All fallen football players look alike


Photographer Hans van der Meer wanted to express how football players feigning injuries all look alike:

The look of grown men on the football pitch often takes the form of little theatre pieces, lying down ‘injured’ being a remarkable sub-category of this art. […] The way we ‘died’ as children playing Cowboys and Indians is how we now see our heroes in the Champions League go down on TV. […] When somebody has actually been injured they usually keep pretty still.

To that effect Van der Meer took photographs of football players acting injured, and these photos now adorn the pitch of ASV Arsenal in Amsterdam, near the old Olympic Stadium. They are part of an art project for the club called Terreinwinst, involving 11 artists and which is still in the process of being finished.

I am a great admirer of Van der Meers earlier series of European and Dutch football pitches, in which the football field was shown in its sometimes adverse surroundings. The strength of his new work, Ten Ways to Lie Down Injured, is that it paves the way for amateur photographers to add context themselves. My tip: bring a telephoto lens, as the photos are all mounted across the field.

(Submitted by Nienke van Beers)


  1. Orangemaster says:

    In roller derby you *have* to get up in 2 sec after any fall so you can’t fake it. If you’re really injured, the ref blows a whistle and the whole thing stops, so faking is not an option.

  2. Rick says:

    That’s the reason I fall in love with those roller derby girls. Tough and they don’t fake it.

  3. James says:

    Really enjoy the idea of this photo project. I am not practiced enough to spot the acting on the fields, so the photos help. A young friend badly broke her foot at roller derby earlier this year. I was surprised to hear it. So is roller derby making a comeback?

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