Gentlemen & ladies, it has been a while. Unfortunately, the intricacies of the Peruvian law system do not permit me to tell you all very much about my long absence, but let’s just say that organising a 5-A-Side football match on The Galapagos Islands is costly both financially and also could result in a rather large loss of biodiversity… Especially when the players take it upon themselves to remove plants that can be used as rather interesting mood altering substances.
Luckily, dear readers, I am back and ready to report on the more frivolous side of football for you. And I should be around for both a long time and a good time. Rejoyce! Your Doctor returns.
This weeks’ offering allows us to look deeply into the professional footballers mind and ask ourselves, just what will they do for money? As if being a household name, club legend and earning £250k a week isn’t enough, there are plenty of our favourite players out there who are happy to sell their likeness for even more cash, even if it does result in some cringeworthy performances. And so, I present to you, my top pick of incredible adverts that feature footballers (past and present):
4. David Beckham for H&M
Not content with being a brand himself, David Beckham sells underwear in his part time, and there is no greater example of a man being pants than this film debut, directed by Mr Lock Stock/Ex-Mr Madonna himself, Guy Ritchie.
The PSG superstar (who clearly doesn’t need the money, despite being incredibly charitable and donating all of his current £100k per week wage to a local Parisian charity that supports a children’s hospital – what a beautiful gesture) found himself running about in green khaki boxers in the sunshine for this, and with a bod like that, who could blame H&M for wanting to film him in all of his cheeky glory? There has been quite a debate as to whether David used a body double for this advert, but Dr Sparkles can confirm that the body shown is 100% Beckham. Insider knowledge goes a long way, just don’t tell Vic, she wouldn’t be happy. Dr Sparkles rating is 10/10 for hotness, although the quality of the H&M pants leaves a little to be desired. Stick to Calvins sweeties, they are the classic underwear of true champions…
3. Eric Cantona for Kronenbourg
We are already well aware of Mr Cantona’s flair for the dramatic, be it his famous kung-fu kick at a Crystal Palace fan back in 1995, the poetic reasoning behind his actions that came out in a press conference just after said incident (who can forget the depth and gravitas of ‘When the seagulls follow the trawler, it's because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea.’?) or even his turn in the 1998 classic film Elizabeth. Not content with being a superstar both on the professional and beach football scene, Eric has turned his hand even further towards acting by starring in this great advert, showing a Gallic sardonic side that really does something special to Dr Sparkles.
2. Chris Kamara for Ladbrokes
Not content with being a comedy genius pundit (possibly unintentionally) on Sky Sports, ex-Leeds legend Kamara has teamed up with Ladbrokes to film an advert that is possibly one of the most amusing parody ones on television.
Although lacking the Gallic charm of Cantona, or the rugged good looks of Beckham, Kamara makes this list for the way that he owns the screen, and also because Dr Sparkles is never averse to a man who is happy and comfortable to be filmed nearly-naked in a shower setting...
1. Joe Hart for Head & Shoulders
The ultimate ‘did you really need the money that badly?’ advert is awarded to Joe Hart in this cringeworthy advert for Head & Shoulders shampoo. The England and Manchester City goalie, rumoured to be on £100k a week, acts his way through a head injury that is magically cured by the dandruff shampoo in a way that would make a Hollyoaks extra blush. Dr Sparkles gives this 9/10 for originality, but 1/10 for skill and assumes that his need for even more money is to keep his beautiful WAG partner Kimberly Crew in the lifestyle to which she is accustomed (check out the bling below!)
It has been a while sweeties, but instead of boring you with the minutiae of my incredible life I’m going to jump straight in with my Halloween special…
There is nothing more enjoyable than spending Halloween in a state of fancy dress. Or fancy undress if you’re lucky enough to be a woman (for who the only Halloween options seem to be sexy this or sexy that). Footballers are no exception to this, as I can happily illustrate with my top 5 Footballer Fancy Dress countdown. Enjoy sweeties!
1. Peter the Penguin
You would think that Stoke forward Peter Crouch would be better suited as a taller animal (a giraffe springs immediately to mind), but from this shot we can see that 30-year old England star enjoys being a bird that (if rumours are to be believed) only has sex once a year, but who mates for life. Dr Sparkles wonder what Abby thought of that…? A dream come true, for sure.
2. Reffley Royal FC Fancy-it-up
Reffley Royals FC might not be a well-known club, but footballers of all levels do love to do their bit for charity, as is illustrated by this Lynn based club. The Royals did a sponsored walk in their fancy dress finery and raised over £600 for the Lynn News Young Carers Appeal (a fantastic charity that helps to support young carers in and around West Norfolk).
The winners of North West Norfolk League 2010-2011 have proved that even the lower league teams can do their bit to help local charities, all while looking smart in awesome fancy dress. Dr Sparkles suggest you log on to www.refferlyroyals.co.uk
and donate some spare cash to this great cause.3. The Invincible JT
After a tough week from the press (Dr Sparkles will not get involved in that furore) due to some lip-reading and a 5-3 spanking at home at the hands of Arsenal it would seem that Mr Terry’s Invincibles costume is a little hopeful. Things can only get better from here on in…
4. Rasta Rooney
Well known for his cultural sensitivity, Man Utd star striker Wayne Rooney goes a step further with his Rasta wig when he plays dress-up with his lovely wife Coleen. Dr Sparkles can only presume that this wig wearing is a warm up for Wayne – who famously underwent hair transplant surgery over the summer. Perhaps he is planning to grow his locks longer once his plugs firmly bed in? Perhaps we are looking at a new hair trendsetter of the future? Only time will tell…
5. Tip-Top Tevez
Saving the best til last, as always, we have this gem. Dr Sparkles isn’t quite sure whether this happy, clappy Disney-fied family group shot of Man City’s Carlos Tevez is a candid Halloween snap or a nod towards Argentinian fashion, but whatever it is meant to be she thinks that it is fabulous.
