No one argues about the prestige of wearing helmets in American football and also hockey. In soccer, however, the debate as to whether concussion headgear is useful rages on. 

Nevertheless, there have been several soccer superstars who have actually worn protective headgear for the civilization to see. The purpose, of course, was no to do a fashion statement, yet to show that football protective equipment exists to protect players native traumatic mind injury.

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History of safety Headgear in soccer

Protective headgear is officially allowed by Fifa rule 4 on Equipment. FIFA an initial allowed the use of security headgear (often referred to as “concussion headgear”) ~ above the ar 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 through controversy. Over there was suspicion from the United states Soccer Federation that soccer headgear had actually no scientific backing was simply being marketed to parents that were fear of brain injuries.

Researchers us were separated on the true cause of mind injuries in soccer. Some studies declared that heading the ball might lead come concussions and also long-term brain impairment, however others argued the opposite. Ultimately, the science of brain injuries in soccer, at the time, was contradictory. 

But acceptance of soccer headgear increased, back governing body such as the United claims Soccer Federation never ever really endorsed it. They no promote the helmets, fearing the it would provide soccer the picture of being a attention sport, one the was top top par v football. 

But if the study didn’t it seems ~ sufficient enough to indicate a hazard of concussions, life ~ above the key did. Take, because that example, Petr Cech (more on him below), who experienced a horrific head collision in 2006. After a life-saving surgery and also months that recovery, Cech returned to the pitch in 2007 wearing a head guard. 

Not only did he attract attention to self for wearing the helmet, he likewise fuelled talks about the potential safety benefits these helmets can offer. It’s same to hail Cech as soccer’s headgear “pioneer”, and his willingness to wear a helmet urged other players to follow suit. 

Fortunately, tough science caught up come the claims later in the 2010s, as soon as Virginia Tech released its first-ever concussion headgear study. Virginia Tech’s helmet lab tested 22 helmet models including our very own ExoShield head guard, assigning castle a rating in between two and also five. ExoShield come out on top, through an estimated ability to mitigate concussion risks by 84% in simulations. 

While the Virginia tech ratings and subsequent studies have actually shed much more light ~ above the potential value of headgear to mitigate the threat of mind injuries, much an ext research demands to be carried out to solidify our understanding. Furthermore, it’s always important to note that there is no silver- bullet solution versus head injuries, and all we deserve to do is be clever about means we deserve to attempt to minimize risks- ranging from physical ready to put on protective equipment. 

It’s worth taking a look at some of the good soccer talent who have actually made appearances put on concussion headgear and also how they’ve benefitted native them. The list below is not exhaustive, and the players shown may have worn headgear for different reasons (some for mind injury prevention, other to minimize the hazard of traumatic skull damage). 

Protective Headgear instance #1 - Wayne Rooney



In 2013, climate Manchester united star, Wayne Rooney, ended up being the center of fist for reasons past his dazzling skills. Everyone want to recognize what the strange “headband” he was wearing was. Rooney was wearing’s ExoShield Head Guards.

Rooney had suffered a absent to the head, leaving with a three-inch gash that required him to miss out on three gamings (and endangered to make him miss three more). We readily available Rooney ours concussion headgear. The agreed come wear it and he returned to the key without lacking any further games. Rooney scoring three purposes in 2 games, while wearing our helmet, was the icing ~ above the cake.

Protective Headgear example #2 - Petr Čech

If you perform a Google find for Petr Čech, the fourth result (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 the Cech attract the helmet, together with headlines about the attention it garnered.

In 2006, Čech suffered a life-threatening head injury throughout a match versus FC Reading. That collided v midfielder Stephen Hunt during a shoot attempt- Hunt’s knee smashed right into Čech’s head. Once he arrived on the hospital, doctors quickly contrasted the injury to a auto crash. Cech had to have two pieces of his skull replaced with metal plates. 

When he changed three months later, that wore protective headgear complying with the advice that his doctor. Čech’s introduction with a concussion head safety earned him attention, but an ext importantly, it continued the conversation around the protective headgear’s ability to minimize head injury risks.

Protective Headgear instance #3 - Sofie Junge Pedersen


Sofie Junge Pedersen, a Danish protective midfielder on Juventus, is another elite talent who has actually worn football headgear to safeguard herself versus concussions. Pedersen’s exceptional capacity was obvious at the start of her career, and also she’s made appearances in the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s human being Cup, UEFA Women’s Euro 2013 and 2017 events. 

However, Pedersen experienced a concussion that left she sidelined for an entire year. It taken place in 2016 during a training session at her former club, FC Rosengard. Pedersen described her injury together being “hard mentally” since she couldn’t carry out anything for four months and also had no way of discovering when she’d pat again. 

Fortunately, Pederson went on to make a full recovery and also has worn concussion headgear ever since 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 come wear the helmet initially made sporting activities headlines since the legality the the headgear was still mostly in a grey area. 

Like Čech and Rooney, Chivu experienced a severe head injury, a broken skull, throughout a Serie A match in January 2010. The fracture required surgery, which that went on to recoup from. After having actually undergone successful rehabilitation, Chivu reverted to complete training attract a helmet. 

At the time, coach Franco Pasquetti recognized that for soccer, the helmet was “one that the first examples I deserve to think of.” He likewise added, “The helmet is just protection, but it’s likewise a psychological and also mental aid. The ball, as soon as it hits the cap, will certainly be softer than the elbow of one more player.”

Chivu at some point retired at period 33 because of a nagging foot injury. However, wearing concussion headgear ended up being a trademark the his throughout his last years.

Protective Headgear instance #5 - Tuija Hyyrynen


Tuija Hyyrynen, a Finnish defender who at this time plays because that Juventus, is among the leading females in experienced soccer that wears concussion headgear. She’s delighted in a effective career, racking up achievements including appearances in ~ 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 usage of a head guard to a journalist. 

“I have a history of concussion,” Hyyrynen said. “I had actually had many small concussions end the years, and also in 2015 I got a enlarge and more serious concussion, which then stopped.” Hyyrynen’s doctor actually recommended that she wear concussion headgear as a safety measure versus further brain injury. 

When request if the headgear readjusted the touch or feel of the ball, Hyyrynen responded by saying:

“Not together such. I’m fairly bold through it as soon as it absorbs shock.” one of the many encouraging claims about the headgear that Hyyrynen made to be stating the wearing it meant “no more headaches and concussions”.

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Protective Headgear instance # 6 - Sean Boyle


A phenomenal goalkeeper for the U.S. Paralympic football team, Sean Boyle is an avid user the concussion headgear. The is a distinct member of this list since he admits the he wore this security gear before suffering a head injury. In fact, the wore our really own ExoShield head guard and also continues to carry out so today. 

In an interview we performed with Boyle in December 2016, he described his trust in the helmet’s capacity to impact his performance. 

“The method I see it, if you have the right to use protective equipment to your advantage mentally, go for it- something to offer you one edge,” that said. 

Regarding his continued use that the helmet, that said: “I’m i was sure I deserve to play without it, yet I provided it because ‘why not’ and I never ever want to have actually a concussion.”

Other noteworthy Users that Concussion Headgear


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

From advantages to Joes: Headgear saves Careers

We"re still a long method out from seeing mainstream adoption of safety headgear in soccer. This is the instance for both professional and also amateur leagues. However, the examples of Wayne Rooney, Petr Čech and also Cristian Chivu present that headgear doesn"t put any kind of limitations top top players" abilities or power at all. In fact, safety headgear, or concussion headgear as many contact it, may prove to have actually the capacity to alleviate the hazard of further injury come the head, adding years to a soccer player"s career.