Most of the stars on this list need no introduction. They’re currently among the biggest football players on the planet, known and adored by millions of fans of all ages, genders, and nationalities. We know and love them for their remarkable achievements on the field, but what about their skills, hobbies, and interesting things they do outside of football? Read on to find out some interesting information about some of the world’s most popular football players.
Everyone knows about Ronaldo’s accomplishments in the world of football, but did you know that one of Ronaldo’s favorite activities is cooking? At only 13 years old, Ronaldo received 1,300€ by becoming a part of a Lisbon-based football team for young boys. Quite a big sum of money for a boy his age. He was also the first Portuguese player to join the ranks of Manchester United and was given 12 million pounds to join the famous team while still being a teenager at the time.
Ronaldo got his famous name thanks to his father, who was a big supporter of Ronald Reagan, one of the former US presidents. Sadly, his father passed away many years ago due to heavy alcoholism, which is why Ronaldo doesn’t drink alcohol. Not only would it influence his football capabilities, but he is also worried the disease might be hereditary and doesn’t want to try his luck.
One area where he does like to try his luck though is casino games. Ronaldo is a passionate poker player, and supposedly a really good one! His favorite actress is Angelina Jolie, and there’s even a sociology course in Canada devoted entirely to this football-defining player!
This Egyptian footballer playing for Liverpool is a big fan of Leonardo Di Caprio, Muhammad Ali, motivational YouTube videos, and books. The Egyptian king, as many Egyptian supporters of Salah crowned him, met up with his burglar after he robbed Salah’s house, giving him money for a fresh start and even tried to find him a job.
Salah wants to move into the film industry once his football career is over. A temporary end of his career almost came true in 2014, when he was almost forced to abandon his soccer duties for compulsory military service in Egypt. In the end, however, he was granted to stay. During his Fiorentina period, he sported the 74 number as a tribute to Port Said riot victims.
Becoming a father to his son at only 19, Neymar came from a house where his father worked three jobs to sustain his family. It was through his guidance, given that the father is a former professional player himself, that Neymar joined his first club at only 7 years old, and the rest is history. He likes Japanese food, dancing, and music in all its forms.
Speaking of music, Neymar is a proud supporter of Brazilian music artists, which is why he’s often been seen on the stage supporting popular Brazilian artists such as Michel Teló (Ai Se Eu Te Pego) or Gustavo Lima (Balada). He’s also a close friend with many pop stars, including Justin Bieber.
However, soccer is his one true love, which is why he usually carries a ball with him everywhere he goes. Interestingly enough, one of his favorite games is Teqball, a combination of soccer and ping-pong, which he often plays on the pitch with his teammates.
This Polish football player also needs no introduction. However, did you know that his talent for sports literally runs in his blood? Lewandowski’s mother and sister were pro volley players, and his father was superb at both judo and football. Not to mention his wife, Anna, who performs karate and is a personal trainer. What a family!
He holds four Guinness World Records thanks to his incredible achievement of scoring five goals in just 9 minutes during a Bayern Munich vs Wolfsburg match back in 2015. He got his rather untraditional name (for Poland) from his father, who believed his son will make it big abroad and that having an international name will make things easier for him. Lewandowski, a proud Catholic, met Pope Francis and joined Bayern Munich by pure chance (which many might consider fate) when volcanic ash prevented Lewandowski’s plane from flying to England and signing a deal with another team.
No list would be complete without the best player in the world (okay, maybe 2nd best – we hear you, Ronaldo fans). His first contract – with Barcelona – was written on a paper napkin, as the director was so impressed with him he wanted to sign the young Messi on the spot… but didn’t have paper. Barcelona also paid for his growth deficiency treatment, which most definitely saved his career as a pro footballer, since Messi’s growth initially stopped around the age of 11 and his family couldn’t afford the treatment.
On the steps of his wildly expensive private jet, the names of his children and wife are engraved – a piece of reminder and constant motivation to keep going. The price tag of this jet surely doesn’t keep him up at night, since if Barcelona was to ever fire him, a clause in his contract ensures he gets $300 million in goodbye money… that’s some good deal. Messi’s favorite color is red, he fancies a good video game during his time off and is also a good piano player.
Mbappé joins the list of footballers who have sport in their blood. With his mother being a handball player and his father and brothers also dipping their shoes deep into soccer, Mbappé had all the right predispositions to walk in his father’s footsteps. After Pelé, he is only the 2nd teenager to score in a World Cup final. He’s also the first teenager to score more than one goal at a World Cup. Now that’s impressive!
Mbappé loves to spend his money on sneakers, especially the Nike ones, which he couldn’t afford prior to his success as a pro player. During one game, he developed a speed faster than Usain Bolt’s winning speed at the 2009 Olympics – but Bolt managed to outperform the French player shortly after.