A little known fact about the controversial Man City forward is that he is the frontman of the popular Argentinian band Piola Vago – the other members being his brother Diego, Michael Slaski and Tim Hoffmann. As a special Halloween treat for you, dear readers, here is Tevez in all of his glory. Perhaps this is why he is so keen to return to Argentina?
Tuesday was a very special day for me dear readers. My first visit to Falmer, or The American Express Community Stadium as it is widely known. It was an important event indeed…
The sun shining over The Amex
You may not know this about me sweeties, but I am a born and bred Brightonian. Not only that, but from my humble beginnings I grew up practically in the shadow of the old Brighton & Hove Albion football stadium - The Goldstone (our family home was 2 mins away from said ground). One of my earliest memories is me, under the table by the window in our front room, watching police on horseback ‘helping’ rioting Millwall fans off the pavement of my road. Football is, indeed, in my blood, and my first football love was (and always will be) The Seagulls.
The Seagulls had a mighty fine stadium in the Goldstone until 1997, when it was sold off and became a ‘retail park’. Another anecdote from the young life of Dr Sparkles can be revealed here… I was a bit of a rebel in my teen years, believe it or not. An ex-boyfriend and I broke into the ground after its closure and acquired some of the wooden seating as a bittersweet memento. It was a sad moment, standing there on the pitch and knowing that The Goldstone would soon be no more, having served The Seagulls since 1901.
From 1997 – 1999 Brighton ground shared with the (not-close-at-all) Gillingham FC. Then they were allocated a temporary ground at Withdean Stadium, which remained home for The Seagulls until this August. The Withdean was an interesting ground at the very least (having been an athletics venue in its first incarnation) and was only able to seat 8,850 fans at its capacity. This was not good enough for Brighton and after many delays a new ground was authorised to be built at Falmer, on the outskirts of Brighton (very close to the two universities that I studied at during my long uni career). The Amex Stadium was handed over to Brighton & Hove Albion on May 31st 2011 and the first game that The Seagulls played was on 6th August against Doncaster Rovers, where Brighton won 2-1 thanks to 2 goals from new signing Will Buckley (an interesting factoid is that The Seagulls also played Doncaster Rovers in the last match at The Goldstone. Meeting them again in their first game at the new ground made that match even more special and rounded off a turbulent time in the clubs history)
I was unable to attend that first game, but Poolboy and I were lucky enough to get tickets to the subsequent game at The Amex – against old ground-share buddies Gillingham in The Carling Cup. I was incredibly excited about the prospect of seeing The Seagulls new home it all of its glory.
Our day started with a bus ride sweeties. Imagine me, DrSparkles, on a bus? I have not ridden on a bus since that unfortunate experience in 1999 and never thought that I would have to do that again. But with scant parking at The Amex and Poolboy insisting that we travel as ‘normal people’, there was little I could do but go along with what he said.
The bus ride was full of Albion supporters and the mood was high. This ‘park and ride’ business is a good one it would seem... We arrived at The Amex in good time, as the sun started to sit low in the sky. I started to feel excited darlings, and wouldn’t you? This was a new era for me and something that I had been looking forward to for a long time.
Heading to The Amex
The first thing I needed to do, sweeties, was check out the stadium from the inside. A stickler for cleanliness and good provisions I was happy to note that The Amex did not disappoint. The East Stand has some impressive art on the walls (ranging from old shirts, pictures of legendary players, motivational slogans and artwork from local children) and a well-stocked refreshments area – complete with several kinds of beer, varieties of wine and snacks.
Art of The Amex
Poolboy and I grabbed our refreshments and headed to our seats. Pitchside, on the halfway line. It was a good view of the amazing stadium…
First things first. The quality of the food. I had a hotdog and Poolboy purchased a steak and ale pie. One was far superior to the other…
Branded BHAFC boxes? Nice…
Unfortunately I did not have a seminal cheesy-hotdog-in-Watford moment when eating my Amex Stadium hotdog. It was okay, probably better than the Upton Park offering, but nothing close to the hotdog perfection encountered on that rainy day outside Vicarage Road last season. The pie, on the other hand, was nothing less than glorious. I know what I’ll be eating on my return…
Sat in our seats, seeing all the happy fans faces and taking in the warm summer air, I was in my element. I couldn’t stop grinning as we waited for kick-off. The Amex comes into its own as far as modernity goes – there are two huge screens (one above the away end and the other above the legendary North Stand) on which there are montages of previous players/games/successes playing in order to warm up the crowds. Not just that, but there is a camera crew and an announcer there to further excite. The camera man used ‘Albion Vision’ to show the fans waiting for the game, watching the Seagulls and The Gills warm up, and much fun was had by the crowd as they looked up and saw that they were being featured on the big screen…
The crowd awaits
Brighton and Hove Albion also have 2 other unique occurences before the matches. The first is the entrance of Gully, the BHAFC mascot. I was astounded by the popularity of Gully with adults, as several mature BHAFC fans crowded around to get their photos taken with him. Not just one for the kids! He knew a fellow star when he saw one though, as he posed and waved as he walked past us…
The second treat in store for us was Gully’s Girls – Brighton and Hove Albion’s very own cheerleading squad (follow them on twitter @GullysGirls
). Their dancing was enthusiastic and they looked like they were having a lot of fun (unlike the wife/girlfriend of the man sat next to Poolboy, who got a swift smack and a ‘don’t look at them!’ shouted at him as the girls walked round shaking their pompoms and smiling at the crowd during halftime. Oh dear). With their confidence, athleticism, foxiness and team spirit, not to mention the fact that they represent many different types of women and not just the media ‘ideal’, they are great role models for the young female seagulls out there.
