Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 10.19.03 AM

It must be tough playing in the World Cup. Not only are you representing your entire country, but every mistake you make is seen by millions of people all over the world. Poor Igor Akinfeev, the Russian goalkeeper who let a straightforward shot from Korea’s Lee Keun-ho roll up and over his head and into the goal. It was enough to make anyone want to curl up into a ball and die, and Igor’s mortified face was painful to watch, inspiring thousands of Tweets proclaiming, “Yikes!”

Japanese netizens have taken notice of another footballer faux paus, this time in the form of an unfortunate tattoo. We’ve seen it before – misinformed fans of body modification adding “Chicken Noodle Soup or “casket maker” in exotic scrawl, and Team Greece representative, Theofanis “Fanis” Gekas, has added to the list of tattoos that have piqued the interest of Japanese netizens.

Many Japanese netizens have been tweeting about the tattoo, commenting on the strange use of 寒冷殺人拳, most closely translated as “Cold Killer Fist.” The first two kanji (寒冷) definitely mean “cold,” but in the temperature sense, like “a cold climate” or “frigid air,” not in a heartless, “murder your mother” way.

But taking a closer look, the last character may be a little different than Japanese netizens are claiming, though the change fails to change the unusual nature of the words:

Greece soccer player bad tattoo2

It appears the last kanji is actually 魔 and not 拳. Here, 魔 can mean “demon” or “devil” but also gives the connotation of someone who habitually performs a negative act, in this case, killing. Put it together with the previous two kanji and you get something like, but not quite, “serial killer.”

Japanese sources (including Wikipedia, the fountain of internet knowledge) report that Gekas meant to scribe “cold killer” on his right arm, but he most likely wanted it to read “cold-blooded killer,” a nickname given to him by Greek soccer fans for his impressive scoring ability.

Either way, Gekas’ tattoo isn’t quite right in Japanese or Chinese (our Chinese-speaking correspondent says it has a “Google translate feel to it”), and is a phrase that might conjure up an image of an ice-encrusted fist dealing a death blow. If Gekas truly wanted to write “cold-blooded killer” the closest approximation in Japanese would be 冷酷な殺人 (reikoku na satsujin, literally “ruthless murderer”) or 血も涙もない人殺し (chi mo namida mo nai hitogoroshi, literally “a murderer without blood or tears”). Personally, we like the last one for the images it brings to mind (“I’ll be back.”), but we suppose “frigid killer” is cool in its own way too.

And let’s face it, it could be worse. He could have 龙蛇吉勇羊 (dragon snake fortune brave sheep) tattooed on his arm like German footballer Torsten Frings. Or even the characters 酸甜鸭子7.99欧元 (sweet and sour duck 7.99 euro) that is said to be tattooed on Frings’ back.

tattoo footballerImage: The World of Chinese

Source: Attrip