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    The biggest boot deals in football, from Neymar’s record-breaking agreement with Puma to Ronaldo’s contract with Nike

    KERCHING!
    Neymar has signed a world record Puma boot deal, following his exploits for PSG and leading the French giants to their first ever Champions League final.

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    He leaves his rivals in their wake, inking a contract worth a world-record £23million-per-year.
    But who else makes a fortune wearing sponsored boots? Let SunSport give the biggest boot deals in football, and what these stars earn per year.
    1. NEYMAR, £23M
    The enigmatic Brazilian forward dropped Nike to join rivals Puma and was awarded the largest individual sports sponsorship contract in history.
    It’s not known how long the deal will last, but his previous agreement with Nike was for 11 years and was worth half of his new Puma deal.

    Neymar posted on social media: “I grew up watching videos of great football legends such as Pele, Cruyff, Eusebio and Maradona, who each played in Puma.
    “For these reasons, from today onward, I have the honour to unite with the brand that helped the biggest legends of football become what they are.”

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    Neymar recently signed the biggest boot deal in historyCredit: Reuters
    2. MESSI, £18M
    The second footballer to become a billionaire (the first was Cristiano Ronaldo), Messi is now into the second spot on the boot deals of all time.
    In 2017, the Barcelona legend signed an extension to his boot deal with Adidas – giving him a lifetime contract with the company.

    He was the first footballer to release a sub-brand of Adidas boots – the Adidas Messi.
    As the years pass, and when Messi finally hangs up his boots, that could be just as lucrative for the forward as the Air Jordan sub-band Nike created for Michael Jordan.

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    Lionel Messi has a sub brand of boots available through AdidasCredit: Facebook
    3. RONALDO, £15M
    Nike’s prize asset, Ronaldo is their top earner.
    However, Neymar’s contract now dwarfs his by £8million,
    But Ronaldo can take comfort his deal will pay out more than Neymar’s – being reportedly worth £780million over a lifetime.
    CR7 is only the third athlete to sign a lifetime deal with Nike, along with Michael Jordan and LeBron James.

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    Cristiano Ronaldo has a lifetime deal with NikeCredit: Rex Features
    4. MBAPPE, £14M
    Nike’s poster-boy, last year Mbappe was subject to a bidding war between with his current sponsors and Adidas.
    He penned a 10-year deal worth around £140million in 2019, which is believed to be active as long as he plays in a top-flight league.
    The PSG superstar was reportedly buoyed to join Nike, following in the footsteps of his idol Ronaldo.
    He is the one who could challenge Neymar’s position at the top in years to come aged just 21.

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    Kylian Mbappe has the potential to be football’s biggest earner in years to comeCredit: Splash News
    5. BALOTELLI, £5M
    In 2014, Italian golden boy Mario Balotelli was on top of his game against for AC Milan.
    A key member of the Italian national team, he was the country’s best hope of glory.
    So when his contract with Nike expired, Puma swooped with a 10-year deal worth around £5million-per-year.
    Now at a crossroads in his career with Serie B side Brescia, he’s not as marketable as he once was.

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    Mario Balotelli receives £5m-per-year from Puma for wearing their bootsCredit: EPA
    6. BALE, £4M
    The Welsh wizard, who recently joined Spurs on loan and earns around £18million-per-year from Real Madrid.
    And he has exclusive sponsorship deals with the likes of EA Sports, Lucozade and Adidas, to name just a few.
    It’s his contract with the German sports manufacturers that is his most lucrative, however, earning Bale around £4million-per-annum.
    It’s certainly enough to keep Bale in golf clubs.

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    Bale is still contracted to wear Adidas bootsCredit: PA:Press Association
    7. GRIEZMANN, £3.5M
    In 2015, Griezmann extended his boot deal with Puma to the tune of £3.5million-per-year.
    In that time, he became a global superstar – leaving Atletico Madrid for Barcelona in a deal worth around £108million.
    Last year, to celebrate Griezmann’s 10-year anniversary with Puma, they released his special boot – a limited edition Future 4.1 NETFIT Grizi priced at £229.
    He was one of Puma’s headline players until Neymar came along.

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    Antoine Griezmann is one of Puma’s headline playersCredit: Reuters
    8. POGBA, £3M
    The Manchester United midfielder is well worth his £3million-per-year fee Adidas pay him.
    Not only does he appear in almost every TV ad the brand brings to our screens, he’s also on every poster advertising the latest Predator boots.
    His 10-year deal worth around £30million doesn’t expire till 2024.
    Pogba was another Nike were desperate to add to their roster.

