The Art of Deception: Why Do Soccer Players Flop So Much?

Why Do Soccer Players Flop So Much?
  • Soccer players flop to deceive, gain an advantage or waste time.
  • Some believe flopping in soccer is bad; arguing that it breaks the rules and is unsportsmanlike.
  • Others argue that flopping is a learnt skill that is part of the game.

   Your Guide

Alex Waite   Alex Waite

Soccer players flop to deceive the referee, to Gain an Advantage or to Waste Time.

The act of flopping sometimes referred to as diving, has become a regular feature of modern soccer.

Its impact is the subject of much debate among players, pundits, fans and coaches. 

Flopping is when a player over-reacts to a slight tackle or contact.

This can result in rolling around on the floor and acting like a tackle has caused serious harm, when, in fact, the player is absolutely fine.

Below is a compilation from Sky Sports, showcasing some of the most extreme dives in the Premier League.

When I was learning the ropes as a soccer player in growing up in South East London, flopping or diving was CONSIDERED CHEATING and was discouraged by teammates, coaches and even the opposition.

My teammates and I were encouraged to stay on our feet whenever possible.

At times, we were even coached on how to ‘ride’ a tackle, where you could lessen the brunt of a full-blooded tackle from an opposition player and keep possession of the ball. 

If a player went down too easily from a tackle and flopped, there would be NO SYMPATHY.

Growing up playing soccer in a working-class environment there were certain connotations of being tough and competitive, but also by playing by the rules and calling out any cheating. 

However, as I grew up and started playing and discussing soccer with people from different backgrounds and cultures, such as people from South America and continental Europe when studying at university, I understood that there were different perceptions towards flopping.

Some now see it as a LEARNED SKILL and learning to flop to give your team the upper hand in some situations can be advantageous. 

This has led to many arguments about whether flopping in soccer is right or wrong.

In this article, we outline some of the reasons why soccer players flop, but also delve into the discussion of whether the act is acceptable in soccer. 

Why Do Players Flop?

There are many reasons why soccer players flop when playing the game.

Soccer is a competitive sport and many players will do anything in their power to gain a slight advantage, even if that involves making a meal out of a BIT OF CONTACT.

Below are some of the top reasons why soccer players flop:

1) To Deceive

In general, the act of flopping is aimed at deceiving the referee or other officials.

Over-reaction to a seemingly tame slide tackle or challenge can make it seem worse in the eyes of the referee.

As a result, match officials may brandish yellow or red cards for tackles that weren’t worthy of any action.

In 2011, a group of five Australian biologists published research on flopping in soccer for a peer-reviewed scientific journal, PLOS One.

Their research highlighted how players dive when they are in closer proximity to the referee, rather than in the mid or far range of the official’s sight.

Furthermore, they found that the diving player is sending a ‘cost free’ signal to the referee to gain an advantage against their opposition. 

2) Gain Advantage

In certain situations in soccer, gaining even the slightest advantage over the opposition can pay off.

Concerning flopping, this can apply to tricking the referee into giving a penalty or a free kick in a dangerous area of the pitch, even though there was little contact on a player in the first place. 

Another advantage a player can gain by flopping is getting an opposition player sent off by making a meal out of minimal contact.

Sometimes, this occurs when the game has been stopped for a foul, throw-in, penalty etc.

Certain soccer players are known to throw themselves to the floor at a slightly raised hand from an opposition. Their intention is clear, to try and get their opposition SENT OFF. 

One of the most notorious examples of flopping to get an opposition player sent off happened during the 2002 World Cup.

Brazilian great Rivaldo was waiting for the ball so he could take a corner in a semi-final match against Turkey.

Turkey trailed 2-1 and, in an attempt to speed up Brazil’s corner-taking process, Hakan Unsal kicked the ball towards Rivaldo and it struck him in the midriff.

Rivaldo rolled around, feigned injury and Unsal was sent off for appearing to kick the ball intentionally towards Rivaldo’s head.

Ultimately, the Brazilian’s dramatics earned Unsal an undeserved red card.

