Do soccer players wear a cup? (detailed explanation)

There are a number of sports where wearing a cup is worn or even mandatory. Consider, for example, American Football and in the UFC. But what about soccer players? Do soccer players wear a cup?

Soccer players generally do not wear a cup. Wearing it is allowed but not required. Goalkeepers in particular sometimes choose to wear a cup. Because they often dive to the ground, they run more risk of getting their opponent's foot in the crotch.

When you read on, we will go into more detail on this topic. We will also explain what injuries a cup can prevent/reduce, why most soccer players do not wear a cup and why wearing a cup is not mandatory.

Do soccer players wear a cup?

As you read in the intro, the majority of soccer players do not wear a cup. 

For a soccer player, freedom of movement is extremely important. For example, a player must be able to jump up quickly to engage in a head duel, make quick dribbles to outplay a player or slide to intercept an opponent's attack. Wearing a cup can make this more difficult.

The risk of a player sustaining an injury in the crotch is present. However, many soccer players take this for granted. They would rather run the risk of a ball in the crotch than have reduced movement for the entire match. 

Do women wear a cup during soccer?

For women, a ball in the crotch can be very painful. However, as far as we know, there are no women who wear a cup. This applies to both professional and amateur soccer. 

Does wearing a cup work in soccer?

A cup works to a certain degree. Several factors affect this. It depends on what object enters the crotch and at what speed. 

For example, when the ball is shot incredibly hard, even a cup cannot prevent the pain. However, it can prevent injuries. Similarly, when a player gets a knee or foot in the crotch, a cup will not be able to prevent all the pain. However, it will reduce the pain and prevent the player from getting a serious injury. 

Against what injuries does a cup protect?

Wearing a cup prevents a player from injury to the genitals. If a player were not wearing a cup and received a ball, foot or knee hard in the crotch, the following could happen:

  • Severe pain which may radiate to the back or abdomen
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • The genitals may swell
  • Internal or external bleeding may occur.

All of these injuries can result in a player being unable to continue playing or even being out of action for several games. 

Which famous soccer players wear a cup?

We have no record of any known soccer players wearing a cup. To our knowledge, there are no players wearing one. 

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Why do soccer players wear protection (detailed explanation)?

Is wearing a cup mandatory in soccer?

As you read in the intro, wearing a cup is not mandatory in soccer. A player may choose whether to wear it or not. 

The only protective equipment every soccer player must wear (this includes the goalkeeper) are shin guards. This is determined by the IFAB (International Football Association Board). You can read more about the mandatory equipment a soccer player must wear here.

Why don't soccer players wear a toque?

We now know that most soccer players do not wear a cup during the game. But why do they not? The reason is actually quite simple. Soccer players do not like the cup and it bothers them during the game. 

Because a soccer player is running for 90 minutes, the cup may chafe along legs. If this abrasion is prolonged, even minor cuts can occur. 

Does a soccer player wear anything under a cup?

A player can decide whether to wear something under a cup or not. Some players choose to wear sports underpants under the toque. This ensures that the toque cuts less in the groin.


By now you know that most soccer players do not choose to wear a cup. This is true in both amateur and professional soccer. Will you choose to wear one now that you know what injuries it can prevent?

Are you curious about more blogs on soccer safety and protection? Then click here for an overview. For example, you can find information about shin guards, protective masks, sliding shorts and more.

January 25, 2023
Published: January 25, 2023