For a few hours every day, professional footballers obsessively pursue the perfection of their art, but, when training is finished, many enjoy distractions like the rest of us. When we watch the likes of Andre Pirlo and Thibaut Courtois, for example, it’s easy to forget that these men are mere mortals, they bleed, they cry, and many even binge watch Game of Thrones.
However, some entertain themselves in ways that shock and surprise, from Fernando Torres, a magician with the ability to make world class talent disappear into thin air, to Luis Suarez, a Uruguayan with a penchant for tasting human flesh.
Let’s take a look at some players, retired and still active, with hobbies outside the realms of football. Some are quite conventional, others are not.
John Terry—Although we are all too familiar with one of John Terry’s extra-curricular activities, this one does not involve keeping Wayne Bridge’s ex-girlfriend company. Away from bedroom antics, JT loves to do a bit of fishing, and was even featured in the Angler’s Mail, aka The Fisherman’s Bible. Too many jokes regarding big rods etc. could be made here, so we’ll move quickly on.
David Beckham—When he’s not parading around in his underwear, Becks can be found fencing with Tom Cruise. I kid you not, sometimes Will Smith even partakes. Just as long as Tom doesn’t try and get Beckham to join his L. Ron Hubbard appreciation society. Even Guardians of the Galaxy, all jokes aside, is still more believable than Scientology.
Dimitar Berbatov—It is reported that Chuck Norris has just one framed photo in his home. It features neither his wife nor his children. Yes, you guessed it, it features Dimitar Berbatov. The Bulgarian strikes you as a man that could easily play a Bond villain, maybe even run a successful chain of Eastern European brothels, but his hobby involves going to the park and feeding squirrels. If Chuck knew this, without a doubt, he would replace the photo rapidly.
Ryan Giggs—The Robin to Louis van Gaal’s Batman, Ryan Giggs is a Manchester United legend. A phenomenal talent, besides possessing the ability to grow a beard in 12 minutes, the Welsh Chewbacca is renowned for his love of yoga.
Theo Walcott—Considering he has spent half his career injured, it’s no surprise that Walcott has other interests. However, when he penned a deal to become a children’s story writer, of sorts, a few eyebrows were raised. With the help of a secret author, Theo tells tales about a child prodigy named ‘JT’. Really, after all the controversy with John Terry, of all the possible initials, you thought JT was the best option?
Daniel Agger—Now playing for Danish club Brøndby IF, Agger was a Liverpool fans favourite. When he isn’t busy training and captaining the national team, Agger can be found in his studio. Recording music, I hear you say. No, the Dane is a qualified tattoo artist.
Boudewijn Zenden—The former Dutch international was a judo black belt by the age of 14. Along with winning La Liga and Eredivisie titles, Zenden is well versed in the intricacies of this modern martial art, a triple champion, in fact. Can someone tell Chuck that we have found a new Berbatov replacement?
Rio Ferdinand—The QPR bench-warmer seems to spend more time on Twitter than actually doing his job—you know, playing football. 5Mag, his online magazine, is dedicated to showcasing the best in music and sport, and has featured 50 Cent, Roger Federer, LeBron James, Nicki Minaj, to name just a few stars.
David Bentley—Initially, for a brief period of time, the former Arsenal, Blackburn and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder set pulses racing with some memorable performances. A man desperate to emulate David Beckham’s success, the only thing David Bentley ended up having in common with the ex-England captain were the initials DB. Shortly after announcing his retirement from professional football, Bentley revealed plans to open a chain of Spanish La Sala restaurants in the UK. In September 2014, backed by other big names from the world of football, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain being just one, Bentley opened his first restaurant in Chigwell, Essex.
Michael Owen—Arguably, Michael is the most tedious pundit in the game, but the man knows how to make money on the horses. Along with owning numerous prize-winning fillies, the ex Liverpool, United and Madrid striker apparently instigated betting rings inside many an English dressing room. Go on, my son!
There you have it, folks. Ten separate pieces of utterly useless information. Now, please, get back to work.