There are stereotypes in football that you most likely don’t know about. Stereotypes are funny and oftentimes, illogical, but we see them everywhere, even in our favorite sport. As a matter of fact, football has some of the craziest stereotypes you’ve ever heard of, and we’re here to look at some of them today.
These are 10 weird stereotypes in football.
1. Players of African origins are strong and fast
Perhaps the most popular stereotype in football is that players of African origins are strong and fast. Most fans see a player with African blood and automatically expect him to win every duel and feel no pain.
This stereotype makes no sense because we’ve seen a lot of players of African and/or Caribbean descent who are very injury-prone and not as strong as many expect. Danny Welbeck, Daniel Sturridge, and Dembele are some very good examples.
This particular stereotype finds its roots in racism, even though sometimes we find ourselves unknowingly enforcing it.
2. Players from Brazil should be skillful
Another really funny stereotype is that players from Brazil should be skillful. Brazil is known for Samba, flair, and beautiful trickery with the ball, so many of us have unconsciously come to expect every big player from there to be unbelievably skillful no matter the position he plays.
It is because of this stereotype that fans mockingly call players like Fred and Ramires “fake Brazilians” because they’re from Brazil but aren’t so good at displaying flamboyant tricks like the likes of Neymar and Ronaldinho.
And one can argue that it’s because of this weird stereotype that some Brazilian players have been overpriced. Guys like Antony and Richarlison would probably have been bought for a lot less if they were from a different nationality.
3. English players are over-hyped
Speaking of nationalities, there’s this ongoing stereotype that English players are over-hyped. Fans see a young English player getting some accolades from the media and automatically assume he’s only getting recognition because he’s English.
They have done this to the likes of Declan Rice and Phil Foden; they even did it to the OGs like Michael Owen and David Beckham. All of these guys are super talented and you can argue that they’re all-timers, but being born in England seems to make some fans believe that they always get too much hype from the media, which is obviously not true.
4. Short players are usually good dribblers
You know what else is not true? The stereotype is that short players are usually good dribblers. Fans see Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona and automatically think that every diminutive player can dribble so well because of their low center of gravity. But well, that’s just not true.
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There are so many short players who cannot dribble to save their lives. Mathieu Valbuena, N’Golo Kante, Phillip Lahm, Lisandro Martinez, and Lucas Torreira are some short players who are not known for their dribbling ability.
5. Tall Big players aren’t fast
A different type of stereotype exists for tall players. Many people look at tall and/or big players and just instantly assume that they can’t run or aren’t fast, but there’s actually no scientific evidence to back that up, and that’s why it’s nothing more than a stereotype.
Romelu Lukaku, Micky van de Ven, Antonio Rudiger, Erling Haaland, Mario Balotelli, and Thierry Henry are some players well over 6 feet who are super quick. And of course, there’s the biggest paradox for fans, Adama Traora, who’s so bulky, yet one of the fastest players we have ever seen. It’s safe to say that this stereotype doesn’t hold water at all.
6. Bald players are better headers of the ball
Another stereotype that doesn’t hold water is the one that bald players are better headers of the ball. In fact, you don’t even have to be bald. The moment you get a skin cut, fans just assume that the power to score a smashing header has been bestowed upon you.
Enforcers of this stereotype will use Vincent Kompany and Zinedine Zidane as examples. And with Zidane, they’d most likely refer to him throwing his bald head into Materazzi’s midriff during the 2006 World Cup final. But they forget that Arjen Robben and Andres Iniesta were also bald and nobody ever crossed a ball into the box with the hope that any of them would head it in the goal.
7. Asians have unreal stamina
There’s also the weird stereotype that Asians have unreal stamina. Yes, some of them do, in all honesty, but it’s silly to think that every player from that continent is automatically blessed with stamina.
8. South American footballers are always hot-headed
The South American continent is plagued with a different type of stereotype. There’s this weird belief that South American footballers are always hot-headed and rash tacklers, but in reality, this is so far from the truth.
We literally have players like Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria, Kaka, Ronaldinho, and many other stars from the South American continent who are so cool and calm-headed, so there’s absolutely no reason a stereotype like this should exist. Yes, the continent has produced some hard tacklers and masters of the dark arts over the years, but so has every other continent.
9. People from the US aren’t real football fans
Speaking of America, there’s a stereotype that people from the US aren’t real football fans. Football is not the most popular sport on that side of the globe, and worse still, they even have a different name for it over there, so Europeans just write them off as fake football fans.
But hey, who really decides who is a real or fake football fan? The truth is that some fans from the US are more knowledgeable about the sport than fans from Europe and other parts of the world. And right now, they can boast of the GOAT playing in their land, so that’s one up on Europe, for sure.
10. Farmers’ League
Finally, there’s this weird stereotype that any European league not named the English Premier League is a farmers’ league, and that’s just so strange. I mean, the Premier League has not produced a Ballon d’Or winner in over 15 years. In the last 10 years, there have been 3 Champions League winners from the Premier League, 2 from the German Bundesliga, and 6 from La Liga; those are definitely not farmers’ leagues.
Also, English fans like to push the narrative that the Premier League is the most competitive in the world, but apart from Germany, England is the only other major European league that is currently being dominated by one club.
In the past 5 years, Man City has won the league 4 times, meanwhile, in that same period of time, Ligue 1 has produced 2 different winners, La Liga 3, Portuguese Primeira Liga 3, Eredivisie 3, and Serie A 4. So, which league is really the least competitive and, as an extension, the farmers’ league?
Are there more weird stereotypes in football that you’re tired of?
We want to hear all of it in the comments. This is a safe space, feel free to vent.