We often see footballers as big billionaires who spend all their money on big cars and who don’t know how to line up two words in an interview. This is
sometimes often true but it is also often sometimes wrong. Some footballers are very human, with nice personalities and great emotional intelligence (I did 5 years of psychiatry, I know what I’m talking about).
In other words, there are among these great athletes, good souls who agree to spend time with their fans, take photos and even sign jerseys. Here is a little recap of the footballers who managed to delight their supporters.
1. Didier Drogba, his charitable actions and his good relationship with supporters
He is very involved in his relationship with his fans, meets them regularly, and is an adored star both in Côte d’Ivoire, but also in the emblematic clubs where he played: OM and Chelsea.
Drogba is also involved in education and health in Africa and particularly in Côte d’Ivoire through his foundation. In 2012, he built a hospital in Abidjan, and donated the earnings from his advertising contracts, in particular with the firm Pepsi, to finance the various projects.
In addition to that, in 2018 he became vice-president of the Peace & Sport association, an association which aims to use sport and its values as an instrument of peace throughout the world. As a result, Drogba regularly meets young players and fans through charity or gala matches. You may already know this, but Drogba is a good guy.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo and his multiple signings
We especially know him as a narcissistic guy who is crazy about always showing his tablets. And it’s not false, but that does not prevent the big star from also seeming to have a big heart, especially for his supporters. He is also one of the players who invest the most in charities.
Adored in Turin, adored at Real and of course adored in Portugal, CR7 is one of the most popular players, if not the most popular of all, and he is one of the personalities who respect the most his fans, and who shows it. In 2014 Ronaldo was in Tokyo for a promotional campaign, and a Q&A was held with young fans. A Japanese fan tried to speak to Cristiano in Portuguese, but the whole audience laughed. To this CR7 responds coldly “why are they laughing? He speaks Portuguese very well, and he does his best”, after that CR7 signed the little boy’s t-shirt while giving him advice on becoming a footballer, because it was his dream.
And that’s just one example, Ronaldo always takes the time, when he can, to take selfies, sign shirts and answer questions from his fans, and even when his fans decide to take to the pitch (yes it’s already happened), he doesn’t get angry and still takes the time to at least shake the supporter’s hand.
Narcissistic yes, but sympathetic too, and not everyone can say the same.
3. Mohamed Salah and the nice surprise for Liverpool fans
Great Egyptian star Mo Salah is also a personality close to his fans and especially close to his Liverpool supporters. How not to appreciate it? Author of multiple exceptional seasons, finalist of the last edition of the CAN, Mohamed Salah nevertheless returns the image of someone simple and friendly.
For example, in 2018 Mo Salah and the Liverpool club organized a nice surprise for 20 young supporters. While 20 children had been selected by the club to take part in a TV commentary contest, with the aim of winning a meeting with the Egyptian, the competition was even more incredible than expected for the young fans.
Each duo commented well on a Reds match, and when they were shouting on a goal from their idol, Salah emerged from the decor to surprise them. The very moved children had the right to a meeting, autographs and photos with the Egyptian star. Pretty classy.
4. Antoine Griezmann makes a nice response to a very admiring young supporter
Player of FC Barcelona then of Atletico Madrid, Griezmann also knows how to please his fans. In 2020, he responded on social media to a young fan who made a video to say how much he admired the French striker. In addition to his response, Griezmann sent a signed jersey to the young player, which moved the little boy, but also his parents.
Note that Griezmann, like his FC Barcelona teammates, had reduced his salary by 70% to support the other employees of the Spanish club. In short, nice gestures that make us say that little Griezmann is a good person.
5. Mbappé decides to meet a fan who messaged him via social media
Mbappé also sometimes likes to respond to his fans on the networks. In 2019, a young fan had sent a voice message on Instagram to the Bondynoise star explaining what his biggest dream was to meet him. Touched by the message, Mbappé responded and organized a meeting with the young supporter at Camp des Loges, the training ground for Parisian players.
Mbappé is one of the most popular French personalities with very young people, which touches the great football star who does not hesitate to show his gratitude to young fans.
6. Ronaldinho, everyone’s favorite player
Ronaldinho also has a great love for his fans, and unlike Cristiano Ronaldo or Neymar he is less divisive in public opinion as his joie de vivre was felt when he played, and when he was in the presence of his supporters.
Always dancing, laughing, or juggling, he said it himself “in the game, the important thing is above all to play”. Ronaldinho was able to spend real moments of complicity with his fans, and showed his jovial spirit on the pitch, which makes him one of the most appreciated footballers.
He also asked to meet the talented Ariana Dos Santos, a very young 10-year-old Brazilian player, to congratulate her on her work and take her in his arms. The young girl was also in tears in front of her idol (it’s too sweet).
7. Neymar giving a fan an amazing birthday present
In the same register as Cristiano Ronaldo, one would think that Neymar is a selfish and narcissistic guy.
And yet the Ney is a generous man who tries to invest his money in humanitarian actions mainly in his native country, Brazil. And sometimes Neymar likes to give his fans little gifts, as was the case in 2020 for a little fan named Enzo who was lucky enough to have a range of gifts for his birthday. The child received a Brazilian jersey, a pair of cleats, a Nike set and other goodies.
8. Leo Messi responding to a 100-year-old fan
The Argentinian international star is also trying to make time for his biggest fans. He sometimes responds on social networks to the videos he receives, in particular those of the young Arat, a small dribbler who impresses a lot, to whom he left comments under his videos, or to Hernan a 100-year-old supporter, to who he sent a video.
Remember also the story of Luciano, the young Uruguayan fan of Messi, who had done everything to approach his idol before a qualifying match for the World Cup, but was stopped by security. Messi had been touched by the little boy’s attention, so called security to bring him back and take a photo with him.
9. Zinédine Zidane and his famous return to Marseille
First of all, like some internationally known players, Zidane regularly participates in gala matches and in particular the math Against Poverty organized every year by the UN.
Then, he recently returned to Marseille to inaugurate a nursing home of which he is the godfather in the city of Castellane, where he grew up. A return to origins for the footballer who took the opportunity to take some photos with his fans, welcomed as a hero in the Marseille city.
10. Jack Grealish gives his cleats to a young fan
An English international player playing as a midfielder at Manchester City, Grealish is very popular with Mancunian supporters.
In 2021 after the Euro final between Italy and England, the Manchester United player took the time to meet his supporters, and in particular climbed the stairs at Wembley and jumped over the barrier, in order to offer his cleats to a young fan and take a picture with him… just after losing the final. A nice gesture that really touched the young supporter and the whole public.