Five years ago, Chile were centimetres away from knocking hosts Brazil out of the World Cup when Mauricio Pinilla’s last-minute shot beat Júlio César but came back off the crossbar.
It’s natural for a player to bemoan their luck in such a situation, but we could have forgiven Pinilla for deciding to vomit and move on in the face of his misfortune.
Instead, though, he had the miss etched permanently on his body, so he could never forget how close he came. ‘One centimeter from glory’, reads the tattoo he got days after the tournament, along with a depiction of the shot hitting the woodwork. If there was ever any danger of him being known for anything else, that’s now gone.
Pinilla’s tattoo differs from some other footballers, though, for one reason: you can instantly tell what it’s about. Some other players’ ink has left us scratching our heads.
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) July 1, 2014
Alessandro Diamanti is a man bursting at the seams with chaotic energy.
This is a footballer who once took 14 shots in a goalless draw, and who forced a Premier League goalkeeper into a save after letting fly from 60 yards out by the left-hand touchline. If you expected his tattoos to make sense, you simply haven’t been paying attention.
Here are his legs…
This is Alessandro Diamanti's tattoo.
— TEAMtalk (@TEAMtalk) November 13, 2015
And now his arm…
That dude… Alessandro Diamanti pic.twitter.com/K92OgWH1
— Ignazia C/ MUA (@Iggismallz) June 24, 2012
This is clearly a man who doesn’t know the meaning of the phrase “there’s no space”.
Roma forward Perotti is a man who likes to score goals, so it makes sense for him to get a boot and a ball tattooed onto his body. Asking a primary school child to draw the prototype was a strange decision, mind you.
Either that or Perotti himself has drawn the outline in felt-tip seconds before entering the tattoo studio, which shows some dexterity at least.
James Horncastle was correct on Football Weekly in saying that Diego Perotti of Roma has a pretty bobbins football tattoo on his neck: pic.twitter.com/VAndSXNc2o
— Danny Last (@DannyLast) February 17, 2017
Speaking of children, Gilardino can presumably blame his own offspring for the inspiration to get a tattoo of Peppa Pig.
You have to admire the craftsmanship, at the very least – there’s no mistaking that for another animated pig. He’s had this for at least six years, too, so you can’t accuse him of jumping on the more recent Peppa hype train.
Does Alberto Gilardino have the worst tattoo in football? pic.twitter.com/X4n4zLfz90
— Football FanCast (@FootballFanCast) September 10, 2013
Oh, you thought that footballer you hate was too egotistical? He’s got nothing on d’Alessandro, once dubbed the New Maradona and once, a few years later, loaned by Portsmouth.
It’s a tattoo of his own face, on his torso. I guess if he ever wakes up not knowing who he is, he can always just look down.
Brazilian football man of the week: Internacional's Andrés D'Alessandro, for getting a tattoo of his own face pic.twitter.com/Aug0mwjVDv
— Jack Lang (@jacklang) December 3, 2015
You know the old saying ‘take a picture, it’ll last longer’? Well, a tattoo will last even longer than a picture.
Seattle Sounders and Panama centre-back Torres played a big part in his team’s run to MLS Cup glory in 2016, and decided to permanently commemorate the achievement with a tattoo of himself lifting the trophy.
— Evanglista Sports Mp (@E_S_Maple) December 27, 2016
There’s no getting around it, Agger’s back tattoo is sick as f**k.
If you’re wondering what that writing at the top says, it’s ‘Mors certa, hora incerta’.
Agger’s back tattoo tho , so lit yo ??? pic.twitter.com/r0lf10it81
— Veronicaa??✨? (@itzVeronlikeduh) November 11, 2017
“Did you hear about Alberto Moreno’s tattoo?”
“No, what is it?”
“Fair enough, he’s probably got a good reason for that, maybe an old nickname or something.”
“It means he’s a cool guy.”
“And a suit.”
“The suit signals professionalism, probably.”
“Holding a smoking gun.”
“Is… is he okay?”
We're a bit late to the party, but in case you missed it, this is Alberto Moreno's new tattoo. So many questions… pic.twitter.com/hOv3ipVm3U
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) April 13, 2016
So he’s not a footballer, but Clatts probably wishes he was one.
As it is, he’s had to make do with a reminder that he was at some of the game’s biggest events, with complementary Champions League and Euro 2016 tattoos.
The best bit? He’s got the trademark symbol inked onto him. No one wants to get sued for copyright infringement, after all.
So… it seems Mark Clattenburg has got himself a new tattoo. Of the Champions League trophy. O…kay. pic.twitter.com/x5LHlb3anw
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) August 3, 2016