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Why Do Soccer Players Wear Tape On Their Wrists? 7 Basic Reason

Why Do Soccer Players Wear Tape On Their Wrists? 7 Basic Reason

Soccer players are known to initiate trends, thanks to the millions of fans they have across the world. From awkward haircuts to dyeing their hair or shirt inscriptions.

For example, in the 2019 Champions League clash between Barcelona and Liverpool, Mohammed Salah who was forced to sit out the clash due to injury was seen wearing a T-shirt with the inscription “Never Give Up”. After Liverpool’s thrilling 4 – 0 win, the shirt inscription became a trend.

Everything about soccer players is overly analyzed. Thus, the wearing of tape on the wrist by soccer players has often caught the attention of most soccer fans.

Many want to know if this is another fashion trend they can copy.

When it comes to taping the wrists, some do it to look cool—particularly players that tape only one wrist—while others are backed by legitimate reasons.

Interestingly, some wear tapes for trivial or shocking reasons. What are these reasons? Read on to find out.

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Why do soccer players wear tape on their wrists?

Apparently, soccer players do everything for a reason—maybe not everything. During soccer games, you will likely find soccer players wearing tapes on their wrists.

Athletic tapes are tough and withstand sweat for long hours. However, the taping is still flexible enough to allow flexible wrist movements.

There are myriads of reasons why soccer players wear tape on their wrists. Today, we are going to unravel that mystery. Below are some of the reasons why soccer players wear tapes on their wrists.

Read more: Why Do Soccer Players Wear Bras?

1. Protection of the wrists

Protection of the wrists is arguably the main reason why soccer players wear tapes on their wrists.

Football accessories that were once cool

You will see this trend more among physical players that take lots of tackles from opponents and trip regularly.

Soccer is a contact sport where players often pull and push their opponents for the right to play the ball.

Consequently, joints like the wrist and fingers often get bent into unnatural positions. Taping the wrists helps to provide stability and prevent injury like twisting of the wrists.

Also, when players fall, the first instinct is to put their hands on the ground to cushion the effect of the fall. The tape on the wrist helps to protect it from twisting out of position during such a fall.

The practice of wrapping the wrists with tapes is more common among wingers, strikers, and defenders. Adama Traore and Sadio Mane are just a few forward players who protect their wrists with tape.

2. Cover Jewelry

Most professional leagues ban players from wearing loose jewelry into the pitch for various obvious reasons. This safety precaution is because of their potential to harm the player or other players.

For example, if a player wearing earrings is hit by the ball on the ears, the earring may tear out from the ear causing severe injury to the player.

We have heard of players losing their belongings to rogues who break into their dressing rooms. In September 2012, for example, Chelsea players and staff suffered the loss of nine mobile phones, six wallets, and several watches while at the training ground.

Instead of leaving their precious bracelets in the dressing room and risk losing them, some soccer players prefer to carry them to the field by concealing them with tapes.

SportMedBC Tutorial: Mastering Wrist Taping for Sports and Safety

Gareth Bale is one of the players known to cover his Livestrong bracelet with tape. He has been wearing this bracelet throughout his career—perhaps as a good luck charm.

Tapping bracelets or watches to the wrists also protects these prized possessions from damage as players clash against themselves and on the ground.

3. Cover tattoos

One of the recent trends in soccer is that of players covering their bodies with tattoos. Sometimes these tattoos are those of family children, other family members, and sometimes controversial subjects.

Players with tattoos that collide with the politics or ideologies of their clubs will definitely have to cover up the tattoos to avoid getting into trouble with their clubs.

Likewise, players that have tattoos of a dear one on their wrist often cover it up with tapes if they don’t want the loved one to become a subject of media attention.

soccer players wear tape on wrist to cover tattoos

4. Draw tattoos

It is not all the time that players use tapes to cover tattoos. There are times when they use it as a tattoo board.

For example, when players don’t want to have a permanent tattoo or their skin is too dark to highlight a tattoo, they will often prefer to have the temporary tattoo done on the tape around their wrists.

