50 Most Entertaining Players in World Football

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistOctober 26, 2012

50 Most Entertaining Players in World Football

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    The Beautiful Game is home to players boasting a plethora of attributes—athleticism, strength and speed—but at its very core, football is a game of entertainment aimed at the masses.

    Within the tens of thousands of players who ply their trade within the football fraternity, just as there are those more athletically gifted than their competitors, there are those who rank higher on the entertainment scale.

    By definition, entertainment is an ambiguous term but boils down to an act that diverts the gaze and holds the attention of those watching.

    In football, this can be achieved in a myriad of ways, sometimes the least of which is actually being good at the sport itself.

    Whether it’s because of a hilarious Twitter account, a short career in the hip-hop industry, or it's for having an extravagant libido, these players all hold their own within the realms of entertainment...however that's interpreted.

50. Asamoah Gyan, Al-Ain

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    When he's not packing up his bags and deciding that the northeastern weather is no longer good enough for him, former Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan is one of many elite footballers who has taken to the hobby of rapping.

    Above, we can see the Ghanaian international leader featuring alongside Castro in a song known quite harmoniously as simply "African Girls."

    What the message of the song is, I have no idea.

    But to anyone actually listening to Gyan's bit-part cameos, I, for one, hope that he makes enough money playing with Al-Ain so that this music career doesn't go on too much longer.

49. Djibril Cissé, Queens Park Rangers

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    What isn't there to find amiable about Djibril Cissé? 

    Having originally made a name for himself in England with Liverpool, the man who has broken both of his legs now seems set on inflicting as much pain as possible upon others—he has already seen red twice in just over a season of playing with QPR.

    If that weren't lovable enough for you, the Frenchman is also covered almost head-to-toe in some wonderfully whimsical tattoos, and he regularly dyes his hair to correspond with the colours of the club for whom he is playing.

48. George Elokobi, Bristol City

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    Is he the most talented footballer a fan will ever come across?

    Heck, no.

    But were there ever a player one wouldn't want to have on their bad side, it's George Elokobi.

    The Cameroonian native, sometimes known as "Beast," is a marvel of a man that is better known for keeping his body in tip-top condition than actually bringing a great deal to the talent side of the table.

    As Mick McCarthy begins to explain in the video, "If you weren't George Elokobi, I'd..."

    You wouldn't do anything, Mick, and neither would many others.

47. Marko Arnautovic, Werder Bremen

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    Having injured himself while playing a game with his dog (via Yahoo!), it's safe to say that Marko Arnautovic could certainly do with taking better care of his career when off the field.

    However, Werder Bremen would seem to think that the forward has some improvements to make on it, as well (via Sky Sports), as Arnautovic has made somewhat of a name for himself for not being the most hard-working player on the training pitch.

    As the above video shows, the Austrian international must have picked up a few tips from Mario Balotelli during a short loan spell at Internazionale, none of which were in regards to shooting technique.

    Here, Bild explains (h/t Goal.com) how Arnautovic was attacked by his own club's fans, placing the controversial striker in a bracket all of his own when it comes to "entertainment."

46. Edgar Davids, Barnet

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    Don't let the dreadlocks fool you. Edgar Davids is all of 39 years old but is showing no less grit and desire for the game than when he was in his physical prime.

    Having played with European giants such as Juventus, Barcelona, Milan and Ajax, the former Dutch superstar is now plugging away at things with League Two side Barnet as a player and co-manager.

    A massive step down, admittedly, but for a man who has won the kind of trophies that most players can only dream of, it's endearing to see the goggle-donning legend with such a passion for his sport.

45. Slawomir Peszko, Wolverhampton Wanderers

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    Like any hard-working individual grafting away at their 9-to-5, footballers sometimes like to round off the day with a beer or two in the comfort of their nearest and dearest.

    Except the career of a professional isn't a 9-to-5 job, and these individuals should be setting a prime example for the countless youth watching on in sheer admiration.

    Enter Slawomir Peszko.

    After getting into trouble with Koln for drunken behaviour in the past, the Cologne midfielder was sanctioned by the Bundesliga side and axed from Poland's Euro 2012 after getting into a fracas with a German cab driver and being dropped off at a police station in the German city where he was based (via AFP).

    Now on loan at Wolves, Peszko is spending his days trying to resist the drinking culture, which is also rife in English football. How long do we expect the dry spell to last?

