The fundamental skill for a footballer is the ability to play football. That much we're sure of. A keen eye for style is not a necessity.
However, that doesn't mean that we can't all point and laugh when they spend their millions on these wonderful wardrobe howlers.
Do not take a bow, lads.
15. Thierry henry
Thierry Henry regularly makes admirable style decisions, but things went horribly awry in 2008 when he was spotted wandering around New York in one those awful tie on t-shirt numbers. He's rocking those high top sneakers, though.
14. Paul Gascoigne
One shellsuit is forgivable. Actually, that's totally untrue. One is not forgivable and two is jaw-dropping. Hit play, sit back and observe Paul Gascoigne sporting the late 80's worst fashion faux pas, not once, but twice. Still, perhaps two is Gazza's lucky number because, unfathomably, this track reached number two in the charts. So joke's on us...
No, hang on, wrong again. Joke's still on Gazza.
13. Manchester United
Over 20 years on and we still lose sleep over the fact that Ryan Giggs made a man like Nelson Mandela look at that jacket. Not that it was Giggs's fault, of course. These horrendous garments were standard issue for the Man Utd squad of 1993. It was the first season in the newly formed FA Premier League and, despite their training tops, they won the championship.
Things that are okay to do:
- Score 42 goals in 60 games
- Play your way to a £49 million switch from Santos to Barcelona
- Play for Brazil
- Be the best player at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup
Things that are not okay to do:
- Consistently wear a cap on backwards, like you're Justin bloody Bieber.
11. LIONEL MESSI
Okay, okay, if you're the best footballer in the world you probably have license to wear whatever the hell you like. But interestingly Lionel Messi wears this sort of thing when he's actually picking up the best footballer in the world award (left, Ballon d'Or 2012). Picture on the right is Lionel at the Ballon d'Or 2013, which he missed out on to Cristiano Ronaldo, who actually dressed very well that night. Still, we'd wear either outfit all day, every day, to have just a fraction of his talent. So, let's move on...
10. Gus Poyet
To be fair to Sunderland manager Gus Poyet (pictured) we could have picked any number of Premier League stars guilty of football's worst winter wardrobe decision since Nigel Clough wore tracky B's. Alas, players were banned from wearing the snood monstrosity two years ago and none of them went as far as having their initials added. Gus, we're not angry. Just disappointed.
9. Cristiano Ronaldo
Do not wear those jeans with that jacket, Cristiano. We hate that we have to tell you that.
8. David Sullivan
Chairmen flying their team's colours rarely ends well. A subtle nod by incorporating some colour into your tie can be a nice touch, but just think about Mike Ashley in that Newcastle shirt. David Sullivan took his desire to display the claret of West Ham, at his first press conference for the club, way too far with this velvet effort. We half expected him to come out and Austin Powers it: "Allow myself to introduce... myself."
7. Liverpool FC
Liverpool were going through a barren spell in terms of big trophies when they rolled up at Wembley wearing these cheeky little numbers, in 1996, having not won the league title since 1989–90 or an FA Cup since 1992 (there was a league cup win the year before, mind you). They faced a boringly-dressed Man Utd. And lost. They had to wear these hideous cream Armani suits, and lost? That will never not be funny.
6. Vincent tan
Here's Cardiff City owner and sometime Bond villain Vincent Tan (right) talking with former head of recruitment Alisher Apsalyamov, in December. One of them is dressed like you'd expect the top brass in the executive box of a Premier League club to dress. The other needs to see a stylist. Also, there wasn't much sun in December, Vincent.
5. Ashley cole
Here's Ashley Cole in a pink turtleneck, in 2006. And as Forrest Gump might say, that's all we have to say about that.
4. Robbie savage
In October 2011 former Wales international, Robbie Savage, appeared on ITV's Loose Women in a t-shirt that plunged lower than a snake's ankles. Brave on two counts.
3. Djibril Cisse
Google the phrase "Djibril Cisse wearing" and then click "images" (or just click here) and you'll find a goldmine of brave sartorial choices by the French SC Bastia forward. But when he started wearing skirts made by his own fashion label, brave became bizarre. Here he is showing up for the MTV awards in Frankfurt in 2012. Not sure who the guy on the left is but massively prefer his outfit.
2. Mario Balotelli
We miss Mario Balotelli like mad. Back in 2010 the former Man City striker showed up for an evening game against Everton wearing this chicken hat. He had an awful match, hardly touched the ball, failed to score and was subbed in the 83rd minute. And yet he was still was the memorable element of the entire night. Get him back here.
1. David Beckham
From the ridiculous to the sublime Beckham's fashion sense has improved a thousand-fold over the years, but cast your mind back to 1998 and he was wearing matching full leather Versace suits with his missus. In the same year, of course, he wore this sarong. It's a toss up which was worse but at least the sarong was cooling. We dread to think about the kiln-esque temperatures inside these efforts. Utter insanity.