The Guest Blog
10 Top Footballers Who Could Be New Faces of Online PokerCreated By: PokerListings.com
Thanks to another unfortunate biting incident, Uruguayan footballer Luis Suarez served as a representative for online poker for only a couple of weeks – a record low.
His signing had a lot of potential but ended up an extremely short one as an ambassador for 888poker – or AteAteAtepoker, as the poker community humourosly referred to it briefly.
Suarez's signing off has left a big gap in the market, though. With footballers like Ronaldo, Francesco Totti and Andrei Shevchenko showing how successful it can be the trend of football stars repping poker sites isn't going away soon.
Question is, who else is suitable for the job? You’ll have to look carefully, operators, but don’t worry -- PokerListings Germany's Christian Henkel is here to help out.
Tim Howard (US)
He drove the players of Belgium and Portugal to the brink of despair. The experienced 35-year-old has 104 matches with the national team and over 350 Premier League games under his belt, having played at Man United and Everton.
His memorable appearance and his impeccable attitude make him the perfect face of the soon-to-begin reopening of the US online poker market.
Guillermo “Memo” Ochoa (Mexico)
Was voted “Man of the Match” twice this World Cup – and that as a goalie. During the group stage he secured the draw against Brazil and he played so well even Brazilian coach Felipe Scolari commended him.
Quite recently, Ochoa’s team Ajaccio on the island of Corse was relegated from the French Ligue 1, and he got kicked out of his contract. He is now unemployed and has offers from a dozen of international football clubs.
With his striking head of curls and his sunny demeanour he would make a valid asset to every live poker tournament and his story is the poker equivalent to the Chris Moneymaker fairy tale.
Manuel Neuer (Germany)
Has quickly become a major sensation on the football pitch. Shows more and more what an extremely cool guy he is – did you see how he raised just one arm to save that dangerous shot of the French in the quarter final?
He is a poker face on the football pitch and the German poker market would surely get another boost if he was involved.
Arturo Vidal (Chile)
The former Leverkusen player is now getting overwhelmed with offers by Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and half the Premier League.
The 27-year-old was the obvious leader of a Chilean kamikaze squad at the World Cup. Every tackle he made looked like Kung-Fu and his martial haircut only added to the impression.
At the poker table he would stand out just as well. Particularly if he was plowing through an MTT as if it was a football game.
Toni Kroos (Germany)
He was recently called “the silent dealer” by a daily newspaper. As his team won the World Cup, there's been even more praise for his efficient gameplay.
Also: he's already a poker player. “I live poker, and I often play in home games. It is a great game, and it is more about instinct, insight into human nature, and body control than luck”, he recently wrote on his website.
It looks pretty much like he will be playing for Real Madrid next season, so he could be a benefit for the newly regulated Spanish online poker market.
David Luiz (Brazil)
Said to be the best defender in the world, and after his free kick goal against Colombia he has become something like the savior of the nation.
Without Neymar, Luiz will be the captain of the Brazilian team. Compared to Ronaldo, David Luiz could be a real force to be reckoned withon the Hispanic markets.
Maeouane Fellaini (Belgium)
Not only because of his size (1.94 meters), Fellaini was one of the most striking players on the “secret favorites” team from Western Europe.
He would also lead the “most voluminous afro haircut” ranking, beating out his fellow player Witsel as well as the Brazilians Marcelo and David Luiz.
He wouldn’t even need sunglasses to make for a very memorable advertising campaign.
James Rodriguez (Columbia)
Even basketball superstar LeBron James called him his favorite player after Colombia kicked Uruguay out of the tournament.
Rodriguez scored six goals, which made him the winner of the Golden Boot. The 2-0 goal in the Colombia game could easily be voted “best goal of the tournament”.
Last year, French first league Club AS Monaco paid 35 million Euros to contract him. Allegedly, Real Madrid and Barcelona are now knocking continually on his door.
Thanks to his looks, his amazing football skills and his proneness to tears, he is often compared to Cristiano Ronaldo but we don’t expect the Portuguese star to represent poker anytime soon.
Miguel Herrera (Mexico)
He was like a live wire on the pitch. His team showed the best Mexican performance ever at a World Cup, except maybe at their home tournament.
The way he celebrated made headlines around the world and turned him into a darling of the internet community.
This 46-year-old man could even out-brat Phil Hellmuth, and with his impressive potbelly he’d make a pleasant change from all those metrosexual online stars.
Alejandro Sabella (Argentina)
The South American coach is captivating not only because of his minimalist match plans (Argentina won every match with a one-goal difference), but also because of his androgynous looks.
His theatrical almost-fall-over during the quarter final against Belgium has quickly turned him into an internet celebrity.
With his mob-ish appearance he could bring back more of the Sammy Farha type of charm into poker, and as an ice-cold tactician he’s always good for a couple of spectacular cashes.
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