Reason World Cup stars Bellingham and Mbappe have holes in socks

World Cup 2022 briefing: Day 3

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With the World Cup underway, it has quickly become apparent that cutting holes in socks is a trend that is growing around the globe rather than just in the Premier League. Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham is the latest star to don the ‘look’, though it is more than just a fashion choice.

Footballers have taken to cutting holes in the backs of their socks in order to stretch the material more. Each pair worn are usually brand new, meaning that the elastic and fabric has not been stretched out naturally.

Therefore, the socks can cause injury in some cases because if they are too tight then they can cause players to be susceptible to muscle cramping in the calf or the Achilles tendon. Additionally, players also want to ensure that they are performing at their very best and socks being uncomfortably tight could prevent that.

The trend is more common amongst those with bigger calf muscles, obviously, with Manchester City star Kyle Walker one of the first to showcase his chopped-up socks several seasons ago. Gareth Bale is also a fan of the kit amendment, taking the concept abroad to Real Madrid during his time there.

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But there is the chance of repercussions for cutting holes in socks, as former Argentina international Ezequiel Garay found out. Whilst at Valencia, the central defender was ordered to take off his holed socks and wear a new pair as they did not follow the ‘sporting dress code’.

The DIY kit tampering is becoming the new norm though and France superstar Kylian Mbappe is expected to line up against Australia on Tuesday night with his socks manually broken in. The France international will have all eyes on him at the Qatar World Cup after being in the headlines for a large chunk of the opening stages of the domestic season.

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Mbappe reportedly told PSG that he wanted to leave the club in the January transfer window despite penning a new deal at Le Parc des Princes over the summer. However, he soon broke his silence on the matter and denied those claims – though it would be no surprise for a move to be on his mind at the end of the season.

The same can certainly be said for fellow sock-cutter Bellingham, who made his mark for England on Monday afternoon by opening the scoring in a 6-2 victory. The 19-year-old has been heavily linked with Manchester City, Liverpool and Real Madrid over the past few months and Dortmund are expected to entertain offers for their teenage sensation when the season draws to a close.

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