World Football: Ranking the Top 10 Rock Star Footballers of All-Time
The word rock star has many meanings to many people and a raft of connotations—largely pejorative if you are a conformer, ameliorative if you have been brought up on and reveled in 1960s American and British culture.
Smashed guitars, bat-eating Brummies and hotel shenanigans may not always be prevalent in modern-day football (at least not the first two). But many wild individuals with a carefree attitude, alarming attitude to fame and money and swagger which have won them more fans than critics have brought color to the sport over the last few decades.
In this slideshow, I highlight the ten most notable "wild things," alluding to some of their purported behavior over the years.
From Dwight Yorke and Mark Bosnich's kinky sex games to Rene Higuita's conviction for smuggling drugs to cat fights and knife brawls, the sporting press has never been short of off-the-field headlines.
Enjoy the mayhem!
10: Gerald Asamoah (Germany and St. Pauli)
Jasper Juinen/Getty Images
"Wild West-style cat fight" is how German police described the scene at German international Asamoah's flat when they were alerted to a disturbance in Hamburg.
Asamoah, thinking his wife was away on holiday, had decided to invite "Florence" and "Priscilla" back to his flat after he and St. Pauli teammates had partied in the city's red light district.
Unfortunately, his wife Linda came back at an unfortunate time and all hell broke loose as she struggled with the two women and accidentally cut herself with a kitchen knife.
9: Ronaldo (Brazil and AC Milan)
Michael Steele/Getty Images
Questioned by police three years ago for trying to pay off three male, cross-dressing prostitutes he had taken home with him, Brazilian forward Ronaldo has never been far from controversy.
His initial absence from the starting lineup of the 2002 FIFA World Cup sparked numerous rumors about his health and love life, although it transpired that he had suffered convulsions in his sleep the previous night and had been unwell leading up to kick-off.
He recently retired, following much criticism from Corinthians fans that he was overweight and overpaid.
8: Dwight Yorke and Mark Bosnich (Manchester United)
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images
Oh my! These two are a right pair and like a pair or two too.
While Aussie goalkeeper Bosnich had a cocaine problem and nearly missed his wedding after being held by police following a wild stag do, Yorke tried to deny impregnating British glamour model Jordan.
But their moment of fame truly came when Yorke failed to properly dispose of a sex tape which showed him participating in a sex orgy with a cross-dressing Bosnich and four women.
Gene Simmons would be proud!
7: David Beckham (England and LA Galaxy)
Michael Regan/Getty Images
Possibly an unusual selection, but few rock stars could claim to be as ubiquitous or rich as Leytonstone's finest, David Beckham.
Sarong-wearing, Argentine-kicking, style guru Beckham is currently living it up in Los Angeles, where his glamorous wife is make headlines in the fashion industry and where he and is three sons can regularly be seen rubbing shoulders at NBA matches with film and rap stars.
And that is not to mention Irma Nici, Sarah Marbeck or Rebecca Loos...
6: Mickey Thomas (Wales and Manchester United)
David Cannon/Getty Images
''Roy Keane's on 50 grand a week. So was I until the police found the printing machine'', Mickey Thomas famously said when reflecting upon a colourful career.
Aside from money laundering while playing at Wrexham, Thomas was known for his fondness for alcohol and the fairer sex...and admitted in his biography that he sometimes slept in hostels, stadia or training grounds as he struggled for money and to keep on the straight and narrow...many women in tow.
5: Rene Higuita (Colombia)
David Cannon/Getty Images
Known by many for his ''scorpion kick'' save against England in a friendly match, crazy-haired Higuita has never managed to escape the spotlight for long.
His latest project is to become politically active in his native Colombia, after his profile was raised, following his participation in the reality TV programme La Isla de los Famosos.
Before that, he tested positive for cocaine while still playing professionally and spent seven months in jail after he received a large sum of money for delivering a kidnap ransom.
4: Peter Storey (England and Arsenal)
Known for his hard-hitting style, Arsenal legend Storey ran a pub and market stall when he quit the game.
However, he is notorious for having been involved in coin counterfeit activities, car theft and illegally importing pornographic films.
3: Robin Friday (Reading)
A very talented footballer in his heyday, Friday's career was short-lived as his alcoholism and drug addiction eventually caught up on him.
He introduced himself on his debut to Fulham's Bobby Moore by squeezing his testicles and fatally overdosed in 1989.
Perennially here today, gone tomorrow...there have been few characters like Friday.
2: George Best (Northern Ireland and Manchester United)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Generally regarded not only as one of the best footballers in history but also as one of the biggest party animals.
Growing up alongside The Beatles in a cultural revolution promoting carefree fun and sexual promiscuity, Best came to own two nightclubs in Manchester and numerous fashion boutiques.
Reportedly, he also knew Manchester's young women fairly initimately also.
1: Diego Maradona (Argentina and Napoli)
Matthew Lewis/Getty Images
Not his daughter, nor his niece, the lovely lady pictured above is, in fact, 50 year-old Argentina coach and footballing legend Diego Maradona's girlfriend, model Monica Ojeda.
Proving that Maradona still has the magic touch!
It seems that wildboy Maradona doesn't know what a quiet night in is and certainly doesn't play by the rulebook - whether it is testing positive for drugs at USA '94, karate kicking an opponent in front of the King of Spain, being chased across the globe by Italian taxmen or punching the ball into the back of the next in front of millions of spectators...