The act of refusing to step on a club's crest has become an often-used practice by many players in modern-day soccer. We see more and more often players who would tiptoe around a carpet or a block of grass with their or the opponent's emblemized logo.
The latest example was when Manchester City hosted Atletico Madrid at the Etihad Stadium this Tuesday, April 5, in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Finals. The day before, the Colchoneros had a training session as players were filmed exiting the locker room and entering the field.
South American trio Luis Suarez, Angel Correa, and Rodrigo de Paul were all making their way onto the pitch when the Uruguayan promptly prevented his two teammates from stepping on the mosaic of Man City's emblem and forced them to go around it after seeing they were ready to do so.
Other players to skip walking over team's emblem
This, however, has not been the only case, as both Real Madrid's Vinicius and Dani Alves of Barcelona have both avoided walking on their clubs' crests in recent weeks. In an effort to avoid trotting all over the Whites' emblem while pursuing a ball that had gone out of the pitch, the Brazilian jumped over it. He made a point of performing a large hop to avoid stepping on their emblem rather than walking on it.
In addition, veteran Alves was stopped from giving his younger teammates a lesson in club etiquette as well. In January, during a pre-match warm-up, the 38-year-old took special care as he exited the field to avoid stepping on the club emblem that adorned the side of the field. Taking note of this, Nico Gonzalez, 20, rerouted his path to go past the symbol, which he had previously ignored.
Even last April, when City hosted Borussia Dortmund, Erling Haaland was the only Dortmund player to avoid trampling on a mosaic of the Sky Blues' logo on the floor by deliberately turning to his right and not his left. Exactly the same thing happened the day before. The first thing he said upon approaching the grass in training was, "Beautiful, right?"
Why players don't want to step on club's crest
In contemporary soccer, making sure not to step on a team's emblem has evolved into a courteous gesture. Players have begun doing this mostly as a sign of respect towards their or another soccer club. Although it's not illegal to walk on the team's emblem, and in the event that someone does so, this is not a statement of disregard or mockery.
For example, while Luis Suarez once again tried to dodge City's crest just before kick-off, Antoine Griezmann did not follow in his colleague's footsteps. The France international strutted out onto the field with a hilarious stroll, as comfortable as usual.
Overall, it all comes down to each player's own perspective on whether or not to step up and over an outcropping of grass. For some, it's just a mosaic, while for others, it's a treasure. Just like Vinicius had said, "You kiss Madrid's badge, you don't step on it".