3) Waste Time

Wasting time in soccer is a COMMON TACTIC.

Many teams and players use delay tactics in certain situations.

As I became a more experienced soccer player, and then when I was developing as a coach, I learnt more and more about game management.

This can involve slowing the pace of a match down when your team has a slender 1-0 lead, for example, by trying to keep possession or kicking the ball towards the opposition’s defensive corner to avoid a dangerous attack. 

However, some players and coaches use flopping to waste time too.

By STAYING DOWN and feigning injury, a player can slow the pace of the game down, especially if the physio has to come on and provide ‘treatment’ for the seemingly injured player.

This allows coaches to get instructions to players and bide time when a team needs to run down the clock. 

Is Flopping Good or Bad?

Ultimately, flopping in soccer is a rule-breaking offence. According to the FA Laws of the Game, flopping, also referred to as “attempts to deceive the referee…

..e.g. by feigning injury or pretending to have been fouled” is classed as simulation under Law 12, Fouls and Misconduct.

The punishment for simulation is a yellow card.

However, while flopping is technically a bookable offense in soccer, and therefore against the rules, some see it as a skill and even several of the best-ever soccer players are remembered for their theatrics as much as their world-class ability. 

In 2016, sportswriter, Alejandro Chacoff, explained how, when growing up playing football in Brazil, flopping was part of the fabric of the game.

He explains that flopping was ingrained in his family generations before he started playing and the act was admired when professional players like Romanian Gheorghe Hagi flopped in international matches. 

Chacoff’s experience of flopping is in complete opposition to my own, which is that going down easily from a challenge was, and still is, completely unacceptable in any form of soccer.

However, the contrasting views highlight how the act is perceived in world football.

Although it is against the rules, flopping is considered either a skill or something that tarnishes the nature of the game.

Depending on CULTURAL DIFFERENCES and EXPERIENCES of soccer from a young age, flopping is perceived differently. 

Which College Wrote Early Fundamental and Influential Rules for Soccer?

Which College Wrote Early Fundamental and Influential Rules for Soccer?
  • The first set of soccer rules for soccer were written at Cambridge University in 1843.
  • Standardised rules for soccer were eventually agreed upon by the Football Association in 1863.
  • Since the late 19th century, rules have changed and adapted to keep up with modern developments, such as goal-line technology and Video Assistant Referees (VAR)

   Your Guide

Alex Waite   Alex Waite

Cambridge University was where the early, fundamental and influential rules of soccer were written in 1843.

Since then, the rules of soccer have EVOLVED and they have become refined to modern-day soccer in professional and amateur games. 

Like the history of soccer rules, learning them requires the ability to adapt and change.

Personally, when I first started playing the game in the 1990s, I didn’t know my offside from my foul throw, or my free-kick from my red card.

There were so many things to wrap my head around, whilst also trying to learn the basics of ball control and technique. 

To make things more challenging, the rules change regularly, but this is reflective of how soccer has evolved over time to adapt to an ever-changing game.

The first rules that were written up by a group of enthusiastic soccer players at Cambridge University in 1843 may be a world apart from the modern-day soccer rules. 

But these fundamental laws got the ball rolling for future generations of organized and standardized soccer rules.

In this article, we look at the original laws created at Cambridge and we will analyze how the rules have changed over time. 

Cambridge University Rules

Before a group of Cambridge University students met in 1843 to decide how to create soccer rules, the game was largely unorganised and informal.

Early forms of the game included large numbers on each team (sometimes reaching the hundreds), chasing a ball around huge spaces, like fields or even entire towns, and trying to score in loosely defined goals.

There was also no defined rule on handling the ball WHIST IN POSESSION.

However, in the mid-1800s, public schools in the UK started to form their own rules.

Then, five years after the initial meeting in 1843, the group of Cambridge students published the first known set of standard soccer rules.

Once confirmed, the students pinned the 11 rules to trees around Parker’s Piece, a large common in Cambridge where soccer matches took place, and these became the first set of soccer rules ever.