Gully's Girls in action.
And so the game began, with great excitement. It was not the most riveting of all games, and the refereeing was scrappy to say the least (Payne came on after half time and should have been sent straight off for a nasty two-footed tackle on The Seagulls Romain Vincelot. This resulted in a nearly-scrap where goalkeeper Ankergren ran up the pitch to settle the score, resulting in a yellow for both him and Payne), but an interesting move by Buckley in front of the North Stand allowed Albion a penalty, which Barnes slotted nicely home to ensure a second home win for the home side. Final score? 1-0 to The Seagulls
All in all it was a fine introduction to my home team’s new place, and as the sun set over The Amex I knew in my heart that Poolboy and I would return and see a lot more games in this new, shiny stadium.
In the bleak midsummer of off-season it is very easy to let things slide. Other than the Women’s World Cup (congratulations to Japan for winning!) there hasn’t been much around and about football-wise. Darlings, for my absence I apologise. But, as always, I am here for you and ready – in pre-season training if you will. The excitement of the new season is beginning in earnest, with transfers, rumours and pre-season friendlies abound.
I have noticed, sweeties, that these off-duty footballers are all about having the latest accessories. Because of this I bring you the top 4 footballer accessories that will no doubt become must-haves next season. Enjoy!
1. Torres’ Guns
It would appear that Chelsea newbie Fernando has been working out over the summer. Lamenting his move while pumping iron at the gym perhaps? In any case, Señor Torres is looking pretty hench (ask your little sister what that means) and perhaps the Spanish forward is ready for a new season. Let’s hope, for Chelsea’s sake at least, that he doesn’t take another 903 minutes of football to score his next goal…
DrSparkles is a fan of the guns as accessories, although thinks that maybe the showy vest-top is pushing it a little far in the fashion sakes. No me gusta!
2. Beckham’s Boots
You would have to be living on another planet, no, in another universe not to know that a brand new Baby Beckham was born recently. On 10th July 2011 the Beckham’s 4th child – and only daughter – came into the world amongst a storm of controversy (mostly due to the choice of name for the little girl and the fact that she was born via caesarean section. DrSparkles believes that women should be able to give birth however the hell they want and thinks that Harper is a pretty name, while Seven sounds like a nod to Star Trek, which can only be a good thing…). Huge congratulations to the Beckhams!
The photos that melted a million uteri
But a baby is not the newest accessory for footballers (although you may think so, given how many of them are new dads right now), tribute boots are…
Behold – Beckham’s newest boots. Pink and white Addidas, with his children’s names sewn into them. You can’t get any more cutting edge than this, worn by the ex-Manchester United legend at a recent Real Madrid vs LA Galaxy match in Los Angeles. It would seem that the boots didn’t do David much good, LA Galaxy lost to his former team 4-1, but the touching tribute to his family is wonderful nonetheless…
3. Carroll’s Pants
It would seem that being the eighth most expensive footballer in history cannot buy you style or taste. No, we are not talking about Andy Carroll’s flowing locks (although DrSparkles does believe that a shorter haircut would make the most of his bone structure) but the fact that he was currently spotted making a fashion faux-pas of great proportions…
During a warm-up with his Liverpool teammates Geordie striker Carroll was seen sporting what can only be described as form-fitting black underwear beneath the white (and semi-see through) shorts of his Liverpool 3rd kit (one whose colours may be more fitting for another Merseyside team and that has caused a bit of controversy since it was unveiled)
DrSparkles is unsure whether Carroll is trying to start a new trend with this cheeky pant-show, but does suggest that the bad-boy has a shave and sticks to the Tightie-Whities when he is wearing this kit. It’s too distracting otherwise…
4. Real Madrid’s Swimmers
Finally, a bit of fun from those loco Real Madrid boys. While out in Los Angeles, showing those American guys how real football is played, they were spotted doing some poolside training. But it doesn’t seem to have been taken too seriously. The FIFA-voted ‘most successful club of the 20th century’ seem to be a fun lot…
DrSparkles is sure that the headgear sported by most of the team will be seen catwalks during the next Madrid Fashion Week and is happily surprised how attractive silly hats can be on a good looking footballing type.
I am so excited about the current Women’s World Cup that I can hardly think straight, dear readers, but I have been able to go on holiday brimming with excitement, and whilst on my travels I have bumped into the cream of UK footballers – all of who also seem to be celebrating their long and hard seasons with a little jauntette into the sunshine.
