There are now more people in the UK betting on soccer and virtual sports than ever before, but the game of football may be better connected to the casino industry than you first thought. While the beautiful game has natural and long-established links with gambling and sportsbook betting, you may not realize that many top-tier professional players have also had success at the casino, especially when it comes to the poker table. Let’s take a look at 10 famous footballers known for their poker prowess:

1. Gerard Piqué

Generally regarded as one of the best defenders of his generation, Gerard Piqué is a celebrated center-back who has worked wonders for Barcelona and the Spanish team. He has likely been playing poker more regularly since retiring from the national squad in 2018 and has previously placed highly in tournaments featuring established poker giants such as Jason Mercier and Ole Shimon. Gerard’s skills at the table helped him to reportedly generate a notable cashout of $56,000 at the European Poker Tour.

2. Neymar

Neymar is an iconic Brazilian footballer who has scored more than 100 goals in his career and is noted for his ability to switch positions on the pitch. Reportedly achieving a record win of €18,000 playing poker, Neymar plays in international tournaments regularly, coming in 6th place at the BSOP event in 2018. Recently teaming up with PokerStars in the PokerStars x Neymar Jr. campaign, his love for the game of poker is well documented. With online platforms providing some of the best promotional offers for slots and card games, including the best free spins and deposit match bonuses, it’s no wonder that more people are signing up to play slots, table games and card games like poker. Neymar is just one example of a famous footballer who’s following the trend and helping to publicize online casinos.

3. Francesco Totti

Francesco Totti is probably the most well-known poker player amongst this list of footballers who’ve had success at the table. Generally considered as the most valuable AS Roma player on record (and its top goal scorer), the King of Rome remained at the club for his entire career – the only other side he played for was the Italian national team. Francesco first went public with his love for poker as far back as 2010, when he became a spokesperson for PokerParty Italy.

4. Teddy Sherringham

As one of the most beloved characters in English football, Teddy Sherringham started his career with Millwall, where he still holds the title of the second all-time goal scorer. Later achieving success with teams including Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United, Sherringham famously scored the equalizer and provided a crucial assist for the latter in the 1999 Champions League final against Bayern Munich. While Teddy’s prowess on the pitch is well-known, he has also reportedly accumulated up to $300,000 in winnings at the poker table, coming in 14th place at the World Series of Poker main event in 2016.

5. Tony Cascarino

This legendary Irish striker has had an illustrious career in international football, playing for teams including Aston Villa, Millwall, Chelsea, Celtic, and Marseilles, as well as the Republic of Ireland national team in two World Cup tournament campaigns. Since retiring from football, Cascarino has had unparalleled success in tournament poker, placing highly in contests including the European Poker Tour and the Grosvenor United Kingdom Poker Tour, reportedly scooping £168,00 in the grand final of the 2009 British Poker Tour.

6. Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo is undoubtedly the most famous footballer on the list, having secured superstar status and enjoyed successful stints at Manchester United, Real Madrid, Juventus, and the Portuguese national team. As well as regularly playing tournament poker under the username ‘CR7sete’, Ronaldo has also served as the face of PokerStars tournaments and events in promotional campaigns.

7. Ronaldo

Reportedly winning £30,000 at a poker event in the Bahamas back in 2015, we’ve got the “real” Ronaldo on our list. Renowned as one of the greatest players of all time, having shot to stardom in the 1990s with the 1996 FIFA World Player of the Year award. Although his fantastic record includes era-defining spells at Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Barcelona, and the Brazil national team, R9 is also a dab hand at the poker table, as well as appearing in multiple poker and betting ads.

8. Jan Vang Sørensen

Due to a debilitating knee injury sustained when playing for Odense BK, Jan Vang Sørensen’s football career was cut short at the age of 30. These days, the Danish ex-footballer is better known as a poker pro, having secured two World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets: one for the $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha tournament in 2002 and one for the $5,000 Seven Card Stud match in 2005.

9. Gianluigi Buffon

Having made more than 1,100 appearances in his career, this Italian goalkeeper is often considered the best in the world. Buffon has had stints at Parma, Juventus, and Paris Saint-Germain, but you may not realize that he is a true poker aficionado whose love for the online game is well known. Playing under the username ‘Gigi Buffon’, Gianluigi regularly competes in online tournaments and has also taken up a role as a brand ambassador for PokerStars.

10. Lothar Matthäus

Now working as a pundit, this German football icon formerly played for Inter Milan and Bayern Munich, winning the coveted FIFA World Player of the Year award in 1991. As the most capped German player of all time, Lothar’s success on the pitch is undisputed, however, he is also known as a keen poker player with a soft spot for Texas Hold ‘Em.


iGaming expert - with over 10 years of experience in the retail market in Italy and knowledge of global online gaming. In the past he has worked with the largest national gambling companies and he managed some land-based shops on their behalf. Entrepreneur, investor and enthusiast of difficult challenges, in 2015 he founded The Betting Coach Group, an international news and social marketing agency geared towards sports, esports and gambling companies. He is currently the C.E.O of The Betting Coach and is a consultant for Mr. Dragone collaborates with providers (game developers) and event organizers with the aim of helping them develop networks and business across continents. Passionate about journalism, he is the creator and promoter of iGaming Cafè, the first talk show in Italy, dedicated to companies and delegates from the gaming world.