What do footballers wear under their shirts?

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What do footballers wear under their shirts? Choosing the right underwear for a soccer player can have more significance than many people might think it would. There is a reason why professional soccer players choose certain types of underwear during a match, and you’ll learn all about this in this article. But first, what are these underwear exactly?

What do footballers wear under their shirts?

compression shirts

You probably noticed the skin-tight compression shirts players wear under their uniforms. Nowadays, layers rarely wear long-sleeved shirts. Instead, they opt for compression gear if they need extra length.

A compression shirt is a skin-tight garment, usually made from a nylon and spandex blend. This type of clothing is designed to be worn under a shirt or top as a base layer.

When it comes to sports, compression shirts cling tightly to the muscles, offering support. This pressure not only offers reinforcement to the upper body but is also believed to reduce inflammation and enhance muscle recovery.

There have been many studies to determine whether or not compression shirts and shorts are good for soccer. While the full extent of the advantages hasn’t been fully understood just yet, the general consensus is that they are good for soccer players and other professional athletes.

Why soccer players wear compression shirts?

Reduced Muscle Damage

During high-impact and explosive exercises, like jumping and sprinting, compression garments can reduce the impact on the muscles. Muscle damage is measured by a biomarker called creatine kinase (CK).

Tests have found that CK levels can be lowered when the athlete wears compression gear, like an undershirt.

The tight fit means muscle oscillations are lowered, also contributing to reduced fatigue. Other tests have shown a reduction in inflammation and swelling after a workout.

Improved Blood Circulation

Compression shirts and pants can increase blood flow and lymphatic outflow, enhancing the body’s recovery process. This is believed to be due to the increased muscle coordination caused by the tight structure of the clothing.

Improved blood flow circulation ensures oxygen moves through the body continuously, keeping your muscles enriched.

Injury Rehabilitation

Compression shirts are also used for injury rehabilitation. In fact, compression gear is most effective for muscle recovery after exercise has been completed.

Tight compression shirts or shorts can help the body release lactic acid from the muscles after intense exercise. This reduces inflammation and discomfort, making muscular injuries easier and quicker to recover from.

Temperature Regulation

Some soccer compression shirts help with regulating the temperature of the body. Although certain shirts are designed for hot weather, most temperature-related compression garments are intended to keep the wearer warm.

They are made with special insulating fabrics that retain heat when the body gets warm.

With cold weather compression shirts, once the upper body muscles are activated, the increased blood flow forces them to radiate heat. The insulating materials then ensure the heat is retained, keeping the body warm.


Many soccer players are extremely self-conscious about their looks. While most dress for performance when they’re on the field, some are very particular about their style.

For example, some players insist on wearing shorts of a particular size or pulling their socks above their knees. Many players opt for super tight-fitting jerseys while others prefer a looser style.

That’s all about why and what do footballers wear under their shirts, let’s move on to the next part!

What do footballers wear under their shorts?

What do footballers wear under their shorts?

Most soccer players wear underwear, compression shorts, or both underneath their game-day shorts. For training sessions, some wear full-length compression tights, providing cover from the hip to the ankle.

While it’s uncommon, players are allowed to wear leggings or tights under their shorts in a game as long as they are the same color as their uniform.

In some cases, substitutes wear compression shorts or leggings while they are on the bench. This helps keep their muscles warm and prepped as they wait to come on.

Compression shorts often blend in underneath the regular uniform, making them hard to detect. However, they are very common across all levels of soccer.

Some players elect to wear compression underwear rather than shorts. Certain popular soccer brands create soccer-specific compression shorts with extra padding to protect high-impact areas.

Why do you wear compression shorts?

Reduced Muscle Fatigue

Purchasing compression shorts, and wearing them during workouts, helps improve athletic performance by reducing fatigue. UPMC Health Beat says that wearing compression shorts helps reduce muscle soreness and fatigue during and after workouts, resulting in better, faster, and longer runs without feeling quite as tired when you wear compression garments. This is an excellent reason to try a pair!

Strain Prevention

Believe it or not, compression shorts also help reduce your risk for strains. Additionally, Healthline says compression garments even aid in strain recovery. So if you’re prone to this type of sports-related injury, compression shorts may be right up your alley.

Improved Perceived Exertion

When you’re training for extreme sports or endurance races, it’s beneficial to have lower perceived exertion (a more effortless workout). Doing so can make training sessions more bearable, and can improve athletic performance. A 2016 study published in Sports Medicine found that compression garments like tights, shorts, and socks improved perceived exertion in endurance runners.

Better Muscle Oxygenation

Your muscles need oxygen to function properly during workouts. Compression garments are designed to increase the amount of oxygen that they receive, according to a publication by Research Gate. Compression is designed to promote blood flow and improve oxygenation of muscle tissue, which can enhance athletic performance during short bouts of exercise.

 Groin Support

Need a little extra groin support, or need a sturdy place to hold a cup? Compression shorts with cup pockets are for just this purpose. They provide a convenient, comfortable way to protect sensitive body parts while you train or compete. Shorts with cup pockets are perfect for baseball and football players who need extra protection but don’t want to sacrifice comfort.

What are the soccer rules about underwear?

The soccer rules do not have a lot to say when it comes to underwear. They do not restrict the players to certain types of underwear. The players can choose to wear whatever they want under their regular shorts.

This is a good thing if you think about it. Imagine the referee having to inspect the underwear of all players before a match just to make sure that they fit the rules. That would be a scene to watch.

There is one thing that the soccer rules do mention though when it comes to underwear. If any part of the underwear is visible, it has to be the same color as the color of the shorts.

This is to make sure that there is absolutely no confusion when it comes to the colors that each team is wearing.

In Summary

What do footballers wear under their shirts? While not required by the laws of the game, soccer players usually choose to wear compression shorts as they have several benefits over wearing regular underwear.

The compression shorts help the players warm themselves up, protect themselves when they come in contact with the grass, and also effectively hide their private body parts in case their regular shorts get grabbed by an opponent player.

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