Let’s take a look at some questionable accessories used by footballers. Have you ever wondered what that black band footballers wear in almost every game is?
Or perhaps you’ve always scratched your head at why it seems that almost every single Premier League player has a hunch back when they’re on the pitch.
Questionable accessories used by footballers
In today’s article, we’ll be answering all of those questions and more as we take a look into the closet of your favorite footballers. Here are seven questionable accessories that football players wear and why they wear them.
1. The Black Band
No doubt you must have noticed the unmistakable black band that some players wear in certain games. At first glance, it might look like a captain’s armband until you realize that it’s not. And the easiest way to tell them apart is the hand they’re worn on. Black bands are typically worn on the right arm, while captain armbands are usually on the left.
If they aren’t the captain’s band, then what exactly are these black bands?
Well, traditionally, a black band is worn to signify mourning. These black armbands are often worn to mark tragic events whether something that has recently happened or to signify something that happened on that date in history.
For instance, every year, the anniversary of historic football disasters like the Hillsborough incident and the Munich Air Crash are often marked by players wearing black armbands.
In October 2018, Leicester City owner, Mr Srivaddhanaprabha, tragically passed on. During the round of fixtures that followed his death, all Premier League players wore a black armband to commemorate his passing.
2. The Tight-fitting black bibs
Tight-fitting black bibs just became a thing in football a few years ago. Now, almost every top side in the game has their players running around in those weird-looking bibs, with a protrusion at the back that makes the players look like they’ve all got hunchbacks.
So, what exactly are these bibs for?
It turns out that these bibs act as a kind of GPS and monitoring system for footballers, allowing the medical team to collect valuable data about their performance and overall health.
The heart rate monitor and GPS model are slipped into a pocket in the bib just between the player’s shoulder blades. This is what creates that hunch-back look.
3. Pogba’s Basketball Sleeve
Pogba is known for his flashy hairstyles and flamboyant fashion sense. So when the World Cup winner started wearing a basketball sleeve earlier this year, everyone was intrigued by the new fashion accessory.
People were quick to conclude that it was just Pogba being extravagant with his fashion, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Pogba actually started to wear these basketball sleeves because of some issues he had with his elbows. He first started to feel pain in his right elbow. So, to help with the pain, he was given a compression sleeve to wear to keep his elbow warm and tight while he was playing.
When the pain on his right arm ceased, he suffered the same pain in his left elbow, so, Pogba gave his left elbow the same compression sleeve treatment.
Pogba’s elbow problems are now over. However, he still wears the sleeve as a precaution, to keep his elbows warm and free of pain while he plays. And since it also makes him look cool, that’s two birds killed with one stone!
4. The Face Mask
Antonio Rudiger donned an intimidating face mask in the 2021 UEFA Champions League final tie between Chelsea and Manchester City. Rudiger and Chelsea got their hands on the trophy but only after the German international broke Kevin De Bruyne’s nose with his protective face mask.
Yeah, imagine the irony. A mask designed to protect Rudiger’s face ended up breaking De Bruyne’s nose. The Belgian had to leave the match prematurely, to the disgust of City fans who couldn’t help but ask, “Why on Earth is Rudiger wearing that mask?”.
Well, as you might have figured out, Rudiger had to wear a mask to protect his face from further impact injury. During the semi-final tie against Real Madrid, Toni Kroos broke his jaw. So to help his team finish the season on a high, he opted to play through the pain. The face mask simply helped to prevent another impact that might have worsened the injury.
5. White tape over the wrists
Roma striker Tammy Abraham cannot be caught without his trademark white tape over his wrists. It’s normal for players to wear tapes around their ankles to increase support. But why do players wear what is better known as ankle tape on their wrists?
Well, there are a few reasons.
The most popular and obvious reason is protection. Just like they use these tapes to protect their ankles, players also need protection for their wrists, and so, they also use tapes to secure them.
During a game, players often have to fight for the ball while pushing and pulling their opponents, putting their wrists and fingers in danger, hence the need for protective tapes.
But in some cases, players wear tapes on their wrists and fingers for cosmetic reasons. For example, Gareth Bale is known to always wear a live-strong bracelet, which would normally not be allowed on the pitch.
But the Welshman simply covers it up with some tape, concealing it from the referee. No face, no case.
6. Protective helmet
Petr Cech was so well-associated with the protective helmet that he looked unrecognizable without them. After the horrific head injury Cech suffered in a game against Reading in 2006, Cech was medically mandated to wear a protective helmet for the rest of his football career. And that’s exactly what he did.
In the freak accident involving then Reading player, Stephen Hunt, Cech fractured several bones in his skull. The incident required surgery and a three-month layoff.
According to the doctors, any further cracks in his skull could have led to death. Luckily, Cech survived the ordeal and saw out the rest of a hugely successful career with his trademark helmet.
7. Adama Traore’s baby oil
Adama Traore is one of the fastest players in the premier league. There’s no one who can keep up with this guy when he’s at top speed. For many defenders, there’s only one way to stop the Wolves star – pull him down before he begins to accelerate.
When Traore became frustrated with the antics of EPL defenders, the coaching staff at Wolves came up with an ingenious solution – baby oil.
Traore would rub baby oil all over his humongous arms so he could slip out of the grip of anyone who grabbed him by the arm. That is why his arms are always so shiny before the game. So he can be fast and slippery.
And with that, we shut the door to footballers’ weird accessory closets. Do let us know in the comments if you know of any other questionable accessories worn by football players.