Football stars are often seen as a role model that even some of the football fans idolize and look up to. Some wished to be like their favorite football stars wasn’t because of anything, but because of the way they play and how they appear when they don the jersey of their respective clubs or countries.
Sometimes, the fans get disappointed by those they followed, idolize, or loved keenly when they falter doing something that makes them feel disgusted or hate them because of their mistakes.
More often than not, football stars tend to involve themselves in something that shouldn’t be traced to them. However, the fact that they are human they are definitely not immune to mistakes even with all of their millions just like you and I make mistakes.
Although the word infidelity is something that doesn’t exist in the footballer’s world. Unluckily for some fans, what they thought of their favorite football stars as role models don’t really looks like that, as they also make decisions that put them under scrutiny and in the headlines.
Football stars and their relationship is something that should remain sacred, because of luxury and fame. They tend to always be at the receiving end of scandals through infidelity or some other things that would make them give in to temptation by either cheating on their wives or girlfriends.
Today, Cheapgoals will take a look at football stars who are caught in the web of infidelity both retired and active.
Name: Mauro Icardi
Nationality/Club: Argentina & Paris Saint Germain
The former Inter Milan captain caused a huge rift between him and former teammates and close friends Maxi Lopez when he decided to break the friendship code by getting too cozy with his former teammate’s wife Wanda Nara when they were both at Sampdoria.
Wanda who is a big media personality back in Argentina was Lopez’s wife. But in the process of getting closer with Icardi while still engaged to Lopez, things went wrong and it all leads to a showdown in 2014 when Sampodria played against Inter Milan, as the match was tagged the ‘Wanda Derby‘ by the Italian media which led to Lopez refusing to shake Icardi hands.
However, in 2016 Icardi came out to clear his name on the long-running battle with Lopez, saying
“Everyone speaks about the Wanda issues without knowing the truth”. “When I started with her, I played alongside Diego Milito, Cambiasso, Samuel, and Javier Zanetti and they all knew the story because I told them”.
According to Icardi. he said he was a friend of the couple and acquaintances after they split up, Icardi, Lopez, and Wanda kept in contact and fell in love and since then both Wanda and Icardi have been married.
Name: Jordan Ayew
Nationality/Club: Ghana & Crystal Palace
Jordan the half brother of Andrea Ayew is another player that was caught in between the web of infidelity with the wife of his national team teammates Acquah Afriyie.
The former Torino midfielder wife Amanda was reported to have been in a secret relationship with Jordan for four years. Wow, such secrecy.
A leaked audio tape on YouTube was what broke the camel back when it was revealed that Jordan had been in a relationship with the wife of Afriyie. According to Amanda, she subsequently admitted that she had been with Jordan for four years and not four days.
According to Amanda, she revealed that her husband wasn’t matured enough for marriage, that the separation is important because she felt the former Empoli star needed some time to grow up and learn something more about relationship and marriage.
Even though the couples are separated due to the scandal, yet Amanda claimed the two are still legally married as they both need time to grow, matured, and understand each other.
Name: Michael Ballack
Nationality/Club: Germany & Retired
In 2007, Ballack was accused of having an affair with his German teammate wife. The former Die Mannschaft player Lell said Ballack set foot in other people’s lives and ruins them without further thought about the consequences.
The former Levante player is extremely unlucky as he was always on the receiving end of infidelity from his partners.
First, it was with Ballack and his partner Daniella Aumann whom he married to now, and secondly with Melanie Rickinger who was reported to have had an affair with Mesut Ozil, who is also a German international while they were still together.
When this low act transpired, Ballack was the captain of the German team, his captaincy hand band was never stripped off and the entire report about the bizarre and low act went under the radar.
READ ALSO: Football Stars And Their Investment
Name: Thibaut Courtois
Nationality/Club: Belgium & Real Madrid
Real Madrid goalkeeper Courtois, in 2013 was alleged to have had an affair with his Belgian teammate partner Caroline Lijnen back then when he was with Atletico Madrid. His teammate De Bruyne was reported to be devastated about the affair when he found out the betrayal in friendship with Courtois and that of his girlfriend Lijnen.
Both players had reconciled and moved on after what happened, as they’ve both played for Belgium at the World Cup thereafter, and their past betrayal didn’t affect the national team just like we’ve seen in another national team.
