Football is a sport that’s full of stylish young men love their labels and making fashion statements off the field. This has become a big part of the modern era of the sport. Its biggest stars are courted by the fashion labels who all want their huge fab base to see their clothing on them. Not every footballer is fit for a GQ cover, but in their own different ways most of them do have a unique sense of style.
These players in particular have essentially become fashion icons, even while they’ve thrived as world-class athletes.
More often than not, the style icons on the football scene double as the most visible on-field stars: the goalscorers and ball distributors, who sign £100 million deals and ink sponsorship agreements with massive companies. Héctor Bellerín is a bit of an exception – a star in his own right, but a defensive player for Arsenal and thus someone who sees less of the spotlight. This makes it all the more impressive that he’s become recognised as one of the most fashionable athletes alive. Indeed, while as we mentioned not every footballer gets his own GQ cover, the magazine did do a write-up of 2018’s most stylish footballers, and it was headlined by Bellerín. He’s proven to be able to make everything from surf style, to his own brand of quirky-street-chic, to formalwear pop.
We’ll mention Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang next because he’s effectively the fashion icon you’d expect to see from Arsenal. Bellerín’s teammate, Aubameyang is the player who soaks up much of the on-field glory, standing as one of two primary goalscorers on one of the most high-profile football teams in the world. He too made the aforementioned GQ piece, which noted his propensity for flashier fashions. Indeed, the striker has a way of making bold ideas look like brilliant, if slightly eccentric styles.
Cristiano Ronaldo more or less embodies the full idea of a celebrity sports figure. To start with, he’s one of the best players of all time in his sport. Even presently, as his Juventus team has been eliminated from Champions League competition, you can keep an eye on football scores and see him dominating in virtually every match, consequential or not. Ronaldo just never stops producing, and has cemented himself as one of the most relentless goalscorers in history. This has naturally helped him to become a larger-than-life star, and he’s embraced the public spotlight in part by showcasing impeccable style sense. Ronaldo is always fashion-forward, in trendy and tailored looks. He’s modelled for various brands over the years, and now has his own shop of custom footwear online as well.
We can basically repeat most of what we just said about Ronaldo for Neymar. There are differences of course. Neymar plays for Paris St.-Germain and the Brazilian national team, and is also many years Ronaldo’s junior. But he’s a similarly electric star who’s become a similarly visible celebrity, and like Ronaldo he’s known for his fashion. He hasn’t gone quite so far as to release his own footwear just yet, but Neymar has shined in a variety of looks: designer jackets at fashion events, form-fitting shirts and jeans heading to matches, the suit-and-shorts look that seemed to get trendy among athletes in 2018, etc. The man just always looks sharp.
Paul Pogba, the French star who plays for Manchester United and won a World Cup in 2018, is another player who has to be mentioned here. Pogba doesn’t have an elevated or formal fashion appeal the way Ronaldo or Bellerín can demonstrate on occasion, but he’s specifically known for making athleisure look as stylish as possible. Beauty & The Dirt has covered sports-luxe before, and while that coverage was geared more toward the female audience, anyone who appreciates this kind of style ought to keep an eye on Pogba. Not many people do casual better than he does.