The World Cup is but a day away from kicking off in Russia and approximately 736 players will be attempting to make a name for themselves in front of a global audience measured in the billions.
For some, that will mean scoring goals, tackling strikers and saving penalties. But others have found another to express themselves: tattoos or, specifically, hand tattoos.
A number of international stars head to Russia with unique ink on their hands and Sportsmail has picked out some of the best examples for your enjoyment. So, enjoy!
Marcelo Brozovic – Croatia
It’s hard to believe that emojis didn’t exist at the turn of the century. Now, we not only use the little figures to communicate complex feelings with friends via instant messages, we also get them tattooed on our hands. At least, Marcelo Brozovic does.
The Inter Milan midfielder has made a habit of wrapping his hand around his chin when scoring so decided to get his own breed of emoji printed so it shows up whenever he hits the back of the net.
Sergio Ramos – Spain
The Real Madrid captain’s torso is absolutely packed out with ink, so it was only a matter of time before it eventually leaked onto his hands.
Sergio Ramos has all manner of presumably meaningful things on both of his hands with the left sporting a rose in full bloom and the year 2014. The right hand shows a number of different symbols, numbers and even measurements.
Roberto Firmino – Brazil
The Liverpool and Brazil forward – likely to start on the bench behind Gabriel Jesus and Neymar in Russia – has a rose emblazoned across his right hand.
Below his hand, the 26-year-old has 1991, the year of his birth, carved onto each of his fingers.
Fedor Smolov – Russia
Expressing yourself isn’t generally advised in Russia, but Fyodor Smolov seems like he has nothing to fear with a raft of tattoos covering both of his arms and the back of his right hand.
The words ‘Love’ and ‘Free F510’ are both on display on his right hand, although there is no information on what the latter message means. As he’s still very much alive and well, we can assume it’s not political.
Ricardo Quaresma – Portugal
Like Ramos, Ricardo Quaresma is covered in tattoos, including a kiss mark on his neck. But it is the freaky eye on his right hand that we’re interested in right now.
The eye seems to give his hand a squid-like quality when at rest while the words ‘true’ suggest a deeper meaning behind it all.
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic – Serbia
Perhaps looking back to his luckiest night at the poker table, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has a royal flush inked on his left arm, which is finished off with a skull on the hand.
That skull may look grim by itself, but the addition of a flower blooming from the top of its head gives makes it look like something taken straight out of Tim Burton movie.
Aron Gunnarsson – Iceland
Iceland are ready to make a big impression at their first World Cup and Aaron Gunnarson will look the business with his upside down head (no hair, big beard) and ferocious looking arm sleeves.
As far as the hands go, Gunnarsson has the number 607 inked on his left-hand and what appears to be the word ‘Malmguist’ on his right. Answers on a postcard if you know what that means.
Javier Aquino – Mexico
Another blooming flower to finish off, making it the most popular choice among the tattoo enthusiast at the World Cup this summer.
Javier Aquino compliments his rose with the words ‘Love’ on his left-hand fingers and ‘Blessed’ strewed across his right in the neatest of calligraphy.
Lets know your opinion in the comment section.
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