Being a professional football must be stressful at times. The expectation of thousands weighing down on your shoulders, the intense fitness demands; it must be difficult. However, footballers do have coping mechanisms behind the scenes to help them deal with those pressures, pranks being one of the main ones.
A fair few high profile players have become notorious for playing pranks on their teammates or coaching staff, sometimes even on reporters and members of the media.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the biggest pranksters in the game…
The Chelsea and Brazil star has become well known for his consistency in pranking his teammates and others. Whilst at Benfica together, the frizzy haired felon tricked Angel Di Maria into thinking he was being arrested by local police, so much so that the Argentine kicked out at an actor who Luiz had sent to taunt him following his ‘arrest’.
Luiz has also been caught on camera rugby tackling a TV presenter at the Blues’ training ground; he truly knows no limits when it comes to winding people up.
The former Arsenal man has become a well known figure off the pitch for his antics on Twitter, where his mocking of the Gunners’ rivals Tottenham saw him become a hero at the Emirates.
Away from the keyboard, the German is also guilty of pulling down the shorts of his coaching staff and throwing journalists into swimming pools. Hardly the most inventive of pranks, but whatever keeps the forward happy…
“He’ll go with a knife and kill your tyre. He takes it as a joke, so, you know!”
The above is a quote from Cesc Fabregas, when quizzed on who the biggest pranksters he’s ever played with were. The Chelsea midfielder targeted Gerard Pique as the main culprit, and also went on to tell of another antic which had the Barcelona defender’s name written all over it.
“My first away trip, it was the European Super Cup against Porto, we went for lunch.
“Afterwards I had to do a little interview for my first game, and they took my room keys, went up and destroyed my whole room. I went to have a nap before the game, I went there, there was water, the TV on the floor, the mattress nearly on the balcony, the toilet destroyed, yeah, it was quite funny.”
Was this you Gerard…?
When you’re Cristiano Ronaldo, you can do what you want. In this case, if he wants to wrap your car in tinfoil – even the wheels individually – then you better let him (yes, this did really happen, just ask Ricardo Quaresma).
Ronaldo has also dressed up as an old, scruffy looking man in the past who appears to have no footballing ability, before taking to the streets to perform freestyle skills in front of confused pedestrians.
Whether hes tricking the PSG physios into running onto the pitch to treat a perfectly fine Ezequiel Lavezzi, before bursting into laughter upon their return to the bench, or balancing football boots on top of his coaches’ head, you can count on Zlatan to entertain you.
Ibrahimovic has always come across as a bit of a joker. And judging by his former teammates’ and coaches’ stories about him, he seems to entertain just as much off the pitch as he does on it.
An extremely well known figure for causing mischief in the game, Mario Balotelli is one to keep an eye on whenever he’s near. He has been guilty of turning up to Inter training early as a youngster to, erm, urinate in his teammates boots, with even the senior figures of Maicon and Julio Cesar being on the end of such treatment.
He also threw darts at the youth players whilst at Manchester City… is that even a prank?
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