The list included some of the rules still in use today, including:

  • “At the commencement of the play, the ball shall be kicked off from the middle of the ground: after every goal, there shall be a kick-off in the same way.”
  • “After a goal, the losing side shall kick-off; the sides changing goals unless a previous arrangement be made to the contrary.”
  • “The ball is out when it has passed the line of the flag-posts on either side of the ground, in which case it shall be thrown in straight.”
  • “The ball is behind when it has passed the goal on either side of it.”
  • “Every match shall be decided by a majority of goals.”

Evolution of Soccer Rules

When I attend soccer matches, as a coach, player or fan, a big source of discussion about the rules and how they are implemented is common.

A lot of the time in post-match discussions, fans, players and other coaches criticise the referee about how they should have done this, seen that or not given a foul. 

However, I always have sympathy for the referee, largely because I cannot keep up with the law changes myself.

Luckily, coaches and players do not need to keep up with every detail and change to the rules. But referees do need to enforce rule changes. 

Considering how many times the rules of soccer have adapted and changed over the past 150 years, my personal take is that referees need a bit more slack.

As a general guide to showcase how much the rules change, we have listed some of the major dates and rule alterations to soccer below. 

1863 Football Association

Between 1848 and 1863, when the Football Association (FA) expanded the rules of soccer, there were different regional styles of play.

Sheffield rules, for example, were largely used in the north, while Cambridge rules were implemented in the south, as many ex-Cambridge students went on to found soccer clubs.

However, following meetings between soccer clubs in London in 1863, the FA was formed, and the new, revised rules were IMPLEMENTED.

The major change from the new rules was taking out any rules that involved holding the ball or running with the ball whilst it was in a players’ hands.

By 1889, when the English Football League was established, the FA’s rules were the most commonly used soccer rules. 

1886 IFAB

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) was founded by the English, Scottish, Irish and Welsh FA and it was announced as the worldwide governing body that vowed to develop and uphold the Laws of the Game. 

1891 Referee Introduced

Although umpires were used previously in soccer matches, they were hardly comparable to the referees were are used to today.

Before 1891, two umpires, one for each team, would stand on the sidelines and they were only consulted if the two teams had a DISPUTE OVER THE RULES.

But, referees were given a more active role in 1891 as they were armed with a whistle and given the power to signal for fouls, penalties and penalise players. 

1904 FIFA Established 

As soccer grew globally, Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) was established to bring organisation and professionalisation to the sport.

Representatives from France, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland met in Paris on 21 May 1904 to sign the foundation act for FIFA.

Today, the organisation has 211 member countries from around the globe. 

1938 Rous Laws

Minor tweaks were made regularly to the rules of soccer after the FA standardisation in 1863.

However, then international referee and secretary of the FA spent two years re-wording and re-organising the existing Laws of the Game, so they applied to a modern, global game.

In 1938, the Rous Laws were accepted by the IFAB and they became the new, standardised Laws of the Game. 

1990 Modern Offside Law Introduced

This is a rule that has divided opinion between me, family members, friends and colleagues on many occasions.

Watching replays on Match of the Day on a Saturday evening to argue whether Thierry Henry had made a WELL-TIMED RUN

Or whether the Arsenal striker was being naive by timing his off the ball run incorrectly, was like presenting evidence in a court case in my household GROWING UP.

The modern offside rule was introduced in 1990 and the change meant an attacking player was onside if he was level with the last defender once the ball was played.

This law is still in use today and, for me, it remains one of the most controversial and debated in world soccer.

 2013 Goal Line Technology Introduced in England

Another issue that has caused pain and mass discussion and debate, especially as all England fans will remember from the 2010 World Cup.

England trailed Germany 2-1 in the World Cup quarter-final before Frank Lampard thumped a volley that crashed off the underside of the crossbar and bounced over the GOAL LINE.

Watching the game with my friends in a crowded London pub, I remember the WHOLE PLACE ERUPTING IN CELEBRATION.

