Cristiano Ronaldo loves bingo, David Beckham likes fencing, Joe Allen saves chickens and other footballers' hobbies

FOOTBALL may be these athletes' lives, but even the dedicated pros like to switch off and do something completely different.

And there's a list of bizarre hobbies these stars past and present love to do to unwind, from playing bingo to saving chickens or going mushroom hunting.

So, forget FIFA or a round of golf, like most spend their hours playing.

SunSport rounds up the most bizarre hobbies we've seen footballers admit doing.

We lead with a GOAT contender…


In his downtime, it's true the Juventus legend spends most of his time sculpting his chiselled physique.

But, when he was an up-and-coming talent at Manchester United he developed a love of bingo.

He claimed it helped him learn English, although we're still struggling to imagine him sat at a table in a Mecca Bingo in Sale.

“Playing bingo can be very exciting,” Ronaldo said in a 2008 interview.

"It can be very exciting because you can be there waiting for a long time for just the one number to make the game complete.

"Then you see one of your friends you are playing against get his lucky number before you."


En garde!

When Inter Miami owner Beckham hung about with Tom Cruise in Hollywood, they'd often fence together.

It was mutual friend actor Will Smith who made that reveal.

“This is his (Cruise’s) way of getting together and bonding,” Smith said.

“David and I go to his home and just do fencing.”


The Stoke and Wales international appeared on the front cover of Chicken & Egg magazine, happy to talk about his favourite pastime.

Allen and his wife save hens.

And he once revealed he owned chickens called Bruce, Rodney, Meg, Leg, Silkie Steve, Kate, Silkie Steve Junior, Giblets, Snowy, Nugget, Kiev, Dora, Holly, Shimmer, Shine and Chickaletta.

That's not to be confused with the Stoke line-up tonight against Wolves.


The Barcelona icon is mad about mushrooms. And not them ones, before you get smart.

He's got an obsession with mycology – better known as mushroom hunting, which is a first.

Pals Gerard Pique and his glam missus Shakira have reportedly joined Xavi on a trek for some rare shrooms.

“Someone who picks mushrooms can’t be a bad bloke,” his former boss Pep Guardiola once said.


Watch out, they'll bite your hands off!

Former Leicester City star Oakley's strange and frankly dangerous hobby involved collecting South American red-bellied piranha.

"I wanted something unusual," he said.

“They certainly make feeding time interesting.”


Spot of arrows, anyone?

Should you ask Real Madrid star Toni Kroos that question, he'll likely snatch them off you and go straight for a treble 20.

The midfielder loves darts and is also a big fan of Phil 'The Power' Taylor.

In fact, he once tweeted: "This career is unrepeatable. Darts means @PhilTaylor!"


The former Arsenal and Fulham defender sounds like he's destined for The Great British Bake Off.

And Volz, who now works as an assistant coach at RB Leipzig, enjoyed baking for his team-mates, often catering for the type of cake for the fixture ahead.

“When we played the big clubs like Arsenal or Manchester United, I made a biscuit-based cake with bananas and a dusting of green tea," he once revealed.

“If we were playing against more rugged teams like Blackburn Rovers, I would made something a lot heavier, like carrot cake with nuts.”


When your hobby is a kids' game and you hold a world record in it, is that a cause for concern?

Not if you're Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe, who is a whizz at Hungry Hippos.

“We have had a great day adjudicating a range of record attempts with the Manchester United football team as part of their collaboration with Guinness World Records,” said adjudicator Adam Brown.

“Axel Tuanzebe, was the bigger winner of the day and bagged himself the record for fastest time to clear a game of Hungry Hippos in a time of 17.36 seconds, beating competition from his fellow team-mates.”


It was inevitable that Cech would pick a hobby that was the polar opposite of the calm, mild demeanour that the Chelsea legend exudes.

But a quick click on YouTube and you'll find clips of the ex-Arsenal keeper drumming along to rock anthems from the Foo Fighters and Nirvana.

They say goalies are mad.

But any band will tell you that drummers are crazier.


Believe it or not, before the former Arsenal star thought about a career in football he had ambitions to be a fashion designer.

Arshavin studied design at the university in Saint Petersburg, after switching from chemical technology because he complained there weren't enough women on his course.

His thesis, quite brilliantly, was a suit that could be worn for both business and playing sport.

Today, he has a successful women's fashion line in Russia.


The legendary Argentinian striker was a legend for various clubs and country.

In 2005, after a stellar career, he hung up his boots.

But he wasn't done just yet. He took up polo and became a winner in that -lifting the 2009 Copa Stella Artois with the Tom Tailor team.

“I went down like I used to throw myself about in the Roma area,” he joked about a fall he suffered during the event.

Sadly his ankles, shot to pieces after years of scything tackles by Serie A defenders, couldn't handle it and he had to quit polo soon after.

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