Over the last few years, Arsenal full-back Héctor Bellerín has immersed himself in the fashion world, becoming one of the game’s most distinctive figures with his long hair, moustache and eye-catching outfits.
Not everyone likes him, but everyone recognises him.
This month, Bellerín’s fashion credentials were given the ultimate stamp of approval, as the Spaniard featured on the cover of Vogue.
In its big feature, the magazine said the injured defender was “breaking the modern sportsman mould” — something you rarely heard said about Lee Dixon or Lauren.
But while Vogue is right to a certain extent, one could argue that the “mould” has been broken many times before — by fashion-forward players like David Beckham and Freddie Ljungberg, and even by contemporary aesthetes like Paul Pogba.
In other words, if Vogue is going to start putting footballers on the cover, it needs to make room for loads more fashionistas besides Bellerín.
We’re giving them this shortlist for free:
Nigerian defender Taribo West was a star of the 1996 Olympics but became equally famous for his outlandish hairstyles, which included green braids.
Now a pastor at a church called ‘Shelter in The Storm Miracle Ministries of All Nations’, it’s unclear whether West would agree to be snapped.
— Uncle Suru (@unclexofficial) March 17, 2019
Jamie Vardy thinks Christian Fuchs is the worst-dressed player at Leicester.
That’s awkward, because the Austrian has his own fashion line. It’s called ‘No Fuchs Given’, obviously, and that seems like a great reason to put him in Vogue.
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— #NoFuchsGiven (@NoFuchsGivenLtd) November 15, 2018
On the subject of quirky Austrians, there’s surely room in the fashion world for Wigan hero Paul Scharner.
Scharner wears fur coats and colours his hair in lots of gruesome ways but also wears primary-school-teacher glasses.
We don’t talk about Joey Barton much these days, and that’s probably fine.
But he did have a phase in which he wore double denim, took a philosophy degree and started talking about The Smiths all the time. A real free spirit.
And look, he’s already been on one.
— Peter Harrop (@har1022) September 10, 2012
Bobby Firmino has terrible style. Just awful. But what would he wear for a cover shoot?!
We sort of know what Héctor Bellerín is going to wear these days, but we know nothing about the secret wardrobes of Arsenal’s other right-backs.
If given a Vogue cover shoot of his own, would the mysterious Carl Jenkinson try to outdo his team-mate? Would he go with a no-frills normcore style, all bootcut jeans and JanSport backpack?
He’s doing nothing else, so he may as well set up a Tumblr or something.
Rumoured to be one of the vainest footballers on earth, Guti earned his superstar status with a couple of tidy backheels.
Pair of mould-breakers right there.
The former Portugal right-back has played in Rome and LA, and spent most of his career rocking a bleached bonnet. And beard.
That makes him more than qualified for the job.
Ten years ago, I don’t think any of us would have foreseen a 32-year-old, pink-haired Ryan Babel carrying a Fulham squad that cost about a trillion pounds.
Yet here he is, scoring against Liverpool, looking a bit weird, talking about the good old days.
I’d buy a copy of Vogue with Ryan Babel on the cover. Why not?
Héctor Bellerín got into Vogue, and his moustache is way worse than Callum Paterson’s.
As far as I can tell, nobody has ever played for Dundee and also been in a fashion magazine, but Argentine forward Claudio Caniggia was doing the glam rock hair thing long before Bellerín.
Man City’s bonkers goalkeeper definitely doesn’t fit the mould. He doesn’t have glamour model looks either, but he’s a character just like Bellerín.
They could put him in some comically oversized gloves.
Needs a hobby.
Ronaldinho’s post-football career has involved setting up a sketchy-sounding cryptocurrency, and we really think his talents could be put to better use.
It’s hard to picture the Brazilian wearing anything besides a football kit or a beaded necklace, mind you.