Even to this day, it was clear the ball bounced over the goal line, and the replays proved this by a good yard! 

Yet, there was no goal-line technology to check and angry England fans would have to wait until 2013 (three years too late for the Three Lions faithful) until goal-line technology was introduced.

It was first used in the 2013/14 Premier League and English cup competitions and remains a key component of the rules today. 

2017 Video Assistant Referee Debuts at Confederations Cup

One of the most significant developments of modern soccer was the introduction of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).

The technology was debated for years before it was finally used in the 2017 Confederations Cup.

Major League Soccer (MLS) then brought in VAR a few months later for the new season.

In the 2018 World Cup, VAR was used, and it was then implemented in the Premier League in the 2018/19 season. 

More Than Just a Name: What Does FC Stand For in Soccer?

What does FC stand for in Soccer?
  • FC means ‘Football Club’ and the phrase was used to separate soccer teams and general sports clubs in the 19th century.
  • There are many variations of ‘Football Club’ in world soccer, such as AC, United and SSC.
  • FC and alternative phrases in team names are part of a club’s unique identity and history.

   Your Guide

Alex Waite   Alex Waite

FC in soccer means Football Club.

Thousands of teams worldwide, whether professional or amateur, will have the phrase ‘Football Club’, abbreviated to FC, after or before their team name. 

As an enthusiastic young soccer fan in the UK, I would follow the live scores on a Saturday afternoon on the television, or listen to matches on the radio.

Apart from being COMPLETELY ENGROSSED in the on-field action, I was also transfixed by the different team names.

From the famous, such as Liverpool FC, to the lesser-known, Queen of the South, I was always interested in soccer team names and where they originated.

After asking my soccer-mad dad what FC stood for, a quick explanation ingrained the term in the soccer section of my mind.

However, as I got older and watched more international soccer and UEFA competitions, there were more team names to get my head around.

The likes of:

  • AC Milan,
  • SSC Napoli,
  • AS Roma from the Italian Serie A
  • Atlético Madrid
  • Real Madrid from the Spanish La Liga: were some of the clubs that came up regularly on the soccer highlight reels. 

I then understood that FC may be one of the most common phrases in a football team’s name, but there are actually so many variations in world soccer to unpick.

In this article, we look at the origins of FC and its relevance today.

We also unpick some of the alternative team names to FC and their relevance to individual soccer clubs. 


The origins of FC in soccer come from the UK.

Originally, soccer clubs in the UK formed when groups of people from factories, businesses and even religious establishments banded together to form teams in the mid 19th century. 

To help distinguish themselves as specific teams that exclusively played soccer, rather than general sports clubs, they would place FC after the name. Some of the earliest examples of the use of FC in the UK include:

  • Sheffield FC (1857)
  • Wanderers FC (1859)
  • Hallam FC (1860)
  • Crystal Palace FC (1861)
  • Notts County FC (1862)

Expansion of FC and Alternative Phrases

The professionalisation of soccer in the UK soon expanded to continental Europe and even South America in the later 19th century.

Tradesmen, religious groups and overseas businessmen took their love of soccer with them and set up many teams in other continents during the industrial era, as Charlotte Johnson explained for the Manchester Historian.

This is where the term expanded to incorporate DIFFERENT VARIATIONS.

Many countries now have unique alternatives to FC in their team names.

For me, this caused confusion when trying to learn more about soccer clubs from around the world, but the reasons behind unique additions are usually a reflection of different languages or cultures that express how soccer is more than what happens on the field.

For example, many German team names, such as Hannover 1896 and FC Schalke 1904, set themselves apart by including the year in which they were founded.

Italian teams have AC or SSC in their name, including AC Milan and SSC Napoli.

These are abbreviations for Associazione di Calcio (Association Football) or Società Sportiva Calcio (Soccer Sports Society). 

While many teams around the world will have FC or an alternative, some still adopt even more unusual names in place of Football Club.

Football news website Planet Football ranked the strangest football names from around the world, with teams like Cape Coast Mysterious Ebusua Dwarfs and Club Always Ready, making the list. 

