Footballers Wearing Contact Lenses: Deep Dive

To be a professional footballer, you must have a great deal of natural talent, athleticism, and quick thinking, but what about vision? Vision in football contributes to the ability to make quick decisions and be aware of one’s surroundings, including opponents and teammates.

The ability to make the best decision in a split second is what distinguishes good players from the best elite players. Vision is essential for this, and poor vision would severely limit players’ ability to do so. We will investigate why and who footballers wear contact lenses.

20/20 vision refers to having an optimal and near-perfect level of vision without glasses or contact lenses. However, only 35% of adults are estimated to have this level of vision. As a result, many football players will have less than optimal vision. As a result of the foregoing, many football players now wear contact lenses.

Glasses vs Contact Lenses for Footballers 

glasses vs contact lenses in football

Glasses and contact lenses can help you achieve 20/20 vision. However, you will rarely see players wearing glasses or sports goggles. This is due to the fact that glasses and goggles cause blind spots in vision. The position of the lenses on the nose and around the eyes.

Football players are constantly looking around them, and the frames from glasses would distract them and reduce the accuracy of their peripheral vision.

glasses are ‘red flag’:

Glasses are also a safety hazard. When knocked or bumped, a plastic rim that sits on the nose and around the head can cause injuries. Suppose a player makes contact with their arm or elbow during an aerial battle with a player who is wearing glasses, the plastic rims are then more likely to result in cuts and bruises on the player’s face.

Not to mention the glass lenses, which would be extremely dangerous if shattered in a football game, making it a high risk. This is also true for sports goggles, which are more durable but still have a risk of breaking, especially in a sport that involves making contact with the ball with the head.

Why are Footballers wearing Contact Lenses? 

To begin with, contact lenses improve vision. Because the lenses are round and completely cover the eye, vision in all directions is unaffected. Glasses sit further away from the eye, resulting in less accurate vision correction.

glasses are simply not viable!

In certain conditions, glasses can steam up and become smeared on the lenses, making them unclean. In sunny conditions, the same specs can be affected by reflections. Even when lenses are designed to be anti-glare, there is still some glare and reflection that isn’t present.

Contact lenses are also worn by football players because they are more durable, require less adjusting, and are less likely to be damaged during a game.

It may appear that having a foreign object in the eye during an intense, high-contact sport is potentially dangerous, but it is actually not very dangerous at all, and contact lenses are extremely unlikely to cause harm to a player.

types of contact lenses:

Contact lenses are classified into two types: rigid and soft. Soft lenses are recommended for footballers because they are more suitable for movement and are less likely to become dislodged. Soft lenses are also less dangerous in terms of causing eye damage. It is extremely unlikely that a ball or any other object would break or splinter in the eye of a player who is wearing soft contact lenses.

Contact lenses cannot go behind the eye and are extremely unlikely to become lodged in the eye in a location where they cannot be easily retried. The worst that can happen to a footballer wearing contact lenses is that the lens becomes slightly dislodged or falls out of the eye.

The downside of Footballers wearing Contact Lenses 

This brings us to the potential drawbacks of football players wearing contact lenses. The lens has a small chance of falling out of the player’s eye. When this happens, it is nearly impossible to find the lens again because it is completely see-through.

If this happened during a game, the players’ vision would be so impaired that they would have to resolve the issue immediately by replacing the lens. Football clubs and medical staff should ensure they have ready replacements for players who wear contact lenses.

contact lenses in football

an out-of-the-way hassle:

Another disadvantage is that contact lenses can be difficult to use. Contact lens wearers will either have daily disposable lenses or monthly lenses. Footballers who wear contact lenses must remember to bring multiple pairs with them when traveling overnight, as these lenses must be discarded after each use.

hygiene risks:

These types of contact lenses are most likely used by players because they pose less of a risk of infection because they are discarded. After each use, monthly lenses must be cleaned and disinfected, which can be inconvenient.

