Christopher Trimmel and his love of tattoos

These days, it seems uncommon to see a footballer who isn’t covered in tattoos. But Union Berlin right-back Christopher Trimmel has taken his love of tattoos to a whole new level.

The former Rapid Wien player admits that his 2014 move to Berlin happened during a phase when he was trying to develop his own style as a tattoo artist. Trimmel has been fond of them ever since getting a tribal tattoo in his younger days.

The 32-year-old Austrian was subsequently given a tattoo machine as a gift by his wife back in 2015. Since then, Trimmel has worked tirelessly on developing his skills. And in 2017 the German tabloid Bild reported that Union Berlin’s massage therapist Thomas Riedel had been tattooed by the right-back.

Nowadays, Riedel can be spotted sporting a tattoo of a carp on his calf. The masseur was Trimmel’s first big project and several others have followed since, with both fans and teammates being tattooed by the Austrian.

Tattoos for the fans

After Union were promoted to the Bundesliga, Trimmel promised that he would give some fans the chance to get a promotion tattoo. All they had to do was to leave a comment on his Instagram page twentyeighttattoos and tell him why they wanted one.

In a short amount of time, more than 90 such requests reached Trimmel, who was overwhelmed by the response.

“Memo to myself: No more interviews with plenty of alcohol still in my blood after the night before.”

Trimmel stayed true to his word and tattooed five Union Berlin fans. Moreover, none of the supporters had to pay for the art that the right-back put onto their bodies. Trimmel told Fums Magazine:

“Nothing needs to be paid, the people have simply deserved this. That’s true about everyone from the fans to the people working in the office. Only the material needs to be paid for.”

An unusual footballer

The 32-year-old right back is an unusual footballer caught in a world of players who’ve come through academies and who were taught what to say and do at an early age. Trimmel, on the other hand, grew up in a little village of 700 people. He played football as a hobby and finished school.

Afterwards, he started to study in Vienna. At times, he even worked part-time in construction. Drawing was one of his hobbies. Trimmel kept files of some of his pieces and toyed with the idea of joining an art academy.

While he was studying in Vienna, Rapid Wien got in touch with the talented right-back. He was given a place in their amateur side, thinking that he’d make some money on the side while continuing with his studies.

However, life is full of funny twists and turns. And as luck would have it, the man who’d decided against a life of being taught how to be a footballer in an academy was suddenly asked to join Rapid’s professional side. As a result, Trimmel became a pro at the age of 22 playing in the Austrian Bundesliga.

So given what type of person Trimmel is, Union Berlin was probably the best fit he could hope for. The Austrian has been at the club for half a decade and is now captaining the team in its first Bundesliga season.

How did it all start?

In an interview with The Coupettes Trimmel spoke about how his life in Vienna had formed him. The right-back said:

“I bought an apartment from my first salaries as a pro. My best mate was a tattoo artist and our deal was as follows: He could live at my place, but he had to tattoo me in return. I started really getting going when it came to tattoos back then.”

However, Union’s captain wasn’t only interested in getting as many tattoos for free as he could:

“I was also kind of his pupil at the same time, starting to make first tattoos of my own.”

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Niklas Wildhagen

Niklas is a 33-year-old football writer and podcaster who has been following the Bundesliga and German football since the early 90s. You can follow him on Twitter, @normusings, and listen to his opinions on @TalkingFussball.

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