Team Names: A Clubs Identity

I used to think the use of FC after a team name was unnecessary and I sometimes questioned the need for the phrase.

After all, most soccer fans would be aware they were watching or supporting a team play the game.

Also, in the UK, fans rarely refer to the FC part of their favourite team’s name.

But, I grew up supporting and following my own team, Crystal Palace FC.

The more I went to matches, the more I suffered and experienced joy with this club and I also understood that the team name is a huge part of its culture, history and identity.

No football team name is the same, and that includes the FC phrase at the beginning or end of a name. 

Similarly, any fan of AC Milan would say that they are NOT SIMPLY, Milan.

They are their own team in the city, with the AC, which stands for Associazione di Calcio a key part of their culture and history.

AC Milan is one of the most recognized soccer teams in the world and the AC part of their name is what sets them apart as a HEAVYWEIGHT IN SOCCER.

Movement and Force: How Can Soccer Help Us to Understand Physics?

How can soccer help us to understand physics
  • External Physical Factors impact soccer such as Weather and Playing conditions i.e. Wind, Dry surface, Wet surface.
  • We cannot always control the physics of soccer, and we have to ADAPT as a result. 
  • Understanding physics and its relation to soccer can help us to become better players and coaches.

   Your Guide

Alex Waite   Alex Waite

Soccer is jam-packed full of PHYSICAL MOVEMENT and FORCES.

  • Running
  • Kicking
  • Jumping
  • Tackling
  • Taking a throw-in
  • Saving the ball, and
  • Heading

Are just a small selection of physical maneuvers in soccer. 

There is a CLEAR LINK between soccer and physics, and playing soccer can help us to deepen our understanding of how we can use gravity, force, space and time to IMPACT a soccer ball.

When I was a young soccer player, I did not have an AWARENESS of how all my physical movements could help me become more intelligent on the pitch.

I did not think about different in-play situations.

I was like a dog with a bone, simply RUNNING around with RAW ENERGY, trying to chase the soccer ball everywhere, tackle opponents and shoot as hard as possible when I had possession. 

I had the ENERGY to become a relatively good player. But I lacked an UNDERSTANDING OF

1) How To Move

2) Where to be to Impact The Game.

to become an all-rounded soccer player, you need both. 

As I got older, played at a higher level, and EVENTUALLY became a coach, I grew MORE AWARE of how physics is linked to soccer in so MANY WAYS.

I have tried to pass on this understanding in soccer-related coaching and tips to younger players as AWARENESS of how to use your body and the space around you is CENTRAL TO IMPROVEMENT.

In this article, I will share SOME OF the considerations I have when coaching fellow soccer players about soccer and how it HELPS US to understand physics. 

Mastering Body Movements

Players in most sports use the same gross motor skills, such as using our leg muscles TO RUN, our torso to balance our arm muscles TO THROW.

But fine motor skills, using smaller limbs and movements to develop control, touch and precision, are where the differences occur. 

In soccer, fine motor skills are used IN THE FEET.

Reacting with our feet and developing feet-based skills involved requires an understanding of physics.

For example, if a player passes the ball with pace to their teammate, they will QUICKLY LEARN that they need to position their inner foot towards the ball to CREATE A larger surface area to control the pass.

Otherwise, the ball will DEFLECT OFF the more pointed areas of the feet, and it will MOVE in a different direction.

When I was training to be a Football Association qualified coach, I was UNWARE of how soccer players DEVELOP their personal skills.

But, over time, I learned that when players get as MANY TOUCHES of the ball as possible, they improve control and learn how to use their feet effectively.

As I have seen new players become more experienced over time I see more how, they learn to control their feet TO REACT in different ways to Pass, Shoot, Control and Tackle. 

What are some of the important individual skills to develop in soccer?

Angling and positioning the feet muscles, and bones to control, strike and pass the ball ARE CENTRAL to any developing or established player because these individual skills are used HUNDREDS OF TIMES during training and matches.

