Whether it is the fact that footballers in today’s game are given a lot of money from a very young age, or that they are often given privileges over other children due to their superior footballing skills, today’s professionals can be quite childish.
Most players mature eventually, thanks to either their manager or family, but for whatever reason, a select few still behave like infants on and off the pitch. It can sometimes be funny to watch, whilst it can also be downright embarrassing.
With that in mind, here are a few players who never grew up…
Antonio Cassano is one of the most petulant, immature players in football. He had retired from the game, before spectacularly un-retiring just hours later as he wanted to have ‘fun’ with Verona.
The Italian also once cried in a game against Sampdoria after receiving a yellow card, before sinking to his knees and throwing a toddler-like tantrum on the pitch.
Grow up, Antonio…
Whether he’s ‘having a party’, winding up opposition fans or drinking his pre match Red Bull, there’s something brilliantly juvenile about Jamie Vardy.
He plays the game like a jumped up, energetic child, and even at the age of 31, he still enjoys acting like a teenage college student who just happens to play Premier League football week in week out.
His love for ‘banter’ and joking around make him of the most likeable, but also childish, footballers around.
Similar to Vardy, Carlos Tevez plays the game like a child on a sugar rush, but even then, he has his juvenile attributes.
A prime example of this would be when, back in 2011, the Argentine refused to come off the bench for Manchester City, resulting in him being shunned by Roberto Mancini.
Tevez then went to play golf back in his hometown for six months, before returning to Manchester to pick up a Premier League winners medal. Seems like the petulant child got it all his own way in the end…
The mercurial Frenchman has his number shaved into the side of his head. He is 35 years of age. That should be all the justification you need as to why Franck Ribery is yet to grow up.
Bayern Munich’s number seven is also notorious for his childish pranks, and has been known to frequently pour beer over his teammates at the usual end of season title celebrations.
Ribery also childishly claimed that he was ‘robbed’ after losing the Ballon d’Or to Cristiano Ronaldo a few years ago, despite performing nowhere near to the level of the Portuguese forward.
Do I even need to type anything?
Whether the Italian is setting off fireworks in his bathroom, joking around with the youth players at Manchester City, flaunting his fast cars and money or having training ground bust ups, nothing surprises you with Balotelli.
He has done well to stay out of the headlines in recent years, but you always feel its just a matter of time before he does something crazy.
Every player in the 90’s has an anecdote to tell about Paul Gascoigne. From flying tackles to fishing rods, from heavy drinking sessions to practical jokes, there was true off-pitch madness amid all the on-pitch greatness.
There is not an English footballer since Gazza who has possessed that childlike fearlessness and overpowering desire to dribble with the ball and take the game on.
To many fans, he was so, so much more than just a footballer. He was a brilliant, troubled-genius who showed a real zest for life, perhaps a little too much later on.
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