A couple of requirements, seemingly, for the Western soccer player — meaning Europe and the western hemisphere.
1. A silly haircut.
2. A batch of tattoos.
We have the silly hair, here in the Gulf.
We do not have sleeves (or torsos) of tattoos — aside from those adorning/marring the foreign imports.
Which I find refreshing.
So, where is the ink?
This is an overwhelmingly Muslim part of the world, among the natives of the Arabian Peninsula, and Islam pretty clearly opposes tattoos. If I am looking at the right sources the Prophet “curses” those who get tattoos.
(Judaism, also a non-tattoo religion, and Christianity is less than enthusiastic about ink, too.)
I can think of only one Arab, who has played in the UAE soccer league over the past few years, who had tattoos — and he came from Lebanon, widely considered, here, a bit too Western for its own good.
The locals? Not sure we could find enough tattoos to cover one of David Beckham’s arms.
Which I am happy for. Not a tattoo guy. At all.
I’m weary of looking at them, especially on soccer players. Oh, you have tattoos. How … mundane.
But when Emiratis play, we are not going to see puddles of ink on skin.
Amazingly, it appears you can make a living playing soccer without tattoos. Looking at the guys in Europe, or even the U.S. and South America, you might think tats are required to succeed in the sport.
Actually no. That is not the case. A bad haircut is plenty.