Soccer, internationally referred to as football, stands as a captivating contact sport set on expansive fields, demanding keen eyesight for effective participation. Envision engaging in the game, maneuvering the soccer ball without clear sight of teammates or the precise location of the goalposts. Such a scenario would likely result in an unpredictable trajectory for the ball.
Yet, the scope of visual attention extends beyond the ball itself in this dynamic sport. The ability to consistently monitor the positions of fellow team members and opponents is pivotal.
However, what if your vision isn’t as impeccable as that of your peers? Does this imply that the joy of playing the game must be relinquished? Is there an avenue for soccer enthusiasts who wear glasses to partake in the sport without the vulnerability of their delicate corrective eyewear?
FIFA Rules on Glasses
In adherence to the regulations set forth by the International Football Association Board’s Laws of the Game, FIFA enforces a strict prohibition against the use of any equipment that could pose a risk of harm to both the players themselves and their fellow competitors on the field. This encompassing prohibition extends to encompass all forms of jewelry and standard eyeglasses.
Why Are Regular Vision Glasses Not Suitable for Soccer?
Soccer involves dynamic physical interactions, such as heading the ball and direct player-to-player contact. Even prominent athletes like Messi experience collisions, including accidental elbowing or head clashes during matches.
Reflecting on my personal experience, I committed the oversight of playing soccer while wearing my regular prescription glasses, which proved to be ill-advised. During a practice session, the soccer ball struck my face, prompting a rush of concerned teammates to check on me.
Their initial inquiry was straightforward: “Did your glasses break?”
Thankfully, my glasses remained intact on that occasion. However, had the circumstances differed, a harder ball kick or a varied reaction could have led to a different outcome.
Engaging in the game with glasses carries inherent risks. In the event of a facial impact, glasses can shatter, potentially causing glass fragments to enter the eye or leading to cuts from the broken glass. Given that soccer players, particularly those in physical positions, are susceptible to various injuries, the sport’s inherent challenges are already considerable. Introducing the possibility of eye injuries is a risk best avoided.
How Do You Deal with Eye Vision Problems as a Soccer Player?
Having vision issues or poor eyesight doesn’t signify the end of your soccer journey. The regulations governing the sport merely restrict the use of regular eyeglasses that could easily break upon impact during the game. However, advancements have taken place in this realm.
Contemporary options are available, including specialized protective eyewear tailored for contact sports, which individuals with glasses can utilize on the field.
These protective sports eyeglasses effectively mitigate potential hazards that may arise during your soccer matches. Furthermore, they contribute to boosting your performance by providing improved and more accurate visual clarity.
Moreover, the lenses employed are typically crafted from impact-resistant polycarbonate, offering UV protection that shields your eyes from both the sun’s rays and swiftly moving objects on the field.
Utilizing contact lenses during soccer matches is both permitted and advisable, as they eliminate the risk of glasses breaking and causing potential eye injuries. Opting for contact lenses enables you to have an unobstructed peripheral vision, unlike the restricted field of view that sports goggles might impose.
Contact lenses can be employed in various contact sports, though they are not suitable for water-based activities due to the potential for eye irritation, corneal ulcers, infections, and even vision loss.
Soccer Athletes Who Wear Glasses
Vision issues are a common occurrence even among the most skilled and extensively trained soccer players globally. Here, we highlight prominent figures in the sport who are familiar with the use of eyeglasses.
1. Edgar Davids
Renowned midfielder Edgar Davids stands as a prominent figure in the realm of both eyeglasses and soccer. He joins the ranks of players who navigated the sport with vision challenges. Despite facing the potential setback of glaucoma during his career, Davids, known by the moniker “The Pitbull” for his unwavering determination and fervor for victory, pressed on. Conventional therapies proved ineffective for him, prompting him to undergo an eye surgery that eventually led to the adoption of eyeglasses. Over time, these glasses became an iconic part of his on-field persona.
2. Christiano Ronaldo
Even among the highest-earning football stars, vision issues are not uncommon. Christiano Ronaldo, a notable figure in the world of soccer, grapples with vision challenges and routinely dons contact lenses during his matches. This Portuguese football sensation stands as one of the global elite players, achieving remarkable success despite his eyesight concerns.
Ronaldo’s accomplishments are nothing short of remarkable. He secured four Champions League titles while playing for Real Madrid, clinched five individual Ballon d’Or awards, and emerged victorious in both La Liga and the Premier League. Even while relying on contact lenses, he played a pivotal role in Portugal’s victory at Euro 2016.
3. Jérôme Boateng
Renowned for his impeccable fashion sense, particularly when it comes to his collection of glasses, Jerome Boateng takes a practical approach on the field. The German defender relies on contact lenses during matches to enhance his vision and optimize his performance. Despite grappling with eyesight challenges, Boateng’s achievements are impressive, boasting victories in both the World Cup and the Bundesliga.
4. Mario Balotelli
Mario Balotelli, the esteemed Italian soccer player, embraces contact lenses as an integral part of his in-game gear. His commitment to performance is evident in his choice to wear even colored contact lenses during the 2014 World Cup. Balotelli’s proactive approach to vision enhancement includes undergoing laser eye surgery, yet he remains unhesitant to employ contact lenses for optimal clarity on the field.
5. Lilian Thuram
The field, Lilian Thuram embraces his distinctive style with chunky black-rimmed glasses, but once on the field of play, he opts for the practicality of contact lenses. Over the span of two illustrious decades, the former French defender has left an indelible mark on football. His pivotal role in the victorious French team that claimed the 1998 World Cup on home soil, as well as his triumph in the European Championships two years later, highlights his remarkable career.
While sports goggles might not always exude a fashionable look on the field, their significance goes beyond aesthetics. Soccer coaches themselves recognize their role in mitigating risks for players, simultaneously enhancing their performance by ensuring better vision. In the realm of soccer, the inevitability of robust impacts remains, but the right protective gear can significantly reduce the likelihood of needless injuries.
Hence, when contemplating the idea of wearing regular glasses even for a single practice session, bear in mind that choosing to abstain from one practice is a wiser choice than potentially sidelining yourself for an entire season.