These two great football stars may be one of the finest teammates in the national team, but one thing that is certain is that they may not be two of best friends again due to what transpired between them and the partner in question.
Name: John Harkes
Nationality/Club: USA & Retired
The World Cup in France 98 was a big disaster for the US national team when the team captain was dropped by then-manager Steve Sampson.
Harkes was accused of having an affair with teammate Eric Wynalda‘s wife which Wynalda himself reported the affair to the manager and Harkes was dropped from the team.
The scandal was tagged a ‘Messy Affair‘ by the media in the subsequent year after the world cup because it’s orchestrated their poor and lethargic performance at the World Cup, losing to the German national team and Iran.
Although Harkes did deny the affair, it was an affair the Americans will never forget in a jiffy due to its effect on their performance.
However, Wynalda insisted that an affair did take place, and according to Sampson, he said Roy Wegerle a US player and the assistant manager Clive Charles came to him, that they had personal knowledge of the affair, and since then Wynalda had gone on to divorced his wife in 2003.
Name: Christian Keller
Nationality/Club: Denmark & Retired
The Danish Superliga was hit with the Jonas Borring and Christian Keller scandal in 2016 when it’s emerged that Keller was having an affair with Borring’s wife Kira, although Keller was the captain of FC Randers he didn’t behave like a captain and a leader he was supposed to be.
Borring was devastated about the whole thing, and he refused to play with the team. Borring left the club shortly after the whole scenario stating that he was battling with emotional turmoil as it was too much for him to bear and return to the club after he left.
According to Borring, “Kira decided in late 2015 that she will not be with him anymore that they are separating, however, they still lived under the same roof with two children and they are technically still husband and wife.
Borring said that Kira’s decision to do that impacted them greatly and it’s made the situation untenable at Randers between himself and Keller, saying that Keller has broken rule number one in the dressing room and completely stabbed him in the back.
Name: Patrice Evra
Nationality/Club: France & Retired
The former Manchester United left-back was involved in an extramarital affair with model Carla Howe when he was with the Red Devils, the defender was reported to have bedded Howe in a Paris hotel.
Howe claimed she never knew that the former Les Blue captain was married, saying that the French star only paid her the morning after the whole thing and never told her he had a family.
Despite pursuing her relentlessly after they first met which was the genesis of how Evra started phoning, texting, and even sending intimate pictures of himself to Howe.
The Howe half-sister said she loved Evra and thought they had something special, but it was all lies, that what Evra wanted was to have her.
Howe went further to say she felt terrible for his wife Sandra because the former Monaco star was messaging her dozens of times a day for months without telling her he had a wife.
Name: Mesut Ozil
Nationality/Club: Germany & Arsenal
The German midfielder was dragged into a public row with a fellow German teammate Christain Lell when he was accused of cheating on his hip-pop music star Mandy Capristo with the partner of Lell Rickinger.
According to Lell who somewhat ungraciously described his ex as a snake and further explained that she had exchanged intimate messages with Ozil on Whatsapp.
However, Ozil himself refused to comment on the situation then, and likewise, his agent Roland Eitel who also reiterated they’re not commenting on the issue, that they will keep an eye on the situation and take legal action if necessary.
Meanwhile, Lell’s ex said her boyfriend is crazy and never denied having an affair with Ozil.
Even Capristo refused to comment on the allegations, and she deleted all the pictures of the former Real Madrid playmaker from her social media accounts, as both went their separate ways.
READ ALSO: Top Footballers Who Starred In Movies
Name: John Terry
Nationality/Club: England & Retired
One thing that is synonymous with the former England captain is controversies. First was his infidelity scandal when he admitted that he had cheated on wife Toni Poole in the past, the former Chelsea defender claimed it was all said and done that they had moved on from the issue.
However, the scandal that broke the camel’s back and the biggest of all was the one that happened back in 2010 when Terry had a four-month affair with Wayne Bridge’s girlfriend Vanessa Perroncel who was reportedly pregnant and aborted the baby.
The scandal led to Terry losing his captaincy with the national team and was criticized so badly in the media and soon became a national villain in the country.
