Background photo: GSUAREZFOTOGRAFO.

How many balls must a man score before we call him a professional football player? Nevermind. That was just a small check if you're deep into the game. And a silly remake of a Bob Dylan to draw your attention. We're not about to blabber on Euro 2016 results and the worst or best ones in hitting the back of the net. Our target is to examine who the football fans are and what tattoos they get.

This subculture has too many different sides to be described only by a word or represented by a definite type of a person. The main problem is, we find it hard to draw the line between a harmless spectator and offensive hooligan, though they're bent together by one main thing - a strong desire for their football idols' winning and success.

If we get closer to a guy who is keen on football and wants to show it, it won't be surprising to see a football on his body, simple as it is.

via, profile:@alextattz.

"A football + Adidas boots" combo is also popular among football-lovers.

via, profile: @mandrill_tattoo.

A cosmic football, floating in multicolored universe, will be a unique sign of devotion to your sports passion.

A football as a part of a fan's sleeve by Katarina Zlatic.

via, profile: @tru.x.luv.

A rad phrase, inked on your body, will be worth it, if it "speaks sense".

Some fans prefer dedicate their body parts to their favourite football players by setting them in ... tattoos.


via, profile: @ultrastattoo.

Level of passion varies from enthusiastic supporters to real die-hard fans. The last ones, aka ultrahooligans, or ultras, tend to attend all the games of their beloved football club and act violently. In the past, to be recognized they wore special clothing, close to skinhead style. However, to avoid danger from possible enemies (rival fans or police) they turned to wearing European design clothes, sports or casual ones, and were nicknamed 'casuals' because of this sudden change in their dressing habits.

via, profile: @ultrastattoo.

Their tats serve as identifications among the cronies and provocations for the fans who shout for the rivalry. They also express their attitude towards established values and norms. As we mentioned before, ultrahooliganism is an extreme form of football fanatism which carries the torch for violence towards bands supporting the rivals. In such cases tattoos expose their barrers' lives to danger as, being inked on the skin once, they can't be changed or removed.

For ultras derby matches are considered to be a part of their lifestyle. Here are a few of them, with the works by some tattooists, registered on, as remarkable examples of football fan tattoo culture.


The North-West Derby came from a longstanding rivalry between Manchester and Liverpool. Financial and industrial development of the two cities caused a tough competition between them . In the 19th century Manchester was known as a manufacturing centre of national importance, whereas Liverpool served as a port and was a well-known trading centre . The building of the Manchester Ship Canal heated up the conflict between the two giants, as that allowed Manchester to trade heavily avoiding Liverpool as a trade mediator. Therefore, whether you take a look closely at Manchester United F.C. logo, you will find an image of a ship on it, a symbol of buying and selling.

"The Red Devils", a famous nickname, given to the team in the 60-s, became an eye-catching part of the crest.


Liverpool handed over to its football representative their noticeable symbol - the Liver Bird. There is also a fragment of green Shankly Gates, a small dedication to the team's former football trainer, on Liverpool F.C.'s logo. The phrase above ("You'll never walk alone") was taken from the song which turned into the club's hymn.


Real Madrid F.C. and F.C. Barcelona are considered to be enemies throughout football history, and like in North-West Derby, the rivalry started with a neck-and-neck between the two major Spanish cities - Barcelona, the capital of autonomous Catalonia, and Madrid, a capital of the whole country.

What a strange abbreviation we see below - here, on the emblem, one letter is missing and the name of the club seems to be misspelled. Curiously enough, that is the tribute to the club's origin - it was given a name "Madrid Football Club" at the very beginning. Then an extra word "real", which means "royal" in Spanish, was added.

Barcelona F.C.'s emblem has always had strong connection with its homeland. Initially, in 1899 the club's logo was based on Catalonia's crest. Later, blue and red stripes appeared, these are symbolic colours of the club, with an image of a retro football.


Alexey Kot


Originated from Society of Ski Sports Amateurs, the football team was supposed to prepare the Red Army soldiers and recruitees for military actions. That is why the red star was added to the club's logo.

Lokomotiv grew from the team "Kazanka", or Moskovskaya-Kazanskaya Zh.D. (Moscow-Kazan Railway). It also brought people from KOR (Club of the October Revolution) into the fold.

Xenix Fenix

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