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    Paul Pogba is a poster boy for Adidas
    9. VERRATTI, £2.5M
    The PSG midfielder’s contract with Puma expired in 2017, at which point Verratti wore blacked out Puma evoTOUCH boots in training.
    Eventually, he signed a massive deal with Nike – lacing up with a pair of the Hypervenom Phantom III’s.
    It’s not known how long the deal is. However, £2.5million is not to be sneezed at.

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    Puma pay Marco Verratti £2.5m to wear their boots alongside PSG team-mate NeymarCredit: Icon Sport – Getty
    10. SALAH, £2.5M
    The Liverpool forward has become one of the most marketable faces in the game, especially in Africa and the Middle East.

    He is sponsored by Adidas, alongside lucrative deals with the likes of Pepsi and Vodafone in Egypt.
    It sees Salah wear the X18 football boots, and get paid extremely well for it.
    That endorsement generates £2.5million-per-year.

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    Mo Salah shows off his Adidas boots in training Credit: Times Newspapers Ltd More

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    Inside Gareth Bale’s family turmoil from arson to drugs feud and porn ahead of star’s sensational return to Tottenham

    FEW superstars match footie ace Gareth Bale. The Welsh captain’s left leg is insured for £100million, he earns £650,000 a week and has won four Champions League medals.
    After seven years in Spain with Real Madrid, his scintillating pace, match-winning free-kicks and thumping headers are going to thrill British fans once more.

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    Gareth Bale and his wife, Emma Rhys-Jones, at the London premiere of Bond film Spectre in 2015Credit: Rex Features

    But when he landed in London today to sign a loan deal with his old side Tottenham Hotspur, the 31-year-old dad of three young children had to haul a huge amount of personal baggage off the carousel.
    For the past few years the quiet family life he craves has been thrown into turmoil by troublesome relatives.
    His in-laws have found themselves caught up in everything from a drugs feud, to arson, to soft-porn and international fraud.
    It’s not something the multi-millionaire can easily ignore.

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    The pair with their girls, Alba, seven, and Nava, four
    Gareth had to employ round-the-clock security due to the very real threat posed by the violent enemies of his extended family.
    And when he married his childhood sweetheart Emma Rhys-Jones, 29, just over a year ago, some of the bride’s closest relatives were uninvited.
    They included her jailbird dad Martin Rhys-Jones and her elderly grandparents, John and Eva McMurray, who looked after Emma when her father was banged up.
    Now, though, The Sun can reveal that painful rift is over.

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    Emma’s jailbird dad Martin Rhys-Jones has dangerous enemiesCredit: Wales News Service
    Bale isn’t just returning to these shores to be reunited with Spurs, he will be healing the wounds with Emma’s family.
    Tonight her grandfather John, whose car was firebombed four years ago, said hostilities were a thing of the past.
    He told The Sun: “I think the world of Gareth.
    “I love him and Emma, and my three beautiful great grandchildren.

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    Emma’s cousin Epiphany Dring – pictured – was believed to have got on the wrong side of a Middle Eastern drug cartel
    “Yes, there were some difficulties for us as a family, but that’s all in the past now. We’ve talked things through and we’re all good now.”
    It is Gareth’s devotion to his childhood sweetheart, who he met at Whitchurch secondary school, that has led him to make up with her relatives.
    John, 83, and Eva, 88 — Emma’s grandparents on her mother’s side — got caught up in a mysterious drugs war in 2016 when a suitcase containing more than £750,000 worth of cocaine and cash went missing from their home.
    In apparent revenge, their car was set ablaze, as were two motors belonging to Emma’s aunt, Annabella Williams, 58.

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    Emma’s grandparents got caught up in a mysterious drugs war and their car was firebombed in 2016Credit: Collect
    Annabella’s son Peter Williams, 26, then poured petrol through the letterbox of Emma’s aunt, Jane Burns, whose topless model daughter Epiphany Dring faced claims that she had taken the suitcase. Williams got a four-month suspended jail sentence. 
    Police believed 31-year-old Epiphany had got on the wrong side of a Middle Eastern drug cartel.
    Epiphany, who has starred on several soft-porn websites, left Wales for a while, but has now returned.
    Also, in trouble with the law was Emma’s uncle Graham McMurray, 53, who was spared jail for theft in 2017 after £65,000 was found hidden up the chimney of his home.

