Posted by:Eric Njiru
LaLiga stars’ hobbies include video games, sports cars, golf, horse-racing, poker and surfing
When not training or playing games, LaLiga’s biggest names all have their own favourite ways to unwind and relax – whether at home, in the garden or on their travels.
Barcelona star Lionel Messi not only features in many football video games, he also regularly plays them himself. The eight-time LaLiga winner has told interviewers he likes to relax by gaming with friends, and has even gone online anonymously to challenge strangers over the internet.
Less competitively, the Argentine has also been seen playing a Barca v Real Madrid ‘Clasico’ against his five year old son Thiago, although we never learned who controlled which side.
Over at Real Madrid, galactico Cristiano Ronaldo is an avid collector of expensive sports cars, with the garage at his house outside the Spanish capital home to a Lamborghini Aventador, Rolls-Royce Ghost, McLaren MP4-12C Spider, Ferrari F12, and two Bugattis – a Chiron and Veyron.
Three-time LaLiga topscorer Ronaldo also likes to share his hobby with his family, having bought his mother a silver Porsche Boxster as a Christmas present a few years back.
Many footballers around the world enjoy a round of golf in their spare time, but few are into the sport quite as much as Ronaldo’s teammate Gareth Bale. Bale is an excellent player with a handicap of just six, and close friend of 2017 US Masters winner and lifelong Madrid fan Sergio Garcia.
The Wales international even recently hired a professional company to recreate three of the ball and stick game’s most famous holes – full size – in the back garden of his family home.
Across the ‘derbi’ divide, Atletico Madrid attacker Antoine Griezmann is a keen horse-racing fan, and part-owner of a prize-winning thoroughbred. Griezmann inherited his passion for the ‘sport of kings’ from his father, and regularly updates his fans via social media of the progress of his stable.
Their three year old colt ‘Tornibush’ won its first race last November in France, with jockey Franck Blondel imitating the owner’s goal celebration as he dismounted afterwards.
Meanwhile, Messi’s teammate Gerard Pique likes to relax by playing cards during his free time, and the Catalan centre-back has compared the risks involved in high-stakes poker to the challenge of keeping out LaLiga’s top forwards on the pitch.
The Spain international is a serious player who has competed in professional tournaments, with a highest finish of fifth in a world championship event in the Catalan capital in August 2017.
More active is the past-time preferred by Athletic Bilbao centre-forward Aritz Aduriz, an all-rounder who in his youth excelled at other sports including cross-country skiing and snowboarding.
Surfing is now his second love [after] football of course], having learned to ride the waves as a teenager on Bilbao’s La Zurriola beach.
The veteran still visits renowned surfing spots along the Basque coast such as Zarautz and Biarritz, while he has also taken his board on holidays to Costa Rica and California.