Being a professional footballer is all about setting priorities. And nothing is more important than looking good in team photos. Every season and every match within those seasons begins with a team photo. So if a player messes that up, it's going to ruin their confidence for everything that follows.
Naturally, footballers have developed special tricks to make sure they look good in these profoundly important photographs. For example, in the picture below, Cristiano Ronaldo can be seen standing on his toes so he would tower over his expensive teammates before the UEFA Super Cup match between Real Madrid and Sevilla. Ronaldo went on to score both goals in Real Madrid's 2-0 win and was named Man of the Match. This is not a coincidence.
For Bayern Munich's team photo, Jerome Boateng and Dante weren't as concerned about height as they were with looking as buff as possible. So they pulled back their shirts so as not to look too puffy.
Former England international Ashley Cole left the country to join Roma and illustrated his outsider status within his new club by leaving some distance between him and the rest of the Roma players in a recent team photo. This became a meme and endeared him to both his new teammates and fans around the world, proving that one awkward pose in a team photo can do more for a player's image than 50 visits children's hospital visits.
Of course, some players would rather be feared than loved — especially goalkeepers. The kid in the photo below demonstrates a team photo pose that screams "DO NOT MESS WITH ME."
Being compared to superhero is perhaps the ultimate accolade for a professional athlete, though. And if those comparisons aren't rolling off people's tongues, sometimes you have to help them along by actually dressing like your superhero of choice — mask and all. Former St. Etienne goalkeeper Jeremie Janot adopted this strategy by dressing as Spider-Man for a team photo.