5 players paying tribute with tatoos

By Drum Digital
14 June 2014

Inked in - 5 players with world cup tatoo touch

While many footballers at the World Cup sport all kinds of tattoos for artistic reasons, some honour family members or pay tribute.

AFP Sport looks at the five best in Brazil:

Sergio Ramos -- Spain

The 28-year-old defender has almost as many tattoos as he has winners medals with Spain and Real Madrid. His left bicep sports the dates '9/11 and 3/11' referring to the terror attacks on the United States in 2001 and Madrid in 2004 with the phrase in English 'lies in the memory of those alive'. He also has a tattoo dedicated to a former team-mate at Sevilla, Antonio Puerta who died aged 22 after suffering a succession of heart attacks during a La Liga game in 2007. "From then on (when he died), Antonio has always been with me. The next game, I went out on the field with his shirt and for a long time after that, I wore one that was dedicated to him," said Ramos.

Kevin-Prince Boateng -- Ghana

Ramos may have a great variety of tattoos but nothing compared to the 13 that the self-confessed 'Ghetto Boy' has covering his body. The 27-year-old Schalke 04 star, who has a gangster tattoo 'Pain vs Love' on his torso, said each of his tattoos has a sentimental meaning. "I have Africa and Ghana from my father... I have the name of my wife and my home town, Berlin. I also have two jokers; one is smiling and the other crying. It means laugh now, cry later," Boateng told a German newspaper.

Darjo Srna -- Croatia

The 32-year-old captain and defender has a tattoo across his heart reading "Igor" in honour of his brother who has Down's Syndrome. He dedicates all his goals to him and has been known to buy hundreds of tickets for orphans to attend Shakhtar Donetsk games. Srna has another personal tattoo of a deer ("srna" in Croat) on his calf in honour of the sacrifices his parents made for him as a child. "My father and my family mean everything to me," he told the Guardian. "I can't forget how they suffered while they were trying to find money for me during my days at Hajduk."

Antonio Valencia -- Ecuador

The Manchester United winger suffered a grievous blow last year when his closest friend and Ecuador's leading striker Christian Benitez died playing for his Qatari club Al Jaish. The 28-year-old in hommage to his compatriot immediately had a tattoo inscribed with Benitez's nickname 'Chucho' alongside three stars, his date of birth, his shirt number and date of death. "I wanted to share with you this tribute in honour of my brother 'Chucho'," posted Valencia on his Twitter account. "We'll never forget you."

Ezequiel Lavezzi -- Argentina

Lavezzi has a tattoo on the top of his left hip inspired by Diego Maradona. The design of the tattoo is not of Maradona's notorious 'Hand of God' goal against England in 1986 but of him heading the ball. Like Maradona, the 29-year-old also played for Serie A side Napoli but Lavezzi, now with French champions Paris Saint Germain, refutes any comparison with his controversial compatriot. "I wish people would stop likening me to a legend. There's only one Diego Maradona and there always will be."

-  Sapa

picture: Sxc.hu

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