We use cookies

By continuing to browse ihf.info, you agree to our terms of use , privacy policy and the use of cookies. For more information, please review our cookie policy.



Date: 2/1/2015

No question, tattoos have become part of everyday lives in many countries around the world and Veronika Varju, AIPS Young Reporter - Qatar 2015 in partnership with the IHF, herself with several pieces of ink, searches out those players who are tattoo enthusiasts.

Sweden’s left-wing Fredrik Petersen has lots of tattoos and he is not the only one in his national team. Line player, Andreas Nilsson is very keen on them. Both of his arms are full of pictures, drawings and quotes, and there even some quotes on his thigh.

"I have plenty of them and the best is yet to come,” he said. “Tattoos are addictive. I would like to cover my chest and put some funny things on different parts of my body which are not visible for the public,” he says with a cheeky smile.

“All my tattoos mean something to me but none of them are related to handball - a medal would be nice on my skin, though. But if I want Gold I think I need to wait for it because so far I only have Silver from the London 2012 Olympic Games. ”

It is hard to find some players in the French squad who do not have some ink on them. Valentin Porte could not explain the meaning of his body decoration but was very satisfied with it.

"I have some shapes on my arm,” he explained. “They have no special meaning but I think they are cool. Aren’t they?” as points his finger towards them.

A legend of the French team, three-time World Championship winner Jerome Fernandez has much more to say about his tattoos.

"You can read the name of my son and wife on me,” he explained. “It is ‘Stephanie’ in Chinese and ‘Killian’ in Greek. I only have these because sometimes I spend a lot of time far away from them and I miss them a lot. Handball is my life but my family is the most important. This is a way for me to have them close to me.”

Barcelona star Nikola Karabatic has a tribal mask on his back, between his shoulders and EHF Champions League winner, Luka Zvizej has many important features on him, something that the Slovenian left wing is keen to talk about.

"You are strong as a stone - nothing can shape you, not winning, not losing,” he says.

“This is written on my arm. For me it means a lot and I can relate it to my personal life and my sports career as well. You cannot fly and you cannot go down, you need to find the balance - the golden middle.”

“I have another one on my chest and shoulder - I had a wish and last August it came true when my twins were born. It is their portrait.

“Oh, and yes, the one you are looking for is for my sponsor (a well-known sportswear manufacturer). Yes, it is permanent.”

Valero Rivera, the Spanish left-wing, also has a tattoo about his family, however it is small and most of the time we cannot see it because his socks cover it.

“Perhaps I am not the best person you can ask because I only have one tattoo,” he explains. “It is the date of the birth of my son. I love tattoos and I am planning to have some more but they are not related to handball, but to my mother and father.”

As I was working on my tattoo research with players, I came across a unique example, but only very small on his right calf and it drew my attention. He is Qatar’s number one player, Zarko Markovic, born in Montenegro and with a map of the country of his birth in ink.

”Did you think that I was covering my calves?” he said when I asked him why it was not visible. “No, not at all - I wear the long socks during matches because they are more convenient for me and they keep my legs warm even when I am on the bench - it is nothing to do with my tattoo.”

So many players at Qatar 2015 for a variety of reasons and these are just a few examples.  It may seem much fun to have something on your body which makes you different from other people, but there are some players who do not have anything on them and are not willing to in the future.

The Iranian pivot, Alireza Mousavi is one of them. ”Me and tattoos? No,” he said. “It must be very painful and I am afraid to have them done.

“They are nice, but not on me.”

Photos: Qatar 2015