It seems only fair, therefore, that I focus on the news and holiday snaps of some of our nation’s finest players in my column this week. Enjoy, sweeties, and try not to mourn too hard on the crashing out of England’s U21 side earlier this month. At least now those boys can enjoy and extended summer holiday too…
1. Lampard & Bleakley
Ever a style favourite (for all the wrong reasons) Frank ‘Super Goals’ Lampard scored a cracker while on holiday in L.A earlier this month. The Chelsea ace has proposed to his Daybreak-presenting girlfriend while on their jollies, and she accepted his offer…
The happy couple and her MASSIVE rock.
The England midfielder splashed out a mere £120,000 on the engagement ring for Miss Bleakley (a drop in the ocean for a man who reportedly earns £151,000 a week), and proposed to her after a beachside lunch – causing Christine to cry for 10 minutes. With joy, Dr Sparkles would hope.
Of course, this isn’t the first time that Frank has been engaged as he has two children with ex-fiancé (and - at time of publication at least - current Ms Peter Andre) Elen Rivas. Spanish model Elen was seen looking none-too-pleased about Conservative Party advocate Lampard’s engagement soon after the news broke…
Dr Sparkles loves a wedding, but with a guest list that is likely to include Bleakley’s colleagues: cow-breast-feeding media junkie Kate Garraway and always-bored Adrian Chiles as well as Lampard’s Ayia Napa camcorder chums Rio Ferdinand and Kieron Dyer she might give it a miss. But huge congrats to the happy couple nonetheless!
2. Crouch & Crouch
They say that a picture is worth one thousand words, and that seems applicable for (blind) housewives favourite, Mr Peter Crouch, as he holds his baby daughter on a pre-wedding holiday with his family in Sardinia.
Nothing like a pasty man holding a baby
In an almost-exact copy of the popular old Athena poster, Spurs striker Crouch cradles his baby daughter Sophia in his arms as he keeps his sensitive skin out of the sunshine. Beautiful.
Dr Sparkles likes a man who isn’t afraid to show off his softer side, although thinks that maybe a pink buggy is pushing it a bit. That said, the Spanish have nicknamed him Pantera Rosa (the Pink Panther), so maybe it is rather fitting. However, the less said about those swimming trunks the better... Good luck to Peter and Abbey with their upcoming wedding and congrats again on the birth of their gorgeous (if she takes after her mother) daughter…
3. Hart & Rooney
In a completely different turn of events we have this...
Who would have thought that Manchester City goalie Joe Hart would have so much fun frolicking in the sea, let alone with a Rooney on his back?
Flower-shorted Hart put aside any club rivalry with England teammate Wayne Rooney as they holidayed together (along with Rooney’s wife and young son) in Barbados earlier this month. The pair shared piggy-back rides and even entertained onlookers with a bit of a kick-about at the shore side.
Hat-wearing Rooney, who brazenly announced on twitter that he had recently had a hair transplant, had a great time playing in the surf with his mate and, later on, his son.
Dr Sparkles is pleased that the recent media future surrounding Rooney and his apparent off-the-pitch habits has died down to this bromance action, which has also allowed him some quality bonding time with his son. Marvellous stuff!
4. Hart & Barry
There is nothing that Dr Sparkles likes more between manly footballing men than a good bromance. Not the Lampard-Ferdinand-Dyer kind (check Google for that dear readers if you still have no idea what I’m implying), but the more traditional, close bond friendship that occurs only a few times in a mans life.
And thus, witness Bromance Exhibit A of the most beautiful bromance in the history of Premiership football…
That’s right, gentle readers; your eyes do not deceive you. This is Man City goalie and ex-Shrewsbury town legend Charles Joseph John Hart and midfielder team mate Gareth Barry. Together. On sun loungers. Sharing a tender sun-creaming moment.
Having warmed up his bromance muscles with Rooney on the afore-mentioned Barbados beach, Hart decided to go one step further in the bromance stakes as he and Hastings-born Barry popped off for a bit of sunshine in Las Vegas.
But it wasn’t all just fun in the sun as Bromance Exhibit B illustrates
It’s this big. But you know that anyway, so don’t look so surprised, bro…
That’s right, married father-of-two Barry and bachelor Hart continued on with their bromance holiday as they partied into the wee hours of the morning at some of the hottest nightspots in Vegas. And doesn’t it look like they had a good time?
Dr Sparkles loves a good bromance story – be it Brokeback Mountain or The Hangover – and is pleased to see team mates so comfortable together and having so much fun. If team bonding is like this then Manchester City are bound to finish higher than third place in the league next season.
Recently I’ve been lucky enough to be able to jet-set somewhat, and on my travels I have always thought of you, dear readers. From spotting other WAGs on their holidays with their adoring (for now) husbands, to being lucky enough to see sneak-previews of 2011/12 kits, I have worked tirelessly. Doctoring and blogging for my fans has never been so much work.
And now you can reap the rewards. This week I bring you my Top Five new season foreign football kits. Enjoy sweeties and until next week, when I promise to be back with my many photographs of footballers and their families on holiday, keep enjoying the sunshine…
Top 5 New Foreign Football Shirts
In first place is the Vienna-based Austrian team Rapid Wien (Rapid Vienna for those who aren’t familiar with the language) with their stunning green home shirt. As will become evident, DrSparkles is partial to a bit of green, and so this shirt caught her eye almost immediately.
