Not a current day player, but a story worth recounting neverthless.
Gerson, the generalissimo of Brazil's 1970 World Cup winning team, was a chain smoker, a three packets a day man.
When he played in Mexico, at the end of each half, he would have a member of the coaching staff waiting on the touchline with a lit cigarette.
I asked him about this when I met him researching my book on that team. He told me the coaching staff asked him to cut down for the tournament but that he, and the goalkeeper Felix, failed miserably.
It didn't seem to do him too much harm, however. He scored the crucial second Brazilian goal in the 1970 World Cup Final and, after the tournament, landed a lucrative contract advertising his favourite brand, Vila Ricas. He then successfully quit smoking.
November 03, 2011, 10:58 am
Here are some images of famous footballers smoking. Incredibly the first one shows Jackie Charlton smoking a cigarette during training! Those where the days!
Gianluigi Buffon, regarded as one of the greatest goal keepers in football history, puffs away on a cigarette whilst at the beach. I promise, if you look hard enough you will see Buffon smoking a cigarette.
Manchester United striker's Waybe Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov and Frederico Macheda all enjoying a cigarette whilst out and about.
Mario Balotelli, with a hot blond, in a nightclub, smoking a cigarette. Living the life.
World Cup winners Zinedine Zidane and Fabien Barthez both enjoying cigarette whilst representing their country.
Last but certainly not least, Chelsea star Ashley Cole smoking whilst on holiday in the USA. There is no escaping the paparazzi.
November 03, 2011, 09:33 am
Tugay's smoking habits were a source of great irritation to Robbie Savage. The pair used to drive to training together when they were at Blackburn and Savage joked in his autobiography that Tugay would have about five cigarettes in his mouth at the same time.
Wayne Rooney has been caught on camera having a sneaky fag, something which Alex Ferguson will frown upon, no doubt. Equally David James used to be a secret smoker a few years ago and may well still be.
Most of the French/Spanish based players who grow up in a smoking culture like a cigarette but they just have to be a little more circumspect when cameras are about. Roberto di Matteo, admittedly an ex-player, is a big smoker and when he was manager of West Brom, he would struggle to find somewhere that was not a non-smoking part of The Hawthorns. He usually succeeded.
Another ex-player, now a manager, who smokes is Martin Jol. Earlier this season there were suggestions that he had accidentally set off the fire alarm at - ironically - West Brom by lighting up before the game but this was vehemently denied by Fulham.
I won't give his identity away but several years ago a few journalists and a few players were in a karaoke bar for a leaving party and one player stood up to sing with cigarette in one hand and pint in the other. He put down his pint to pick up the microphone but the fag stayed glued to his fingers!
November 03, 2011, 09:17 am
The last football player I heard of to have a big smoking habit was Blackburn Rovers and Turkey midfielder Tugay. In an interview with BBC radio Lancashire former Blackburn team mates Matt Jansen and Garry Flitcroft told of how Tugay would disappear in the toilet cubicals before games for a smoke and how he would often be seen with a huge cuban cigar around the training ground.
November 03, 2011, 05:13 am
Kevin de Ávila
Since some retired footballers are being
mentioned on this topic, then I will do the same. Before I do, here is a photo
of former Brazilian and current Anzhi Makhachkala left back Roberto Carlos
smoking outside at a nightclub.
Here is one of Ronaldo doing the same at the same nightclub:
Rui Costa, who is now Benfica’s current
sporting director, smokes and has always smoked throughout his football career.
In fact, he even admitted it during an interview with Expresso.
Rui Costa: “Today, I can tell you: Always
smoked. Never said I did, so I presume, especially to not give a bad example to the
young lads and future players. I know that it is not good for an athlete. It is a
bad habit and I have decided, very soon, to stop.”
However, he has not stopped and has been
smoking a lot more after retiring. The cameras sometimes catch him smoking during
friendly match against Sweden
in April of 2004, he was spotted smoking outside at an area where he would not
be seen smoking, but was accidently caught by a fan and also by the Portuguese
paparazzi. Rui Costa was kind enough to sign an autograph to the fan who had accidently caught, even
after the fan’s ink pen burst.
Also, Portugal’s current head coach Paulo
Bento is said to smoke 11 cigarettes a day and that he and Rui Costa, along
with Damas, Paulo Futre, João Pinto, Paulo Sousa, Barthez, and Vialli, would
smoke not only during practice, but also during halftime! João
Pinto admitted this during an interview at a now defunct late night talk
show Lado B.
He begins admitting this at 2:20 until 3:02. If any of you want me to translate João
Pinto admitting this, then I will be glad to translate it.
November 03, 2011, 12:26 pm