The movement IN THIS AREA is where players spend hours practicing as they learn muscle memory to train their bodies to:

  • Generate Power
  • Placement
  • Precision on the Soccer Ball

Recent research conducted by Jakub Kokštejn and Martin Musalek from the University of Prague found that developing game-specific motor skills in soccer helps to develop more elite players.

Former England captain David Beckham famously SPENT HOURS after training, perfecting his free-kick technique in DIFFERENT SITUATIONS, which he would then apply in competitive game situations.

This repetitive practice of KNOWING HOW and WHERE to strike the ball to generate physical movements, such as spin and pace, led to one of his most famous goals ever for England. 

Out of our hands: Forces and Soccer

Force in soccer is used for different in-play situations. Sir Isaac Newton was one of the first scientific OBSERVERS OF GRAVITY and ITS EFFECTS in the 1600s.

Newton noticed HOW UNBALANCED FORCES can make objects move at different lengths and at different times. 

Newton’s theories can be applied to a soccer ball.

For instance, if a player wants to shoot at a goal, they are likely to use MORE POWER and cause an unbalanced force with their foot on the ball.

Alternatively, a short-range, ten-yard pass will REQUIRE LESS FORCE to accurately reach a teammate.  

But, when soccer players gain more experience, they WILL ENCOUNTER more variables that affect the ball in different situations.

When I played soccer in London, the rain was a regular issue on the football pitch in winter, often creating surfaces more like water slides than grass.

However, sometimes WE PLAYED on the pitches rather than canceling the match. 

I soon learned that If the playing surface was wet, there will be less friction for the ball, meaning it WILL ROLL further with less force.

Or, if the grass is long on the pitch then MORE RESISTANCE is felt, and more force is required to get the ball to its target. 

Wind also has an impact on the force of the soccer ball. In blustery playing conditions, it’s common to see goalkeepers and free-kick takers STRUGGLING to kick the ball where they want it to go.

The resistance from the wind once the ball is airborne can send the ball back towards the kicker. Alternatively, drag force can launch the ball further in some situations. 

This problem is something that players of all abilities have to CONTENT WITH, which has led to some forgettable situations…

In 2007, former Tottenham goalkeeper Paul Robinson scored a comical Premier League goal against Watford.

Robinson launched a LONG KICK up the pitch, and the drag force propelled the ball more than he expected, causing it to BOUNCE QUICKLY off the turf and lob over opposing goalkeeper Ben Foster. 

(If the video does not play please search on youtube: Goalkeeper scoring alert! Paul Robinson v Watford)

In a more extreme example of WIND RESISTANCE, Thurrock defender Kamarl Duncan scored an almost UNBELIEVABLE OWN GOAL in an English semi-professional match between Thurrock and Romford in 2015. 

Physics is everywhere in soccer. We SUBCONSCIOUSLY ADAPT our bodies to different in-game situations.

From the LARGE MOVEMENTS in our legs and upper bodies to the tiny movements of bones in our feet, ALL IMPACT the force on a soccer ball. 

Weather and playing conditions like we have seen in the examples above are HUGE physical factors, and they can ultimately affect the outcomes of soccer matches.

Ultimately, as participants of the game, soccer players need to adapt and use physics to help them in their game.

For instance, a player may have to consider how THEY STIKE THE BALL when kicking into the wind or on a Dry Surface vs a Wet Surface.

Or, like David Beckham, thinking about how and where we strike the soccer ball when shooting can help us become better at this skill.

How To Wash A Soccer Jersey

How to wash a soccer jersey
  • Separate your Jerseys into Whites, Lights, and Darks.
  • Use a cold water setting in your washing machine because hot water could damage the jersey logo and branding.
  • Avoid quick wash and dry settings because this may shrink your soccer jersey.
  • Little extra care and effort can go a long way to keep your jersey in good condition, especially if your jersey has sentimental value to you.

   Your Guide

Alex Waite   Alex Waite

If you are an amateur soccer player, you will have the UNENVIABLE task of washing your used soccer jersey at some time or another.

