These are the top 10 Premier League players grassroots strive to copy
By Richard Jenkins
Monday, 25th April 2022, 3:15 pm
Wannabee footballers try to emulate their favourite Premier League stars by wearing hair bands, rolling down their socks - and getting tattoos.
A poll of 750 grassroots players revealed 56 per cent admit they tweak their playing style by copying footballers performing every week in the Premier League.
A further 47 per cent said they even ‘borrow’ fashion tips from Premier League stars and over two fifths even monitor their performance on the pitch using smart watches.
But it is not just sports science which has been adopted by amateurs – a quarter of players copy goal celebrations and two in 10 attempt to ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ and score from the half-way line.
Emulating their favourite player's style
Grassroots players also copy their favourite players on the pitch by putting on brightly coloured boots, wearing gloves like Paul Pogba and hairbands like Jack Grealish to avoid getting their hair in a mess.
And over one in 10 choose to roll their socks down with small shin pads, put Vicks on the top of their shirt and cut the ends off socks like Harry Kane.
Are you an amateur footballer looking to get to the next level? This quiz from online sporting betting website Copybet will reveal if you’ve got what it takes to become a Premier League star.
A spokesperson for CopyBet, which commissioned the research, said: “Football has changed from top to bottom with amateur players taking inspiration from today’s footballing stars – such as Phil Foden, Virgil van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo.
"Football is universal and with the players in the Premier and Scottish Premier League all starting at grassroots level, it is good to see their influence spreading back throughout the beautiful game.”
The study found amateur players have been so inspired by footballing teams they have purchased an advertised product (30 per cent), backed a charitable campaign (26 per cent) and named their pet after them (22 per cent).
And under two in 10 have gone as far as dying their own hair in their favourite team’s colours.
Nearly a third of players said they copy elite footballers as they are a huge fan of the sport and 24 per cent admit it creates a bit of fun for the game.
And 18 per cent said they follow the game religiously.
Meanwhile, Manchester Uniter superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is having a larger influence on grassroots football than any other Premier League player – followed by Harry Kane (14 per cent), Mohammed Salah (13 per cent) and Kevin De Bruyne (11 per cent).
In terms of Scottish Premier League players, amateurs also copy stars such as Kieran Tierney, John McGinn, Giorgos Giakoumakis and Daizen Maeda.
The poll via OnePoll found two in 10 amateur players go as far to adopt the playing style of Liverpool with Jürgen Klopp being the most popular manager they want to play for.
Other teams styles copied on the pitch include Aston Villa, Brentford, and Brighton and Hove Albion – with Scottish athletes Celtic and Rangers also considered by grassroots players.
The spokesperson for CopyBet, added: “With grassroots footballers playing an average of four games a month and the Premier League stars performing regularly, there is no surprise that players will get inspiration each week. We set up this quiz to see if amateurs really do emulate the biggest stars of the beautiful game.”
Top 10 on pitch attributes grassroots players have copied from Premier League footballers
1. Worn brightly coloured boots
2. Worn gloves (like Paul Pogba, Riyad Mahrez, etc.)
3. Worn the same boots as your favourite player
4. Worn a hairband to avoid getting hair in your face (like Gareth Bale, David Beckham OBE, etc.)
5. Socks rolled up over the knee (like Cristiano Ronaldo, etc.)
6. Worn a t-shirt under your shirt with a slogan on it which you revealed when you scored (like Mario Balotelli’s ‘why always me?’)
7. Worn a compression top under your shirt (like Jamie Vardy, etc.)
8. Copied haircuts (like Jack Grealish, Paul Pogba, Phil Foden, etc.)
9. Socks rolled down with small shin pads (like Jack Grealish, etc.)
10. Put Vicks on the top of the shirt
Top 10 playing style attributes grassroots players have copied from premier league footballers
1. Attempted to score from the half-way line like David Beckham OBE
2. Put both hands up in the air when taking a corner
3. Done a fake run-up to confuse the keeper
4. Bounced up and down on the goal line to put off the spot kick taker
5. Adopted particular superstitions (e.g. not putting your shirt on until you get to the pitch, touching a sign such as ‘This is Anfield,’ etc.)
6. Dived to get a penalty or free-kick
7. Chewed gum when sat on the bench
8. Rolled around the pitch after being tackled/injured – even if not actually in pain
9. Surrounded the referee to change their decision
10. Taken a ‘Panenka penalty’
Top 5 off the pitch attributes grassroots players have copied from Premier League footballers
1. Taken an ice bath
2. Followed their exercise routines
3. Dribbled around cones
4. Gone to gym to use the same equipment
5. Eaten a strict diet (i.e. keto, vegan, etc.) they also follow
Top 10 Premier League players grassroots strive to copy
1. Cristiano Ronaldo
2. Harry Kane
3. Mohammed Salah
4. Kevin De Bruyne
5. Marcus Rashford MBE
6. Phil Foden
7. Jack Grealish
8. N'Golo Kanté
9. Raheem Sterling
10. Sadio Mané