Playing at the Gerhard Hanappi Stadium, Rapid Wien are notably the most successful team in Austrian history, although they only managed to finish 5th in the Austrian Football Bundesliga last season.
The most famous player (to a WAG like DrSparkles at least) to have played for Wien is one Hugo Maradona, a certain Diego’s youngest brother…
Focus on the kit second from the left…
Once again falling for the charm of verde, DrSparkles second choice for top new shirt goes to Real Betis and their 2011/2012 away kit. So much green! The dark colour and the simplicity of the shirt are the main pulls, not to mention the rather fetching matching green socks. Poolboy will find himself in a very privileged position one warm summer night when DrSparkles greets him wearing just those and a smile…
Newly promoted to La Liga after winning Spain’s Segunda Division, Betis are to face the greats next season, and will do so with style. Playing at the Estadio Benito Villamarín in Sevilla (one of DrSparkles favourite parts of Andalucía) the club boasts the King of Spain Juan Carlos I and his son Prince Felipe de Borbon as honorary members.
Next stop is Hamburg, Germany, where FC St Pauli will be wearing this little number as their home shirt come the new season. The brown and white stripes will prove to be slimming for the more robust player, but it is the retro 90’s feel and design that caught DrSparkles eye. Not to mention the slightly oversized collar. Delightful!
Relegated from the Bundesliga to 2nd Bundesliga last season, St Pauli will be playing giants such as FC Energie Cottbus and Hertha BSC wearing this lovely kit in their Millerntor-Stadion next season.
The most notable player that a WAG like DrSparkles can spot from FC St Pauli’s history is the mighty Bolton striker Ivan Klasnić, who began his career with this club.
A surprising entry at number 4 is this little blue and white gem from Australian footballing giants Melbourne Victory. Chosen by DrSparkles for the classic styling and the Adidas shoulder stripes, this shirt has a cute little collar that adds that extra bit of class.
Successful A-League team Melbourne Victory has a short but sweet history so far, having been founded in 2006. Despite its youth, Victory is considered the most successful team in the A-League having completed a domestic double twice (Premiership Plates/Championship trophy) and a domestic treble in 2008-2009.
Playing at AAMI Park Victory only finished 5th last season, but they have their eye on the prize with this shirt for the upcoming one. With a successful women’s team and an ever growing youth one the future looks bright for this Aussie team.
Notable (to DrSparkles) players or ex-players from Victory include the beautifully-named Brazilian Leandro Love and ex-Chelsea up-and-comer Joe Keenan (whose promising career at Stamford Bridge was cut short by a broken leg in 2002)
Chosen for the advertising campaign and release shots as well as the new shirt, in at 5th place we have Brazilian team Sport Club do Recife. The team, who play at Ilha do Retiro in Recife, Northeastern Brazil, are known for their interesting take on new shirt advertising, as the pictures from our friends at FootballShirts.com and FootballFashion.org attest.
DrSparkles particularly likes the hordes of grinning men surrounding the nervous-looking Brazilian model (Nicole Bahls) as she models the red-and-black home 2011/12 home kit of Leão or Papai da Cidade (translation: Lion or City Daddy, being the quite genius nicknames of the club)
Not content with seeing the shirt from the front, it seems that the Brazilian press needed a back shot, perhaps to capture Nicole’s most famous Brazilian asset?
Some men looking very happy to see the back of the shirts…
Playing in the Campeonato Brasileiro Série B, Recife finished 6th last season and boast one of Brazil’s most famous writers, Ariano Suassuna, as a fan. DrSparkles loves both the home and away shirts of Recife. Especially the yellow away shirt - those thin black pinstripes are a feature that appeals to DrSparkles sense of fashion. However, she is particularly impressed that models in Brazil have such gloriously juicy bottoms…
It’s been a while, and for that I am sorry. But I come to you with a bumper edition of DrSparkles fun by way of an apology for my absence. Work, life and super injunctions have been in the way of my sparkling column. I’m sure you understand sweeties…
This week I’m looking at the current top WAGs and the cutest of them all, the CoFs (children of footballers). Enjoy!
Due to the ever-shifting sands of time, footballers don’t tend to stick to one WAG for long. Or if they do, they can often be linked (allegedly) with other women who are not their known wives or girlfriends (allegedly. And naming no names)
No, this isn’t going to be a revealing article pointing out the mistresses (and misters for those footballers who are still firmly ensconced in the closet), but more of a WAG update. DrSparkles predicts that this may become a series of regular postings, as some footballers change their ladies as often as they change their teams…
1. Irina Shayk
The stunning Russian model Irina
This lovely lady is the current squeeze of Real Madrid’s no7, and all round pretty boy (if you like that sort of thing), Mr Cristiano Ronaldo. As well as having a baby from an unknown woman and being a fan of bright pink short shorts, the ex-Manchester United forward has really bagged himself a beauty with the gorgeous Russian model Irina.
Not content with being a Sports Illustrated cover-girl, Irina has a kind-hearted side too, which she shows by working for Russian charity Pogomi. She also helped rebuild a childrens ward in a hospital with her sister. DrSparkles is impressed with Iriani’s beauty and philanthropic side and is equally impressed that Ronaldo managed to bad himself such a wonderful WAG.
