Croatia's Mario Mandzukic
Croatia's Mario Mandzukic Reuters

While it comes as a welcome development at a time of skyrocketing European anti-Semitism that a Croatian soccer star would have a Hebrew tattoo, Atletico Madrid's striker Mario Mandzukic's tattoo which was exposed this week is unfortunately backwards - and features awful grammar.

The 28-year-old had the tattoo on his lower back viewed as he fell to the pitch during a Champions League 0-0 draw with Real Madrid on Tuesday.

A closer inspection of the body art shows Mandzukic clearly had it done by someone with absolutely no knowledge of Hebrew, for two very blatant reasons.

First, the text is written left-to-right instead of right-to-left, with the individual letters not having been flipped but rather their entire ordering reversed.

In a second strike against the tattoo, it features glaring grammar mistakes, with a close approximation rendering: "what not to kill me, will strengthen me."

Clearly Mandzukic intended to have "what doesn't kill me, makes me stronger" written in Hebrew on his back, an admirable statement of support for Hebrew and Jews at a time when those have become scarce commodities in Europe - but hopefully next time, he'll have his tattoo done by someone who speaks Hebrew.

The tattoo can be viewed below: