Footballers that enjoy a post-match cigarette

Daniel Blazer
Daniel Blazer
Daniel Blazer
Managing Editor

Smoking and professional sport go together like lime juice and Baileys – very badly. Whilst smoking won’t make your mouth form a revolting viscous paste, à la the ‘Cement Mixer’ beverage, it will seriously inhibit your ability to maximise aerobic fitness, or will it?

Arsene Wenger, a man who was partial to the occasional Gauloise, has said he didn’t think the odd cigarette made a difference:

“Does the occasional cigarette affect performance? No. If you make a good pass on the football pitch that is what people want to see. I’m sure there are some top sportsmen who smoke, but it is not a good example.”

Arsene Wenger

When you look at the fact Zinedine Zidane was/is a smoker, then Le Professeur is correct; the odd drag of a cigarette clearly doesn’t effect performance. However, you then realise Jack Wilshere and Mario Balotelli smoke, two players who are stealing a living.

You just know in the Arsenal midfielder’s head that he believes he looks as suave and renegade as Dimitar Berbatov when smoking a roll-up from his 50g bag of Amber Leaf that Derek down the local sold him, after somehow ‘acquiring’ 100 packets.

Source: Twitter
Source: Twitter

Although not in the video, it’s pretty common knowledge that Manchester United’s all-time leading goalscorer, Wayne Rooney, enjoys a cigarette – no surprise given the former Everton teenager fits the stereotype for an Englishman down the pub. But you have to wonder if England’s captain lived a healthier lifestyle, whether his career at the top level would’ve lasted longer/made it into Gary Neville’s current Manchester United best XI, below.