The world must be thankful that this pairing is the one that is going the distance, as opposed to the rather horrific one that is illustrated by the photo below…
2. Sara Cabonero
Equally beautiful: Iker & Sara
A favourite DrSparkles pairing is Spanish hunk Iker Casillas and his beautiful girlfriend, Spanish reporter Sara Cabonero.
It is rumoured that ‘Sexiest Reporter in the World’ (a title she was awarded by FHM USA) Sara and Real Madrid number 1 Iker are engaged and that a big Spanish wedding is on the cards for this summer.
DrSparkles is partial to a bit of Spanish chatter and hope that if such a wedding is on the cards she is invited. Summer in Spain, surrounded by footballers, sounds divine, darlings!
3. Malena Costa
A new addition to the world of WAGs is 21 year old Spanish supermodel Malena Costa. Previously known for her daring (and revealing) modelling exploits, Melana hooked up Barcelona’s Carlos Puyol recently.
The shock about this pairing isn’t the 11 year age gap, but more a question of how someone as interesting looking as Puyol has managed to get himself such a gorgeous girlfriend. Puyol may be an excellent defender, and he has done a stirling job captaining Barcelona since relieving Luis Enrique of those duties in 2004, but is that enough to tempt such a beauty to remain by his side long-term? DrSparkles hopes so, but in the fickle world of football, we can be sure of nothing…
The Next Generation
Footballers are a breedy bunch, and there is no happier time in their lives than when they produce offspring, who will hopefully carry on their footballing genes and become stars in their own right one day.
Here’s to the next generation – the Children of Footballers (COFs)!
1. Robin Van Persie
DrSparkles has to admit that this COF was chosen mostly for the gorgeous photograph of Robin Van Persie’s wife and their first child. Bouchra, the Arsenal strikers wife, and his son Shaqueel are pictured here, looking very cute indeed. Shaqueel is often snapped holding a football, which suggests to DrSparkles that the footballing genes are strong in this little one…
2. Peter Crouch
Seems like baby Crouch take after her dad…
Spurs striker Crouch and model Abbey Clancy had Sophia Ruby in March of this year, and she certainly is a cutie. This CoF has a mix of good and less good genes and will either be a gorgeous female football wizard or a tall, interesting looking Z-list TV presenter. Only time will tell…
3. Ryan Giggs
Recent events bring to mind a certain Tammy Wynette song…
Someone who hasn’t been in the news at all recently is Welsh wizard and yoga-lover, Mr Ryan Giggs. The Manchester United star married his long-term partner Stacey Cooke in 2007 and they have two children together; Liberty Beau and Zachary Joseph. Zach is pictured above with his mum, looking every part the young Man Utd player. DrSparkles can but wonder whether young Zach will inherit his Dads playing skills, both on and off the pitch…
4. Wayne Rooney
Kai Wayne Rooney is the son of childhood sweethearts Wayne and Colleen Rooney. The young chap has already had far more footballing success than many professionals, having scored a goal at Old Trafford and worn a Premiership League Winners medal, all before he reaches the grand age of 2 years old.
His Manchester United and England striker father may be a player who divides opinion across the land, but who could ask for a better Competitive Dad? DrSparkles believes that out of all of the CoFs looked at this week, Kai is the one who is most likely to become a star, be it in the football world or elsewhere. After all, his tweets are already legendary…
Well Dr Sparkles fans, it’s an important week in my part of the world as my good friend Kate marries her long-term bloke Will on Friday. Of course, I’ll be present, but I will be incognito so do try and spot me on TV if you can. I’ll be wearing big, dark sunglasses and a cute Oscar de la Renta number I picked up in Madrid. For those of you who either don’t care about the big bash, or who haven’t been invited I thought that I would give you a special wedding-themed Sparkle this week – my Top Three Footballer Weddings. Enjoy, and raise a glass on Friday. Whatever you think of The Royals they have given us an extra Bank Holiday this week, so that’s only a good thing…
1. David Beckham marries Victoria Adams
In a small, intimate ceremony back in 1999 a young, blonde and (strangely) less-good-looking-than-he-is-now David Beckham married Posh Spice, Victoria Adams. The date was 4th July and the venue was Luttrellstone Castle.
The extravagant affair saw many celebrity attendees – the other Spice Girls and Sir Bobby Charlton amongst them - as well as a costume change as the ever-fashion conscious Beckhams moved from an ivory and cream suit and vintage Vera Wang dress into matching purple numbers designed by Antonio Berardi.
Posh and Books? Who are they trying to kid…
Having only been a WAG-in-waiting back in 1999 DrSparkles had to wait until Dave and Vicki showed her the wedding video years later, but it was worth it. She believes that the Beckhams wedding was one of the greatest footballer weddings ever – done with a beautiful combination of extravagance and class. Well done The Beckhams!
2. Fernando Torres marries Olalla Dominguez
At the opposite end of the spectrum is Chelsea’s Fernando Torres (who finally broke his duck this weekend with a goal against West Ham, ending a 903 minute goal-less dry patch), who married his childhood sweetheart in 2009.
Fernando and Olalla at his sister’s wedding. Rumours are she wore a red dress to her own wedding too.
