Talk of the ironic aspect of football, it’s extremely rare for professional footballers to confess publicly about not being a fan of the sport that earns them millions of money, of which many are really striving and hoping they could become superstars from the game.
This depicts a cruel judgement of fate because there are footballers who do not love the round leather game as much as those who follow it with keen interest.
Here are famous professional footballers.
Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur And Wales)
Bale doesn’t like football; or simply put, he gives priority to other things – Golf basically.
There have been several occasions where Real Madrid would be preparing for a crucial match but Bale will be found playing Golf
Back in August 2020, as Real Madrid were about to play the second leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie against Manchester City, Bale preferred to bail himself out of the team to go play Golf as his teammates were preparing for the match.
“He prefers not to play, nothing more, and the rest is between him and me” Zinedine Zidane disclosed in a press conference in 2020.
Spurs’ winger has freely admitted that he prefers watching golf to football and has a custom-made three-hole course in his back garden.
Sylvain Distin (France) – Retired
The former French international was an astute centre-back during his days, notably at Manchester City and Everton. But he’s not a big fan of the round leather game despite having a glorious career from the sport.
Distin has never cared about what’s happening in the football world and after claiming that he knew almost nothing about the game, he was put on the spot by The Sun in the UK.
“What’s the name of Stoke City’s stadium?” – “Don’t know.”
“Name a Watford player” – “I don’t know anyone”
“What is the name of Stoke’s stadium?” – “Don’t know.”
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Dani Alves (Sao Paulo And Brazil)
Alves is the player with most trophies in the history of football having won 40 trophies in his professional career but his love for the game in which he won more trophies than Ronaldo and Messi is minimal.
“I hate everything that surrounds football . I live in this world but i don’t belong to it.”
“When I stop playing football, I’ll take my backpack and travel around the world.” – Dani Alves, Globo, 2005.
Carlos Tevez (Argentina And Boca Juniors)
At the end of the day, Gareth Bale isn’t the only lover of Golf. For Tevez, football was only a way out of trouble.
He once said “I do not like football, if you play Barcelona versus real Madrid and there’s a golf tournament on another channel, I’ll watch Golf.”
“I’ve never been a fan of watching matches. I just like to play, to have the ball between my feet.”
Tevez could be a tough attacker to play against but he’s always admitted that he’s only obsessed with football.
Carlos Vela (Mexico And Los Angeles FC)
Here’s another Carlos who doesn’t like football, or at least, who only likes playing it. “between a movie and a football game at night, I choose to watch the movie.”
“The NBA is the only sport I watch on television. In fact, I don’t like what surrounds football in general.”
Christian Vieri (Italy) – Retired
Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, Vieri as a youth loved Cricket as a youth and certainly, he would’ve preferred life on the Cricket pitch as a bowler.
The Italian legend revealed shortly before Italy’s quarter final fixture against France in 1998 when asked by a French journalist who his childhood hero was, Vieri gave a rapid but shocking response and said “Allan Border.”
He later disclosed in 2003 “I would have loved to have been a cricketer,”
“I would stop playing now to play cricket if I could get the same contract.”
Alphonse Areola (France And Fulham)
The French Goalkeeper is currently on loan from PSG and isn’t a football fan at all, his wife follows football more than he does.
“My wife knows more about football scores than I do. When I leave training, you can talk to me about football: I don’t know anything, I’ve often fallen asleep while watching matches too”
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Benoit Assou-Ekotto (Cameroon) – Retired
To the former Tottenham left back, football was ‘just a job’. When he was playing for Spurs in 2010, he was so not bothered about the glitz and glamour of top-level football.
“Football has never interested me. It’s just my job, I do it to earn money like every other person on earth.” The Guardian, 2010.
Recall that Balotelli once stated (in 2012) that he doesn’t celebrate after scoring because it’s job? he isn’t the only player who sees football as a job by the way.
Dario Benedetto (Argentina And Olympique de Marseille)
Just like other players on this list, football has been a job for Benedetto, he does not like football, it’s his job and nothing more.
“There are many players I don’t know because I don’t watch any games at all. I don’t like it.”
“When I talk about football with my friends, I sometimes wonder what it is they’re talking about. The only team I watch is Boca Juniors, but I watch them more because I’m a Boca fanatic than because of the game.” La Provence, 2019.
Benedetto has claimed severally that he’s neither a fan or football nor sitting to watch it even if it’s Real Madrid against Barcelona.
Vincent Enyeama (Nigeria) – Retired
The former Lille goaltender does not like football and he didn’t hide it in 2014 in an interview.
“To tell you the truth, I’m not really a football fan. It’s my job, but I’m not asked to like it.” Now retired, he’s become a goalkeeper coach for a youth U-16 team in Northern France.
Again, it’s just his job!