Name: Wayne Rooney
Nationality/Club: England & Derby County
Rooney admitted to his frequently messaging Jennifer Thompson while they were in a secret relationship despite being married to Coleen McLoughlin. Jennifer claimed that Rooney had paid for her services whilst his wife was pregnant with their son Kai.
Former England forward found himself under a lot of pressure from the media, and as such the pressure affected him on the pitch.
Surprisingly but then understandably, Rooney’s family backed the betrayed wife to divorce England’s forward.
According to the English press, Natalie who was Rooney’s cousin directly told Coleen to
“Bag him, and bin him, you deserve a million times better not someone who does this to you and treats you like a speck of dirt while he is out sleeping with dirt”. ” Rooney has more money than sense and is a disgrace”.
Name: Thierry Henry
Nationality/Club: France & Retired
Arsenal legend Henry was allegedly reported to have had an affair with makeup artist Sadie Hewlett after they both worked together on a photo shoot. Apparently, Henry’s wife Claire Merry found out that her husband was cheating on her and filed for divorce not too long after he moved to Barcelona.
Thereafter, Henry’s name went viral on social media as he gained popularity as a notorious cheat and also lost his wife to divorce with an £8 million settlement for Merry.
However, despite the scandal it doesn’t affect the Frenchman’s performance for the Catalan side as he went on to achieved success with the Spanish giant.
Name: Ashley Cole
Nationality/Club: England & Retired
Former Chelsea left-back Cole earned himself the reputation ‘The Bad Boy‘ when the media nabbed him with a series of fling with top models.
Back in 2008, Cole and his wife Cheryl were one of the best England’s power couples. Things turned worst for the couples as it was revealed that Cole was cheating on his wife.
The report revealed that Cole was involved with top models Coralie Robinson, Brooke Healy, and hairdresser Aimee Walton while still married to his wife Cheryl.
When the allegations refused to go away in 2010, he split from the nation’s darling Cheryl and he went on to became England’s number one enemy and hated husband.
7 Of The Most Loyal Football Players
When it comes to loyalty and commitment in the beautiful game, there are few football players who are able to pledge their allegiance and refused to be swayed by big offers. For every Ashley Cole, there’s also a Totti.
There are players who when they reach their potentials, will get easily swayed by money and the probable fame that will follow their transition to other clubs. While other players would simply remain at their current club because of the love they have for the club.
The first set of players who leave the club when bigger clubs come calling are always remembered for their exploits while at the club. But, the second type of football player who ignores the temptations of leaving their ‘most loved’ football club sides is regarded as heroes.
Meanwhile, there are some known players who have showcased utmost loyalty for their respective clubs. For instance, Francesco Totti waved off Real Madrid’s offer in 2006, stating AS Roma as his family and he’s never seen a situation where a child would leave his poor parents to go live with rich strangers.
But what about other unpopular loyal players like Francesco Totti, Stephen Gerrard or even Mark Noble?.
Here’s a list of 7 most loyal football players
- David Zibung (Goalkeeper) – FC Luzern (18 Years +)
The life of this Swiss goalkeeper has been all about his boyhood club, FC Luzern. The +37-year old was born in Hergiswil which is in the Nidwalden region in Switzerland.
He joined the youth team of FC Luzern in 1999 and was there till 2003. Zibung grew in leaps and bounds with the Luzern main team, ever since he broke into the first team, he’s never for once considered leaving the club.
Technically, Zibung would’ve spent eighteen years at Luzern by July 2021. But he’s definitely spent more than eighteen years given that he’s been at the club’s feeder team before 2003.
Zibung remains one of the oldest and longest-serving loyal goalkeepers of the Swiss League.
- Hidekazu Otani (Midfielder) – Kashiwa Reysol (18 Years)
Otani is a midfielder of note, who joined his one and only club in 2000 as a teenager. Now 36 years-old, Okami has been deployed in many parts of the midfield but his natural position is the defensive midfield where he plays comfortably well.
The Japanese veteran midfielder has on numerous occasions been offered to leave his club but his love for the Sun King club has held him back so much so that he’s willing to retire at the club when the time comes.
While some quarters may believe that Hidekazu Okani had been at Kashiwa for eighteen years, the fans of the club see him as an integral part of the club’s history given that he’s won laurels with the club severally.
