The spoils of fame and fortune can be tantalizing, but they can also be quite dangerous. Given how popular soccer is around the world, athletes that play the Beautiful Game at its highest level don’t have to work terribly hard to find attractive, adoring women. If less than attractive footballers like Ronaldinho and Franck Ribery can boast stories of numerous sexual conquests, then it seems pretty safe to say that any soccer stars at the highest levels of the game boast the clout to get themselves into trouble with members of the fairer sex.
And, no surprise, many do get into their fair share of trouble. It’s one thing to have sordid tales of one’s exploits splashed across the tabloids (particularly in Britain), but it’s quite another to engaged in extra-curricular activities while currently having a significant other. Don’t these guys understand that they are in the public eye and, therefore, there are always eyes on them? These playboys either never got the message, or had dug themselves too deep a womanizing hole to crawl out of, frolicking around with a small army of beauties or, even worse, the better half of fellow teammates.
As fit, wealthy and famous soccer players, the 10 men on this list surely have some stories to tell. Heck, some of them have even told those stories. Some of the anecdotes here stem from widespread rumor or speculation while others may be more urban legend than truth – not that any players have gone out of their way to deny the reports. Plenty, though, have been proven and acknowledged by the guilty party. Plus, some of this stuff is simply too wild to make up. Here are the stories behind the 10 biggest womanizing footballers.
10. John Terry
Unlike some of the men on this list, John Terry hasn’t accumulated a harem of young beauties over the course of his playing career – at least not that we know of, anyway. But the indiscretion that he is well-known for sent the British tabloids into a tizzy in 2010, as he engaged in an alleged affair with French underwear model Vanessa Perroncel. Perroncel was not only the best friend of Terry’s wife, Toni, but she was also the former flame of Chelsea teammate and best friend Wayne Bridge. Although the true story never fully came to light, England took away Terry’s captaincy and Bridge soon retired from international competition.
9. Stan Collymore
At the end of his first season at Liverpool in 1995, Stan Collymore found a unique way to drown the sorrows of an FA Cup final loss to Manchester United: he shacked up with the daughter of club manager Roy Evans. The English striker doesn’t appear to have changed his ways much in retirement, having been accused of “dogging” – that is, having sex in public – by a News of the World reporter in 2004. The then-broadcaster lost his job at BBC Radio 5 Live over the incident.
8. Frank Worthington
1970’s English soccer star Frank Worthington doesn’t appear to eager to change his public playboy reputation, titling his 1994 autobiography, One Hump or Two? Stories about Worthington suggest that he got around in more ways that one, taking numerous sexual conquests along a path that saw him play for Huddersfield, Leicester, Bolton, Birmingham, Leeds, Sunderland, Southampton and several more clubs. Legend has it that he nearly signed with Liverpool in 1972, but failed a physical to due high blood pressure brought on by excessive bed-based activities.
7. Ashley Cole
The British tabloids loved Ashley Cole, a serial philanderer who put his poor wife, Cheryl, through years of pain and humiliation as report after report emerged of his extra-marital goings-on. The couple, however, remained together until he was caught sending naked pics to a glamour model’s phone in February 2010. That ultimately proved to be the final straw, as Cheryl soon filed for divorce, citing “unreasonable behavior.” In all, there were no less than seven allegations of extra-marital affairs made about Cole.
6. Dwight Yorke
If you’re going to engage in an affair, it seems like the advice of “don’t videotape it” goes without saying. But if you are going to videotape it, don’t feature anything that you may later come to regret in the video. Dwight Yorke failed to adhere to either of the aforementioned pieces of information when he and Man U teammate Mark Bosnich were featured in some amateur video that saw them engage in a cocaine- and alcohol-fueled sex party with four scantily clad ladies. Yorke, who also had a child with a comely Page 3 model named Jordan, is seen in the video taking a romp around the room in women’s clothing.
While Pele was the media darling and star of Brazil’s 1958 and 1962 World Cup-winning squads, Garrincha was the talented marvel who went largely overlooked by the media. The lack of press coverage came despite – or maybe because of – his strange background that included a battle with alcoholism at 14 years of age and reportedly losing his virginity to a goat. Fortunately for Garrincha, the tryst with the goat wasn’t his only foray into sexual activity. He fathered a total of 14 children with a number of different women during his productive career.
4. Gabby Agbonlahor
The fancy footwork of striker Gabby Agbonlahor has helped the 28-year-old to a long, successful career at Aston Villa. But it’s his juggling skills that have enabled a rather active personal life. After all, it can’t be easy to handle three girlfriends at once, as Agbonlahor reportedly once boasted. His fertility also shouldn’t be called into question, as he impregnated all of them. In 2012, a judge handed Agbonlahor’s ex-flame Sophie Smith a 10-year restraining order against current partner Elizabeth Wheeler in a cyber-stalking case.
3. George Best
One of the most famous English football playboys, the late George Best was equally well known for his dribbling mastery on the pitch for Manchester United as he was for his off-the-pitch affinity for partying, alcohol and women. Some of the most lascivious stories attached to Best include reported halftime rendezvous’ with various women and relationships with four Miss World contestants. The quick-witted Best once quipped, “I spent a lot of money on booze, birds (women) and fast cars. The rest I just squandered.” Sadly, his love of alcohol led to his 2005 death, at age 59, of a lung infection and multiple organ failure.
2. Antonio Cassano
One must always be skeptical of the man who spreads a legend through his own words, but it’s hard to ignore Italian attacker Antonio Cassano’s revealing biography, La Dico Tutto (translated to mean “I’ll Tell You Everything”). If the book is to be believed, Cassano had bedded between 600 and 700 women in the 11 years prior to the book’s release. The provocative Cassano lived by the belief that sex on the day of a game significantly enhanced his performance on the pitch.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo
The Portuguese superstar is one of the best soccer players on the planet, but much of his fame can be attributed to movie star-like good looks and an impressive Rolodex of stunning arm candy. Models Alice Goodwin, Gemma Atkinson and Irina Shayk are just a few of the gorgeous women that Ronaldo can count among his previous conquests. Ronaldo, who has done some modelling work of his own for Armani, was briefly engaged to Shayk, but has otherwise embraced a bachelor lifestyle. And with some of the women he has bagged, who wouldn’t??