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    Bale gives baby daughter Nava a cuddle at the Champions League final in 2016Credit: EPA
    There were genuine fears that Gareth and his children — daughters Alba, seven, and Nava, four, and two-year-old son Axel — could be targeted by the shadowy gangs involved.
    Now that threat has subsided.
    John, who had been upset about not attending Emma’s glitzy wedding in Spain, invited The Sun into his Cardiff home and motioned us to­wards his most prized wall-hanging – a framed white No11 Real Madrid shirt worn and signed for him by Gareth.
    He said: “I’ve no doubt he’ll be a huge success at Spurs and me and Eva can’t wait to see him and Emma as soon as the Covid rules permit it.

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     Gareth Bale arrives at Tottenham training ground this morningCredit: Louis Wood – The Sun
    “They’ve still got their house down the road in the Vale of Glamorgan, so I’m sure they’ll come back to Wales regularly.”
    Also absent from Gareth and Emma’s wedding was her dad Martin Rhys-Jones.
    She had put off getting hitched until Martin had finished prison for his part in a £2.2million fraud. Having served four years of his six-year sentence, her dad was all set to attend the couple’s big day. 
    But Emma was said to have fallen out with Martin, 56, because he wanted to bring along his girlfriend, Russian florist Alina Baranova, 31.

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    Tottenham Hotspur’s Bale scores against Liverpool in 2012Credit: AP:Associated Press
    The couple were also upset when he tweeted an image of newborn Axel, which they wanted to keep private. So instead of her father by her side, it was her brother Robert by her side last June.
    The ceremony was an intimate affair at a 17th century fortress in Majorca, La Fortaleza, which was used during filming of BBC spy drama The Night Manager.
    None of Gareth’s Madrid teammates were invited.
    Brought up by school caretaker dad Frank, 64, and operations manager mum Debbie, 63, in the Cardiff suburb of Whitchurch, Gareth enjoys riches beyond the imagination.

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    The footie ace has a collection of supercars including a £165k Mercedes SLS AMG
    He is leaving behind a £6.5million modernist pad with a pool in Madrid and is now on the hunt for a luxury home to rent in London.
    Moving back to Britain means he can spend more time at his £4million Welsh country pile, which has a three-hole golf course.
    The golf-mad sportsman spent a fortune replicating world-famous tricky holes — Royal Troon’s Postage Stamp in Scotland, the 12th at Augusta and the 17th at Sawgrass, both in the US.
    Gareth also invested in his own trendy sports bar in Cardiff called Elevens, named after his shirt number. And his supercars have included a £230k Ferrari GTC4Lusso, £165k Mercedes SLS AMG and £156k Lamborghini Huracán.

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    Gareth Bale is now hunting for a luxury home to rent in London
    Spending seven years as one of Real’s Galacticos means his image is known across the globe.
    His distinctive man-bun haircut and loveheart goal celebration are part of the Bale brand.
    That high profile persuades global companies such as Adidas, EA Sports and Lucozade to pay for his endorsements, earning him another £10million annually.
    But Gareth is not the type of footballer to be hanging around in nightclubs with celebrities and doesn’t use social media to talk about himself.

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    Aerial view of the 17th hole at Sawgrass, which is recreated in Bale’s back garden at his Welsh country pileCredit: 2014 Chris Condon/PGA TOUR
    Teetotal, he is much more likely to spend his free evenings enjoying a meal in a local restaurant with his wife.
    What he would like more than anything is to be able to focus on football, Emma and their three children.
    There have been reports he struggled to gel on a personal level with other players at Spanish giant Real Madrid. What is in little doubt is that Gareth did not get on well with Real’s manager Zinedine Zidane, who preferred to keep the Wales winger on the bench.
    Despite scoring two amazing goals in the 2018 Champions League final to help Zidane’s side beat Liverpool, and 100 goals in total for Real, the player was being frozen out.

    Bale by numbers

    £10m a year from sponsors
    £4m country home in Wales
    £650K a week from Real Madrid
    17th hole at Sawgrass recreated in his back garden
    £750K in drugs and cash went missing from home of wife’sgrandparents

    Last year Zidane wanted to sell the star man to a Chinese side, where he would have earned £1million a week, but Real called off the transfer at the last minute.
    It was the forward’s shortage of recent game time that resulted in his move to Spurs.
    At the North London side, he will be managed by long-time admirer Jose Mourinho, who had tried to sign him in the past.