- Igor Akinfeev (Goalkeeper) – CSKA Moscow (18 Years)
Akinfeev is probably the most popular player we’re x-raying in this Exposé. Akinfeev, Russian, is the Russian National Team goalkeeper and captain, as well as his club side, CSKA Moscow.
History has it that the 34-year old shot-stopper has been at CSKA Moscow since the age of four. His father sent him to the Sports School of CSKA where he began his goalkeeping career and won the Russian Junior Championship in 2002 with the CSKA Moscow team.
Akinfeev would make his debut for CSKA Moscow at sixteen, precisely 2001 where he saved a penalty and also had a clean sheet. He has played over five hundred matches for CSKA Moscow, winning six Russian Cup titles, six Russian Premier League titles as well as the 2005 UEFA Cup with the club.
His incredible rise to stardom is down to his personality and ingenuity as a goalkeeper. He’s arguably the best goalkeeper the Russian nation has ever produced and has been on several international tournaments for the country since he joined the national team.
It may sound bizarre but Akinfeev has spent thirty years at the Red-blues. That is a huge commitment mixed with loyalty.
READ ALSO: 7 of the Best Fitness Coaches In Football
- Ismed Sofyan (Defender) – Persita Jakarta (18 Years)
Talking about the most loyal player, Sofyan’s loyalty isn’t about his club alone, it’s for his country and his country’s elite league, The Indonesian Super League – Not that he’s an amateur.
Yes, he may have played for a couple of club sides in the Indonesian league, but his love and unwavering support for his country is immeasurable.
Sofyan currently plays for Persita Jakarta, a club he joined in 2002 that has made him become the longest-serving player in the club until now. The 41year-old right full-back is a free-kick specialist. He was only privileged to play for the Indonesian National Team for just 53 times.
- Dean Lewington (Defender) – Milton Keynes Dons FC (18 Years)
As of July 2020, Lewinton is the longest-serving player for a single club in English League having spent sixteen years with The Dons.
The English left-back joined MK Dons after a successful spell with Wimbledon in 2004. Lewington, 32, has made over seven hundred appearances with more than 250 different team-mates.
He’s witnessed two promotions and relegations as the club’s captain for the years he’s been at MK Dons and he’s grateful for the sort of longevity he’s had.
He told daily mail in 2016 ‘It’s not like the Premier League where you get five-year deals. It is one or two years. When we won promotion to the Championship in 2015, I was out of contract on the final day as we were celebrating.’
- Koji Homa (Goalkeeper) – Mito HollyHock (21 Years)
Undoubtedly a popular figure in the Japanese league, the 43-year-old goalkeeper currently plays for the above-named club in the second tier of the Japanese League, J2.
After graduating from high school, he joined the J1 League side Urawa Reds in 1996 but couldn’t play more often before crossing to Mito HollyHock in 1999 and never looked back.
He’s helped Mito HollyHock achieve some amazing feats since he joined in 1999 with the biggest of them being the promotion of the club to J2 in 2000.
In his twenty-one-year sojourn with the club, Koji Homma holds the record for the player with the highest number of matches played in J2.
- Lee Casciaro (Forward) – Lincoln Red Imps (22 Years)
The 38-year-old Gibraltar striker scored the only goal of the game when his Gibraltarian minnows club (Lincoln Red Imps) shocked Celtic and to a larger extent, the rest of Europe in their Champions League qualifier at the Victoria Stadium in 2016,
Cascario, 39, has been at the club since he was eight years old and has spent twenty-three years as a first-team member.
It should be agreed that Lincoln Red Imps was made for Cascario, given that two of his younger brothers have played for the club as well.
With three international goals, Lee Henry Cascario is currently Gibraltar’s all-time goalscorer since the 33,684 populated nation joined UEFA.
