Euro 2024: 6 Most Iconic Players to Wear a Protective Mask as Kylian Mbappe Set to Join List

Euro 2024: 6 Most Iconic Players to Wear a Protective Mask as Kylian Mbappe Set to Join List

Isaac Darko
updated at June 20, 2024 at 3:38 PM
In this article:
Kylian Mbappé logo
Real Madrid logoFFrance logo
Robert Lewandowski logo
FC Barcelona logoFPoland logo
Victor Osimhen logo
V. Osimhen
Napoli logoFNigeria logo
  • Kylian Mbappe's participation in Euro 2024 will continue despite his recent broken nose, with the forward set to wear a protective mask
  • These masks, crafted from lightweight materials, ensure both safety and comfort without compromising performance
  • Throughout football history, many renowned players, including Petr Cech and Robert Lewandowski, have donned protective masks to stay in the game

PAY ATTENTION: Checkout Fixtures; Live Scores; Results and Tables section on Sports Brief and never miss out on the action ⚽️

Kylian Mbappe is expected to don a protective face mask for the remainder of Euro 2024 following a broken nose sustained during France's match against Austria on Monday.

After the game, the French forward took to social media to seek advice on the type of mask he should use.

Many iconic players, such as Victor Osimhen and Robert Lewandowski, have played with protective masks after injuries.
Many iconic players, such as Victor Osimhen and Robert Lewandowski, have played with protective masks after injuries. Photos by Giuseppe Maffia/Pressefoto Ulmer/Clive Mason.
Source: Getty Images

He was pictured at France’s training base in Paderborn on Wednesday with a protective covering on his nose.

According to The Independent, the 25-year-old trained away from the squad before taking part in shooting drills.

Reflecting on notable players who have worn protective masks in football, Sports Brief looks at six iconic examples:

Iconic players to wear a mask

Petr Cech (Chelsea)

Perhaps the most recognised player for wearing protective gear, Petr Cech's story begins in 2006 when he suffered a severe skull fracture after a collision with Reading's Stephen Hunt.

The Czech goalkeeper’s life-threatening injury led to him donning his famous protective helmet.

Years later, in a match against Blackburn Rovers, Cech broke his nose, requiring him to wear protective masks, solidifying his image as an enduring symbol of resilience, per Bleacher Report.

Victor Osimhen (Napoli)

Victor Osimhen’s mask became a symbol of triumph during the 2022/23 season as he celebrated goals for Napoli.

A critical player in their Serie A victory, Osimhen's journey included recovering from severe facial fractures sustained in a clash with Milan Skriniar in 2021, per GOAL.

His return to the pitch, post-surgery, saw him sporting a custom mask, turning a protective measure into a symbol of his fighting spirit.

Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

During his illustrious career with Bayern Munich, Robert Lewandowski also joined the ranks of players wearing protective masks.

Following a collision that left him with facial injuries, Lewandowski continued to perform at the highest level, demonstrating his commitment and resilience while protected by his mask.

Michael Ballack (Leverkusen)

In 2011, near the end of his career, Michael Ballack faced a setback with a broken nose while playing for Bayer Leverkusen.

Undeterred, the German midfielder returned to the field wearing a striking charcoal-black mask that matched his jersey, embodying a formidable presence and dedication to the game.

Memphis Depay (PSV)

Memphis Depay’s early career at PSV Eindhoven saw him overcoming an elbow to the face, which necessitated a protective mask in 2014.

The custom-designed mask ensured stability and comfort, allowing Depay to continue his ascent in football without hindrance, eventually paving the way for his successful career.

Diego Costa (Chelsea)

Diego Costa joined Chelsea’s list of masked players in 2016 after breaking his nose in a training session collision with Fikayo Tomori.

Costa’s determination saw him quickly returning to action, with the mask serving as a testament to his rugged style of play and relentless drive.

These players have shown that even with significant injuries, their commitment to the sport and their teams remains unwavering, transforming their protective gear into symbols of resilience and determination on the field.

Mbappe warned by professional boxer

Sports Brief earlier reported that a former boxer, who has suffered 15 nose fractures himself, issued a stark warning to Kylian Mbappe after the French star sustained a severe injury during the Euros.

Jero Garcia painted a grim outlook for Mbappe's Euro prospects, cautioning that the footballer could face significant breathing issues due to his injury.

According to Garcia, Mbappe’s recovery would be complicated because he appeared to suffer a ‘deviation’ on his nose, which would likely lead to congestion.

Isaac Darko photo
Isaac Darko
Isaac Darko is a La Liga, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga editor at Sports Brief with a Degree in Journalism and Communications from Ghana Institute of Journalism (2010)