    Irresponsible? Agreed.

    Entertaining? That, too.

44. Lomana LuaLua, Karabukspor

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    With celebrations such as this, it's a wonder why players like Lomana LuaLua ever became footballers in the first place instead of seeking out a living as professional gymnasts.

    Apart from the vast amounts amount of money, endless public admiration and beautiful women throwing themselves at you, what's there to really choose from?

    Okay, so perhaps it's just as well LuaLua did follow the path of the footballer, and the masses sure are glad of it, as long as he keeps doing those insane, hair-raising celebrations of his.

43. Clarke Carlisle, York City

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    Generally seen as one of the most intelligent professional footballers in England, Clarke Carlisle defies the laws of entertainment by putting on a show with brains instead of brawn.

    Although not the strongest of defenders by any means, the York City centre-back is the Chairman of the Management Committee for the Professional Footballers' Association and even went two shows unbeaten on Countdown.

    If you aren't aware of the show, that's as good as a presidential honor in Britain.

    Although his reputation is marred slightly by a drunk driving offence in 2011, Carlisle is largely recognised as a charitable, ideological and smart-minded chap. And that's entertainment of the Disney variety.

42. David Dunn, Blackburn Rovers

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    No matter how hard he tries, no matter how long his career lasts, David Dunn will always be remembered as the Blackburn player who tried to do that skill and failed resoundingly.

    As if such an embarrassment weren't enough, the Rovers midfielder also had the honour of playing a leading role in the humiliating chicken advertisement that the club's playing staff starred in for club owners, Venkys.

    Finger lickin' bad.

41. Bryan Carrasco, Dinamo Zagreb

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    While it's not so much entertainment as it is the most ridiculous dive in all of world football, Bryan Carrasco wrote himself into the sport's history books after actually assaulting himself.

    Not only was that the case, but the Chilean winger actually managed to do so by using the body of the opposition in order to win himself the foul.

    I don't actually understand what the commentator is saying in the video above, but I'm almost certain it translates to, "Someone please get that man off the pitch, he's just slapped himself in the face."

    Don't worry if you didn't know who Carrasco was before reading about him here. He doesn't deserve the recognition.

40. David Luiz, Chelsea

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    Still relatively new to the English audience and for all his defensive shortcomings, Brazilian centre-back David Luiz brings nothing to the table, if not sheer entertainment.

    The Chelsea defender was known for being a bit of a prankster amongst his Benfica squadmates and has carried that approach to the English Premier League, slotting in comfortably at Stamford Bridge.

    Although a centre-back by nature, the freedom and attacking nature with which Luiz plays is just another aspect of his playful manner, something that's difficult to show on the field.

    After all, how can a man regularly likened to Sideshow Bob not be included on a list of entertainers?

39. Petr Cech, Chelsea

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    In many ways, the life a rockstar has many things in common with that of a professional athlete: adoring fans, plenty of disposable income and a flexible timetable to boot.

    So, as if it weren't enough for Petr Cech to adopt one of those lifestyles, he just had to go and have the best of both worlds by playing for Czech band Eddie Stoilow (via Metro).

    The Chelsea No.1 is looked upon by many as the best stopper in the world, and as if it weren't enough to have one job that's the envy of millions, he just had to go and get greedy.

    Don't be fooled by the lack of a headguard; that's still Cech in the video above.

38. Jose Manuel Pinto, Barcelona

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    Despite being at the club for almost six seasons now, José Manuel Pinto has yet to pass even the 50-appearances marker playing for Barcelona.

    Although that record is understandable, given the presence of Victor Valdes, Pinto keeps himself busy by making sure that he makes the most of the limelight when he is on the pitch, or even when he isn't.

    Regarded as a feisty character capable of getting in a fight or two, some of the goalkeeper's more aggressive acts are too entertaining, but glimpses such as the one shown above are comedy gold.

37. Marcelo, Real Madrid

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    By the normal parameters of logic, a defender and any other player who would fall under that category have the main priority of defending, right?

    For full-backs like Marcelo, it's not that easy.

    The Brazilian may be a left-back on paper, but he enjoys the attacking side of his game even more than the defensive aspects and is essentially another winger for Real Madrid to utilise.

    However, Marcelo's entertainment also comes from antics off the field of play, and the 24-year-old is said to be quite the prankster amongst the rest of Real's squad. 