- Iker Muniain (Athletic Bilbao): 11 years, 8 months, 3 days
- Tarantini (Rio Ave): 12 years, 2 months, 4 days
- Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich): 12 years, 2 months, 4 days
- Stefan Radu (Lazio): 12 years, 2 months, 4 days
- Vincent Manceau (Angers SCO): 12 years, 2 months, 4 days
- Anthony Lopes (Lyon): 12 years, 2 months, 4 days
- Koke (Atletico Madrid): 12 years, 2 months, 4 days
- Roberto Torres (Osasuna): 12 years, 2 months, 4 days
- Gerard Pique (Barcelona): 12 years, 2 months, 4 days
- Alan Dzagoev (CSKA Moscow): 12 years, 8 months, 3 days
- Mario Gaspar Perez (Villarreal): 12 years, 8 months, 3 days
- Guilherme (Lokomotiv Moscow): 13 years, 1 month, 3 days
- Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur): 13 years, 1 month, 10 days
- Volodymyr Chesnakov (Vorskla Poltava): 13 years, 2 months, 3 days
- Mahmut Tekdemir (Istanbul Basaksehir): 13 years, 2 months, 3 days
- Marcel Schmelzer (Borussia Dortmund): 13 years, 2 months, 3 days
- Sergio Busquets (Barcelona): 13 years, 2 months, 3 days
- Andriy Pyatov (Shakhtar Donetsk): 13 years, 8 months, 3 days
- Anton Shunin (Dynamo Moscow): 13 years, 8 months, 3 days
- Marcelo (Real Madrid): 13 years, 8 months, 3 days
- Sammy Bossut (Zulte Waregem): 14 years, 2 months, 4 days
- Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid): 15 years, 4 days
- Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus): 15 years, 2 months, 4 days
- Francesco Magnanelli (Sassuolo): 15 years, 2 months, 4 days
- Jessy Moulin (Saint-Etienne): 15 years, 2 months, 4 days
- Oier (Osasuna): 15 years, 2 months, 4 days
- Sergio Alvarez (Celta de Vigo): 16 years, 2 months, 4 days
- Mark Noble (West Ham United): 16 years, 8 months, 3 days
- Lionel Messi: (Barcelona): 16 years, 8 months, 3 days
- Denis Sinyayev(FC Avangard Kursk)18 years
- Ismaeil Matar (Al-Wahda): 19 years
- Petr Literak(Frýdek-Místek): 22 years
Erling Haaland: The Story Behind His Striking Rise
Erling Haaland was always going to become the ultimate striker and probably the best number 9 on the planet. Also, there’s every possibility that one day, he may become a Ballon D’or winner. But, there’s still one mystery, how did he become the cyborg that he is today?
Haaland continues to be a goal machine, becoming the quickest player in history to reach 20 Champions League goals. His goal from the spot in the UCL round-16 second leg tie against Sevilla was his 20th goal in just 14 appearances in the competition, which broke Harry Kane’s previous record of 24 games.
“Of course he’s fast, powerful, good around the goal and he’s got real soccer sense. But it’s more of his energy, it’s his infectious personality that I think is like a magnet; it draws people to him, it makes people want to be around him.” Those are the words of Red Bull Salzburg manager, Jesse Marsch.
Grab a handful of popcorn and sit back as we unfold the story behind the rise of this Norwegian beast, goal machine, and keeper’s nightmare, Erling Braut Haaland.
Haaland’s Salzburg Breakthrough
As at when Jesse Marsch was appointed as Salzburg manager, Haaland had been at the club for about six months and had only played one game. And then he went to the U-20 World Cup where he scored nine goals in one game.
From his Salzburg debut, Haaland, who had already impressed at the Norwegian league with Bryne and Molde left observers with no doubt about the quality he possesses.
He would become one of the best strikers on the planet because the talent in him was very obvious. In a chat with oh-my-goal, Jesse Marsch revealed that Haaland’s personality was the first thing he fell in love with about Haaland.
“The first couple of days I worked with him, what impressed me more than anything else was his personality on the pitch. He was just relentless! He worked harder than anyone.”
But beyond his raw talent in Salzburg, Erling Haaland left his mark on the locker room with his personality. He had a smile on his face and got along incredibly well with his teammates. Therefore, it wasn’t just his talent, it was his overall energy.
Erling in person had a really positive influence on his teammates. Erling the player, was a selfish assassin who scored 29 goals in 27 appearances for the Austrian club.
Meanwhile, he also always talked about making his teammates happy. “The best memory I Had of him was when we were getting penalties in just about every game, and he was giving them to all the other attacking players.“
“And then, after a player missed a penalty, I said Ok, Erling has to take the penalties and I told him he would be taking the penalties”
“It’s incredible to have such a talented player who loves to score goals, be the one that is giving the penalty responsibilities to the others because he wants them to feel the power of success, the power of scoring goals, and the power of confidence. That says a lot to me about the character of Erling.” Marsch revealed.
