Life Skills Footballers Never Learn!
What’s my seven-year-old daughter and Phil Neville got in common? They both made their first cup of coffee recently.
While my daughter was simply curious, 37-year-old Phil had to ring his wife in a panic to find out how to brew a cuppa for a journalist who was interviewing him in his home. Incidentally, it was also the first cup he’d lifted in ten years.
It subsequently transpired, via Mrs. Neville, that her husband has never done a single piece of housework during 15 years of marriage and doesn’t even know where the ironing board resides.
Are footballers really that pampered that they can’t even carry out every day tasks? We take a look.
Can’t Stand The Heat
We can only presume cookery classes weren’t on the syllabus in the Neville brother’s school when they were growing up.
Despite recently opening a restaurant with Ryan Giggs, Phil’s brother Gary displayed his lack of kitchen skills in an unintentionally hilarious documentary about David Beckham, where he led a futile search for a wooden spoon in his own kitchen. His cooking skills were so bad that he relied on Becks to cook his dinners.
One of the most mundane tasks facing normal people is filling in endless forms. Despite having agents, footballers sometimes have to look after their own personal paperwork. Often with disastrous results.
Jason McAteer is not famed for his stunning intellect – he once greeted snooker player Jimmy White with “one-hundred and eighty!” – answered the question “What position do you hold in your company?” on an insurance form with the answer “Right-back”.
Dunno Much About Geography
While many professional footballers travel the world with their clubs and countries, this doesn’t necessarily equate to geographical expertise. Shay Given reportedly took Spanish lessons at Newcastle United so he could communicate with defender Cacapa – who was Brazilian and spoke Portuguese.
Ian Rush famously, and possibly apocryphally, bemoaned that his stint in Italy was “like living in another country”, while Mark Draper once hoped to play for “an Italian club, like Barcelona”.
Meanwhile, professional footballers seem to find it harder than most to acclimatise to other cultures. Luther Blissett’s main regret during his time with AC Milan was the inability to purchase Coco Pops, while Norwegian Frank Strandli claimed to have sampled a very good beer while at Leeds United called “Pint”.
Harry Redknapp’s pretty efficient at wheeling and dealing and winding down his jeep’s window in January, but he’s not so handy with other things most people take for granted.
During a court case in 2012, he admitted he can’t use a computer, never sent an email, never written a letter or even sent a text message. Despite all this, he was still somehow able to open a Monaco bank account in his bulldog’s name…
Short-Term Car Park Memory Loss
We’ve all done it. Parked the car, nipped into Tesco, come out and forgotten where we’ve left the motor. After five minutes of sheepishly searching for it, it’s usually located. Not Jermaine Pennant.
While playing for Real Zaragoza, the winger parked his Porsche at a train station, and not only forgot where he parked it…but forgot that he owned it.
After five months, officials became suspicious of the vehicle which displayed a number plate exclaiming P33NNT. He’d even committed the schoolboy error of leaving the keys on the driver’s seat.