36. Antonio Cassano, Internazionale

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    Warning: Sexual references throughout

    With the untold riches and popularity that come with being an elite-level footballer, it's only natural that stars such as Antonio Cassano receive the attention of the opposite sex from time to time.

    However, when you swap "from time to time" for Cassano's seemingly much more common approach, you might be veering towards self-indulgence.

    The Independent reports the Italian forward saying in 2008 that he had slept with over 600 women and would eat three or four pastries each time he was done with duties.

    Cassano goes on to call his evening, "Sex and then food, the perfect night."

    We've yet to think of an alternative.

35. Neymar, Santos

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    With sun, sex and samba in abundance, it is little wonder that so many of Brazil's stars have been noted for their laid-back demeanour as the years have gone by.

    However, when you consider that Neymar's Samba origins have been combined with the fortune of being possibly the world's most talented starlet, it would appear to be a deadly combination.

    As of yet, the 20-year-old Santos striker seems to be taking his fame well and, like any footballer with the plaudits he has received at his age, is having the time of his life in the process.

    Of course, one very major aspect in Neymar's entertainment factor is the skills that he possesses on the pitch. And despite his age, the Brazilian international is capable of beating a majority of defenders with the footwork he has in his locker, as well as some fine finishing ability.

34. Peter Crouch, Stoke City

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    Like the father of any bullied child would ever say, the best way to fend off abuse is merely to ignore those aiming it at you in the first place, no matter how hard that may seem.

    However, Peter Crouch and his lanky frame have done the altogether more successful way of embracing insults and feeding off of them for ammunition.

    This is a man who, when asked on Soccer AM what he would have become if not a footballer, replied: "Had I not become a footballer, I think I would have been a virgin" (via BBC Sport).

    The career path certainly hasn't done Crouch any bad after he married Abby Clancy, and it's quite clear that the former Liverpool target man is more than happy to thrive amongst the banter.

33. Darius Vassell

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    With the inevitable rifts that emerge between the professional footballer and the general public with all the fame and fortune, it's sometimes hard to feel connected with the sportsmen and women we admire so much.

    For Darius Vassell, that's no longer a problem, after the former Manchester City forward started a blog that he updates on a decently frequent basis to let readers know just how he's getting on in the day-to-day grind.

    If not entertaining for the content itself, it's just lovely to see a footballer genuinely concerned about seeing his fans going without the information they so readily desire.

    For the life of Vassell, go here.

32. Didier Drogba, Shanghai Shenhua

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    A kind-hearted man renowned for the charity work he does in his native Africa, Didier Drogba has been as open to comedy as any other footballer in his lengthy career at the top.

    The Ivorian's striking abilities and substantial trophy cabinet undoubtedly contribute to Drogba's entertainment value, but that isn't to say the diving, outbursts and other controversial occasions aren't to be remembered as well.

    (Warning: Contains swearing.) If it's not an expletive-ridden rant on live television, the forward will be busy getting a share of the limelight on Chelsea TV, just as shown in the video above.

31. Clint Dempsey, Tottenham Hotspur

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    One of the few U.S. additions to really make it in the Premier League, Clint Dempsey's exploits on the field of play are part of Fulham folklore, regardless of how his career there ended.

    However, it's away from the playing pitch that the forward pursues his other love: as the Houston-born hip hop artist, Deuce.

    In 2006, the U.S. international teamed up with XO and Big Hawk to make a song called "Don't Tread" in partnership with Nike, partly as tribute to Dempsey's sister, Jennifer, who was stricken with a brain aneurysm at the age of just 16.

    Apart from being a beautiful gesture, Dempsey showed with this musical number that there's a lot more to the professional footballer than just a reliable pair of feet.

30. Emmanuel Adebayor, Tottenham Hotspur

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    If entertainment is something that attracts attention, it doesn't have to necessarily be recommendable, merely something that people are willing to watch and even pay money for.

    By that meaning, plenty of Emmanuel Adebayor's acts over the years haven't been the best example to set, but have they ever been entertaining.

    A moment for which the Togolese striker will always be remembered is when Adebayor went out of his way to celebrate his goal for Manchester City against his former Arsenal supporters down on the other end of the pitch.

    While not the best idol for any youngster to follow in terms of attitude, Adebayor's potential for controversy makes him simply too good not to keep an eye on.

29. Joe Hart, Manchester City

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    Currently seen as the future of the English goalkeeping, it's refreshing to see that Joe Hart can still find the time to chill out and have a dance in his unmentionables every now and then.

