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From Ponies to Poker: 10 Footballers and their Side Hobbies

Football; it’s a young man’s game. It’s also the all-consuming passion for those who play it professionally. But all of them will have to face the inevitable; their time on the pitch can only last so long before they pass their physical prime and early retirement comes along.

As such, it’s not surprising that some footballers have wisely taken on a side hobby with which to occupy themselves once the glory days are over. Something less demanding, less reliant upon youthful athleticism and something that simply makes for a nice break from one of the world’s most strenuous sports.

Theo Walcott, Children’s Writing

As the youngest person to ever become a senior football player for England, Theo Walcott won the Young Sports Personality of the Year. But it’s not just the Arsenal striker’s young age which makes him deserving of the award. Walcott is a writer of four published children’s books cantered around the life of a football-loving kid called T.J. The series has had great success amongst children and their parents, and can be found at school libraries across Britain.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Poker

As a PokerStars sponsored players, Ronaldo is not shy about showing his love for the classic card game. The Real Madrid star plays a mixture of online poker tournaments and live events, often for charity. He’s not the only football player to enjoy poker, however–in fact he’s regularly squared off against NeymarJr at the card table. Both Ronaldo and Neymar are famous for promoting poker culture through the many PokerStars marketing campaigns in which they star.

David Beckham, Fencing

Upon moving to Los Angeles in the heydays of his fame, Beckham became friends with A-list celebrities like Tom Cruise and Will Smith. Apparently, the three of them bonded over a mutual love for fencing – an activity they’d taken up because of it being both fun and good for the joints.

Ryan Giggs, Yoga

Football legend Ryan Giggs is a strong advocate of yoga, claiming it can prevent muscle pain and ‘keep you young forever’. Giggs has even arranged for his yoga instructor to give lessons to all team members of Manchester United. In 2011, Giggsalso released his own yoga fitness DVD.

Michael Owen, Horses

The English legend is crazy about horses, and has his own stables in North Wales. Some of his horses have competed in racing, as Owen is reportedly fond of the horse betting industry.

Daniel Agger, Tattoos

That the Danish footballer is covered head to toe in tattoos is no secret. That Agger is in fact also a qualified tattoo artist himself is a lesser known fact. He creates his own tattoo designs and, whilst he doesn’t yet have his own studio, has been known to ink his friends and some lucky fans.

Les Ferdinand, Helicopter Piloting

English footballer Les Ferdinand tried out numerous activities – including saxophone playing, motor biking and cooking – before deciding that helicopter piloting was the hobby for him. Now, Ferdinand owns his own helicopter and happily uses it as his main form of transport.

Andrea Pirlo, Wine

The Italian footballer has a suitably Italian hobby. Pirlo tends to his family’s own vineyard in the North of Italy out of his love for wine. He reportedly looks forward to spending a quiet life in the region following his retirement.

Moritz Volz – Cake Baker

One of the lesser known footballers on the list, perhaps – but the one with arguably the most interesting hobby; cake baking! The Bundesliga star has explained that baking helps him calm his nerves before a match. Volz notes in his blog that he sometimes bakes the cake in the theme of his opponent team.

PetrCech – Drummer

Plenty of footballers are known to be passionate about music, but PetrCech is one who also has some musical talent of his own. The Arsenal player explains that he discovered the fun of drumming during a game of ‘Rock Band’ in 2010.  Since then, he’s uploaded numerous videos to his Youtube account featuring his drumming covers of classic rock songs.

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