    Tonight Spurs fans cheered as the striker drove through the gates of their training ground.
    This is Gareth’s big chance to lay some ghosts to rest.
    Not only can he prove that Real were wrong to let him go, he can also help reset strained relations with his wife’s family.

    Gareth Bale arrives at Tottenham training centre for transfer talks
    GOT a story? RING The Sun on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL exclusive@the-sun.co.uk More

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    Former Chelsea wonderkid Jamal Musiala, 17, becomes Bayern Munich’s youngest ever goalscorer in Bundesliga

    JAMAL MUSIALA became Bayern Munich’s youngest-ever goalscorer in the Bundesliga with a strike in Friday’s 8-0 win over Schalke.
    The former Chelsea academy ace came off the bench to make history and also record a personal milestone with his first senior goal, aged just 17 years and 205 days.

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    English wonderkid Jamal Musiala became Bayern Munich’s youngest ever scorer at just 17 years and 205  daysCredit: AFP

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    Musiala scored the landmark goal in an 8-0 win over Schalke on Friday nightCredit: AFP

    Musiala only made his first-team debut in June, coming on as a sub for Bayern Munich in their 3-1 win over SC Freiburg in the Bundesliga.
    The promising attacking midfielder, plucked from Chelsea’s academy in the summer of 2019, was a late replacement for club legend Thomas Muller with just a couple of minutes left on the clock.
    It shows the potential the German giants see in the England youth star.
    Earlier in June, Musiala scored his first two goals for the Bavarians, playing for their reserve side in Germany’s third tier, 3.Liga.

    His double in the 2-0 win over FSV Zwickau made him the second youngest goalscorer in the history of that competition – aged just 17 years and 98 days.
    Although Musiala was just 45 days short of the record set by David Alaba, the impressive feat was not lost on Bayern’s social media channels – with their official Twitter page sharing an image of Jamal with a lovestruck eyes emoji.

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    Musiala made his Bundesliga debut against SC Freiburg in JuneCredit: EPA
    MOVING FROM STAMFORD BRIDGE
    Despite Chelsea’s desperate attempts to keep Musiala at Stamford Bridge on a long-term deal, the Stuttgart-born youngster signed for Bayern Munich in 2019 on a five-year-contract.
    He joined the trend of English youngsters leaving the UK for Germany in search of first team football, including Jadon Sancho and Reiss Nelson.

    And he could’ve had another Chelsea player sharing that experience with him.
    Callum Hudson-Odoi, who like Jamal is repped by First Access Sports, was a chief target for the German champions around the same time, before they turned their attentions to Musiala and the England international signed a new deal with the Blues.
    ENGLAND OR GERMANY?
    Although he was born in Germany, Musiala has starred for the Three Lions at youth level.
    Astonishingly, he made his debut for the Under-15s at the tender age of 13.

    Musiala (second from right) scored his first two professional goals in JuneCredit: Represented by ZUMA Press, Inc.

    Musiala in action for England U17sCredit: Rex Features

    Musiala plays as an attacking midfielder or second strikerCredit: Rex Features

    In 2018 Musiala played for the Germany U16 team against BelgiumCredit: Getty Images – Getty
    While for the U16 side he scored three times in nine games, providing two assists. Musiala has since appeared for England’s U17 team six times and scored twice.
    However, he may be hedging his bets when it comes to international football.
    The promising talent has also played twice for the German U16s, so expect a tug-of-war over his international future.
    SUPER SUB
    On June 3, Musiala made his professional debut over Preußen Münster in the 3. Liga – coming on as a sub in a 3-2 win.
    A week later, he scored his first professional goals.
    With Bayern struggling to break down FSV Zwickau, Musiala was introduced to proceedings replacing Malik Tillman after 57 minutes.
    And he made the difference, with his two strikes coming in the 75th and 85th minutes to earn his side victory.
    HE’S COLD AS ICE
    His boss Sebastian Hoeness praised Musiala’s ice-cold demeanour after the game.
    He revealed: “The boy is freezing cold. If you talk to him before the game, he appears focused, calm and reserved.

    Musiala became the second youngest scorer in 3.Liga when he netted twice for Bayern MunichCredit: Represented by ZUMA Press, Inc.

