Five famous footballers who are also successful poker players

Dean Smith 07 Jul 2020
Brazilian superstar Neymar at the poker table (PA Images)

Several footballers have looked to transfer their abilities on the pitch to the poker table in recent years. We take a look at some of the most famous poker-playing footballers.

Although it’s fair to say the game of football is more physical than poker, there are many mental attributes required to make it at the top level of the game that can make for a great poker player.

Not only do you have to be able to handle the pressure, you have to make key decisions at a moments’ notice and mind games always come into play as players look to take the winnings!

It’s also been a way of passing time on long coach journeys for teams of the past, so those with a penchant for beating their former team-mates have naturally drifted towards more lucrative games.

Some of football’s biggest faces have unsurprisingly enjoyed a night or two at the table, including a certain five-time Ballon D’Or winner…

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Here are five famous football stars who are also renowned for their Poker skills…

Cristiano Ronaldo

There are few bigger names in the history of football than Cristiano Ronaldo and though he is never likely to replicate his success on the football pitch as he is at the poker table, the Portuguese superstar is a dab hand by all accounts.

Having spent plenty of his time off the field playing in and promoting events for PokerStars since joining the platform in 2015, the Juventus man has competed against professional poker players and even beat Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul, himself a strong player, back in 2016.

Ronaldo claims to have learnt about the game by playing with friends during downtime at home and now he gets to promote one of his side passions as well as competing when away from the glare of the Champions League and Serie A.

Teddy Sheringham

Perhaps the most renowned former player currently doing the business on the poker table is former Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur favourite Teddy Sheringham.

Known for his clinical, incisive finishing during his playing days, the ex-striker now brings that same ruthlessness to the poker table where he is reported to have cashed out for earnings of over $300,000 over his career.

The Londoner once dropped former West Ham team-mate James Collins in it though by claiming him to be the worst poker player he had ever seen!

“”The worst poker player I’ve ever seen” he told Pokerstars. “Whenever he’s got a hand he’d have a big grin across his face and couldn’t wait to get his money in.”

Gerard Pique

The most profitable player on this list from poker earnings has to be World Cup winning defender Gerard Pique, who has amassed no less than $668,000 so far, more than half of which came through his second placed finish at EPT Barcelona back in 2018.

Gerard Pique of Barcelona (PA Images)

When the pro tour comes to Catalonia, you can expect to see the Blaugrana man at the tables looking to replicate this success and no doubt when he retires in the coming years, he’s likely to become even more involved in the game, despite already possessing an array of interests outside of football.


Presumably playing alongside Pique during his time at Barcelona, Brazilian forward Neymar, one of the most talented players in football right now, is also a strong poker player having amassed approximately $17,000 in earnings so far.

Of course, given that the PSG man is one of the highest-paid players on the planet, this figure won’t be life-changing for him in any way, but it does show the talent that the 28 year old possesses in both his chosen sport and his hobby.

Jan Molby

Perhaps of a vintage slightly too old for some of our readers, Jan Molby was a superstar in a highly successful Liverpool side during the 1980s and 1990s, making well over 200 appearances for the Reds and winning three league titles in the process.

Although he is not at the same level as some of the others on this list, Molby is considered to be among the best former footballers on the circuit and is said to have cashed around $14,000 in his time playing the game.

Given that he was always known for not being the fittest professional footballer, it’s no surprise that Molby has turned his hand to a game that’s a little less physical in his retirement!


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    Five famous footballers who are also successful poker players

    Several footballers have looked to transfer their abilities on the pitch to the poker table in recent years. We take a look at some of the most famous poker-playing footballers.