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20 High-Profile Politicians and Their Football Teams

Ryan BaileyFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2014

20 High-Profile Politicians and Their Football Teams

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    WPA Pool/Getty Images

    Most politicians have incredibly busy lives, balancing long hours of serving their constituents or citizens with keeping their name out of scandal and the trials and tribulations of everyday life.   

    Many, however, still find time in their schedules to back their favourite football team—although some may use the love of a club as a political tool, making them seem more down-to-earth and likeable. (I'm not naming names but on an unrelated note, there is a nice picture of David Cameron above.) 

    Here follows a list of the most high-profile football-loving politicians... 

David Cameron

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    Frank Augstein/Associated Press

    British Prime Minister David Cameron is desperate to be regarded as a man of the people—rather than a privately-educated Oxford graduate who rides horses in his spare time—so he has aligned himself with Aston Villa.

    His uncle is Sir William Dugdale, the Villa chairman who took him to his first game at the age of 13.

    Dave's fan credentials were questioned when he admitted he was not a football supporter in parliament 10 years ago. 

Silvio Berlusconi

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    Riccardo De Luca/Associated Press

    Silvio Berlusconi has had a busy life of running Italy, owning a media empire, evading tax and attending Bunga Bunga parties, but he has always made time for his beloved AC Milan.

    The Milanese native bought the club in 1986, saving it from bankruptcy and investing enough money to deliver the club's first European Cup in two decades just three years later. 

Angela Merkel

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    Martin Meissner/Associated Press

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel has a great deal of interest in the beautiful game, often attending international tournaments in an official capacity to cheer on Die Nationalmannschaft. Evidently, she is particularly keen on the pursuits of Bastian Schweinsteiger

    Merkel is also a fan at club level, who is an honorary member of 2. Bundesliga side FC Energie Cottbus

Francois Hollande

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    Michel Euler/Associated Press

    Francois Hollande was born in the north of France in Rouen, but the President is actually an AS Monaco fan.

    When quizzed by France Football (via French publication asmfoot.fr), Hollande spoke of his appreciation of Les Rouge et Blanc's famous alumni including Thierry Henry, David Trezeguet and Glenn Hoddle. 

Prince Albert II of Monaco

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    Lionel Cironneau/Associated Press

    You probably do not need three attempts to guess the Ligue 1 side that Prince Albert II of Monaco supports.

    The reigning monarch of the wealthy principality is a regular attendee at the delicately appointed Stade Louis II and his family are partial owners. 

    This week, he told Gazetta dello Sport (via French publication sports.fr) that he would love to bring Zlatan Ibrahimovic to the club and was also open to a move for Mario Balotelli. 

George Galloway

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    Alastair Grant/Associated Press

    Controversial politician and perennial attention seeker George Galloway is a big Celtic fan.

    In fact, the Respect Party MP for Bradford West wrote a book entitled Open Season: The Neil Lennon Story. It details the religious and political influences on the Bhoys and the hardships this has caused their manager. 

Vladimir Putin

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    Alexei Nikolsky/Associated Press

    Vladimir Putin probably does not have an awful lot of time for football—particularly in the current climate—but the Russian President is a native of St. Petersburg and is known as a fervent fan of Zenit

    If we were to speculate, we would say his favourite player is Hulk, as both he and the Brazilian enjoy being pictured with their shirts off

Barack Obama

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    Manuel Balce Ceneta/Associated Press

    Barack Obama showed his football skills when LA Galaxy visited the White House in 2013, but the US President's allegiance apparently lays with West Ham.

    According to The Telegraph, the POTUS is a long-standing fan of the Hammers, dating back to a visit to London in 2003. Apparently, he will watch Sam Allardyce's men in action whenever his schedule permits. 

Mariano Rajoy

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    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    Mariano Rajoy became Prime Minister of Spain in 2011. Despite being born and raised in Galicia, he is known as a Real Madrid fan.

    In fact, when he took office, Spanish sports newspaper AS revealed that he had been a member of Los Blancos for 25 years. 

Enrico Letta

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    Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

    Former Italian Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister Enrico Letta is, according to the International Business Times, a "mild-mannered Milan fan." 

    His support of the Rossoneri might have something to do with the fact that he is the nephew of Silvio Berlusconi’s aide Gianni Letta. 

Gordon Brown

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    WPA Pool/Getty Images

    Former British Prime Minister and current Labour MP Gordon Brown was brought up in Kirkcaldy, in the vicinity of Raith Rovers

    Although it is hard to imagine Brown being passionate about anything, he is a passionate fan of the Rovers and once told The Guardian that he followed them from the age of seven or eight.

    In 2005, Brown helped secure the club's future by becoming a partial shareholder. 

Jack Straw

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    Shadow Deputy Prime Minister Jack Straw was born in Essex and is utterly devoid of a Lancashire drawl, but he has been the Labour MP for Blackburn since 1979. In what might be a move of political opportunism, he aligned himself with Blackburn Rovers.

    Local entrepreneur Jack Walker—the man who bought the club and led it to the top of the Premier League in 1995—made Straw Honorary President of the club in 1998.   

Andy Burnham

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    Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

    Not only is Shadow Secretary of State for Health Andy Burnham a decent player, but he is a lifelong fan of Everton.

    Last May the Leigh MP said he would "cry" if probed about David Moyes' departure to Manchester United. Now, it is probably Moyes doing the crying. 

Cristina Kirchner

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    Luis Hidalgo/Associated Press

    Cristina Kirchner has been president of Argentina since 2007. In addition to backing the Albiceleste, Kirchner is a follower of Primera Division side Club de Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata, as she was born in La Plata. 

Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva

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    Eraldo Peres/Associated Press

    Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva was President of Brazil before the incumbent Dilma Rousseff.

    Lula moved to Sao Paolo at a young age, where he developed a love for Corinthians

Nick Clegg

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    Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

    Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg was born and raised in the affluent Buckinghamshire village of Chalfont St. Giles, a perfect catchment area for middle class Arsenal fans.

    When the Gunners lost to Bayern Munich in the Champions League last season, Clegg told The Metro he was "heartbroken." Presumably, he feels the same way this week. 

Ed Miliband

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    Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

    Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband was once described as a "nerd" who likes baseball and American Football, but he once claimed to be a "lapsed Leeds Utd fan," due to his position as MP for Doncaster North. 

    Ed's brother Dave is an Arsenal fan, but he famously resigned from his position on Sunderland's board when the openly fascist Paolo Di Canio was brought in as manager. 

Glenda Jackson

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    Bob Dear/Associated Press

    Glenda Jackson has won two Academy Awards for Best Actress and is now the MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, so it is fairly safe to say she has led a glamorous life.

    Her choice of team, however, is not so glamorous. The 77-year-old was born in The Wirral and shunned the bright lights of Liverpool and Everton to follow Tranmere Rovers

Felipe Calderon

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    Dario Lopez-Mills/Associated Press

    Former Mexican President and current Partido Accion Nacional member Felipe Calderon was born in Moriela, and is therefore a big fan of Liga MX side Monarcas Morelia.

    When they won the Apertura in 2013, Calderon was very quick to tweet his delight

Sebastian Coe

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    Jon Super/Associated Press

    Olympic runner, Conservative MP and London 2012 overlord Sebastian Coe is a big Chelsea fan.

    Such is his love for the Blues that The Right Honourable Lord Coe claimed he and pal Steve Redgrave would have given their seven Olympic medals to see Chelsea win the 2012 Champions League Final. Which seems a little over the top.

     

    Follow me on Twitter @RyanJayBailey

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