On 27th May 2009, in a secret ceremony witnessed by only 2 people, ex-Liverpool forward Torres married this then-pregnant girlfriend Olalla in a the tiny El Escorial town hall, north of Madrid. It was expected that they would marry in a lavish Catholic cathedral ceremony but that wasn’t to be, maybe because Olalla is not your typical WAG and would rather stay away from the limelight and look after the couple’s two children while studying at the Spanish equivalent of the Open University.
DrSparkles believes that were she to marry again she would go the route of these two (although without the baby bit), a quiet, intimate ceremony is the epitome of class after all. Marriage can be a private thing, why share it with the world?
3. Lukas Podolski marries Monika Puchalska
The most recent newlyweds are the Podolski’s, added here not only because of the international flavour that the F.C Koln forward brings to the mix, but because of the rather legendary ‘groom present’ that the bride bought her husband-to-be.
Polish-born Podolski, who is eligible to play for either Germany or Poland internationally, married Monika Puchalska in a civil ceremony at Cologne town hall on 18th April 2011. It was an intimate ceremony, with only close family and friends present, but it is thought that they have a bigger church wedding planned for the summer, likely to be in Poland, which is where they were both born. Just like Olalla Torres, the bride wore red. Stunning choice, darlings, white is so last season!
All very nice and civilized, yes? Dr Sparkles agrees, but was bemused to discover that Monika’s wedding present to her husband was a band new pair of breasts for him to enjoy. What a woman! Body confidence is all as far as DrSparkles is concerned, so a bit of surgery here and there to perk you up can only be a good thing. And from the look on Podolski’s face in their published wedding photo, it would seem that he agrees…
The bride, the groom and the twins.
Extra Time Addition
For any of you with a loaded wallet who is looking to have a WAG-alike footballers wedding, who better to do the catering than football fan and Norwich-lover extraordinaire Delia Smith? Just don’t ask her to be your wedding singer, and keep her away from the booze…
DrSparkles loves Delia for her passion and love for Norwich and hopes that they do end ‘going up, up, up’ at the end of the season.
A warm, sunny and tanned welcome from the world of DrSparkles this Easter weekend. Hasn't the UK weather been astonishing, darlings? It's almost as if summer has arrived early! In honour of the glorious weather this week I will be writing about recent achievements (some dubious) in the football world, spanning our sunny isle and some other equally as hot locations too. Revel in the sunshine, don't forget the sunscreen and enjoy the multitude of games across the leagues over our wonderful four day bank holiday. Until next week, keep Sparkling... 1. UK: Graham Alexander Reaches 1000
Twitterers may have noticed this week that #grezza1000
was trending, mostly thanks to the efforts of Burnley fans and players Jack Cork (@jackcork1
) and Wade Elliott (@WadeE11
). Not only that, it was declared in national news that Easter Monday was to be renamed 'Graham Alexander Day'.
Those of you out there who aren't familiar with Mr Alexander and his fantastic achievements may wonder what all the fuss is about. Graham Alexander is a Scottish defender who currently plays for Championship side Burnley. He has gained legendary status thanks to the number of competitive, professional appearances (both cup and league) he has made.
When Burnley played Swansea at Turf Moor on April 16th 2011 (beating them 2-1) Alexander clocked up his one thousandth professional appearance, becoming the second outfield player ever to have done this (the first outfield player to have reached this milestone was midfielder Tony Ford, which he achieved when playing for Rochdale in March 2000 ). Interestingly, Ford and Alexander actually played together at Scunthorpe United in the mid-90's, and Ford has praised Alexander's longevity in the game. Alexander has equalled Ford's record, but is set to overtake it this season.
Dr Sparkles loves it when a professional footballer achieves a record like this, and offers her congratulations to Grezza. She has also noticed that the great man bears more than a passing resemblance to True Blood hunk Sam Merlotte - a coincidence, or perhaps they also share changeling superpowers? That could explain Alexander's fitness and ability well into his late-30's... (I'm sure there is a Claret/(True) Blood pun in there somewhere, but puns aren't my forte sweeties, so you'll have to do the hard work with that one yourselves...)
2: España: Sergio Ramos Drops It
El Clásico is the name given to any game between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, as most of you out there know. This season there have been several El Clásico games due to La Liga fixtures, Champions League draws and the big Spanish cup - La Copa del Rey. This year, on the 20th April 2011, Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid beat Pep Guardiola's Barcelona thanks to a Cristiano Ronaldo extra-time strike.
You'd assume that was the big news, but it's not. The bigger news happened after the game, when the Real Madrid team went out on their team bus through the streets of Madrid, to celebrate their victory. Ramos was holding the cup aloft as the bus drove through central Madrid, cheering and dancing with his teammates...
Happy Ramos (Winning a cup? Always a good excuse to go shirtless...)
In the excitement and celebration, the 25-year-old Spanish defender dropped La Copa del Rey off the top deck of the bus. If this wasn't bad enough, the bus proceeded to run over the precious cup, which halted the celebrations pretty quickly.
Luckily the cup wasn't badly damaged, and the celebrations continued with abundance once it had been retrieved from underneath it. DrSparkles understands that a dented cup is better than no cup, but is glad that Ramos isn't a goalkeeper with this display of butter-fingers ¡Felicitaciones a Madrid!