They may not be cleaned properly, which can lead to infections, and they are also more expensive to replace if lost or damaged. A professional footballer, on the other hand, is unlikely to have this problem!

Finally, football players who wear contact lenses may struggle to insert them or have sensitive eyes. This is a common problem for people who first start wearing contact lenses, but most people quickly adjust to the sensation. Players would be urged to use lenses if necessary, so even if they dislike them, failure to do so could jeopardize their career.

Importance of Good Vision in Football

The importance of good vision in football cannot be overstated. Manchester United famously wore a grey away kit against Southampton in a Premier League match in 1996. After halftime, they emerged from the locker rooms in a completely different color strip. This was all related to the issue of players’ vision on the field.

analysis of a vision specialist?

Manchester United hired a vision specialist who emphasized the significance of player vision on the field. She concluded that players who return from injury and don’t perform well, do not appear sharp, or make a lot of mistakes are not unfit, are out of practice with the ball, or lack tactical understanding. Instead, she hypothesized that their vision was faulty.

In other words, it takes time to develop the habit of constantly looking around, and players must play the game for a long time before their vision becomes acquainted with the game’s speed. Bright colors aid vision on the pitch.

This is why the grey kit was replaced with a brighter color at halftime. This shows how much more difficult it would be if a player’s vision was slightly blurry or not up to the ideal 20/20 standard.

Football Players wearing Contact Lenses

David De Gea

Because of his long-sightedness, the Manchester United goalkeeper requires contact lenses. Goalkeepers’ vision is probably more important than any other position on the field. His vision hasn’t stopped him from becoming one of the best goalkeepers in the game.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Contact lenses are used by one of the greatest players of all time to correct his vision. About 20% of his goals have been headers, demonstrating that contact lenses are appropriate and safe even when the ball makes contact with the head very close to the eyes.

Paul Scholes

The former legendary midfielder corrected his vision with lenses. Scholes was well-known for his ability to create plays and pass from the center of the field. Along with goalkeepers, good vision is essential in this position to know where your teammates are, gauge how much time you have on the ball, and make the best decisions with both long and short-range passes.

contact lenses in football

Exceptions & Alternatives 

Of course, there is one obvious exception when it comes to football players wearing contact lenses. Edgar Davids is the name. The Dutch midfield maestro was famous for wearing sports goggles during matches, owing to the fact that he was the only elite player to do so.

the case of edgar davids:

Davids was unable to wear contact lenses because they did not provide the necessary eye protection. That was due to the fact that he had glaucoma surgery on his right eye.

He was extremely fortunate that the surgery was a complete success, as his vision appeared to be permanently impaired. His eyes, however, were frail, and any significant blow to the eye could have resulted in serious complications. As a result, he wore elastic goggles, which provided safety without impairing his peripheral vision too much.

laser-eye surgery:

Another option is laser eye surgery. This eliminates the need for contact lenses or glasses to correct poor vision. This procedure was once considered dangerous because it could result in eye damage or blindness if done incorrectly. However, this treatment is now thought to be much safer, particularly for elite athletes who can afford specialist treatment with the best eye doctors.


Overall, wearing contact lenses is completely safe and common among football players. Sports goggles and glasses do not provide the same level of vision and can be less safe and comfortable. Footballers today want to look good and be fashionable while playing, and wearing glasses or sports goggles isn’t always the best look.

The only thing contact lens wearers must ensure is that they or the medical team always have spares in case they are knocked out during a game. To play at the highest level, 20/20 vision is required, so footballers wear contact lenses to achieve optimal vision in the safest and simplest way possible.

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Here we will be giving more of an opinion, rather than facts. Are the cleats worth the price that they are being sold at? Should you upgrade from your current cleats, depending on what boots you own? What features stand out in these cleats? If any. Does it do the job? Speed, control, stability etc.

Depending on your needs/preferences. We can also mention its durability, if we have collected enough data on the specific cleats.

What did we expect vs. what we got. Is it maybe overrated/underrated?


Here’s our pick from the very best of the bunch.


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