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7 Famous Soccer Players Who Wear Glasses

While some people out there like to believe that having to wear glasses prevents you from being able to reach the pinnacle of certain sports, they are wildly incorrect.

Wearing glasses can be a problem when starting out, but in a world where contact lenses are better than ever, you can have sight issues and still enjoy a stellar professional career in soccer. 

FIFA rules stipulate that a player cannot wear glasses while on the field of play, so all but one of the players that feature in this piece have had to find alternative methods of helping with the sight difficulties.

Nevertheless, here are 7 famous soccer players who wore glasses. 

1. Edgar Davids 

Likely the most notable player to have ever worn glasses during a soccer match, Dutch legend Edgar Davids is the only player on this list to have ever done so.

The reason that Davids was allowed to get around the FIFA rules, was that he had a special pair of goggles made for him that he would wear while playing due to the severity of his condition. 

Davids began his career with local club Ajax, quickly establishing himself as one of their finest players in his five year stay in Amsterdam.

Following this, the Dutchman move to Italy where he briefly featured for AC Milan before his long-term stint with Juventus. In six years in Turin Davids became an integral part of the Juventus midfield, partnering Zinedine Zidane in Marcelo Lippi’s side. 

After such a successful time in Italy, Davids became something of a journeyman in the latter stages of his career.

The goggled legend made appearances for teams such as Tottenham Hotspur, Crystal Palace, and had a second spell with Ajax before taking up a player-manager role with English team Barnet in 2012. 

Davids stayed with the lowly cub for two seasons and has since been in and out of management, he is currently working for the Dutch national team as one of the key coaching figures. 

2. David De Gea

You may not think that you could make it as one of the world’s best goalkeepers while needing to wear glasses, well think again!

Spanish ‘keeper David De Gea is probably the most well-known man between the sticks that needs to wear glasses in everyday life, though he wears contact lenses during matches to adhere to FIFA rules. 

De Gea began his career with Atletico Madrid where he shone for short period before being brought to Manchester United by legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson as the replacement for the retiring Edwin van der Sar.

Despite a rough start to life in England, the Spaniard eventually found his feet and established himself as the first-choice goalkeeper at the club. Soon enough he would become arguably the best goalkeeper in the world for a short while, attracting attention from many top clubs in Europe. 

Recent seasons haven’t been as kind for the man that was once Real Madrid’s top transfer target, as with many Manchester United players he just hasn’t been at his best for quite q long time now.

This poor run of form saw De Gea left out of the Spain squad for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, something many fans were surprised by when they read the announcement.

3. Cristiano Ronaldo

One of the greatest players to have ever stepped foot on a soccer field, Cristiano Ronaldo is another man that needs to wear glasses off the field.

As with most things surrounding Ronaldo’s life, he has used his need to wear glasses to his advantage by creating his own eyewear brand.

CR7 eyewear is a premium glasses and sunglasses brand that sells frames to people around the world, it is a pretty expensive site to order from, but would we expect anything less from Ronaldo? 

By now we all know that story of Cristiano Ronaldo, the talented young forward Madeira that made it to the very top of global sport and stardom. Along the away Ronaldo has starred for many top teams such as Sporting Lisbon, Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Juventus. 

After a tough year in 2022, both on and off the field, Ronaldo has left Manchester United under something of a cloud. The Portuguese legend was unhappy about how the Red Devils treated him following the death of his youngest child.

Ronaldo is currently a free agent, meaning he is free to sign for any club that wants him, though it would seem this list isn’t as long as it used to be. 

4. Mario Balotelli 

He’s perhaps one of the most famous players of the 2010’s era, but not for the reasons that most strikers are.

Italian forward Mario Balotelli has had one of those careers and indeed lives that some people will envy, and others will question, but everyone will surely agree that the man they call ‘Super Mario’ is a character and a half. 

Balotelli is what many fans of soccer call ‘a journeyman striker’ due to the number of teams that he has appeared for over the years.

Most mainstream fans will likely remember his time playing in the Premier League for Manchester City the best as he was a part of the earlier years of the long-term project at the Etihad Stadium, helping to deliver some of the first trophies to the club. 

Since his time at Manchester City, Balotelli has played for teams such as Liverpool, AC Milan, and Marseille (among others).

The forward is currently plying his trade in the Swiss Premier League for FC Sion and is enjoying a pretty good start to life there having scored five goals in nine appearances. 

5. Jerome Boateng

Another player that has long been regarded as one the most stylish in the game is German defender Jerome Boateng, thanks in part to his excellent use of eyewear while out and about in public. Boateng 

Boateng is best known for his many years at Bayern Munich, though actually spent time with a number of other clubs before making the move to the Allianz Arena.

The defender started his career in the lower echelons of German soccer in his home city of Berlin, with Tennis Borussia Berlin and later Hertha Berlin it became clear he would become an international star. 

Following spells as Hamburg and Manchester City Boateng joined Bayern Munich in 2011, staying with the Bavarian club for a decade, winning everything there is to win in the process. Injuries have somewhat plagued the later years of his career, with him moving to Lyon in 2021 to likely finish his career in France.

Now in his second year with the Ligue 1 club, Boateng has so far made 28 appearances and scored no goals. 

6. Ian Wright

One of the greatest players in the history of Arsenal football club, English striker Ian Wright is a much-loved face by fans of the Gunners and soccer fans in general really.

Wright hasn’t always worn glasses and was not pictured doing so very often during his playing days, but since becoming a prominent TV pundit in England he has needed them more. 

In the early days of his career, Wright simply played Sunday league level soccer in London, never believing that he would make it as a professional.

He was soon picked up by a semi-professional side who later handed him to Crystal Palace, it was at Selhurst Park that Wright truly broke onto the scene in the late 1980s. 

Wright made over 200 appearances for Palace over a six year stay at the club but was later signed by Arsenal in 1991. At Highbury Wright went from strength to strength, becoming one of the finest forward players in the world.

Over the course of 221 appearances for Arsenal Wright registered 128 goals, making him one of the highest-scoring forwards in the English top flights history. 

7. Matt Le Tissier 

The final player on our list today is former striker turned TV pundit Matt Le Tissier who like Wright was not seen wearing glasses until he began working in punditry.

As a player, Le Tissier was known for his ability to strike a ball from almost anywhere on the field, in almost any way. He scored some of the most memorable goals in Premier League history during his time with Southampton and is regarded as one of the best strikers of all time by some fans. 

Despite his amazing playing career, Le Tissier has faced plenty of criticism since his retirement. After being a mainstay on Sky Sports for many years, Le Tissier was sacked alongside many of his colleagues as the network aimed to refresh its roster. 

Since then, Le Tissier has become rather outspoken on social media. He has made comments regarding the handling of the Covid-19 Pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine over the past few years, many of which have landed him in hot water with the press and public alike. 

So now you know, wearing glasses certainly won’t hold you back from having a career in soccer. You can play the game to a high level and also work in it after you have retired, so don’t give up chasing that dream!