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As the 2014 World Cup kicks on, footie fans in China have been especially observant of the Chinese characters splashed across the, ahem, hard-to-miss muscles of several players, and many netizens have taken to forums to ponder the intended meaning of each player’s ink. We’ve picked out a few to
ogle break down.
The Greek striker Theofanis Gekas has a tattoo of five Chinese characters on the inside of his right arm—寒冷殺人魔—which would translate to “cold-blooded killer” or “cold-blooded killing demon”. If tattoos really represent one’s personality, we’re hoping Theofanis is telling us that he is a cool killer for his impressive scoring skills and not satan incarnate.
Spanish defender Sergio Ramos also has a Chinese character tattooed behind his ear (狼) which simply means “wolf”.
The tattoo seen on the right arm of Fredy Guarin from Colombia is a bit more inexplicable. The characters 丹尼宗, as Kotaku’s Eric Jou points out, are most likely meant to be read phonetically as the Chinese name Danny Zong. So, should he be called Fredy or Danny? It’s all very unclear.
The most baffling Chinese character tattoo might belong to the former Germany midfielder Torsten Frings. The five characters across his right arm read: 龙蛇吉勇羊, or, “dragon, snake, fortune, brave, sheep”. He also said that he has a tattoo reading 酸甜鸭子7.99欧元 on his back, meaning “sweet and sour duck 7.99 euro”. We can only imagine the significance attached, but we don’t want to.
Still, we mustn’t ignore the many meaningful tattoos scrawled across Western football players, those appearing in this 2014 World Cup or those who do not.
Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic has a Chinese character tattoo written as 大壯 吉 家人 信, signifying “great strength, luck, family and faith”.
Also, Dimitar Berbatov from Bulgaria, whose team cannot enter this 2014 world’s biggest sporting event, also has a tattoo reading 百無禁忌, or “no holds barred” (“no restrictions”).
Kevin Prince Boateng also has five words inked across his right side: 家族, 健康, 愛, 成功, and 信任, meaning “family, health, love, success and trust”.
Indeed, the world-famous English former footballer David Beckham is well-known in China for his ink. During a talk at Peking University last year, he lifted his shirt to show students the tattoo on his left flank, a famous Chinese saying translated to: “Life and death are determined by fate, rank and riches decreed by Heaven” (生死有命富貴由天).
[Images Via Kotaku, Msn, Xaluan, tattoo-best-pictures.blogspot, ibnlive]
By Jennifer Hui