Mirror Football takes a look at six stars who have admitted they shun football away from the pitch after Arsenal’s Ben White revealed he didn’t really watch football growing up
The Gunners new £50million defender made the revelation after being quizzed on his upcoming meeting with Crystal Palace manager Patrick Viera on Monday – with White now donning the number four shirt that the Frenchman donned during his iconic spell with the Gunners.
But the ex- Brighton man isn’t the only footballer who doesn’t enjoy watching the game in his spare time.
There have been a host of other stars who prefer to just play the game rather than obsessing over it off the pitch too.
Mirror Football takes a look at six top players from past and present who have shared a similar stance over the years.
Gunners new boy White tops the list after his revelation earlier this week.
“Football is so intense,” White told Sky Sports. “You come in every day giving 100 per cent. All I want to do is go home and not think about it, then come in in the morning fresh and ready to give 100 per cent again.
“I watch myself for analytical reasons. I watch England, maybe, but I’m always busy doing something. I wouldn’t just sit down and watch a game.
“I didn’t ever watch football when I was younger. I still don’t now. I just loved the game, I was always playing it, never watching.”
Despite that, White said that he knew of Viera ahead of Arsenal’s meeting with the Frenchman’s side, Crystal Palace on Monday night.
“So I don’t know too much about the older generations, but I know Vieira was a very good player. But I don’t know the details,” White added.
Bale has made no secret of his preference for golf over football.
The Welsh wizard told ESPN previously: “I don’t really watch much football. I’d rather watch the golf to be honest.”
He certainly made that clear when he made headlines that angered fans of his club side, Real Madrid, following Wale’s sealing their spot at Euro 2020.
The light-hearted stunt did little to improve Bale’s relationship with Real fans, with the Welshman not a popular figure in Madrid.
After spending last year back on loan at Tottenham, the forward is currently sidelined in Spain with a knee injury.
It’s probably a safe bet to assume that he won’t be watching much football during his rehab period.
Ex- Manchester United striker Tevez went one further than admitting he doesn’t really watch football – he insisted that he doesn’t even “like football”.
The Argentine, who also had spells with Manchester City and West Ham told Clarin, per Marca, in 2018: “I don’t like football, I’ve never been a fan of football, I simply like to play and to have the ball at my feet.”
As for his preference of watching golf, he said: “If Barcelona and Real Madrid are playing each other, but there is a golf tournament on another channel, I’ll choose to watch the golf instead.
“I don’t watch any football on television.”
Marc-Andre ter Stegen
David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Barcelona goalkeeper ter Stegen may play for one of the biggest clubs in Europe, but he’s admitted that he has “no idea about football” outside of the Nou Camp.
The former Borussia Mönchengladbach stopper has been the La Liga side’s number one for the past five years but doesn’t obsess over football away from the pitch.
“People laugh when I tell them I have no idea about football,” Ter Stegen told El Pais back in March last year.
“I don’t see a lot of football, except when there are good games or when I’m particularly interested in one because I have a relationship or a friend. Sometimes they ask me for a player’s name and I have no idea.”
John McCoy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Former Arsenal forward Vela revealed a few years back that preferred “a good movie” over football.
The Mexican winger, who currently plays for MLS side Los Angeles FC, admitted that he has never really been “passionate” about following football.
“I’ll be honest with you. The truth is that I’ve never been so passionate about football as to say, ‘I’m a fan of Real Madrid or of this team and I’ll stand with them to the death’,” Vela told Canal+ previously.
“I enjoy playing, but once the match ends the football is finished for me and you can talk to me about anything that isn’t football, because I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing so or like doing so.”
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Former West Ham and Brighton striker Zamora opened up on his lack of interest in football away from the pitch as far back as 2012 – and reckons that plenty more stars are in the same boat, even if they don’t admit it.
“I’m not a massive football fan, really,” the former West Ham forward told the Daily Mail previously. “I don’t watch games on an evening or anything like that.
“Quite a lot more players than (those that admit it) are the same.
”I’m not sure what I want to do after I finish playing but if it means watching football then I don’t want to get involved.”