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15 best footballers who smoke: A list of footballers who take the occasional puff
Drug addiction is one of the most expensive lifestyles in the modern era. Athletes do not find this a problem as much as one can term them as lousy health habits that greatly extend your expenditure. Yet, they perform surprisingly well on the pitch, while some are at the top of their leagues. Here is a list of the 15 best footballers who take the occasional puff.
The impacts of smoking on an athlete include reduced endurance, low performance, and risk of injuries. But, while many have tried coming out of the addiction, others seem to be enjoying the moment and not worried about the immediate downsides or the long-term consequences. So, is your favourite player on the list?
List of footballers who smoke (current and retired)
Here is a list of the best footballers, both current and retired, who smoke the occasional puff. The habit has overcome others while some have safely recovered.
15. Frank Lampard
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He was regarded as one of his generation's best midfielders. Frank Lampard had a successful career in the Chelsea football club and is now (2022) manager of the Premier League team Everton. He is often seen smoking cigarettes and seems to be comfortable with them. One of the most recent occasions is when he was seen smoking a cigar after Chelsea won the 2021 Champions League.
14. David Ginola
After a successful career in the 90s, David Ginola escalated his smoking. He battled severe illnesses but later, in 2017, suffered a deadly heart attack while playing in a charity match. He was forced to undergo a quadruple heart bypass to save his life and was asked to cut out the tabs.
13. Ashley Cole
Throughout his career in Arsenal, Chelsea, and LA Galaxy, Ashley Cole was snapped severally smoking. He, however, preferred to do it in the summer breaks, which did not stop him from becoming one of the best left-backs in the league.
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12. Wesley Sneijder
Besides being popularly known as a cigarette smoker, the Dutch midfielder was among the most sought players in 2010. In an interview, he explained how he thinks during his time at Inter Milan, Jose Mourinho's decision to allow them to drink, smoke and have fun had a massive role in earning their first ever treble season years ago.
11. Marco Veratti
Marco Veratti is frequently seen smoking, and his off-the-pitch habits have often been criticized. He went to the headlines in August 2022 when a video of him when was caught smoking by a fan as he arrived at the training centre. The fan told him to hide his cigarette next time he rolled his window down. However, the Italian midfielder gave a slight smirk as he drove off.
10. Zinedine Zidane
He is a french football manager who recently coached Spanish club Real Madrid and is considered one of the most successful coaches in the world. The Ballon d'Or winner also played for Real Madrid as an attacking midfielder, and this is where his love for cigarettes came to light. However, the smoking habit never stopped him from becoming the best player in the world at one point.
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9. Dimitar Berbatov
Former Tottenham and Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov is a one-paced Bulgarian who has been seen smoking cigarettes or cigars numerous times. He posted a picture with a cigarette in his mouth, but when asked about his addiction, he said that the image was not telling the whole story. He said:
"I pretended to smoke because I looked cool holding a cigarette, but that is it, so I do not know why people think I smoke just from one picture."
8. Jack Wilshere
The original Arsenal defender has been caught smoking severally. Once, a photo of him smoking while urinating in the street went viral. He was once slammed by Aren Wenger, his then manager, on his smoking habits. It was interfering with his ability on the field, and the coach was not having any of it. Wenger said,
" I disagree completely with that behavior. I need to have a chat with him about that. You do not do what damages your health as a footballer. You damage your reputation when you do that in public. I do not know what happened, so I can not talk about any punishment."
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7. Jurgen Klopp
Apart from being a good manager, Jurgen Klopp has a bad smoking habit. While he was at Borussia Dortmund, the team physiotherapist Frank Zollner admitted that the now Liverpool coach could go 'pretty crazy sometimes, but he always had the courage to apologize to people if he went too far.
6. Wojciech Szczesny
The Arsenal defender has had a smoking addiction that several times went too far. In 2015, he was caught smoking in the showers of the dressing room after a 2-0 defeat by Southampton. The incident gained alot of media attention since the coach heard about the unheard-off behaviour and fined the goalkeeper $20,000.
5. Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger has smoked on multiple occasions in the early stages of his coaching career. However, he had to stop since he used it to cure stress. However, after an incident involving fining one of his players for smoking in the dressing room, he took it in an interview.
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He said, "I am against smoking, but I have grown up in a period where I had to accomplish military service, and at the end of the month we got paid by cigarettes, so it incited us to smoke. 'After, of course, slowly it became banned and it does not exist anymore, but when I was a boy I grew up surrounded by smokers."
4. Carlo Ancelotti
After Rea Madrid won the 2021-22 La Liga title, photos of the celebration went viral, but one caught fans' attention. Their manager, Carlo Ancelotti, was holding a massive cigar in one of the photos. However, before any fawning from fans escalated, he confirmed that he did not smoke and was holding the cigar for the picture.
However, he admitted smoking a while back in his career but had to quit. He said he now enjoys chewing gum excessively until the match is over because it helps him.
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3. Mario Balotelli
Coming off his last team with an ugly reputation for drug usage, AC Milan banned the athlete from smoking and having extravagant haircuts. Sources state that his smoking significantly impacted his unsuccessful stint in different teams, especially Liverpool.
2. Gianluigi Buffon
Gianluigi Buffon is one of the greatest footballers of all time. He has been spotted severally enjoying a blunt, especially after a victory in his games. However, the Juventus stopper does not seem to be carried away and is still going strong at 42 years as of 2022.
Are professional footballers allowed to smoke?
Cigars are harmful to our bodies and may cause deadly diseases that lead to death. The usage of cigarettes is frowned upon but not prohibited by professional footballers. However, they are not permitted to smoke in stadiums and are asked to maintain their lifestyle away.
1. Wayne Rooney
While still in his 20s at Manchester United, Wayne Rooney smoked but put some discipline on the habit. He used to smoke on nights out and holidays as his primary goal was to be the best he could be on the pitch. As a result, he was one of the best strikers of his time and is a Manchester United Hall of Famer.
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Messi is arguably the best footballer on earth as of 2022. However, with his great skill in creative endeavours, he was a smoker in the early stages of his career. In as much as there are only a few photos of him smoking, the athlete admitted to the habit but had to quit. Would it have stopped him from being the GOAT?
Premier League footballers who smoke
The Premier League allows players to smoke, but not in its stadiums. However, there have been different incidents of some players and managers sneaking in some. In the case of such misconduct, the victim is fined, banned from the stadiums for a couple of games, and gets loads of witty newspaper headlines tainting his image.
Some of the best all-time Premier League footballers who smoke include Wayne Rooney, Jack Wilshere, Wojciech Szczesny, Osvaldo Ardilles, and David James.
English footballers who smoke
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English footballers are some of the most successful athletes in the world. They celebrate their achievements by having fun, smoking, and drinking while partying. Some of the most known players who smoke include Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney, Ashley Cole, Raheem Sterling and Kieran Trippier, currently playing for Newcastle United.
Does smoking affect an athlete?
Smoking does affect an athlete. It reduces his oxygen levels, making him gas out quickly, hence becoming less athletic and efficient. It also risks the player's health as it may cause cancer and other severe illnesses.
African footballers who smoke
While drug addiction is frowned upon in African communities, this doesn't seem to be an issue for African footballers. When a chance arises, they blow their noses out with cigars and seem unbothered. While some like Asamoah Gyan neither smoke nor drink, quite a number do.
While most people might think footballers maintain a healthy, drug-free lifestyle like Cristiano Ronaldo's, this is not the case. Athletes are often seen smoking cigarettes and other kinds of dope to have fun. However, the best footballers who smoke have impressive careers, and some still are on the journey to be among the best.
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