Aside from their eye-watering wages, and sordid carryings-on with team-mates’ wives, footballers are most often hitting the headlines for their love of fast cars.
This can be both a blessing and a curse for car manufacturers. Constantly having their car in the gaze of a paparazzo’s lens is great for publicity, but being seen too often runs the risk of the model in question being dubbed a ‘footballer’s car’, having the negative effect of putting off other potential customers who don’t wish to be associated with that world.
But which model is most popular amongst Britain’s footballing elite? Lad’s mag Nuts has been asking the same question and has compiled a top 10 list of the cars most driven by premiership stars. So, if you want to know what car to drive to emulate your heroes – or avoid like the plague, depending on your outlook – in reverse order, here are the top 10 most popular footballer’s cars:
10. Chevrolet Camaro
A surprising entry in the list – this yank tank isn’t as rarefied or as exclusive as the standard footballer fodder, being available from little over £35,320 in the UK. It’s likely appeal with names such as Petr Cech and Joe Allen lies in its muscle-car performance, all-American looks and relative scarcity on UK roads. Expect to see more footballers behind the wheel of one, with Chevrolet’s continued sponsorship of Manchester United.
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9. Audi R8
The R8 was Audi’s first premier league supercar, so it’s perhaps only fitting that it’s such a favourite with ball-kickers. David Silva, Theo Walcott and Micah Richards can all count themselves as drivers, with most preferring the extra power and kudos of the range topping 5.2-litre V10, over the still sublime 4.2-litre V8 model.
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8. Lamborghini Gallardo
Loud, wide and fast, the Gallardo is almost tailor made for the young man about town who likes to attract attention. The ‘baby’ Lambo has been the marque’s best selling model ever, with the sales stats bolstered substantially by premiership footballers, with Ashley Cole, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Wayne Rooney and David Beckham amongst others all having one tucked up at home.
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7. Ferrari 458 Italia
A similar proposition to the Gallardo, but with a heap more dynamic prowess and F1 inspired tech, the Ferrari 458 is amongst the most accomplished and desirable cars on the planet right now. Hardly surprising then that Jack Wilshere, Nani and Frank Lampard have all signed on the dotted line to get their hands on one.
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6. Porsche Panamera
Sometimes two seats just won’t cut it, not when you want to take your mates to lap dancing clubs or dogging or whatever else premiership players get up to in their spare time. Thankfully the Porsche Panamera is just the car for that sort of occasion, boasting lounging room for four and opulent cabin, all combined with a gifted chassis and searing performance for which Porsche is famed. Buy one and you can count Romelu Lukaku, Daniel Sturridge and er, John Terry as fellow owners.
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5. Bentley Continental GT
Say ‘footballer’s car’ and the Bentley Continental is the car that will most likely spring into people’s heads. The GT has been a sales phenomenon to the brand, marrying the marque’s traditional values of luxury and effortless power with increased dynamism over its traditional limos. Few cars have been embraced by footballers in such a way, with an extensive list of premiership owners including Mario Balotelli, Gael Clichy and Steven Gerrard.
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4. Aston Martin DB9
A surprisingly conservative entrant into the top 10, the Aston Martin DB9 is a byword for discreet performance and effortless good taste. It seems footballers occasionally value being inconspicuous in their motors, as Gareth Barry, James Milner and Darren Bent all slink about town in one.
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3. Audi Q7
Now this is more like it. A top 10 of footballer’s cars wouldn’t be complete without the mammoth (and some would argue obnoxious) Audi Q7. Like the R8, the Q7 took the German brand into previously unexplored territory, and being the brand to be seen in right now, sales rocketed. Starting at around £45,000, its relatively accessible for us mere mortals, too. Just the thing if you want to boast that you drive the same car as David Beckham.
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2. Porsche Cayenne
Another luxury SUV, this time with a twist of sports car. The Porsche Cayenne can claim to be built for both comfort and speed, as it shows up other supposedly sporting rivals in the premium 4×4 market. While it can look fairly discreet (as much as a 2-tonne SUV can) in standard trim, footballers being footballers often opt to customise their Cayennes, with Yaya Toure just one of many who’ve imposed their dubious creative will on their car.
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1. Range Rover Sport
Offering a more involving drive than the full-fat Range Rover, with only minor concessions in luxury, the Range Rover Sport is the most commonly bought car amongst footballers. The all-new second generation is likely to prove an even greater hit, doing a very good impression of a sports car on a twisty road, while rivalling a Bentley in the interior comfort and quality stakes.
Search for a used Range Rover here