Search icon


06th Jun 2018

Seven of the strangest footballer endorsements in history

These are legendary and well worth a watch

Wayne Farry

Brought to you by YouTube.

Celebrities sell things, it’s as simple as that

Whether it’s a movie star, a singer, a poet laureate or a world class lacrosse player, we the public love nothing more than to buy products which are being advertised by people whose faces we recognise.

This was a concept that was front and centre of the most recent episode of Jack Whitehall: Training Days, where the comedian tasked AS Monaco and Colombia footballer Radamel Falcao with appearing in an advertisement for his very own aftershave fragrance.

The fragrance, called Falcao de Toilette, is described as “manly” and if the ad is anything to go by, it probably is, as the two are seen in lovely tuxedos walking along a yacht, standing next to models and holding a falcon.

The thing is, we enjoyed this advertisement so much that we started thinking about other, more real football endorsements out there, because boy howdy there are plenty of them.

So here you have it, the strangest footballer endorsements of all time.

Gareth Southgate, Chris Waddle and Stuart Pearce – Pizza Hut

The one everyone thinks of when they look back on football endorsements, this. Southgate, now the England manager but then a man who had just missed England’s crucial penalty which saw them eliminated from the 1996 European Championships, is joined by Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle, two players who missed penalties at the 1990 World Cup.

Calling the waitress over, Pearce and Waddle shout “MISS” in an extremely believable and charming way, before Southgate comes around, removes his brown bag of shame and walks into a post. Oh Gareth.

Fernando Torres – Banco Gallego dog training

A left-field entry, this ad features a young, spectacularly-groomed Fernando Torres endorsing what appears to be a Spanish dog training school called Banco Gallego. The ad opens on an adorable fawn pug looking rather confused, before shooting to another slightly more smug black pug. It then continues with plenty more dogs, each of home seems happy if a little bemused. 13/10. A good ad.

Manchester United – Japanese tomato juice

This advertisement is one of many in which a large group of Manchester United players have displayed their acting chops. This one, from 2013, features Michael Carrick, Ryan Giggs, Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa slurping down thick glasses of a Japanese tomato juice known as Kagome. They then proceed to say what one can only assume are bland Japanese phrases that essentially mean “delicious”.

Lionel Messi – Japanese face cream

Seemingly from around 2014, this advertisement is pretty self-explanatory. It features Messi with a face covered with, frankly, a little bit too much face cream. He then drops his head before a splash of water appears and, hey presto, his face looks like it has been kissed by the Gods themselves. If this doesn’t make you immediately want to go out and buy this product, then you are clearly impervious to advertising.

Blackburn Rovers – Venky’s chicken

More like an intro video to some kind of futuristic chicken cult, this advertisement for Venky’s chicken, the owner and sponsor of Blackburn Rovers, features a number of squad members standing shoulder-to-shoulder as they lean forward over an altar of…. wait for it…. chicken on a plate. The players then decide to reject their poultry deity and choose instead to simply eat it. A pretty good ad, to be fair.

Manchester United – X-Men: Apocalypse

Yet again, the Red Devils find themselves on this list, and while the Kagome tomato juice is their early indie film debut which faired well at Cannes, this is their summer blockbuster, full of CGI and big names. The main reason for this is because it is actually an ad for a summer blockbuster full of CGI and big names, namely X-Men: Apocalypse.

The highlight of this trailer is most definitely Wayne Rooney’s cameo, which sees the ex-Manchester United captain utter the timeless lines “Hello Charles”, “Anything for the team” and, best of all, “Apoca-who?!”. Simple, effective, beautiful.

Kevin Keegan – Sugar Puffs

What can I say? This is 30 seconds of pure adrenaline and joy. It sees Keegan – then the Newcastle United manager – sending on the big man who just so happens to be Honey Monster, the mascot for Sugar Puffs. The big man proceeds to score a bullet header at the back post to win the cup at Wembley.

He then shouts “That’s football, boss” in an exchange that shows the giant hairy beast truly understands the fundamentals of the game and life itself. He then runs into the dressing room to eat some Sugar Puffs, before shouting “That’s the bowl, now for the cup” at which point he runs back onto the sideline, lifts the cup and celebrates with his adoring fans.

Watch Jack Whitehall: Training Days exclusively on Jack Whitehall: Training Days