body is covered with tattoos-a map of sorts in order to aid in his escape from you guessed it, prison. Footballers bodies have been taken over by ink, both young and old, to almost create a sense of falsehood in terms of their manliness. The more tattoos, the better the footballer? The more tattoos, the more fierce of an opponent? Whatever it may be, footballers have quickly taken to tattoos as a saving grace of sorts to rediscover themselves-self which appears to have been lost years previous. Surely, tattoos have a meaning and each individual has his or her unique reasons for them. Just ask Sydney LeRoux. However, it appears quite apparent even the younger generations are covering themselves with ink in order to fit in with their peers, and frighten their opponents.
Hell, I wouldn't want to walk down an alley with Martin Skrtel coming my way.
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