What Soccer Coaches Wear – No One Talks About This

When watching soccer, you’ll notice that not all coaches dress the same on game day. But it might not be clear why this is.

Let’s take a look at what soccer coaches wear and why they dress like that.

What do soccer coaches wear?

Soccer coaches have no fixed dress code and wear suits, casual polo shirts, a team coat or shirt, and tracksuits.

Let’s look at what coaches wear for three occasions: training sessions, press conferences, and game day.

Training Sessions

For training sessions, coaches wear athletic clothing. This includes soccer shorts or tracksuit pants, a t-shirt or tracksuit jacket, and cleats.

The coach leads the training session and will likely have to demonstrate ideas. So, they’ve to be properly dressed for this.

Ronaldo
  • It’s uncomfortable running around the training field in a suit. And it’s impractical trying to demonstrate a play while dressed like that.

So, if you see coaches taking training sessions, they’ll be dressed for the occasion. Look at Pep Guardiola below:

Head coach Pep Guardiola of Manchester City watches his players during a training session for the Beijing match of the 2016 International Champions Cup China in Beijing, China, 24 July 2016
Head coach Pep Guardiola of Manchester City watches his players during a training session for the Beijing match of the 2016 International Champions Cup China in Beijing, China, 24 July 2016

Press Conferences

Unlike training sessions, which often happen behind closed doors, press conferences can be beamed to millions of people.

So, coaches will want to look professional and represent their team well.

Of course, how they dress is down to the individual coach. But expect coaches to dress presentably during press conferences.

This could involve wearing a suit, shirt, and pants, or other smart-casual clothing.

However, many coaches often wear a polo shirt or jacket that has their team badge on it.

  • A uniform shows that they’re the representative of the team. They’re the spokesperson, the face of the team, the leader. It works to show solidarity between the coach and the team.

Coaches wearing the team badge come across as another member of the team. This is good for team unity.

Also, wearing the team badge allows the coach to promote the team. As mentioned, millions of people may watch press conferences.

Therefore, wearing the team badge is a good way to get the team out there.

To see an example of this, check out the image of New York Red Bulls coach Gerhard Struber below:

○ What Soccer Coaches Wear - No One Talks About This ○ 800px SV Ried versus FC Liefering %2827. April 2018%29 39
Gerhard Struber – Ried versus FC Liefering (27. April 2018)

Game Day

On game day, soccer coaches wear various outfits. Some coaches wear suits or other smart clothing.

Other coaches like to be more comfortable and may wear casual pants and a polo shirt or jumper. And there are coaches who like to wear a team tracksuit.

  • Coaches who wear suits look very respectable and professional. This may separate them as the leader of the team.

Also, being dressed for the occasion of game day in a suit could boost confidence.

Again, let’s remember that millions of people can watch soccer games. So, it’s very likely that coaches wear suits to look good and represent the team in a professional manner.

A suit can represent going to work, and that’s exactly what coaches are doing on game day.

During Euro 2020, Roberto Mancini led Italy to triumph in style. He looked professional and meant business. See for yourself below:

○ What Soccer Coaches Wear - No One Talks About This ○ 415px Roberto mancini in 2021
Roberto Mancini – Italy’s National Soccer Coach

However, some coaches go for a less business look. They’ll still dress smartly, but they won’t go for the full suit.

The reason could be they don’t feel comfortable in a suit. They might still want to look professional, though.

Often, coaches who don’t wear suits will wear pants and a polo shirt or jumper. The outfit still looks good but may not be as restricting as a suit.

Former Germany manager Joachim Low is a good example of this;

○ What Soccer Coaches Wear - No One Talks About This ○ 800px Joachim L%C3%B6w%2C Germany national football team %2807%29
Joachim Löw, Germany national football team

And then there are coaches who like to wear a team tracksuit. This could come down to individual comfort. Suits and smart clothing aren’t for everyone.

However, coaches who wear team tracksuits may also do it to show solidarity with the team. This is like the coach telling the players:

I’m one of you. We’re the same.

Such gestures from the coach can foster team unity and team spirit. Everyone is the same and in it together.

  • And when game day comes, the coach and players will go out to the field with the badge on their chests. Together.

