Footballers love showing off their cars, flash bunch that they are – but sometimes they’re made to regret it.
Sometimes they do so at an inopportune moment, like in the immediate aftermath of a bad defeat, provoking the kind of backlash they probably should have seen coming.
Sometimes they’re taken down a peg or two by their own team-mates, given that footballers love a good prank almost as much as they love cars.
Either way, it’s playing with fire. Here are six footballers who showed off their cars and might well rue it now:
The Real Madrid star posted a picture of himself posing with his new £260,000 Lamborghini Aventador, as driven by Batman:
Needless to say, photoshoppers had a field day:
— Dolors Boatella (@DolorsBoatella) October 17, 2016
Encuentra las siet…, no, las cin…, tr…, bueno, alguna diferencia. pic.twitter.com/rY6CqWZSGk
— Pijortera (@LaPijortera) October 17, 2016
— Sara Vegas Martín (@sara_vmartin) October 17, 2016
— Sr.Billy (@txusito1) October 17, 2016
— Mamen Guisante (@marmonben) October 17, 2016
— robotronk (@robotronk1) October 17, 2016
Perhaps Ronaldo can get away with posing in front of a Lamborghini Aventador – but Fletcher? Not when he’d managed just seven goals in two seasons for Sunderland:
The photo, which also shows off his Bentley Continental, circulated just days before his struggling side lost 0-4 to Aston Villa:
This is what 7 goals in 2 seasons buys you in Sunderland pic.twitter.com/jRpmdOPoG6
— TheSPORTbible (@TSBible) March 16, 2015
Fletcher later got rid of the car, telling Herald Scotland:
The fans gave me dog’s abuse for that, of course they did. I am happy to stick to the little Citroen DS4 I got off Marseille now thanks. It’s a good car to drive.
The guy I bought it from asked me if he could have a picture of me standing next to the car. I said, “Yeah.” Two weeks later it fell into someone else’s hands and they tweeted it.
It got to the point I didn’t enjoy driving it. I only had it two months. I ended up parking it on my drive and sticking a cover over it. I left the cover on there until I could get rid of the thing.
Shortly after England’s Euro 2016 defeat to Iceland, the Man City man shared a Snapchat clip showing off his collection of snazzy cars and his mansion:
That the video began with the caption “winning team” only poured fuel on the outraged reaction:
Did #RaheemSterling really snapchat his cars with the caption "winning team" ……… *bangsheadoffwall
— Aimee Louise (@AimeeLouise77) June 30, 2016
Raheem sterling is an absolute joke hours after getting home this pricks bragging on snapchat about his cars. Should be ashamed.
— lennox (@lennoxfors) June 30, 2016
https://t.co/4Lf0TZyNIN Raheem Sterling showing off his 800 cars and massive mansion, loving life. No shame
— DB (@dbbcfc9599) July 2, 2016
Having just lost 0-6 to Liverpool, it’s safe to say Aston Villa weren’t clamouring to see their centre-back’s flash new motor:
— Joleon Lescott (@JoleonLescott) February 14, 2016
Lescott claimed the tweet had occurred accidentally in his pocket, much to the incredulity of everyone.
A notorious prankster himself, Balotelli was on the receiving end when his Man City team-mates hid a bag of kippers behind the front seat of his Maserati.
They did so just before a club tour of the US, ensuring Balotelli returned to the smell of fish with a fortnight’s worth of rotting behind it.
A source said:
The smell really made him sick. There were flies in the car and the leather seats in the back had rotting fish all over them.
Apparently it was a write-off. The car, that is, not Balotelli…
Back in his Newcastle United days, Clark showed up with a BMW and one mischievous team-mate’s eyes lit up.
John Beresford said:
I once covered Lee Clark’s BMW in flour. But instead of driving away and letting it all blow off, he decided to wash it. All the flour turned to dough and it was ruined.
Mind you, Beresford’s own car didn’t pass unsullied:
Me and Rob Lee once let Alan Shearer’s tyres down, so he covered my car in crap and, though he denies it, I’m sure he put horse dung down the grill so that when I turned the heating on it reeked.