    The video linked above is evidence of Hart getting down while on duty several years ago with his nation's Under-21 team, but you can bet that moves that good don't fade away too fast.

    When faced with a penalty situation, the Manchester City stopper also showed his potential for creative flair, outstretching a blue tongue at the oncoming Italy at Euro 2012—while it may have proved futile, it was entertaining, nonetheless.

28. Gianluigi Buffon, Juventus

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    Frequently talked about as one of the best goalkeepers in the business, you'd expect nothing but a strictly serious approach to an impending Euro 2012 showdown from a player like Gianluigi Buffon.

    So, it was a surprise to hear the Italian No. 1 answer a question about whether he and his squad would be looking at tapes of England playing by entering into a fit of laughter with two of his teammates and then managing to get out the answer: "Oh, yes, we'll watch a video tonight" (via Daily Mail). 

    Now, I'm as aware as any that Italy is seen as a most amorous nation with a libido of epic proportions. But come on, Gianluigi, I expected more from you.

27. Bas Savage, TOT SC

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    Viewers of Soccer AM will already be all but too well-acquainted with the dancing marvel that is Bas Savage, an English striker remembered by some for his stints in the lower leagues but known more by others for his dance skills.

    Savage has made a habit of celebrating his goals with Michael Jackson imitations that many a footballer could only hope of attaining in their wildest fantasies.

    If you were previously unaware of Bas' dazzling dance manoeuvres, you're welcome.

26. Halldor Orri Björnsson, Stjarnan FC

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    While all of Stjarnan FC in Iceland can be thanked for the goal celebrations they display on a regular basis, one player has to be picked out amongst the others as a veritable leader among the pack.

    Halldor Orri Björnsson plays the role of angler in perhaps the club's most famous celebration, reeling in a weighty salmon after powering his penalty home.

    Just to reinforce that, thanks go to all of Stjarnan FC for these pieces of comedy gold, but Björnsson gets the nod for the nomination above.

25. Nicklas Bendtner, Juventus

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    As the Daily Mail points out, Nicklas Bendtner looks upon himself as one of the best strikers in the world, even though his achievements are rather paltry.

    Whatever the truth may be (he isn't), one can't argue against the fact that the Dane loves to cause a stir. Whether it's doing a bit of defending for the opposition (above) or pulling down your shorts to reveal some comical underpants, you can always rely on Bendtner for a touch of entertainment.

24. Wojciech Szczesny, Arsenal

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    A teammate of Bendtner's, and Arsenal's current first-choice 'keeper, Wojciech Szczesny has been quick in carving out a name for himself as one of the Gunners' top pranksters.

    Currently just 22 years old, Szczesny is clearly a starlet with massive potential. But he shows that he isn't quite ready to grow up just yet with his childish nature on a regular basis.

    Until the stopper stopped posting on his account in January, Szczesny was one of the funniest characters to follow on Twitter, and his presence in social media has been sorely missed in the last nine months.

    R.I.P @13Szczesny13.

23. Ryan Babel

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    Another mouthy presence on Twitter, Ryan Babel has occasionally found himself in hot water for what he gets up to on the social networking site, including a bit of controversy involving a mock-up of Howard Webb in a Manchester United jersey (via Mirror.co.uk).

    However funny his Twitter account may be, though, there's something eerily hilarious about the Dutchman's 6'1" frame traipsing through the isles of a Liverpool ASDA, much to the amazement of some onlooking Merseysiders.

    The fact that Babel is probably on wages of over £25,000 a week with Ajax and still purchases value-standard cola is all the more amazing.

22. Leon Knight

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    Footballers can be a narcissistic bunch, especially when playing at the top tiers of the sport, competing for European and international honours, alike.

    However, when you consider that Leon Knight's biggest achievements are a few caps for the England Under-20 side and a UEFA Champions League Cup appearance for Chelsea, the video above would tell you that Knight makes a better commentator than player.

    Of course, the forward is genuinely aware of his own standard of play, which adds to the comedy, tenfold.

    At least, one would hope he's aware.

    Having been released from Glentoran in May 2012 for comments on Twitter regarding Barack Obama's policies on same-sex marriage, it's clear that Knight has way too much spare time on his hands, but the general public can be glad for that matter.