    Germany and England are set for a tug-of-war over Musiala’s international futureCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    “But when he comes on the field, he literally explodes. That’s exactly what we want to see from young players. They should take your heart in your hand and be brave.”
    He added: “We know that Jamal has great qualities with the ball. The boy helps us, so he deserves the chance.
    “Against Zwickau, he rewarded himself and helped us a lot as a team, which makes me extremely happy.” More

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    Ex-Arsenal wonderkid Musah, 17, is the first Englishman to play for Valencia and has captained England’s youth teams

    THEY might just regret letting this one go.
    In 2019 Yunus Musah was allowed to leave Arsenal, after seven years training at their Hale End academy, for pastures new.

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    Yunus Musah became the first Englishman to play for Valencia and their youngest ever foreign debutantCredit: Getty Images – Getty

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    Musah, 17, spent seven years with Arsenal before leaving for Valencia in 2019Credit: Getty – Contributor

    There were rumblings inside the club that coaches believed it was a serious mistake to grant the talented midfielder, capped by England at youth level, a move to Valencia.
    But Arsenal’s loss is the La Liga giant’s gain – with Musah, 17, growing in confidence in Spain.
    Last weekend, the outstanding midfielder made his debut for Los Che in a 4-2 win over Levante UD, and he is expected to be in the squad for tomorrow’s clash against Celta Vigo.
    He is the first Englishman to have played for Valencia, and the club’s all-time youngest foreign player. Here’s his story.

    BORN IN NY, RAISED IN LONDON
    Musah was born in New York, where his mum was on holiday at the time.
    The family, of Ghanaian descent, lived in Italy until he was nine where he played for local team Giorgione.
    They then moved to London and he was immediately snapped up by Arsenal, eventually graduating from their Hale End academy.
    Musah was highly-rated in North London, having played a significant role in helping the U18 side win the Premier League in 2019 – scoring five goals in 17 appearances.

    But last year he felt Valencia offered him a better pathway towards first-team football, and it appears that was the right decision for the exciting youngster.

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    Musah was born in New York to Ghanaian parents and raised in Italy and EnglandCredit: Instagram @ yunus.musah8

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    So far Musah has played for England at U15, U16, U17 and U18 levelCredit: Rex Features

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    A leader among boys, Musah has captained the Three Lions at various levelsCredit: Getty Images – Getty
    INTERNATIONAL PEDIGREE
    Born in the USA, with Ghanaian parents and having UK and Italian citizenship means Musah can play for all those countries.
    But, so far, he’s been loyal to England – playing internationally at U15, U16, U17, and most recently U18 level.
    He’s also been named Three Lions captain a number of times, and is seen as a real leader of his generation.
    Should he continue his rapid ascension in the game, expect Italy, Ghana and the USA to test the waters of his loyalty to see if he will switch allegiances.
    WHAT KIND OF PLAYER IS HE?
    An attacking midfielder with an eye for a pass, Musah is strong on the ball.
    His athleticism allows him to run past players with ease and create opportunities for his team-mates.
    Able to play as a No10 or out wide, he also boasts fine dribbling skills and has an eye for goal.
    But he’s a sucker for perfection and knows where he needs to improve.

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    Athletic Musah in action against Levante last weekendCredit: Getty Images – Getty

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    Musah can play as a No10 or out wideCredit: AFP or licensors
    “I want to score more goals and be more consistent with my passes as well,” he said.
    “Sometimes in the game I can do so many good passes and one bad one, I want to correct that.”
    PRAISE BE
    Musah is expected to feature plenty more times for Valencia this season, and has the backing of his manager.

    He already speaks excellent Spanish and was seen on his debut constantly talking to his team-mates and showing the self-confidence needed to be a success.
    His coach Javi Gracia highlighted Musah’s maturity in his post-match press conference after the Levante match, insisting that he believes the wonderkid has the ability and mindset to reach the very top.
    With Arsenal looking to add midfielders like Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar to their squad, they might’ve missed a trick not integrating Musah into their first-team set-up sooner.

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    Musah has the maturity to succeed at the highest levelCredit: Rex Features

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    Arsenal may rue letting Musah leave North LondonCredit: Instagram @ yunus.musah8

    Aubameyang signs new £350k-a-week contract and says he wants to become an Arsenal legend More

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    Cristiano Ronaldo loves bingo, David Beckham likes fencing, Joe Allen saves chickens and other footballers’ hobbies

    FOOTBALL may be these athletes’ lives, but even the dedicated pros like to switch off and do something completely different.
    And there’s a list of bizarre hobbies these stars past and present love to do to unwind, from playing bingo to saving chickens or going mushroom hunting.

