The Expensive Other Life Of Athletes

You may know them better for kicking a ball around, running track and field, or demonstrating Herculean strength, but with a well-established career in athletics also comes huge amounts of wealth. Here’s a look at some of the most expensive hobbies of our beloved sports heroes.

Vroom vroom

No athlete would be complete without his trophy wife, million-dollar mansion and his very own fleet of sports cars. Some of the world’s most renowned players are no exception. Ex-NFL wide receiver Chad Ochocinco does indeed have a very exciting arsenal of automobiles for somebody who no longer plays, including a Charger, Bentley and a Lamborghini.

You’d think that basketball superstar Shaquille O’Neill would have trouble finding cars to fit his 7’1″ frame, but he is in fact the proud owner of a Rolls Royce Phantom, a Lamborghini Gallardo, a Hummer H2 and an Escalade – each decked out with his own Superman theme.

Soccer players seem to have a penchant not only for buying, but destroying cars, too – in 2009 Cristiano Ronaldo famously totalled his Ferrari only to replace it with a Bentley. Meanwhile Ferrari, Audi, Maserati GT and Mercedes owner Mario Balotelli seems to enjoy playing bumper cars just as much.

 Taking a gamble

Maybe Ochocinco should take a page out of Michael Jordan’s book and earn some money at Euro Palace. After all, gambling is an equally expensive habit for our favorite athletes. In 1993, the basketball legend was spotted gambling in Atlantic City the night before a game against the Knicks. He claims to have lost $165,000, but is still spotted playing high stakes games.

British soccer star Wayne Rooney sadly had the same luck – at only 20 years of age, he had accumulated £700,000 in gambling debt by betting on soccer games with fellow star Michael Owen. In 2008, it was also alleged that he had lost a staggering £65,000 in two hours during a gambling session in Manchester. Luckily for him, he’s now one of the world’s highest paid soccer players.

Airplanes are another vehicle of choice for the world’s most famous athletes, and sadly, they can come with the most expensive price tag of all. In 1964, Chicago Cubs second baseman Ken Hubbs conquered his fear of flying by purchasing a small Cessna. However, after acquiring his flying license, he was killed in a crash caused by bad weather.

The moral of the story here, of course, is to not let money get the better of you. But if you do – do so safely.