3. Ibiza: Luís Figo Enjoys the Sun
Retired winger Figo is certainly a fan of the tan. With his Portuguese heritage and propensity to colour well, who can blame him? But the issue these days isn't the tanning, but the attire that he chooses to enjoy it in...
It would seem that footballers - retired or not - cannot help themselves when it comes to matter of shorts vs. Speedos. We have already seen the likes of Lampard and both Ronaldos modelling the short short, but when footballers in their late 30's get in on the act, it may be time to just say no.
Dr Sparkles is in no doubt that Figo, one of the few footballers who has played for both sides of rivals FC Barcelona and Read Madrid, cuts a mean figure in his Speedo and has an impressive body for a man knocking on the door of 40, but a tiny Speedo is always wrong.
Good day loyal Sparkles fans. After a busy holiday week, involving mostly running, buying a bicycle and eating many, many lunches out I am back with a Top Five (bigger than the usual Top Three, you lucky darlings!) of football news, views and happenings. Once again, there is no one main theme running through joining them all, other than the beautiful game itself. Enjoy...
1. Owl Killer Strikes Again
A sad and dark start to it all this week, with news that Panamanian Luis Moreno has struck again. For those of you who aren't totally up to date with Colombia's League (and why would you be now the Colombian Correspondent has defected to Spain?), Moreno is a defensive player for Deportivo Pereira. In a shocking off the ball incident in March Moreno kicked the owl mascot of the opposing team (Junior Barranquill) off the pitch after it has been hit with the match ball. The owl subsequently died from shock. Moreno was banned for 2 games and has since received death threats from Colombian fans. That said, there have been whispers that Sheffield United are interested in any Owl killer they can get their hands on...
The story regarding owls ends there, but Moreno and his violence came to a head when, during a match against Deportivo Cali, he kicked central defender Pablo Andres Escobar while he lay on the ground after he was fouled. A straight red and 7 match ban was the result of the vicious kick in the stomach from Moreno and Cali won the game 2-1
Dr Sparkles understands how adrenalin and testosterone can make a footballer do silly things in the heat of the moment (hello Wayne Rooney) but thinks that violence against animals and men who are already down is too much...
2. Wayne and Jack
The awe-inspiring story of Jack Marshall (the bravest boy on Twitter - please follow him on @Jack_Marshall_
) has touched all of our hearts, and that includes the heart of Wayne Rooney, who recently met the brave little boy and gave him a kiss after Jack said "I'd like to kiss you Wayne, I think that you are the best footballer in the world". Gorgeous.
Wayne and Jack.
DrSparkles likes it when footballers show their softer side and can think of no-one better than Jack Marshall to show it to. If you are interested in reading more about Jack and his life then visit here: http://www.jacksfund.co.uk/ 3. Stevie G in 3D
Are you a Liverpool fan? Concerned about what your favourite midfielder is up to since he was sidelined thanks to his recurrent groin injury (something that DrSparkles has herself suffered, and therefore has much sympathy with)? Well wonder no longer, thanks to the magic of twitter, bezzie mate and (resting?) actor Paul McGrattan, the picture below shows us all exactly what he has been doing...
That's right SportsFans. Mr Gerrard, Liverpool legend, is sat around with some random dude, in matching grey tracksuits, eating grapes and watching movies in 3D. That's a class that money just can't buy.
Tracksuits (such a fashion no-no in grey flannel) and 3D glasses aside (DrSparkles is very much in the Mark Kermode camp as far as 3D goes), DrSparkles is pleased to see that Steven is resting his groin and eating healthy snacks - both of which will speed his recovery. Get well soon!
4. Chelsea players star in 'Another New Shirt'
Football is a lucrative business. The merchandise alone can bring in millions of pounds of revenue for any popular club, and Chelsea FC are wise to this. To be fair many clubs are, but this week Chelsea are in the spotlight for not only bringing out a new shirt, but doing so with a photoshoot/video alongside it. View it below, but do heed the cheese warning now:
5. Beckham, Snoop Dogg and Kiddie Clothes
Final story of the day goes to the unbelievable pairing of top-'soccer' player Beckham and top HipHop artiste Snoop (Doggy) Dogg. These two have been firm friends since the Beckhams moved to LA back in 2007, and they are so close that Snoop even plays his songs to Becks before they are released to the general public. Mr Dogg has also given him some advice on romancing and thinks that David is a great father:
“Whenever I make a record I give him a copy before it’s done. He’s like a brother. I’m gonna show him to rap, for shizzle. He’s my boy. I love soccer just as he loves Hip Hop. Beckham needs to keep doing what he’s doing, he’s a great father...I said that after their 11th anniversary they should have some more kids and romance to some Snoop tunes."
Them being great mates we can just about buy, but who would have thought that they would join forces to design children's clothes?
That's right Sparkle fans, you did read that correctly. David Beckham and Snoop Dogg are currently sat at their drawing boards and designing a range of kids clothes, which could be ready for release as soon as next year.
Brothers, fo' shizzle
DrSparkles on board for this upcoming fashion phenomenon. It would seem that David Beckham can do pretty much anything he turns his hand to (and the man can already dress well, so designing is just the next step), and Snoop Dog has already successfully designed a few clothing lines - most recently a top-selling shoe for Adidas. In the rapper's words - it's going to be fly