As the world focuses on Qatar and the 22nd World Cup finals, the merits of the 32 participating nations have been beamed to every continent. What is always apparent is how athletic and toned the players seem to be able to perform at the top of their game.
But this is far from a universal trait for football. Over the years, many who might accurately be described as ‘overweight’ or just plain ‘fat’ have still performed well. Arguably the greatest footballer of modern times, Diego Maradona, was anything but slim – the short, chunky attacking midfielder could run rings around opponents.
Here we’ll take a closer look at tubby football players to see how they compare with their fitter counterparts and how they have still achieved greatness.
Fat players vs. fit stars: how it impacts their romantic life
You could be forgiven for assuming that players who might seem plus-sized will not have as successful a love life as fitter athletes. But there’s an adage about beauty only being skin deep, and judging on appearances is always a mistake.
Many tubby footballers enjoy wonderful relationships because their partners can see beyond body shapes to the vibrant personalities beneath. Big players can also refer to curvy dating apps and sites where nobody is ever judgmental.
By going online, singles can check out the range of digital matchmaking services available for people who are keen to connect with overweight individuals.
They can analyze reviews of the diverse range of outlets for chubby dating. Signing up is merely a matter of following the link to the home page.
Plus-size body type in a professional football career
So, how does having a big physique impact players, and does it hinder their careers? First of all, one of the key aspects of being a top athlete is understanding the game.
Many lithe, slender footballers might look as if they’d be excellent at playing, but a chubbier guy could run rings around them. Why? They are usually shorter, meaning their center of gravity is lower, so they can effectively dribble through opponents. Stockiness is also an important feature for being able to shield the ball, especially when rivals are attempting to tackle.
Plus-sized players often have strong muscular strength, so when it comes to unleashing free kicks or penalties, they can muster a lot of power into their shooting. Technical ability is another attribute where a larger footballer can excel.
They might be able to read a game better than any skinnier teammate or opposition player, anticipating the tactics the other side is going to employ based on their formations or the substitutes they make.
There is always an argument for fat footballers to keep an eye on the scales, as they can reach a stage where carrying too much timber can impact their agility and slow them down.
If they have reliable coaches behind them, they will be encouraged to take the appropriate action and cut down on unhealthier intake.
Famous overweight football players
Known as one of the top British goalkeepers of the 80s and 90s, Southall received over 90 caps for his country, Wales, and played for a variety of senior clubs, including 578 appearances for Everton. He was known for his fearlessness in front of the goal, especially in one-on-one situations where he would rush out to intimidate oncoming strikers.
After retiring, he became a teaching assistant and has been vocal in his support of trade unions and LGBT causes. His bulkier physique has never hindered his romantic life, either. He was linked to many attractive women over his footballing career.
Scoring 66 goals in 224 outings for St Mirren, Yardley might have been chubby, but he was beloved by the club’s faithful fans. So much so that he has a street named after him near the Saints’ former ground, Love Street.
Stocky Brazilian striker Ailton has played for numerous clubs during his career, including Germany’s Werder Bremen and SV Hamburg and Red Star Belgrade (winning the Serbian league in 2007).
He is married to a Mexican and was even a popular contestant on the German reality TV show, ‘I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of here!’
As we’ve emphasized, many athletes remain at the peak of their sport, even if they are a tad overweight. You can imagine some being admonished by coaches, only to shrug this off as they let actions speak louder than words.
The same can be said for older footballers, although many ‘veterans’ still perform on the world stage. The key is to judge individuals purely by their actions on the field, not their body shapes. They still manage to outdo many so-called fitter teammates in terms of personal and professional achievements.