21. El Hadji Diouf, Leeds United

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    Hated by some and disliked slightly less by others, it's quite possible that El Hadji Diouf will go down as one of, if not the, most controversial player of all time.

    Spitting on a fan of the opposition? Diouf's been there (via BBC).

    Allegedly taunting a member of the opposing team as he lay on the floor with a broken leg? Jamie Mackie would certainly tell you so.

    Any way you look at it, Diouf's antics make him one of the most vilified characters in all of world football, but it's just impossible to look away.

20. Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid

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    From one of the worst examples of a professional athlete to one of its finest, Cristiano Ronaldo oozes entertainment with every fibre of his being.

    Whether it's through the immense amount of skill he brings to the field of play or through his keen sense of journalistic knowledge (above), Ronaldo seems to be a very happy character in all aspects. But then, were you amongst the best players in the world, you probably would be, as well.

    The Portuguese captain has gotten into trouble in the past for being a supposed diver on occasion, but his overall candour just makes him impossible not to like and, more importantly, to watch whenever the opportunity arises.

19. Adel Taarabt, Queens Park Rangers

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    While not one of the best all-round performers in the Premier League, there's a good chance that Adel Taarabt could rival even the strongest in the English top flight when it comes to dribbling and, more specifically, footwork.

    The Moroccan international is a joy to watch with the ball at his feet, and were it not for a slightly prickly temper, you can bet he'd be in better standing with a lot of people.

    For all the hundreds of thousands of pounds a footballer makes in a week, the sport's community erupted when Taarabt stormed out of Loftus Road after being subbed at halftime, before proceeding to catch a bus home (via Daily Mail).

18. Lionel Messi, Barcelona

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    Much like his eternal opponent with whom he jostles with for the honours of the "World's Greatest," Lionel Messi should, through logic, find it difficult to be anything but all smiles in everyday life.

    With possibly the world's biggest locker of talent on a pitch, the Argentine is everything a spectator wants to watch in a football match, except when he's playing against your club.

    Appearing in ads for PepsiCo, Adidas, Herbalife, Dolce & Gabbana and others, Messi has had ample opportunity to show his fun side.

    But it's when he isn't expecting it that the attacker is at his most entertaining.

    Barcelona's talisman comes across as a genuine and gentile character whom, if he drank beer, a lot of fans would probably like to sit down and have a cold one with.

    As if his skills with a ball at his feet weren't enough, Messi would appear to be just a nice, grounded individual, which is undoubtedly harder than it looks, given the wages the Ballon d'Or winner rakes in every week.

17. Ashley Cole, Chelsea

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    Entertaining for all the wrong reasons?

    Undoubtedly, but it doesn't make it any less true that we love to hear about the antics of Ashley Cole and what the repercussions are for the Chelsea full-back.

    Whether it's spending a night on the town with hip-hop superstars (via Daily Mail) or shooting a Chelsea intern with an air rifle (via Guardian), it seems to be a case of "anything you can do, I can do better" with Cole, except he's only attempting to outdo his previous shenanigans.

    As the Daily Mail reports, the England international's most recent furore was in regards to the infamous "choc-ice" tweet sent by Rio Ferdinand, which sparked an inevitable reaction from Cole.

    An irrepressible talent on the pitch, it's a pity that Cole's personal struggles let him down on such a regular basis.

    In the end, are the vast majority of Cole's controversies funny? No.

    Do we love to watch them in stark shock? It's impossible not to. 

16. Pepe, Real Madrid

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    As football has evolved in recent decades, there are some of the opinion that the game has lost some of its physical edge and that players are too soft in the modern era.

    If that is indeed true, then it's players such as Real Madrid's Pepe that are ensuring the tough-tackling nature of the sport lives on, treating the grounds they play on more like gladiator coliseums.

    By no way is this to condone the brutal challenges that the Portuguese centre-back has become known for.

    But the man who once served a 10-match ban for the ridiculous melee shown above is hard not to watch in absolute amazement at times.

    It's entertainment in its most morbid incarnation, but entertainment nonetheless.

15. Rio Ferdinand, Manchester United

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    Outside of football, Rio Ferdinand has steadily made a name for himself as one of England's most well-known sportsmen and a keen entrepreneur with a magazine and range of hats titled #5.

    The Manchester United veteran is coming to the latter stages of what is becoming an injury-riddled career, so it's fortunate for the defender that he can fall back on his livelihood as a budding rapper (via NME.com).

