It’s a well-known fact that football players are some of the world’s best-paid and most famous athletes. However, it seems that these days, every time you open up a newspaper or turn on the TV, there’s another story about a footballer who has found themselves in prison.
Ronaldinho is regarded as one of the greatest footballers to ever play football and has lighted up fields all around the world while representing Barcelona, Brazil, and AC Milan.
Carlo Ancelotti, current manager of Real Madrid and former manager of Chelsea, once declared Ronaldinho the “most complete player on earth.” But the Brazilian has been in trouble with the law on several occasions.
Despite reaching the pinnacles of football and taking advantage of all the wealth that comes with it, his personal situation has dramatically deteriorated over the past year, and he was recently incarcerated in a Paraguayan prison.
In addition to his achievements in the beautiful game, Ronaldinho is renowned for his wild social life. In 2019 more than 50 of his assets were seized together with his Spanish and Brazilian passports due to unpaid fines and taxes dating back to more than 10 years.
In 2020 the former legend of Barcelona and AC Milan was detained alongside his brother and agent for entering Paraguay using a fraudulent passport. According to a statement from the Interior Ministry of Paraguay, the Attorney General’s office issued a warrant of arrest, which accused Ronaldinho of misusing a public document containing fraudulent data and asked for preventative custody.
Just like Ronaldinho, Diego Maradona was not yet a grown-up when he first found himself in the Bad Boys Club.
Diego Maradona is widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers in history, if not the greatest. That being said, he didn’t always live up to his status on or off the pitch. Maradona, who had an illustrious football career, most notably playing for Argentina and Napoli, ended up in jail for several months, but his bad behavior continued in and out of prison. He tested positive for cocaine during the 1994 World Cup and tested positive for ephedrine during the 1998 World Cup.
According to numerous sources, the Naples mafia allegedly employed Diego Maradona as a front during his time in Napoli, aided his cocaine-fueled parties, and utilized their influence to shield Maradona from prosecution. More so, he was suspended in 1994 for firing an air weapon at reporters.
Diego Maradona’s problems with the law have been well documented. The Argentine legend was once caught with two grams of cocaine in his pocket, but he wasn’t charged because it was only enough for personal use. Maradona has also been arrested three times on charges of “assaulting an actress, breaking traffic rules, making threats, and abandoning his guests at an expensive restaurant.”
The ex-England international footballer was sentenced to 6 years in jail for engaging in sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl. Johnson claimed that he loved the teenager and wanted to marry her, but unfortunately for him, the girl’s mother found out about the relationship.
Nevertheless, the court found him guilty of kissing, groping a fan inappropriately, and “grooming” her out of “single-minded pursuit of his sexual enjoyment.
The famous Colombian goalkeeper player was sentenced to five years in jail for kidnapping and armed robbery. The Colombian player was taking part in a “nocturnal raid” with other criminals from his hometown of Cali on the border with Ecuador.
The goalkeeper served as a middleman for drug lord Pablo Escobar in a case concerning the kidnapping of Carlos Molina’s daughter. Consequentially, Higuita missed the 1994 world cup due to his behavior.
Even in the most high-profile of sports, there are certain stars who manage to buck the trend. Their off-field behavior often gets them into trouble due to a lack of self-control or a willingness to take risks. To put it bluntly, the life of a top sports star isn’t always as glamorous as it seems. Despite their fame and status, they can be subjected to various problems that arise from their time in the limelight.