5. Help in healing

The wrists and ankles have very little support which explains why it is the most common form of injury that soccer players suffer.

In severe cases, it can lead to surgery or a long rehabilitation process that will keep the player on the sidelines for weeks.

If a player has suffered dislocation or wrist or ankle sprain, the medical team will use their skills to realign the joints after which they will use tapes to limit the movement of the joints so that they can heal faster.

Taping of the wrists prevents rigorous movements which irritate the injury and prevents proper healing.

Players who have had wrist injuries in the past or recovering from a wrist injury would most likely be advised by the team’s physician to wear tapes on their wrists.

wrist tapes will help wounds heal faster and limit the impact from situations on the field

Inasmuch as injuries are often inevitable, a team will need injured players to return to the pitch as fast as possible when a team has a tight playing schedule.

Every act—even as little as the tapping of wrists—that helps them to achieve this goal is welcomed.

6. Aesthetic reasons

While it makes sense for soccer players to wear tapes on their wrists to protect them from a sprain, it will surprise you to know that a lot of soccer players simply wear them for aesthetic reasons.

Soccer players know that they appear on screen in front of millions of fans around the globe. Therefore, they always want to look their best in front of their fans. Taping of the wrists with certain colored tapes can make the hands appear bigger or more athletic in front of the camera.

When soccer players wear colored tapes or wrap the tape around one wrist, the best guess is that they are doing it for aesthetic reasons. Others use it as a way of boosting confidence.

7. Good luck charm

When players try out new things and suddenly experience a boost in performance, there is the tendency that they will begin to think that subtle change was their lucky charm.

This may sound ridiculous but there are soccer players that wear tapes on their wrists simply because they believe that they give them luck. A good example of such a soccer player is Luis Suarez.

Suarez was initially forced to wear tape on his wrist due to a hand injury. However, even after his hands healed, he continued to wear the tape on his wrist because it covered his ribbon of luck. In other words, he believes it brings him luck.

Other questions

1. Why do goalkeepers tape their wrists?

For goalkeepers, wrapping the fingers and wrists with tape can make the difference between making a winning save and leaving the pitch with a twisted wrist or broken finger.

Goalkeepers dive a lot and often land on their hands when attempting to make a save. These occasional dives put enormous strain on their wrists. Even stopping a shot can put enormous pressure on the wrists.

Tapes improve stability to their fingers and wrists, allowing them to make daring saves with minimal injury risk to their fingertips and wrists.

After Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris suffered a wrist injury, he started taping his wrists as an indispensable part of his goalkeeping outfit.


2. How do goalies wrap their wrists?

When goalkeepers want to tape their wrists, the goalkeepers first run two to three-folds of tape around their wrists. Then, they will take out another strip and wrap it from the back of the wrist through the space between the thumb and the index finger and round the palm.

It is important to mention that taping should not be extremely tight to allow proper blood circulation.

When done properly, the tape should prevent the wrists from snapping backward which can be painful or result in a more serious injury.

See this video tutorial to further understand the entire process of tapping the wrists and fingers.

How to use finger tape - How to Goalkeeper tape your Wrists and fingers

What type of tape do soccer players use to tape their wrists?

The name of the tape used by soccer players on their wrists is called Athletic Tape.

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This is a self-adhesive medical tape used to provide support for the wrists, ankles, and joints. Its supportive role helps to minimize injuries among soccer players.

Elastic athletic tapes still allow subtle wrist and ankle movements. The non-elastic athletic tapes, on the other hand, are used to provide stabilization to the wrists.

The latter is predominantly used when the player is to stay on the sideline for a while.


It is important to mention that some soccer players tape their wrists for more than one reason. Some start using tapes for one reason and soon discover they can be used for other reasons.

For example, Luis Suarez first used tape to aid in recovery. Afterward, he started using it to cover his bracelets and tattoos on his wrists.

Regardless of personal opinion or motive, taping of wrists is something that every soccer player should take seriously to limit their risk of sprain.