    But perhaps the most entertaining aspect of Ferdinand's persona is that of his Twitter account and the no-holds-barred way in which the centre-back goes about things on what seems like a daily basis.

    Ferdinand most recently got into trouble for a tweet lambasting Ashley Cole's defence of the alleged racism row involving John Terry (via Telegraph), labelling Cole as a "choc ice."

    From football to the economy, world affairs to politics, Rio Ferdinand may not be an expert on the matter, but he's sure to be giving an opinion on it as long as he's got Twitter nearby.

14. Jens Lehmann

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    If there were ever a man to rival Wojciech Szczesny for the title of Arsenal's craziest ever goalkeeper, Jens Lehmann is the man who would put up more than a challenge, having spent five sometimes bizarre seasons with the Gunners.

    Although the incident happened at Stuttgart, just one instance of Lehmann's comedy value came when the match was halted so that the German could relieve himself behind the advertising boards.

    Hey, when you gotta go, you gotta go.

    In all honesty, Lehmann's talents as a goalkeeper only add to his attributes as an entertainer, and he was more than capable of producing some fine play when not pushing over the opposition in a fury.

13. Jay Jay Okocha

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    "The player so good they named him twice."

    It's hard not to feel a wave of nostalgia rushing over upon the very mention of Jay Jay Okocha.

    Most recently, Okocha featured in the Indian Premier League, and although the former Nigerian international is in a state of fluctuating retirement, his very possibility of coming back into the game validates his inclusion here.

    The very essence of what entertainment in football is all about, Okocha's very existence was to put on a show that would appease the fans of the club for whom he plied his trade with such strong dedication.

    As the attached video will show, Okocha's greatest strengths came in his dribbling skills, ingenuity and the ability to conjure up magic from the seemingly most stale of occasions.

12. David Beckham, L.A. Galaxy

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    Countless ad campaigns and sponsorship deals leave us with too many choices to make a selection from, but David Beckham certainly has shown a penchant for the showbiz life in the last two decades.

    Rightfully considered by some as the face of an English generation, it's incredibly hard not to feel at least some admiration for a player who has entertained audiences in England, Spain, Italy and the U.S., as well as just about anywhere else mankind has walked on this Earth.

    A cult icon in English football, the London 2012 Olympics ambassador is an avid donor to charity and has appeared in a couple of films and released several fragrances under his own name.

    Now, at the ripe old age of 37, Beckham is still touching the masses with L.A. Galaxy, and the entertainment factor is bound to live on for some years yet.

11. Usain Bolt

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    Recently linked with a Manchester United spell for a charity match (via BBC Sport), the fastest man on the planet has said for some time that it remains a passion of his to take up football in the near future.

    Usain Bolt has got speed to spare, and while his ability in a football sense is up for debate, his value when it comes to pleasing an audience is certainly not.

    Famed for his cocky exterior and showoff tactics, Jamaica's prodigal son may not be a professional footballer just yet, but one would find it hard to say never, in this case.

10. Kevin Prince-Boateng, AC Milan

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    Having spent fairly unmemorable spells at Tottenham and Portsmouth, it's hard to believe that Kevin-Prince Boateng has quickly risen to the current standard at which he is playing with Milan.

    Part of the Berlin-born midfielder's likeable-ness is that he's able to play his game to that level but appears to have a genuinely good time whilst going about his business, something a lot of players could learn to do in a way.

    Call me crazy, but going on the video above, I'd say that Boateng could also have a future as a professional singer when his football tenure is all said and done, only adding to his appeal as an entertainer.

9. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, PSG

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    Another player on this list to have recognised himself as the best in the world at what he does (via La Gazzetta dello Sport, h/t Goal.com), Zlatan Ibrahimovic's arrogance is merely a source from which most of his hilarity seems to emerge.

    As well as actually being one of the world's strongest strikers, the PSG frontman has a penchant for being a bit moody which, in a way, only adds to the alluring enigma that is Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

8. Emile Heskey, Newcastle Jets

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    Through generally little work of his own hand, Emile Heskey has grown to become one of the biggest cult icons in world football, although he doesn't reap many of the benefits.

    The former Liverpool and Leicester City favourite is finally back in the goals with the Newcastle Jets in the Australian A-League, after failing to find any form with Aston Villa.

    Renowned for lacking a certain amount of talent rather than possessing it, Heskey's name can pop up in the most unrelated of circumstances, but it somehow seems to fit together.