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    When Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t playing football he’s enjoying an unusual pastimeCredit: AP:Associated Press

    So, forget FIFA or a round of golf, like most spend their hours playing.
    SunSport rounds up the most bizarre hobbies we’ve seen footballers admit doing.
    We lead with a GOAT contender…
    CRISTIANO RONALDO
    In his downtime, it’s true the Juventus legend spends most of his time sculpting his chiselled physique.

    But, when he was an up-and-coming talent at Manchester United he developed a love of bingo.
    He claimed it helped him learn English, although we’re still struggling to imagine him sat at a table in a Mecca Bingo in Sale.
    “Playing bingo can be very exciting,” Ronaldo said in a 2008 interview.
    “It can be very exciting because you can be there waiting for a long time for just the one number to make the game complete.

    “Then you see one of your friends you are playing against get his lucky number before you.”

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    Ronaldo once admitted he loves playing bingoCredit: Reuters

    DAVID BECKHAM
    En garde!
    When Inter Miami owner Beckham hung about with Tom Cruise in Hollywood, they’d often fence together.
    It was mutual friend actor Will Smith who made that reveal.
    “This is his (Cruise’s) way of getting together and bonding,” Smith said.
    “David and I go to his home and just do fencing.”

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    En garde! Beckham learned the art of fencing in LACredit: Getty Images – Getty
    JOE ALLEN
    The Stoke and Wales international appeared on the front cover of Chicken & Egg magazine, happy to talk about his favourite pastime.
    Allen and his wife save hens.
    And he once revealed he owned chickens called Bruce, Rodney, Meg, Leg, Silkie Steve, Kate, Silkie Steve Junior, Giblets, Snowy, Nugget, Kiev, Dora, Holly, Shimmer, Shine and Chickaletta.
    That’s not to be confused with the Stoke line-up tonight against Wolves.

    XAVI
    The Barcelona icon is mad about mushrooms. And not them ones, before you get smart.
    He’s got an obsession with mycology – better known as mushroom hunting, which is a first.
    Pals Gerard Pique and his glam missus Shakira have reportedly joined Xavi on a trek for some rare shrooms.
    “Someone who picks mushrooms can’t be a bad bloke,” his former boss Pep Guardiola once said.

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    Xavi goes out mushroom hunting in his spare timeCredit: Corbis
    MATT OAKLEY
    Watch out, they’ll bite your hands off!
    Former Leicester City star Oakley’s strange and frankly dangerous hobby involved collecting South American red-bellied piranha.
    “I wanted something unusual,” he said.
    “They certainly make feeding time interesting.”

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    Former Leicester star Matt Oakley collects piranhaCredit: PA:Press Association
    TONI KROOS
    Spot of arrows, anyone?
    Should you ask Real Madrid star Toni Kroos that question, he’ll likely snatch them off you and go straight for a treble 20.
    The midfielder loves darts and is also a big fan of Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor.

    In fact, he once tweeted: “This career is unrepeatable. Darts means @PhilTaylor!”

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    Toni Kroos is a big fan of darts and Phil TaylorCredit: AFP or licensors

    MORITZ VOLZ
    The former Arsenal and Fulham defender sounds like he’s destined for The Great British Bake Off.
    And Volz, who now works as an assistant coach at RB Leipzig, enjoyed baking for his team-mates, often catering for the type of cake for the fixture ahead.
    “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,” he once revealed.
    “If we were playing against more rugged teams like Blackburn Rovers, I would made something a lot heavier, like carrot cake with nuts.”

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    Mortiz Volz loved to bake cakes for his team-matesCredit: AP:Associated Press
    AXEL TUANZEBE
    When your hobby is a kids’ game and you hold a world record in it, is that a cause for concern?
    Not if you’re Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe, who is a whizz at Hungry Hippos.
    “We have had a great day adjudicating a range of record attempts with the Manchester United football team as part of their collaboration with Guinness World Records,” said adjudicator Adam Brown.
    “Axel Tuanzebe, was the bigger winner of the day and bagged himself the record for fastest time to clear a game of Hungry Hippos in a time of 17.36 seconds, beating competition from his fellow team-mates.”

