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Here come football’s marksmen

Sure they rock the jerseys, but take those off and... well, just feast your eyes on what's below!

Wesley Sneijder, the Netherlands
This Dutch hunk definitely loves some ink on him. But among all his tats, the one that stands out is the face of his wife, Yolanthe, over his ribcage. The intricate detailing on the lips, curls and even the eyelashes screams his love for wifey dearest. A true family man, Sneijder also tattooed a phrase for his son on his arm. He also has the Champions League trophy inked in remembrance of their win in 2010.

Kevin-Prince Boateng, Ghana
This Ghanaian attacking midfielder has 13 tattooes. This should tell you how much he favours ink! A visible crown on his neck symbolizes his love for Real Madrid and hints at his second name, Prince. An elaborate tattoo on his left bicep reflects the cultural grandeur of Africa and Ghana. He also has names of his wife, son and hometown tattooed on his torso. He recently got a spiderweb inked on his knee. And this is just us naming a few... Phew!

Fernando Torres, Spain
This one loves to read. How we know that? Torres got his name inked on his arm in none other than the complicated Tengwar language — a fictional tongue used in The Lord of the Rings series! Besides that, he also has Roman numerals etched on his leg symbolizing his first date with his childhood sweetheart. The Spanish hunk got names of his children inked on his right arm, recently. Aww-dorable, we say!

Nigel De Jong, the Netherlands
Well, anyone can make out why and how Jong features in this list. His body is his favourite canvas and on it he has inked everything from tribal patterns (as sleeves on both arms) to exotic flowers. Unlike many other players, he likes his inks to be bold with more emphasis on smooth filling between designs. Well, given his aggression on the field too, we understand the need for strong yet smart art.

Sergio Ramos, Spain
Meet a walking, talking encyclopedia. Yes, that's Ramos for you! From people to incidents that made him what he is, one can easily find it all on his delectable body. Besides common tattooes like initials of loved ones and religious phrases, he inked 'Lies in the memory of those alive' with the dates 9/11 and 3/11 beside it, honouring those who died in the terrorist attacks in New York and Madrid. Without a doubt, that's our favourite!

Dani Alves, Brazil
This Brazilian has some rather bold patterns inked on his to-die-for muscular physique. But wait, among those tats is a picture of his ex-wife, Dina, on his right arm. The doting father also got the names of his son and daughter etched across his chest and lower abdomen. A man of few words, Dani also wears his religious beliefs on his body as a picture of Jesus and the cross remain delicately painted on his being.

Cesc Fabregas, Spain
All the girls out there drooling over Cesc, here's some news that might send you hurling towards the nearest pillow to cry. This hunk literally wears his heart on his sleeve! Yes, with the mysterious Arabic phrase on his left sleeve, he's actually professing his love for girlfriend Daniella Semaan. The tattoo means 'My life D forever'. Well, the 'D' must have made you all feel 'J', right? Our sympathies.

Tim Cahill, Australia
The left arm of this footballer is adorned with an intricate tattoo sleeve. The mysterious Samoan design is essentially a biography and tells the story of his family and life so far. Interestingly, it symbolizes every person close to his heart — from his grandmother to his own children. The initials of the clubs Millwall and Everton are also inscribed alongside his wife's initials. And if his interviews are anything to go by, watch out for more tats on him.

Wayne Rooney, England
His 'Just Enough Education To Perform' tat on the left forearm has been under attack from critics since he inked it. While some believe it's a tribute to his favourite band, Stereophonics, a few others feel it hints at the fact that he never finished school! Critics panned him mercilessly on social networking sites for this tattoo, calling it the worst in history! As if getting back at naysayers in his signature naughty way, he got angel wings and clasped palms etched on his back, later. We believe in your innocence, love!

Lionel Messi, Argentina
His prowess on the field and keen fashion sense are stuff that legends are made of. But what we really adore him for is his love for those close to him, be it his girl Antonella Roccuzzo or son, Thiago. Messi got Thiago's name inked on his left calf, complete with small handprints, last year. He also wears a portrait of his mom proudly on his left shoulder blade. Don't we heart Messi?

Five legends & their bold designs

Alessandro Del Piero
This guy believes in the saying, 'Less is more'. A rather gorgeous eagle sits proudly on his left shoulder blade. But whether it symbolizes his sharp attitude to life and football or not, is for the world to decipher. Duh!

Diego Maradona
No, he doesn't have the 'Hand of God' etched on his body! Maradona, however, proudly wears portraits of Che Guevara on his arm and Fidel Castro on his leg. Not surprisingly, his tats have cost him dearly. Apparently, the legend was denied a US visa last year for his Communist beliefs.

David Beckham
You can't discuss tattoos and not mention Becks. He has around 32 art pieces on his body. Apart from names of all his family members (including wife Victoria's name in Devanagri script), he also has stars and phrases lighting up the sleeves of his arm. Yummy, we think!

Thierry Henry
This player is known as much for his passion for football as his love for NY. From the The Statue of Liberty to Brooklyn Bridge and The Empire State Building, he has them all inked on his arms. And notice that baby's photo on his arm? That's li'l Tea, his daughter.

Raul Meireles
With a physique like his and elaborate tattoos to match, we wonder why Raul even bothers dressing up. Besides photos of his wife and daughter, he has a red Chinese style dragon adorning his skin. A rather Gothic necklace
tattoo with skulls as beads covers his chest. But what's with the Goth style, eh?

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