    While the man himself isn't strictly entertaining by nature, the reputation and persona his name has built up over the years have taken hours of practice on the training pitch.

7. Joey Barton, Marseille

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    Another example of a footballer whose entertainment is a result of all the wrong reasons, Joey Barton just cannot seem to stay out of the headlines.

    Even when he's playing in a completely different nation as he is now, on loan at Marseille, the very active Twitter user still uses the social media tool to interact with his global audience.

    Having gotten into near limitless cases of controversy in a 10-year professional career, 30-year-old Barton will be a person many are glad to see the back of when he eventually retires. But you can bet a lot of people will be sad to see him and his untenable persona leave the sport.

6. Emmanuel Frimpong, Arsenal

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    Just as avid as the aforementioned Barton when it comes to social networking, Emmanuel Frimpong edges the QPR wildman in the rankings simply because of the fact that his entertainment is of a variety that we should value altogether more highly.

    In the Arsenal squad, Frimpong stands out as a bit of a wild child and uses his London connections (his cousin is grime MC Lethal Bizzle) to broadcast his content.

    The Gunners starlet doesn't suffer any fools lightly in the way he goes about his Twitter activity, and kids across the world can thank Frimpong for cult terms such as "Dench" and "Frimponged."

5. Thierry Henry, New York Red Bulls

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    Possessing all the cool and calm attributes that he and his compatriots are meant to share, only a Frenchman such as Thierry Henry has the disposition to do what he has done on occasions in a long and illustrious career.

    As the video attached shows, the former Arsenal, Barcelona and current New York Red Bulls star is suave under pressure, whether that's in the tunnel leading up to a match, during the match itself or in a post-game interview.

    Offering countless spectacles of comedy through skill, jesting and sheer cockiness, Henry will be remembered amongst a breed of his own in football, bringing a sense of entertainment and laughter that so many of his trade appear to forget.

4. Emmanuel Eboue, Galatasaray

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    Perhaps one of the funniest players ever to grace this most beautiful of sports is a man who was regularly looked upon as somewhat of a laughing stock during his Arsenal career.

    Although a versatile talent in his heyday, Emmanuel Eboue made a habit out of displaying absolute gems of nonsensical proportions, including pretending to have knowledge of the Korean language (above).

    If ever there were a Marmite player to have graced the Emirates Stadium, nowhere can opinion be divided more than upon Emmanuel Eboue, the lovable class clown of North London.

    As FourFourTwo will tell you (h/t Daily Mail), the Ivorian international now playing in Turkey has made a bunch of memories in a sometimes daft career, all of which were for the exactly right reasons.

3. Boris Johnson

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    While it may be breaking a rather important policy of the ranking, Boris Johnson's slice of football history should forever be remembered as one of the most delicious clips ever known to man.

    England vs. Germany.

    Mayor of London.

    You do the math.

2. Mario Balotelli, Manchester City

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    A man who would surely go down as the choice of many for world football's most entertaining personality, Mario Balotelli just misses out on top spot despite the incredible amount he has managed to get up to in his 22 short years on this planet.

    As Thomas Atzenhoffer explains here, trespassing in a female prison, building a quad-bike track in his backyard and almost burning his house down with fireworks are just some of the crazier antics Balotelli has gotten up to in recent years. 

    Hell for whomever's managing him to tame and pure genius for the general public watching in fascination, we as paying customers hope that Balotelli's acts of comedy don't wane with age. 

1. Jimmy Bullard

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    Not widely known to an international audience, Jimmy Bullard is considered a hero by some and a villain by others on British shores.

    But there's no arguing the amount of laughter he has brought to the masses in his years as a professional footballer.

    Having come up the hard way from his days with Gravesend & Northfleet, Bullard gives you the impression that his approach to the sport hasn't changed since he was nine years old.

    As the video will tell, the 34-year-old finds a way to conjure up laughs from the strangest of scenarios, whether it's leapfrogging over a potentially injury-filled pileup mid-match or staring at Duncan Ferguson in a genuine state of awe.

    The Mirror has reported that Bullard has taken up a role as player and coach with non-league side Holland FC, after a series of knee injuries crippled his playing days. 

    While his career in the English top flight may be long over, one can always recollect that rare assortment of childhood glee that Bullard could sometimes bring to a match, letting us all know that it's just a game, after all, no matter how serious it may sometimes appear.