ridiculous contract demands of football players dennis bergkamp

8 Of The Most Absurd, Weirdest Contract Clauses in Football

Transfer rumours are here and there, with some are already done deals.

With that, football clubs would do anything to sign the right player. And that’s regardless of how absurd their requests may get.

This is not about the basic wages and bonuses of the football players. Instead, these are actual, out-of-this-world requests that somehow made their way through the contracts.

Speaking of which, here are some of the most insane and weirdest demands of football players as epitomised in their contracts.

Disclaimer: These are the demands of the football players themselves, not the requests of the football clubs (which can be equally risible, but that’s another story).

1) Access to a private jet

In 2011, when Samuel Eto’o was transferring from Inter Milan to Anzhi Makhachkala, his contract has a clause about his preferred mode of transportation mode so to speak. 

He asked for a private jet no less, in addition to earning £20 million for a year. This is justified, however, because he lives in Moscow.

2) Flying friends every two months

In 2013, Neymar transferred from Santos to Barcelona. This was one of the most controversial contracts in football because of tax fraud accusations.

But it’s not the only ridiculous thing about it. The Brazilian legend demanded that the club fly his Barcelona-based friends to Brazil. The club shall pay for all the expenses.

In some reports, Neymar demanded his club Paris Saint-Germain for a private jet and a chain of hotels under his name.

3) Cooking class for the wife

In 1999, Rolf-Christel Guie-Mien demanded Eintracht Frankfurt to include cooking classes for his wife. He did not sign the contract until the club arranged his wife’s cooking class.

It was the first, and perhaps the only one strange demand that the German club has encountered. 

4) A new house every year

Giuseppe Reina asked Arminia Bielefeld to build him a new home and pay for the mortgage each year he was with the German club. It was his first contract. He played for four seasons with them. 

It backfired, however, due to lack of specificity. His club handed him houses made from Lego. Reina’s dream houses turned into a nightmare for sure.

5) Sheep’s gonads

Yes, you read that right. Spencer Prior specifically asked for “a physical liaison with a sheep and eat sheep’s testicles and brains.” That’s written on his contract.

Nonetheless, he sometimes wants his food with lemon, salt, and parsley. Sometimes.

6) No flying

Dennis Bergkamp is known as the “The Non-Flying Dutchman” because that’s what he is. He blatantly refused to travel on planes because of fear of heights. 

The acrophobic football player was a logistical nightmare, more so when Arsenal needed to move from city to city in Europe. Still, he emerged as a club legend with his 87 goals.

7) Four butlers

Ronaldhino is not your typical football player. His demands are just like that.

He asked for a house with a swimming pool, a football pitch, and a beach football pitch which may be understandable. However, he also demanded a club to provide him with four butlers before playing for Queretaro.

8) A mansion

Before a botched agreement with Lyon, Emmanuel Adebayor required a mansion overlooking Corsica. He also wanted a helicopter and private jet.

On top of that, he also requested for Alexandre Lacazette’s number 10.

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Liverpool’s Sadio Mané Named 2019 African Player of the Year

Sadio Mané is a Senegalese football player, playing for Liverpool as a winger since 2016. He started playing in the Premier League in 2014.

African Player of the Year 2019

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) Awards recently hailed Mané as the 2019 African Player of the Year because of his performance at last year’s campaign. 

He helped Liverpool win the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Champions League. Mané also led the Senegal team to its Africa Cup of Nations finals appearance.

This was his first time winning the award. He was also nominated in 2017 and 2018 but lost to his teammate, Mohamed Salah. 

Mané and Salah are instrumental to Liverpool’s success at the UEFA, scoring 34 and 26 goals, respectively. He appeared in 61 matches while Salah, in 55 matches.

Mané dreamed of becoming a football player

True enough, he has come a long way from being the child whose father forbade from playing football. 

None from his village, Sédhiou, has ever played professional football. His parents thought he’s just wasting time. They wanted him to become a teacher.

He went to Dekar for a football trial without telling them. Upon learning about it, they demanded that he come home. It was too late then—he already earned a spot at Académie Génération Foot, a football academy in Senegal.

