Few would be surprised to hear how a famous footballer enjoys surfing, hiking or golf. Even David Beckham’s interest in fencing or Michael Owen’s passion for horse riding makes reasonable sense. It’s not surprising football stars like to take up side hobbies as a means of taking a break from the job and enjoying an alternative type of exercise. Then of course there are those ‘side hobbies’ which seem more befitting of a pensioner. Bingo? Cake baking? Children’s writing? You’d be surprised what your favourite footballer gets up to in his spare time…
Cristiano Ronaldo – Bingo Whizz
Real Madrid star Ronaldo has a soft spot for bingo. Apparently he was given a DVD bingo game for Christmas one year and soon became hooked. The footballer describes the game as ‘exciting’ and said it helped him to pick up on new English words and phrases during his days with Manchester United.
Andrei Arshavin – Women’s Fashion Designer
Though one of football’s biggest misogynists (Arshavin once claimed he’d ban all women from driving if he could and that women’s football should not be taken seriously), the football star’s blatant sexism doesn’t stop him from specializing in a hobby related to women. The ex-Arsenal star has a degree in Fashion Design and likes to spend his leisure as a women’s dressmaker. He now owns a fashion line with his wife. Fabulous.
Neymar Jr – Poker Star
Not only does Neymar Jr have a deep love for poker – he’s pretty good at it too. He can’t boast of going as far into the World Series of Poker tournament like Gerard Pique, but the young footballer is heavily involved in the poker circuit and even acts as Brand Ambassador for PokerStars. More recently, he’s been hosting his own charity home games, raising money for the Neymar Jr Institute.
Theo Walcott – Children’s Author
Another Arsenal star with an unusual hobby; Walcott has four published children’s books – all centered around a boy called TJ and his love for football. The books have received positive reviews from children and parents alike. No doubt does Walcott’s expert knowledge of football give each story a genuine depth that is appreciated by young football fans.
Moritz Volz – Cake Baker
The German star has a trick for unwinding before a big game – taking to the kitchen and baking some delicious cakes. In his personal blog, Volz even revealed that he decides the type of cake based on his opponent team. “When we played the big clubs like Arsenal or Manchester United, I made a biscuit-based cake with bananas and a dusting of green tea,” Volz has explained.“If we were playing against more rugged teams like Blackburn Rovers, I would made something a lot heavier, like carrot cake with nuts.” Perhaps consuming the cake-representation of his opponents works as a comforting metaphor for destroying them on the pitch. It’s anyone’s guess, really.
Petr Cech – Drummer
As evidenced by his YouTube videos, Petr Cech is a rather talented drummer. The star began playing in 2010 and is now immersed in his hobby, playing whenever he gets the chance – both at home and at concerts.
Andrea Pirlo – Winemaker
When Andrea Pirlo isn’t playing football, he’s indulging in his other main interest, which also happens to be very typical of Italian culture. Pirlo has a love affair with wine making and even owns his own vineyard in the Lombardy region. The footballer enjoys lazy days in the Italian countryside, which of course coincides nicely with his winemaking hobby.
Daniel Agger – Tattoo Artist
Inked from head to toe; one can assume the Danish footy star Daniel Agger has an interest in body modification. Many of his tattoos feature vikings, no doubt a homage to his Danish heritage. What is lesser known is that Agger is himself a qualified tattoo artist and has graced some of his lucky fans with his own handiwork.
Nolberto Solano – Trumpeter
As the second musical talent on the list, the retired football star Nolberto Solano is an accomplished trumpet player. He even started his own Salsa band, the Nobby & Geordie Latinos. “Music can lift my soul but football is my passion”, Solano once said.
Eric Cantona – Poet
Besides acting, France’s Eric Cantona likes reading and writing poetry. The somewhat eccentric ex-Manchester United striker has been known for a few notably gnomic and ambiguous utterances in the past – including the famous line “When the seagulls follow the trawler, it’s because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea” which he offered before storming away from a press conference. Whatever it means, it sure sounds deep.
So there you have it – next time someone teases you for your Warhammer collection or flower pressing kit, you can inform that there are plenty of admired football icons every bit as nerdy as you are.