It appears that the passion for casinos is a shared trait among many professional footballers, from Cristiano Ronaldo to ex-Juventus player Gianluigi Buffon to Neymar. Often said to seek out the thrill of gambling, these players are known to frequent casinos as an alternative playground to the football pitch, particularly indulging in poker which, like football, requires skill and strategy.
With the rise of online casinos, players seem to have favoured this easily accessible platform more. One of these platforms is those offering PayPal as a payment option, known for their high level of security, enhancing the peace of mind for these high-profile players.
Football legend, Cristiano Ronaldo, has shown a notable interest in poker. Regarded as an unexpected experience by poker enthusiasts, some have had the good fortune to share a gaming table with Ronaldo, famous for his longstanding rivalry with Messi. Ronaldo’s preference extends beyond enjoying poker at home, exploring a variety of casino games available.
Italian football star Gianluigi Buffon, famous for his tenure at Juventus, also shares a fascination with casinos. He has been known to enjoy poker though public opinion has been critical at times, mainly due to betting scandals. Buffon faced accusations in 2006 and 2012 of illegal betting amounting to 1.5 million euros prior to the World Cup. Despite the controversy and subsequent investigations, Buffon was acquitted and continued to play online. For a time, he was also the ambassador of PokerStars.
Neymar, the renowned Barcelona and Paris Saint Germain forward, plans to take up professional poker following his retirement from football. Neymar recently made headlines for participating in a live-stream poker session on Twitch where he suffered a loss of one million euros. The incident, which delighted thousands of his fans, went viral due to Neymar’s surprising reaction that included bursts of laughter combined with mock crying.