Most tattooed footballers
By Gavin Jewkes, 9 July 2014
There's more to becoming an international footballer than mad skills, crazy athletic prowess and a predilection for strip clubs, you know. Nowadays, there's a rite of passage every footballer must endure if he wants to be taken seriously in the beautiful game. No, not launching a range of underwear or getting tramlines shaved in (although this helps) – we're talking about going under the needle and sporting a dozen or so tattoos, of course.
While these five players have already crashed out of this year's World Cup, they're still angling for the title of Most Heavily Tattooed. So cast your eyes over their ink, head to Twitter and let us know whether you think they display artistry to rival a Messi dribble or are more akin to a centre back's hoof upfield.
Arsenal and England midfielder Wilshere has made no secret of his admiration for David Beckham. Not only does this explain his flair on the pitch, but also his style off it. From the expertly coiffed barnet to his penchant for a sharply tailored suit, he's like a mini Becks – right down to the intricate sleeve tattoo.
From swirling tribal motifs to poetic chest pieces, Ghanaian international Boateng is a chaotic patchwork of tattoos from different cultural touchpoints. The outcome? Downright confusing.
What's more fun than getting the word 'Blessed' tattooed on your temple? Getting a tattoo depicting that goal you almost scored for Chile against Brazil across your belly, obvs.
The former Liverpool and Chelsea midfielder is the painted man of football. In fact, he sports the kind of decoration you'd usually find on the frontman of a heavy metal band or the DJ of a Berlin dive bar. With a giant Chinese dragon across his back and a various portraits dotted about his torso, Meireles is proof that in some cases more is definitely more.
Australian nice guy Cahill has kept his tattoos low-key. Instead of opting for total coverage, he has a modest half-sleeve, featuring elaborate designs inspired by his Samoan heritage.