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7 professional footballers who really don’t like football

Sylvain Distin can't name a single Watford player

For most of us, a career as a professional footballer would be a dream come true.

Such is fate’s cruel judgement, some of those blessed with the ability to earn millions playing the world’s most popular sport don’t actually like it that much.

1 Carlos Tevez


Getty Images - Getty

The Boca Juniors forward plays with such tenacity we always just assumed he was obsessed with football.

However, in a recent interview with Argentine newspaper Clarin, Tevez revealed that he’s not fussed at all.

“I do not like football,” he said. “If you play Barcelona v Real Madrid and there’s a golf tournament on another channel, I’ll watch golf.”

Golf, Carlos? Golf?

For similar results see Gareth Bale.

Real Madrid’s No11 has freely admitted he prefers watching golf to football and has a custom-made three-hole course in his back garden.

2 Sylvain Distin


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Known most for his spells with Man City and Everton, the towering centre-back didn’t care one iota about the football world going on around him.

After claiming that he knew almost nothing about the beautiful game, The Sun put his knowledge to the test with a quiz…

“What is the name of Stoke’s stadium?” – “Don’t know.”

“How many titles has Jose Mourinho won?” – “5?” (he’s won three Prem titles and eight in total)

“Name a Watford player.” – “I don’t know one.”

You get the gist.

3 David Batty


News Group Newspapers Ltd

Batty was the only member of Blackburn’s title-winning crop of 1994/95 not to turn up for the reunion in 2015.

Since retiring, the combative midfielder has virtually vanished — he doesn’t attend games, doesn’t appear as a pundit or a guest.

His assessment of international football is wonderfully underwhelming: “When you make your debut for England, at the very beginning, it’s the pinnacle of your career… and then it just becomes normal.

“Yeah, you play in the World Cup, but it’s still just another game in a different country.”

4 Benoit Assou-Ekotto

That hair…

Times Newspapers Ltd
That hair…

The Cameroonian left-back is one of very few players who has openly admitted that he only plays football for the money.

He told the Guardian in 2010: “I come to England, where I knew nobody and I didn’t speak English.

“Why did I come here? For a job.”

Assou-Ekotto was so not bothered about the glitz and glamour of top-level football he once bought a pair of boots off eBay for £23.

5 Christian Vieri


AP:Associated Press

On the eve of the 1998 World Cup quarter-final, a French journalist asked Vieri who his childhood hero was.

Rather than naming Paolo Rossi or some other notable Italian forward of the past, the hulking target man replied ‘Allan Border’.

Raised in Sydney, Vieri loved cricket as a youth and would have preferred life as an opening batsman.

“I would have loved to have been a cricketer,” he said in 2003. “I would stop playing now to play cricket if I could get the same contract.”

6 David Bentley

The Chosen One

Times Newspapers Ltd
The Chosen One

The man once dubbed ‘the next David Beckham’ loved football as a kid.

But the relationship soured when his passion became his 9-5.

He told the Mirror: “I remember walking my dog, thinking ‘This ain’t for me’

” I just got tired of all the bull***t that goes with it, people wanting you to sell yourself as something you’re not.”

Bentley retired from football in 2014 at the age of 29.

7 Bobby Zamora

Take the L…

Take the L…

“I’m not a massive football fan, really.”

Back in 2012, the Brighton legend revealed that many players were indifferent to football outside of ‘work’.

“I don’t watch games on an evening or anything like that.

“Quite a lot more players than (those that admit it) are the same.

“”I’m not sure what I want to do after I finish playing but if it means watching football then I don’t want to get involved.”

It’s difficult for us to comprehend but that’s just the way it is sometimes.