FIFA World Cup 2022: Inked for the love of all things football

Updated on Dec 01, 2022 12:04 PM IST

Football fervour has engulfed the country, amid the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Qatar

Tattoo artists across Delhi-NCR are inundated with queries and bookings (Photo: AFP)
Tattoo artists across Delhi-NCR are inundated with queries and bookings (Photo: AFP)
BySanchita Kalra, Ashish Kumar Singh and Anupriya Mishra

Football fervour has engulfed the country, amid the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Qatar. From quirky merchandise to jerseys aplenty, it’s a celebration like no other for football lovers. Many have even chosen to ink their love for the sport, something they can cherish for a lifetime. As a result, tattoo artists across Delhi-NCR are inundated with queries and bookings. Popular choices include jerseys and portraits of footballers such as Lionel Messi, Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo, as well as inks inspired by those sported by their favourite players.

Roshan Singh, owner of Dev Tattoos, tells us, “There’s a lot of demand for football-inspired tattoos in Delhi. Sab kehte hain ki unhone (footballers) tattoo banwaya hai toh mujhe bhi banwana hai. They pick tattoos similar to what footballers have and suggest some modifications or twists based on their own personalities.”

Jersey is another popular template. “CR7 for Cristiano Ronaldo is in high demand, followed by logos of football clubs,” shares Lokesh Verma, founder of Devil’z Tattooz. Amit Sethi, owner, The Tattoo Shop, adds, “Recently, a person enquired about any tattoo related to Messi. Since Messi plays for Argentina, the person requested for a flag or something to show his support. He hasn’t got it done yet, he is waiting for the team to qualify!”

What’s also increasingly popular this year is couple tattoos, inspired by the likes of Luis Suárez. Naveen Sharma, owner of Inkcredible Art, Gurugram, says, “The latest tattoo I made was inspired by Luis Suarez and his wife Sofia Balbi’s lion finger tattoos.”

Echoing similar thoughts, tattoo artist, Abhishek Ahuja, owner of N.A. Tattoos adds, “Lionel Messi’s tattoo is a popular choice! He has a crown tattoo, so people really like it and want to get it as couple tattoos as not many are aware that the player shares this tattoo with his partner. Plus, he has a realistic eye on the inner biceps that’s also something that people get done!”

However, some also feel that getting tattoos for an occasion can’t be an instant decision. Amy Khurana, a tattoo artist from Gurugram says, “Just after the FIFA World Cup 2022 started, I recently had a professional football player from Dwarka come to me for with a reference image of a portrait of Cristiano Ronaldo for a tattoo on his calf. But I also feel that getting a tattoo of a celeb cannot be in a spur-of-the-moment decision, it’s going to stay with you forever.”

Talking about FIFA fever gripping tattoo enthusiasts in the city, Amit Sethi tattoo artist and owner at The Tattoo Shop, shares, “Recently, a person enquired about any tattoo related to Messi. Since he plays for Argentina, he requested a flag or something related to that, to show his support for the team. While he hasn’t gotten it done yet, he is waiting for the team to qualify, so that he can get it done at the right moment!”

Among football enthusiasts in the city, the excitement to dedicate something as special as a tattoo to the sport, is palpable. Sonu, a national level football player, who has inked his own jersey, says: “When I started playing football in 2005, little did I know I’d fall in love with the sport so much that I will end up getting a tattoo!” Delhiite Kartik Khanna, who has a tattoo of Wayne Rooney, among others, opines, “These tattoos attract other football lovers and help strike a conversation on our common love for the game.”

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