10 Footballers Whose Careers Are Affected By ROMANTIC Relationships

Let us take a look at some footballers affected by romantic relationship. For those fans that seem to not know, footballers are actually not robots. Their performances on the pitch are hugely affected by their Mental State and Emotions, and today we want to look at some of such players.

These are 10 footballers affected by romantic relationship

1. Marcus Rashford

Let’s start with Marcus Rashford. The Man United forward has seen his form hugely affected by his relationship with his girlfriend Lucia Loi. In the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons,  while the couple were still together, Rashford produced 30+ goal contributions.

footballers affected by romantic relationship

They split in 2021 and boom! Rashford’s numbers dropped drastically. He lost the Europa League final, missed a penalty at the Euros final, and ended up with just 7 goal contributions in the 2021-22 season.

In 2022, the couple got back, and you already know what happened. He came up with 39 goal contributions, was United’s best player, and helped the club break their trophy drought. They then split in 2023 and Rashford was back to having a rough season which included a goal drought and a Champions League red card.

But this story is not even over yet because Rashford just recently got back with Lucia, and days later, he scored his first goal in a long time against Everton. It just could be the start of another good spell for the English forward. 

2. Josip Illicic

In 2020, Illicic was one of the hottest players in Europe playing for Atalanta. He became the first player in Champions League history to score 4 goals in a single away knockout game and the oldest player to score 4 in a Champions League knockout game.

footballers affected by romantic relationship

But he caught his wife pants down with another man on his own bed and that really wrecked him mentally. He struggled with depression and was declared unfit to play by doctors. He was out for a while and then his contract with Atalanta was eventually terminated in 2022.

He finally got back to playing football in 2022 after returning to Slovenia in October to play for Maribor. 

Today the player denies that this happened. He is still with his wife and claimed that his absence at that time was due to COVID 19.

3. Mario Icardi

When we talk about unfaithfulness in a marriage, we just cannot go without mentioning Mario Icardi, can we? This guy snatched the wife of a senior colleague (Maxi Lopez) and in the process, threw away his international career.

Despite being one of the hottest young strikers in Europe during his time at Inter Milan, Icardi was not called up to the Argentina national team, and even though it was never publicly confirmed, we all just knew that it was because of his relationship with Maxi Lopez’s wife and the mother of his kids, Wanda Nara.

4. John Terry

John Terry also had a similar situation as Josip Illicic. He had an affair with Wayne Bridge’s ex-girlfriend and the mother of his son. It went public in 2010 and it affected Terry’s career and public image. As a captain, to do that to a younger teammate was seen as despicable.

As a result, John Terry was stripped of captaincy in the England national team and was absolutely rubbished by the English media. But luckily, Terry was able to pick himself back up to do amazing things with both Chelsea and England, so this bad patch ended up not really affecting his legacy.

5. Oleksandr Zinchenko

Here’s a funny one. You guys remember when Oleksandr Zinchenko’s wife had some really heavy words for Pep Guardiola and his tactics in the Champions League game against Lyon back in 2020?

She came out and blamed Pep outright for City’s poor showing in that game, saying that experimenting with tactics in a game like that was a mess and that it was all Guardiola’s fault. 

The following day, Zinchenko had to apologize for what his wife said, and who knows? Maybe that was one of the reasons Pep shipped him off to Arsenal in 2022.

6. Kevin-Prince Boateng

Another story which is also really funny is Kevin-Prince Boateng always being injured because he and his partner used to have sex several times a week. 

His girlfriend revealed this in an interview back in 2012 when the Ghanaian striker was struggling with a muscle injury. She said that the reason he was injured so often was because they would have sex 7 to 10 times every week.

To be honest, that’s more than enough to leave any man constantly battling injuries. Perhaps that’s why he ended up not being as successful as his brother. KP won just 2 league titles throughout his career, meanwhile Jerome won the World Cup, a Champions League, and even a sextuple. Guess you could say Kevin-Prince was focused on the wrong sex.

7. Kevin-Prince Boateng

It’s not always this funny. Sometimes the consequences of romantic relationships are much more dire than just leaving a team or even having a drop in performance.

We saw how Neymar’s entire career and image was almost destroyed because of sexual assault allegations. The Brazilian lost a number of huge deals including the one with Nike, only for a video recording to reveal that the allegations were nothing but lies.

Neymar had to get on Instagram to clear his name, providing screenshots of WhatsApp messages as well as the video he secretly recorded as evidence that he didn’t sexually assault the lady as she claimed. But that didn’t bring Nike back.

8. Emmanuel Eboue

For Emmanuel Eboue, it was his own wife who did him dirty. In his case, it was not even a matter of his career being affected, his life was destroyed! Eboue played for Beveren in Belgium for 2 years between 2002 and 2004 and that was where he met and married Aulerie. 

Now, fast forward to 2017, just a year after he retired from professional football after years playing with clubs like Arsenal, Galatasaray, and Sunderland, the Ivorian told Sunday Mirror that he was now poor and homeless, no thanks to his wife.

He revealed that he had made some investments which were controlled by Aurelie, and when they got divorced, she took everything. So, in addition to heartbreak, he was staring poverty in the eye. That combination sent him into a depressive state and he confessed that he resorted to drugs to cope. So sad!

9. Andriy Shevchenko

And you know what? Even Ballon d’Or winners are not exempt from these effects of romantic relationships. In 2006, Andriy Shevchenko was on top of the world. He had won domestic titles, the Champions League, and even the Ballon d’Or, but his wife forced him to move to England and that changed everything.

She said she wanted to raise their kid in an English-speaking environment, so when Chelsea showed interest, Andriy didn’t think twice. But it was the worst decision ever. From Ballon d’Or winner in 2004, Shevchenko turned into a huge flop in 2006. 

He retired to Milan on loan two years later, but he was unable to kickstart his career there, scoring only 2 league goals in 26 appearances. If only his wife hadn’t insisted on him moving to England in his prime.

10. Alexander Katai

We’ll now wrap up with Alexander Katai who was released by LA Galaxy just months after he signed because of statements his wife made on social media. The year was 2020 and the protest against police brutality was at its peak in the US. 

But Katai’s wife wasn’t on board. She called the protesters disgusting cattle, made comments under an Instagram post asking the NYPD to shoot them, and even mocked the Black Lives Matter movement with the phrase Black Nikes Matter. Alexander Katai said his wife’s posts were unacceptable and issued a public apology, but it didn’t matter. 2 days later, his contract with LA Galaxy was terminated.

You see, what this video proves is that the partner you choose for yourself affects your career, your mental health, and your entire life. So, choose wisely.

But if you have had a bad experience with romantic partners in the past, feel free to tell us the story in the comments. This is a safe space.

Keep reading: Top Footballers Reveal Their Toughest Opponents

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