In the last 50 years, the life of a footballer has changed quite radically. With massive television deals and coverage worldwide, footballers are huge world wide stars with unbelievable contracts and endorsements.
We know what boots they wear, which teams they play for, what positions they play in and we can usually tell who they are on their pitch by the way they run. I mean, some of us even know about their private lives (Adam Johnson, not such a clever boy).
With their new found stardom, footballers can now afford to have an array of sports cars, homes and not least luxury watches. Let’s have a look at what some of the world’s famous footballers wear on their wrist when they aren’t on the football pitch.
It comes to no surprise to see the 5 time Ballon d’or winner, Lionel Messi wear the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak since he is their ambassador and has been since 2010. His relationship with AP is so good that they even produced a Royal Oak Lionel Messi Limited Edition just for him.
The Lionel Messi Royal Oak Limited Edition
It is good partnership – the Royal Oak is understated, no frills, no bells and whistles but is a design and functional masterpiece, which is what Lionel Messi is on the football field. For the top professional, you need a top watch and Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is certainly one of the best out there.
It’s hard not to think of Cristiano Ronaldo when discussing the best footballer in the world. He is very marketable and therefore it’s no surprise that he is associated with many brands and often seen wearing many different watches.
Ronaldo with Franck Muller
His watch choice is very similar to his playing style and his personality. While Messi is happy to have the understated AP Royal Oak, CR7 like big, bold, ostentatious showpiece brands such as Jacob & Co, Franck Muller and even a custom diamond encrusted timepiece which is so bright it’s actually hard to read the time.
Neymar Jr’s performances have drawn admiring glances from most of Europe’s top clubs and rumours suggest he could be going to the EPL this Summer. If that happens, Neymar will be on one of the highest pay packages in the world.
Neymar with Richard Mille “Skull” watch
He is not yet the finished article and although considered world class has yet to properly stamp his authority and identity on the game when compared to Ronaldo and Messi. Here he is seen wearing a custom white Delacour BiChrono SII worth over £30 000 showing the Brazilian Flag.
Franck Ribery custom Delacour
A huge fan of wristwatches for a long time, Franck Ribery has got a special piece in the form of a custom made Delacour Bichrono watch. This thing is so huge, that it can be classified as a wall clock. It is super bling with diamonds everywhere and a big 7 on the front. This is also his jersey number for his German club team Bayern Munich and the national French team.
The initials of his wife’s and daughter’s names are engraved on the watch showing that Ribery always has his family and watch with him. Probably even when he is visiting French prostitutes.
Paul Pogba is fast becoming the central midfielder that everyone would like in their team. With youth on his side, he has bags of potential and as long as he steers clear of any major injuries will probably develop into one of the best midfielders in the world.
He has been seen wearing some crazy outfits matched with some interesting haircuts as of late. With yellow dyed hair and gold adoring much of his clothing, he has a yellow gold Rolex Daytona. Although we don’t quite agree with his outfit, it certainly matches his showman side and his love of gold. Well, you only live once!
Ok, so he may not be the top performers now, but Pirlo has been without doubt one of the most influential footballers for the last decade and one of the most consistent playmakers for club and country.
If this list was about the top ten classiest footballers, then without doubt Andrea Pirlo would be at the top of the list. Coming from one of the super wealthy families in Italy, Andrea Pirlo doesn’t play for his weekly wages – he plays for fun.
Pirlo with the Patek Nautilus
His sense of style is second to none. No diamond encrusted watch. No “look at me” bling here. The only footballer on the list to have a Patek Philippe, he has a Nautilus amongst his collection. Class.
Gareth Bale when he first arrived at Real Madrid
When Gareth Bale moved to Real Madrid he went for a record transfer of 95 million pounds becoming the most expensive footballer in the world. His performances on the pitch are hair raising with electric pace and flair.
However, despite this, Bale rarely courts headlines away from the pitch and you won’t see him in the latest fashion magazines. His speaking is done on the football pitch, and he wears a subdued but very practical Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore, in rose gold.
It’s hard to tell whether this is a Rolex Datejust or Day-Date – from the bracelet – we say Datejust
Mario Balotelli is an enigma and supposedly “uncoachable” according to Jose Mourinho. At both Milan clubs he performed well but when he came to Liverpool… well… not a lot happened. Perhaps grabbing more headlines away from football then his coaches would like, he certainly is one of the more photographed players – most likely due to his controversy. Here he is seen wearing an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore and also Rolex Datejust or it could be Day Date – hard to tell without seeing the face.
Steven Gerrard with his Rolex Yachtmaster
Ok, being a Man Utd fan, it was a bit hard to put Steven Gerrard on the list. However, I’m a fan of football so he makes it in – just. For years he has been Mr. Reliable for Liverpool, his loyalty to the club unquestionable and he really was one of the best in the world in his peak.
He doesn’t care about looks or the way he looks – Steven Gerrard is about reliability and performance and therefore safe and standard, showing function and form over unproductive flair. He has a fair collection of wristwatches, but he is usually seen wearing the Rolex Yachtmaster.
James Rodriguez’s form has been indifferent this year
James Rodriguez put in some stellar performances when he first went to Real Madrid but his performances recently have been far less noteworthy, maybe due to a change in tactics and also due to the changes in manager.
His watch choice however is sturdy and reliable – a Rolex Submariner which is one of the most versatile timepieces ever made, very reasonably priced and within reach of most of us.
From the list, all footballers have differing tastes in wristwatches, with some looking for a watch where they can put as many diamonds as possible on, while others prefer a more measured approach. What would you wear if you were a superstar footballer?