Or perhaps you are a coach and need to wash jerseys for your entire team.

Washing a soccer jersey may seem like a straightforward task. But, one wrong step can lead to disaster. 

When I was growing up, my family was soccer mad. My siblings and I played for various soccer clubs, and my dad was a coach of different teams.

Consequently, we often had many frowsy soccer kits scrunched up in duffle bags lying around the house, ready to be washed for the weekend. 

While things usually went smoothly, there were occasional MIX-UPS, particularly for old, worn tops. Ripped jerseys, color mix-ups and shrunken clothes were common when we rushed washing our soccer jerseys. 

Soccer kits can usually be replaced if these errors happen.

However, some soccer enthusiasts may own prized or lucky soccer jerseys that are more sentimental. If these are washed incorrectly and subsequently damaged, then they can be irreplaceable.

Taking the time to wash a soccer jersey properly can save time and money. In this article, we share a step-by-step guide on how to clean a soccer jersey. 

Keeping Your Soccer Jersey in Great Shape: A Step by step Washing Guide

By taking the correct steps to prepare, wash and dry your soccer jersey, you will be able to get it looking FRESH and crisp for your next match or practice session. 

The guide below will guide you through washing a soccer jersey correctly to keep it looking as clean as possible. 

1) Shake Off Any Mud or Debris:

After finishing a match on a wet, wintery day or following a hot training session, the last thing you will be thinking about is washing your soccer kit.

So, before you chuck the jersey straight in the washing machine, take it out of the bag and give it a quick brush down, getting rid of any excess dirt or debris.

This will help with stain REMOVAL and will not sink any loose mud or dirt into the fabric.

2)Avoid a Mish-Mash of Colour:

Unless you want to emulate Juventus, Manchester United or Real Madrid of recent years and have a bright pink kit for the season, separate your jerseys into whites, lights, and darks…

…Many soccer jerseys are made from synthetic fibers, which run more in the washing machine.

To prevent the colors from BLENDING and mixing together, separating them is key to maintaining the natural color of the jersey.

If you are washing jerseys that are all the same color, you do not need to separate them. 

3) Time for a Spin:

Once you have carefully PREPARED your jersey to be washed, it is time to get it sparkling clean in the washing machine. If possible, use a high-quality detergent and a cold water setting.

Hot water makes the colors in synthetic materials run, and it can also cause damage to logos, branding and weakens the integrity of the jersey.

In the past, I have also used a quick wash and dry setting.

Avoid this!

It may shrink the soccer tops and could prove costly to replace them.

If you are washing one jersey, doing a light wash by hand is more effective, and you can scrub any tough stains or marks. This is a more careful way of cleaning special jerseys that may have sentimental VALUE.

4) After Care:

Your jerseys are out of the washing machine, smelling good and looking match-ready, but they are not quite finished just yet.

To avoid any long-term damage or peeling sponsor logos, ensure you do not expose the jersey to INTENSE heat.

Drying a soccer jersey in the sun is a good idea, but you can cover it with thin material to avoid too much heat penetrating the fabric.

Also, try to avoid ironing or using the dryer setting when cleaning your jersey.

This is likely to PEEL off any logos or designs, and it will avoid shrinking the jerseys. 


If you play for a soccer team, you may have a top with a special number and your name printed on the back.

Alternatively, you may have a VINTAGE jersey representing your passion for your favorite soccer team. Ultimately, however much you do not want to, you will have to wash your jersey.

When I played soccer as a kid, the number nine jersey was mine. I was inspired by the great strikers of the 1990s.

Brazilian legend Ronaldo, Andy Cole and Filippo Inzaghi gave me the drive to claim the number nine shirt as my own. After two seasons of wear and tear and mud stains, I kept the shirt, and I still have it today.

The reason I have kept it in good condition for so long comes down to a little extra care and effort.

Washing and keeping a soccer jersey pristine does not take a huge commitment, just some additional attention to detail. 

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