At 19, when most people think about personal glory, Haaland was already a perfect teammate and a future leader which was unprecedented for a player as good as he was and in his age range.
Without a doubt, Haaland’s personality was great enthusiastic and it did really have a big effect on a lot of people at Salzburg.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s Influence
Erling Haaland may owe his incredible rise to his immense talent and his positive leadership qualities. But that’s not all, Cristiano Ronaldo also played a huge role in Haaland’s evolution.
People often say that Erling Haaland is the next Cristiano Ronaldo but is the CR7 comparison justified?
Certainly, Erling is more of a pure striker than Cristiano but from a power football perspective, his ability in the transition to affect games like the Portuguese ace makes the comparison justifiable.
Haaland himself admitted that Cristiano Ronaldo was his role model but if like Cristiano, Erling broke all the goalscoring records, it’s not really the part of football that CR7 has influenced.
Haaland is following in Cristiano Ronaldo’s footsteps in terms of leadership and he even is now a role model to many players just like Ronaldo was to him.
Cristiano Ronaldo has had positive effects on his teammates and in every team, he’s played in which really helped him overtime right from his days at Manchester United and Real Madrid. But for Erling, one could really see that right from his young age that it’s a natural quality he has.
It will be up to Haaland to continue to modify that aspect of himself and mold that in a way that he can become a really strong leader within his teams as he continues to grow older.
Above all, Haaland took inspiration from Cristiano Ronaldo in one essential area, work ethic. Like CR7, he’s always hungry to improve. “He really worked hard a lot. After training, he would stick around to finish, to hit some crosses, to work on his heading.” – Jesse Marsch, RB Salzburg Coach.
Like CR7, Erling Haaland thinks every little detail counts. He would wear special glasses because he felt like when you look at your computer all day long or your cell phone, that your eyes would start to fade and so he had that special glasses he always wears.
And while he has his own personality, Erling is directly inspired by Cristiano Ronaldo especially when it comes to nutrition and work ethic by picking the most hardworking professional football player in history as his role model.
Perfect With BVB
Borussia Dortmund activated his €20 million (£17m/$22m) release clause, beating United and Leipzig to his signature after all three clubs held meetings with the player, his father, and agent Mino Raiola.
Borussia Dortmund already had forward Paco Alcacer on the books, but saw Haaland as such a generational talent, that they were willing to offload the Spain international to give the Norwegian teen an even better chance of success.
CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke says that they had been looking for someone with Haaland’s particular skill set for a long time and could not pass up the opportunity to sign him.
“We always wanted to have a center-forward who has a different way of playing football,” Watzke told Goal and DAZN. “But this guy also had to come onto the market first.
There are not many who are 1.94 meters (6 ft 4 in) tall and that fast. Actually, nobody else comes to mind. It was just an opportunity that you don’t get very often. – Goal.com
Dortmund offered the striker the best chance of regular game time as they promised to make him their first-choice striker, something Alf-Inge Haaland admits is crucial to his development.
Haaland’s Dortmund story got off to the perfect start with the most incredible debut against Augsburg. Trailing 3-1, Lucien Favre sent on the teenager from the bench and was rewarded with a 22-minute hat-trick to help secure a 5-3 win.
Having revealed all the secrets that make Haaland an outstanding striker, in all honesty, the Norwegian striker has no limit because he keeps getting better at Dortmund.
He was incredible at Salzburg. “We were obviously so sad to lose him so quickly because we had a lot of fun and success with him, but we’re also very proud of him and we’re really excited to see him continue to push himself and move forward and show everybody in the world how good he is.”
And today, he’s showing just how good he is in Germany. He used to only be seen as a superpowered and superfast goalscorer. But at Dortmund? He’s also shown his technical advances and his in-game intelligence and influence.
He’s more and more capable of keeping the ball, playing in different positions, taking part in the game, in short, he’s become the ultimate striker.
Giving his unique skill-set and amazing personality, he will definitely sign for a bigger club in years to come. Yes, he may experience some difficulties, but his quality will help him manage whatever challenge that comes his way and in-turn become the best number 9 of not only his generation but in football history.