Soccer player Hector Bellerin is the style icon we deserve

He proves it's not the clothes but how you wear them that counts

24 February 2019 - 00:00
Hector Bellerin, centre, at London Fashion Week.
Hector Bellerin, centre, at London Fashion Week.
Image: Getty Images / Dave Benett

Weeks (and perhaps even months) ago, Spanish footballer Hector Bellerin was on TV, watching a match between Team A and Team B. (Sorry, not a footie fundi so I can't be bothered to remember who was playing). His look - a khaki trench coat, Burberry scarf, black beanie, tiny shades, cross earrings, moustache and goatee - caused a bit of a stir on social media.

As one brilliant tweet put it: "Hector Bellerin [is] dressed like he has a crime to solve at 2, a painting to sell at 3 and a bank to rob at 4."

There was also this outstanding tweet: "Hector Bellerin is either the man behind the Gatwick drone or the detective who caught him."

Which all means one thing, really: while (apparently) Bellerin's on-field skills are spectacular, his off-field fashion always gets people talking.

In an interview with The Times of London, the 23-year-old Arsenal player spoke about receiving verbal abuse from fans because he "acts differently".

He said: "The problem is that people have an idea of what a footballer should look like . If you act a little differently you become a target. There is pressure to conform . In life, you should be allowed to express yourself."

But not everyone hates Bellerin's chosen form of self-expression. In fact, Bellerin is easily one of the most stylish high-profile people on the planet. If you deconstruct his outfits and critique an item of clothing at a time, they're all great pieces.

But it's how he "throws" it all together that makes Bellerin a style icon in the making: he's playful, mixing together items that shouldn't really work in one outfit. He's a risk-taker and a rule-breaker who loves prints. 

It's way Bellerin "throws" his look together that makes him a style icon.
It's way Bellerin "throws" his look together that makes him a style icon.
Image: Getty Images / Mike Marsland
Hector Bellerin defies the typical 'footballer look.
Hector Bellerin defies the typical 'footballer look.
Image: Getty Images / Karwai Tang

All the good clothes in the world mean nothing if the wearer can't pull them off.

Bellerin is cool and he knows it. He does whatever he wants. He has the kind of hair that could make him either a member of a grunge band or the model on the cover of a terrible romance novel.

Despite the hate and mockery he sometimes receives, Bellerin carries himself - and his fashion - with confidence. How very millennial of him. Who said footballers can only wear branded tight T-shirts, tighter jeans and belts with buckles bigger than their egos?