    Manchester United’s Axel Tuanzebe broke the Guinness World Record for the fastest time to clear a game of Hungry Hungry Hippos ever, at just over 17 seconds! 👀😂 pic.twitter.com/3xFyaJxHQS
    — Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) July 19, 2018

    PETR CECH
    It was inevitable that Cech would pick a hobby that was the polar opposite of the calm, mild demeanour that the Chelsea legend exudes.
    But a quick click on YouTube and you’ll find clips of the ex-Arsenal keeper drumming along to rock anthems from the Foo Fighters and Nirvana.
    They say goalies are mad.
    But any band will tell you that drummers are crazier.

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    Cech’s handy with his hobby playing drumsCredit: PA:Press Association
    [embedded content]
    ANDREY ARSHAVIN
    Believe it or not, before the former Arsenal star thought about a career in football he had ambitions to be a fashion designer.
    Arshavin studied design at the university in Saint Petersburg, after switching from chemical technology because he complained there weren’t enough women on his course.
    His thesis, quite brilliantly, was a suit that could be worn for both business and playing sport.
    Today, he has a successful women’s fashion line in Russia.

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    Former Arsenal star Andrey Arshavin has a fashion design degree and designs women’s clothesCredit: Graham Hughes – The Times
    GABRIEL BATISTUTA
    The legendary Argentinian striker was a legend for various clubs and country.
    In 2005, after a stellar career, he hung up his boots.

    But he wasn’t done just yet. He took up polo and became a winner in that -lifting the 2009 Copa Stella Artois with the Tom Tailor team.
    “I went down like I used to throw myself about in the Roma area,” he joked about a fall he suffered during the event.
    Sadly his ankles, shot to pieces after years of scything tackles by Serie A defenders, couldn’t handle it and he had to quit polo soon after.

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    Gabriel Batistuta took up his hobby polo when he retiredCredit: AFP – Getty

    Captain Sir Tom wants David Beckham to star as him in a movie about his life More

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    Liverpool target Thiago Alcantara’s Wag Julia Vigas is a hotel owner, who wanted her husband to move back to Barcelona

    THIAGO Alcantara appears set for a move to Liverpool from Bayern Munich in a £25million deal, but that might not please his missus, Julia Vigas.
    In the past, the midfielder was constantly linked with a move back to the Nou Camp – and Spanish media believed Julia was the driving force.

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    Julia Vigas could be heading to England

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    Thiago Alcantara’s wife Julia had always hankered for a return to Barcelona, according to reports

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    The couple, at Oktoberfest in 2018, have been in Munich seven yearsCredit: Bongarts – Getty

    The stunning blonde is said to miss her old life in Catalonia, having swapped Spain for Germany when Thiago joined Pep Guardiola in Bavaria in 2013.
    After nearly seven years in Munich, it may be time for a return for the Spain international, who has won six titles in a row since making the move.
    BARCELONA-BORN
    Born and raised in Barcelona, Julia’s family still live in the city.
    She is also part-owner, with her brothers and father, of a hotel on the Costa Brava.

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    Julia studied marketing and communications at the university of Barcelona

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    Her family owns a hotel in the popular Costa Brava resort Llafranc
    The Terramar is a three-star hotel in the popular resort town Llafranc.
    The hotel has great reviews on certain websites, with guests regularly giving it four stars out of five.
    One reviewer called it a “lovely hotel”, another said it had “wonderful staff” and a third said their stay was “fantastic”.
    Her father is said to be a leading Catalan businessman, although it’s not known what business he is involved in.

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    Julia and Thiago were married in 2015 and have one son, Rafael

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    They are frequent visitors to Barcelona where their friends and family remain
    A UNI GRADUATE
    Julia graduated from the University of Barcelona in 2013, where she studied marketing and communications.
    That summer, her and Thiago were on their way to Munich to join Guardiola’s revolution at Bayern.
    In a now defunct blog, Julia revealed: “I am a lover of fashion and travel, shoes and bags are my addiction.”
    The couple married in 2015 and have a son, Gabriel.

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    A post shared by Júlia Vigas (@juliavigas) on Jul 2, 2017 at 1:26pm PDT

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    A post shared by Júlia Vigas (@juliavigas) on Jul 25, 2017 at 10:12am PDT

    Julia and Thiago had appeared mostly happy with life in Munich, where they have been regulars at Oktoberfest.
    But they make consistent trips back to Spain with Thiago best friends with La Masia graduates Sergio Busquets, Marc Bartra and Jordi Alba.
    Thiago’s younger brother Rafinha is also on Barcelona’s books, but could be set for a move to the Premier League with Leeds and Arsenal said to be interested. More