No one argues around the prominence of wearing helmets in American football and hockey. In soccer, however, the debate regarding whether concussion headgear is useful rages on. 

Nevertheless, there have actually been number of soccer superstar who have worn safety headgear for the people to see. The purpose, of course, was no to do a fashion statement, yet to present that soccer protective gear exists to safeguard players indigenous traumatic mind injury.

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History of protective Headgear in football

Protective headgear is officially permitted by Fifa dominance 4 top top Equipment. FIFA an initial allowed the usage of security headgear (often called “concussion headgear”) ~ above the field in 2003. They gained international attention during the Women’s people Cup of that year and also then at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece.

The fostering of headgear in the soccer world was laced with controversy. There was hesitation from the United says Soccer Federation that soccer headgear had actually no scientific backing was simply being marketed to parents that were fearful of brain injuries.

Researchers us were split on the true reason of mind injuries in soccer. Part studies declared that heading the ball could lead come concussions and also long-term brain impairment, however others suggested the opposite. Ultimately, the scientific research of mind injuries in soccer, at the time, was contradictory. 

But acceptance of soccer headgear increased, return governing body such as the United says Soccer Federation never ever really endorsed it. They didn’t promote the helmets, fearing that it would provide soccer the picture of being a dangerous sport, one that was ~ above par v football. 

But if the research study didn’t it seems ~ sufficient sufficient to indicate a risk of concussions, life top top the pitch did. Take, for example, Petr Cech (more on that below), who suffered a horrific head collision in 2006. After a life-saving surgery and also months the recovery, Cech went back to the pitch in 2007 attract a head guard. 

Not just did he attract attention to himself for wearing the helmet, he additionally fuelled talks around the potential safety and security benefits this helmets could offer. It’s same to hail Cech as soccer’s headgear “pioneer”, and his willingness to wear a helmet encouraged other players to monitor suit. 

Fortunately, difficult science caught up to the cases later in the 2010s, when Virginia Tech published its first-ever concussion headgear study. Virginia Tech’s helmet lab tested 22 helmet models consisting of our really own ExoShield head guard, assigning castle a rating between two and five. ExoShield came out top top top, with an estimated ability to alleviate concussion threats by 84% in simulations. 

While the Virginia tech ratings and subsequent studies have actually shed more light top top the potential value of headgear to minimize the risk of mind injuries, much much more research demands to be conducted to solidify our understanding. Furthermore, it’s always important to note that over there is no silver- bullet solution against head injuries, and also all we can do is be clever about means we deserve to attempt to minimize risks- ranging from physical preparation to attract protective equipment. 

It’s worth taking a watch at some of the great soccer talents who have made appearances put on concussion headgear and also how they’ve benefitted indigenous them. The list below is no exhaustive, and the players illustrated may have worn headgear for various reasons (some for brain injury prevention, other to mitigate the danger of traumatic skull damage). 

Protective Headgear example #1 - Wayne Rooney



In 2013, climate Manchester unified star, Wayne Rooney, came to be the center of attention for reasons beyond his dazzling skills. Everyone wanted to understand what the strange “headband” he was wearing was. Rooney to be wearing’s ExoShield Head Guards.

Rooney had actually suffered a absent to the head, leaving with a three-inch gash that forced him to miss three games (and intimidated to do him miss out on three more). We offered Rooney our concussion headgear. The agreed come wear it and also he returned to the pitch without missing any further games. Rooney scoring three goals in two games, while wearing ours helmet, to be the icing top top the cake.

Protective Headgear instance #2 - Petr Čech

If you carry out a Google find for Petr Čech, the fourth an outcome (give or take) in the autofill is “Petr Cech helmet”. Once you click it, you acquire a host of results consisting of photos and videos that Cech put on the helmet, together with headlines around the attention it garnered.

In 2006, Čech suffered a life-threatening head injury throughout a match against FC Reading. He collided v midfielder Stephen Hunt throughout a shot attempt- Hunt’s knee smashed into Čech’s head. Once he landed on the hospital, physicians quickly contrasted the injury to a vehicle crash. Cech had actually to have actually two piece of his skull changed with steel plates. 

When he returned three month later, he wore security headgear complying with the advice that his doctor. Čech’s emergence with a concussion head safety earned that attention, but an ext importantly, it continued the conversation about the protective headgear’s ability to minimize head injury risks.

