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08th Apr 2015

Ten marketing deals these footballers will regret for the rest of their lives


Stick to the football, lads.

Unless you’re Freddy Adu. Then, by all means, milk the cow while you can.

There are some commercial deals that will outlast the memory of footballing accomplishments; we’ve compiled a list of the worst that should make you feel slightly less envious about failing to make the big time…

Freddy Adu – Campbell’s Soup

The next Pele-cum-night-club-owner-cum-Kuopion Palloseura player must have thought he hit the big time when he was being chased by marketeers as a 15-year-old. And they don’t come much bigger weirder than Campbell’s Soup.

In this video, the American is seen taking time out of his training regime to sup on a bowl of delicious soup. Ten years later, he’s on the 11th club of his career. Careful what you eat, kids.

Campbell’s Soup – “Freddy Adu” from Petr Hlinomaz on Vimeo.

Blackburn Rovers – Venky’s chicken

In the summer before their Premier League relegation, Blackburn Rovers were filmed cheerily tucking into a huge plate of pre-match chicken, courtesy of their Indian owners. With match preparation like that, we can’t figure out what went wrong…

Peter Schmeichel – Danepak bacon

In this infamous advert for Danish bacon, one of the world’s finest goalkeepers was reduced to parading around like the Music Man on crackling singing about his love for all things porcine. We’d love to know what Sir Alex thought.

Morten Gamst Pedersen and John Arne Riise – Norwegian fruit ad

If you’re fed up with being a nobody and would prefer to live the high life looking like a scruffy Norwegian security guard, then step away from the pick ‘n’ mix and grab yourself some fruit.

You can be just as rugged and disheveled as Gamst and Riise if you really want.

Gareth Southgate – Pizza Hut

Because the only to enjoy pizza is with a paper bag over your head and a side serving of bitter disappointment.

Gareth Southgate, Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle made light of England’s penalty shame with this bizarre production following Euro ’96. Southgate, who missed the penalty that sealed the Three Lions’ elimination, is seen hiding his face at the dinner table.

Either he’s embarrassed, worried of running into an unhappy supporter or, y’know, just wants to do us all a favour and cover up.

Freddie Ljungberg – Calvin Klein

After a man who can’t show his face comes another who can’t show enough of himself.

We’re not too sure why this makes the cut but it is absolutely, definitely, most certainly nothing to do with jealousy. Nothing at all to do with it.

Wilfried Zaha – Penis shorts

Try to unsee this graphic of Wilfried Zaha’s penis shorts. It’s impossible – the image haunts our dreams.

Still, those shorts are damn comfy. We’ve never had so much groin support. Ahem.


Manchester United – We’re not really sure

This was tomato juice. This was Giggs, Carrick, Van Persie and Kagawa. This was…erm…different.

If 30 seconds of men slurping is your thing, then this is definitely for you…

Joe Hart – Head and Shoulders

The marketing campaign that led to England’s number one becoming something of a joke figure. Hart’s Head and Shoulders deal epitomises the modern footballer – never afraid to make a quick buck alongside professional commitments.

Fernando Torres – a cupcake…

You know what they say: When you can’t score a goal, make a cupcake. Or something like that.

Fernando Torres may have lost his goalscoring touch during his spell at Chelsea, but he lost nothing in the kitchen – and it’s clear from this ad that he makes a mean cupcake.

In fairness, he could hardly have used his footballing talents to make money the way things went at Stamford Bridge. We’re just imagining Torres’ agent pitching this idea to him…

“So what is it? Did we get Nike? Adidas? Some sort of slick sports car?” … “Erm. You like baking, don’t you Fernando?”