So, coaches wearing tracksuits could be a comfortable thing. But it could also be psychological. It’s the coach bonding with the players.

The great Marcelo Bielsa always wears a team tracksuit on game day. See below:

○ What Soccer Coaches Wear - No One Talks About This ○ 535px Marcelo Bielsa OM 2015
Marcelo Bielsa – Current Leeds United Soccer Coach

Why do some soccer coaches wear suits?

Soccer coaches wear suits to look professional and represent their team well. As previously mentioned, the coach is the face of the team, the leader.

Being the leader means they represent the soccer club. And on game day, they represent the club on the biggest stage.

So, some soccer coaches want to look professional when they’re representing the team.

  • Also, soccer games can be viewed by millions of people. Some coaches want to look good in front of the cameras. Coaches are people too. And some people like fashion and want to look good.

In England, fans and the media reacted to coach Gareth Southgate’s waistcoat at Euro 2020. It’s clear that people recognize and comment on what soccer coaches wear.

And coaches are aware of this. So, some of them choose to wear suits to look professional and represent their team well on the biggest stage.

What should a soccer coach wear?

A soccer coach should wear whatever makes them feel comfortable. In soccer, there’s no dress code for coaches.

As previously outlined, soccer coaches can wear different outfits for different occasions.

During training, it’s practical to wear soccer shorts or tracksuit pants, a t-shirt or tracksuit jacket, and cleats.

For press conferences, coaches can wear suits or dress smartly. Also, they can wear clothing with the team badge.

On game day, a coach can choose to wear a suit, casual clothing, or a team tracksuit.

  • But it’s up to the individual coach to choose what they wear. If wearing a suit feels comfortable and gets them hyped for the game, then they should wear a suit.

So, soccer coaches should wear whatever is comfortable for them.

○ What Soccer Coaches Wear - No One Talks About This ○ 800px Mike Phelan %26 J%C3%BCrgen Klopp 2016 09 24
Mike Phelan of Manchester United & Jürgen Klopp of Liverpool

Klopp used to wear a suit and now wears a tracksuit

For Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp, wearing a tracksuit is much better than wearing a suit. And it comes down to comfort.

Klopp is one of the more active coaches on the touchline. He jumps around and waves his arms and is very animated.

So, he likes to be comfortable during games.

When asked about wearing a suit for game day, Klopp said:

“I have no reason to wear [a suit]. I don’t feel comfortable in it and I cannot breathe.”

Jurgen Klopp

Klopp prefers his trademark tracksuit over a suit because it’s comfortable for him.

In fact, he only wore a suit before because he thought it was a duty to do so. In the same interview, Klopp said:

“When I first started in the Champions League I wore them because I was told by somebody it was a duty. But from the first time I saw another manager next to me not wearing a suit, I was done.”

Jurgen Klopp

Also, Klopp doesn’t care about looking good on the touchline. He only cares about his team looking good on the field.

So, Klopp doesn’t feel comfortable in a suit and doesn’t care what he looks like. That’s why he wears a tracksuit.

Can soccer coaches wear shorts?

Yes, soccer coaches can wear shorts because there’s no dress code for them. But it’s very unlikely to see a coach wearing shorts on game day.

Coaches mainly wear shorts during training sessions. Also, they might wear shorts at a press conference if they’re doing it after training.

But coaches usually won’t dress so casually on game day. Tracksuits would be the most casual a coach dresses during a game.

However, if a coach really wanted to wear shorts on game day for their comfort, they could.

What shoes do soccer coaches wear?

Soccer coaches can wear dress shoes, sneakers, or cleats. But like clothing, there’s no dress code for shoes.

Coaches who wear suits will wear dress shoes to match the style.

For those who dress more casually, they might wear dress shoes or even sneakers.

And for coaches who wear tracksuits, they’ll wear sneakers or cleats.

In the picture below, you’ll see former West Brom coach Tony Pullis in a tracksuit and sneakers.

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Tony Pullis – Former West Bromich Albion Soccer Coach

Former Spurs manager Harry Redknapp stands in the background, wearing a suit and dress shoes.

So, soccer coaches will wear shoes that match their clothes.


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