The sight of footballers with their socks pulled up over their knees is becoming more and more common. It looks stupid.
Many claim that Patient Zero for this trend was Thierry Henry. But it appears that Henry was merely copying Sonny Anderson.
Whoever Patient Zero was is irrelevant, though, as the disease has spread to the colonies. A-League players are often seen with socks over their knees, giving their legs a vibrant, fun look – especially in the high-visibility colours some clubs favour.
The coolest way to wear socks on the field is rolled (or pushed) down, around the ankles, without shin guards. Think George Best. But since the early 1990s the laws of the game have stated that shin guards are compulsory, and “age appropriate”, believe it or not. So no “Dora the Explorer” shin guards if you’re over 10. Got it?
The laws also state that shin guards must be covered by socks. So what’s coolest, socks barely covering shin guards? Or socks over the knee? (We know where this is going.)
Well-known proponents of the baggy socks/shin guards look include Damian Mori and Steve Claridge.
Well-known proponents of the socks-over-knees look include Thierry Henry and John Terry.
It has been proposed, however, that the classic post-1990 look is for the sock to be taped, with the shin guard locked in place thanks to a band of tape below the shin guard and a band of tape below the knee.
“Every team has a sparky with 10 rolls in their bag whose job is to leave some lying around. It’s compulsory,” says Aedan Roberts. Never mind that any fool could buy their own tape from their local hardware shop.
But if this week has taught us anything, it’s that we should listen to Zlatan. So… dare to wear your socks however Zlatan wears his.