Below are some worth-knowing details about Mané.

Facts and stats of Mané

  • Earns respect of his colleagues because of his work ethics—he’s the always person to arrive on a training day
  • Has own chef because Mané is admittedly a bad cook, but was a healthy eater nonetheless
  • Holds the record for the fastest hat trick in Premier League at 2 minutes 53 seconds
  • Scored his 50th league goal on his 100th Premier League appearance
  • Has extended his record run of  matches without defeat at 50 matches in 2019
  • Considers El Hadji Diouf, also a Senegalese football player, and Ronaldinho as his heroes
  • Was the second Senegalese to win the prestigious award, after Diouf who won the same award in 2001 and 2002
  • Very charitable, donated $260,000 to build a school in Senegal while also giving €70 per month per household for people living in extreme poverty

As if these stats are not enough, here’s a proof of Mané’s display of greatness on the pitch.

Earning the respect of the football community

Mané is a complete player, but it’s his style of play that gains the respect of other football players – teammates or not.

Dutch legend Danny Blind thinks of him as “the super modern player.” He compared him with Cristiano Ronaldo. He also praised the Senegalese for his scoring abilities, using both head and feet and combining that with astonishing sprints

Lionel Messi admires Mané. He even backed his 2019 Best FIFA Men’s Player nomination. He said, “Mané achieved a great year that was exceptional for the entire Liverpool team. That’s why I chose him.” Messi also mentioned, “It’s a shame to see Mané finish in fourth place.”

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FIFA Foundation and Its Most important Programmes

FIFA Foundation started in March 2018 and is currently headquartered in Zurich. Its goal is to help in promoting social change throughout the world. More specifically, it aims to raise awareness and support for the reconstruction of damaged sports infrastructure in different parts of the world.

The foundation is in infancy, and yet it already launched at least 93 social projects to date.

The FIFA Foundation Board, which was currently headed by Yuri Djorkaeff, a former French international, oversees the activities of the foundation.

FIFA Foundation programmes

1) Community programme

The foundation primarily supports organisations that utilise the sport as its main tool for social change. This is more so if the goal is to improve the lives of the underprivileged children and their families.

Every year, the foundation invites non-profit organisations to apply for grants that it can use to further their causes. Such causes and advocacies may include but are not limited to education, health, leadership, and gender equality, among others.

2) Recovery programme

FIFA Foundation also provides support to communities struck by natural disasters or any unforeseen events in the form of mobilisation and emergency funding. 

This is particularly applicable for the recovery of the damaged or destroyed sporting infrastructure. 

3) Festival

In 2018, the festival was conducted in Red Square in Moscow where young representatives from 48 non-profit organisations from 38 countries were brought to the FIFA World Cup. The more than 300 participants exchanged, learned, and played football, celebrating the transformative power of football.

Speaking of learning, the event kicked off with its own Young Leaders’ Skills Development Programme. It is a three-day event where the young leaders from each delegation engaged in exchange and skills development. They trained as mediators, mentors, and communicators.

With this said, the festival was a great display of how football can empower the youth. Indeed, it can bring social changes to anywhere these are needed.

With a tagline of Equality, Teamwork, and Fair Play, the FIFA Foundation Festival 2018 also included a football tournament and awarding ceremony. 

The tournament was the highlight of the festival where 24 mixed-gender teams with eight players each were formed to battle one another. The competition took place at Olympiets.

4) Football for girls

This has been the foundation’s signature project – the football for girls in the Middle East.

Young girls experience gender and race-based barriers and breaking down such barriers means giving them equal opportunities. The foundation allows the girls to participate, forging a bright future for them in the process.

This alone empowers young girls and women in the Middle East as well as the communities where they live. Participation is historically limited in these areas because of both cultural and religious barriers. 

5) Legends as ambassadors

FIFA legends are part of the board. They also contribute to making the football dreams of the youth come true.

Their goal is to give back as ambassadors of both the foundation and its projects. They also commit to the projects and programmes, travelling to target areas where their presence is needed.

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If you are to recommend a project or programme to the FIFA Foundation, what would it be? Please let us know.