Some footballers see more to life than just the beautiful game.
When they’re not training, on tour, at a match, or travelling to a faraway European country for an away-day, players enjoy their own downtime too. And it’s not all about jumping on Fortnite or doing a few rounds of golf. Indeed – these players we're about to run through enjoy a much more unique pastime.
Here Daily Star Sport has compiled a list of the most interesting – and sometimes outright bizarre – hobbies. From playing Hungry Hippos to getting firmly into blockchain, footballers have covered every angle.
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Axel Tuanzebe – Hungry Hippos
In fairness, Axel Tuanzebe took this more seriously than just a hobby. . Indeed the Manchester United defender earned the world record for Hungry Hippos during a pre-season trip to the USA in July 2018. “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.”
Cristiano Ronaldo – Bingo
Cristiano Ronaldo apparently shares his enjoyment of a past-time with some of the older generations in the UK. “Playing bingo can be very exciting,” Ronaldo said in a 2016 interview.
Is it thought that the attacker’s fondness for the sport began when he moved to United, while the game even helped him learn to speak English.
Hal Robson-Kanu – Blockchain entrepreneur
The former West Brom striker Hal Robson-Kanu has gone onto another lucrative venture. Currently without a club, the Welshman has very much been getting into cryptocurrency.
“Lots of athletes have other interests. Some of my team-mates finish playing FIFA at 12.30 at night,” Robson-Kanu told The Independent. “Blockchain is basically a distributive ledger, where there is no need for any trusted intermediary.
“So imagine it as an internet, but an internet where you can exchange value peer-to-peer. We have the internet now, but I couldn’t send someone £10 without requiring an intermediary, [like PayPal]. But with blockchain, it allows you to communicate, to transact, with one another, in a digital world peer-to-peer. That’s as simplistic as I can give it. That’s what blockchain is.”
The striker, when he was with a club, reportedly would finish training and head straight to his London offices to begin trading. Talk about motivation.
Joe Allen – Chickens
Joe Allen’s love of chickens took him to the heights of appearing on the cover of Chicken & Egg magazine. In the feature interview, the former Liverpool midfielder revealed he and his wife saved hens.
Furthermore, Allen owned chickens called Bruce, Rodney, Meg, Leg, Silkie Steve, Kate, Silkie Steve Junior, Giblets, Snowy, Nugget, Kiev, Dora, Holly, Shimmer, Shine and Chickaletta.
Phenomenal he was able to tell them all apart.
Xavi – Mushrooms
If you haven’t heard of mycology before, you have now. It means mushroom hunting. And Barcelona coach Xavi is a huge fan of it, and has even been known to take along pals with him for trips – including former power couple Gerard Pique and Shakira.
“Someone who picks mushrooms can’t be a bad bloke,” said Pep Guardiola.
Petr Cech – Drums
Petr Cech has his own YouTube channel where he used to show off his drumming skills – and in fairness, it wasn’t half bad. Artists that he hits along to include Nirvana and Foo Fighters.
The former Chelsea goalkeeper even claimed that it made him a better shot-stopper during his playing days.
“The hand-eye co-ordination and the independence on each of the limbs is helpful,” he said.
David Beckham – Fencing
David Beckham is one of the few footballers to ever break into Hollywood. He’s now synonymous with the industry, perhaps known for that even more than his playing days.
And consequently, he’s been rubbing shoulders with the likes of Tom Cruise and Will Smith – two of the best-known actors on the planet.
And King Richard actor Smith explained the three sometimes like sword fighting: “This is his (Cruise’s) way of getting together and bonding. David and I go to his home and just do fencing.”
Daniel Agger – Tattoos
Daniel Agger is absolutely caked in prints. At one time in Marbella, he ran a tattoo-sharing website and a sewer company.
Nowadays, the Dane is the head coach at Danish 1st Division club HB Koge.
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