With Cristiano Ronaldo expressing his love for the “excitement” that comes from playing bingo and Joe Allen choosing to re-home commercial chickens – we have taken a look at unusual footballer hobbies.
While some professional footballers live and breathe the sport that they happen to be successful at – others like to unwind with hobbies that could not seem more dissimilar.
Cristiano Ronaldo – Bingo
Manchester United and Portugal hero Cristiano Ronaldo admitted during his first spell at the club that he found the number-matching pastime to be particularly exhilarating.
In 2008, Ronaldo said of his love for the game of chance: “Playing bingo can be very exciting.
“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.”
Petr Cech – Drumming
Former Chelsea and Arsenal stopper Petr Cech has earned millions of YouTube views on clips of himself drumming that were published towards the end of his career.
He told the official Arsenal website in 2018: “I have to confess that in my bag, I always carry a pair of drumsticks because you never know where you find the time to do a little bit.”
Before adding: “I started playing when I was almost 30 years old. Actually, I bought a drum kit in March 2011. That was when I started. Since then I have been playing drums.”
Joe Allen – Chickens
Joe Allen appeared on the front of the Spring edition of Chicken & Egg magazine during his time at Liverpool back in 2016, after he has his partner chose to re-home commercial chickens.
“Lacey was behind the decision,” the Wales midfielder said.
“We both have an interest in animal welfare but she came up with the idea to save hens and I agreed it was something that would be great to do.
“We didn’t have any hens growing up but wanted to help chickens after they finished their commercial lives. I’d be lying if I said I did the cleaning… as soon as it’s time to clean the coops I disappear!”
David Beckham – Fencing
Will Smith of all people leaked David Beckham‘s hobby to the press back in 2008, telling 3am that Tom Cruise got the pair into the sport after showing them his private training room.
Smith said: “Tom has a room for training. We don’t get enough time to hang out, just us three guys, so this is his way of getting together and bonding.
“David and I go to his home and just do fencing. It’s a lot of fun. We wanted an activity that was strenuous, but we’re getting older – we have to think about slowing down.”
Gabriel Batistuta – Polo
Following the end of his football career back in 2005, legendary former Argentina striker Gabriel Batistuta stepped up his love for playing polo.
“It’s very difficult, but I hope to improve a little bit at a time,” Batistuta told Argentine television back in 2009 after making his debut.
“I’m a bit annoyed because I didn’t play well, but I will keep trying.”