Protective Headgear instance #3 - Sofie Junge Pedersen


Sofie Junge Pedersen, a Danish protective midfielder ~ above Juventus, is one more elite talent who has worn football headgear to protect herself versus concussions. Pedersen’s exceptional capability was apparent at the beginning of her career, and she’s do appearances in the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s civilization Cup, UEFA Women’s Euro 2013 and 2017 events. 

However, Pedersen suffered a concussion that left her sidelined for whole year. It occurred in 2016 throughout a training session at her former club, FC Rosengard. Pedersen explained her injury together being “hard mentally” because she couldn’t execute anything for 4 months and had no means of learning when she’d beat again. 

Fortunately, Pederson walk on to make a complete recovery and has worn concussion headgear ever because her return.

Protective Headgear example #4 - Cristian Chivu

Cristian Chivu, a former Romanian footballer because that Inter Milan, likewise garnered attention for attract protective headgear ago in 2010. His decision to wear the helmet initially made sports headlines since the legality the the headgear was still mostly in a grey area. 

Like Čech and also Rooney, Chivu endured a severe head injury, a broken skull, throughout a Serie A complement in January 2010. The fracture compelled surgery, which the went ~ above to recuperate from. After having undergone effective rehabilitation, Chivu changed to full training attract a helmet. 

At the time, coach Franco Pasquetti identified that because that soccer, the helmet was “one of the an initial examples I have the right to think of.” He likewise added, “The helmet is just protection, yet it’s likewise a psychological and mental aid. The ball, once it access time the cap, will certainly be softer 보다 the elbow of an additional player.”

Chivu eventually retired at age 33 as result of a nagging foot injury. However, attract concussion headgear came to be a trademark that his throughout his final years.

Protective Headgear instance #5 - Tuija Hyyrynen


Tuija Hyyrynen, a Finnish defender who right now plays for Juventus, is one of the leading females in expert soccer that wears concussion headgear. She’s took pleasure in a successful career, racking up accomplishments including appearances at the Women’s Euro competition (2009) and also UEFA Women’s Euro (2013). 

Unfortunately, because that Hyyrynen she’s had actually her battles with concussions, prompting she to wear soccer concussion headgear (our ExoShield headguard). She further defined her use of a head guard come a journalist. 

“I have a background of concussion,” Hyyrynen said. “I had actually had many small concussions over the years, and also in 2015 I obtained a enlarge and an ext serious concussion, which then stopped.” Hyyrynen’s doctor actually recommended the she stay concussion headgear together a security measure against further brain injury. 

When asked if the headgear changed the touch or feeling of the ball, Hyyrynen responded by saying:

“Not as such. I’m quite bold v it once it absorbs shock.” among the many encouraging claims around the headgear that Hyyrynen made was stating the wearing it supposed “no more headaches and also concussions”.

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Protective Headgear instance # 6 - Sean Boyle


A phenomenal goalkeeper for the U.S. Paralympic football team, Sean Boyle is one avid user the concussion headgear. He is a distinct member of this list since he admits that he wore this security gear prior to suffering a head injury. In fact, the wore our very own ExoShield head guard and also continues to do so today. 

In an interview we conducted with Boyle in December 2016, he defined his to trust in the helmet’s ability to affect his performance. 

“The means I check out it, if you deserve to use protective gear to your benefit mentally, walk for it- noþeles to give you one edge,” the said. 

Regarding his continued use that the helmet, that said: “I’m confident I have the right to play without it, but I supplied it because ‘why not’ and also I never want to have actually a concussion.”

Other noteworthy Users that Concussion Headgear


The use of concussion headgear isn’t restricted to major European leagues. Because that example, Stanford’s Jaye Boissiere makes frequent appearances wearing ours ExoShield headguard. Also, yes Jean-Max Ferdinand, a Haitian-born footballer who plays for the Milwaukee tide in the significant Arena soccer League, who can commonly be spotted wearing our ExoShield headguard together well.

From pros to Joes: Headgear conserves Careers

We"re tho a long means out from see mainstream fostering of security headgear in soccer. This is the instance for both professional and also amateur leagues. However, the examples of Wayne Rooney, Petr Čech and Cristian Chivu display that headgear doesn"t put any type of limitations on players" capability or performance at all. In fact, security headgear, or concussion headgear together many speak to it, may prove to have actually the capacity to minimize the threat of more injury come the head, including years to a football player"s career.