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I've noticed that Thomas Müller of Germany wears very small shin guards (at least most of the time). If I remember correctly he did the same thing during the last world cup or Euros. I played a bit of soccer when I was young and can't understand why a professional player would refuse to wear shin guards that cover all their shins. They are the only thing that keep you away from seriously hurting your shins and going through ridiculous pain. So what's the reason behind this? Why would you leave a considerable amount of your shins unprotected and risk getting injured??

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Given that it is a requirement that players wear shinguards, and equipment is usually carefully checked at the professional level of the game, I believe it is very unlikely that Thomas Müller doesn't wear shinguards all the time while playing. –  studro Jun 23 at 0:22
I've seen that happen too many times. I'll try to find a picture and post it –  alamoot Jun 23 at 0:43
Anecdotal evidence, but some players say even light and small shinguards restrict their movement. I wear very large and thick shinguards, and I don't find this to be the case, so I guess it comes down to personal opinion. Obviously some players would risk being told they cannot play by the referee, or worse a broken leg rather than the apparent decrease in ability that comes from wearing shinguards. –  studro Jun 23 at 4:39
I went over a lot pf pictures of him and it seems like he wears small shin guards at the very bottom of his shins, thus having the upper half of his shins exposed during games –  alamoot Jun 23 at 15:06
Perhaps you could edit the question to ask why players wear small shinguards that quite obviously do not protect them adequately, if that's what you want answered instead. However, I think it's likely to lead to a lot of personal opinion and conjecture, but you might luck out and find a good answer. –  studro Jun 24 at 0:30

2 Answers 2

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The most important reason: It's imply a question of style. Like Cristiano Ronaldo wears long socks,some others are wearing sweatbands, ...

Besides, it's not very comfortable to wear shin guards. One sweats heavily underneath them. In personal, because of this reason, I'm wearing my shin guards only during the game. Never during training, warm-up or eaven a training match.

In addition, most injuries around the shin guards take place lower (ankle) or above them (knee).

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  • Shin-guards provide superficial protection at best. If someone makes a really bad foul on you, they are not going to protect bones from being broken.

  • Professional footballplayers are used to getting hit on the shins over and over again. Pain is temporary, and something you get used to.

  • Many players train without shin-guards. Probably they feel that shin-guards constrict their movement

  • I for one feel they hamper movement and ball-control

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I cannot agree with point 1, as I would argue that the majority of collisions with the shin in a match indeed are superficial, therefore it is very important to minimise the effects of these collisions. Since these are fair challenges, they are mitigated by the players wearing shinguards. "Really bad fouls" are relatively rare, and as such are mitigated by sending the offender off. Point 2 is also defeated by this argument. Point 3 seems like the correct train of thought, but you probably should add a source/reference to back this claim up. –  studro Jul 1 at 6:47

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