Footballers with unusual jewellery stories
There are plenty of footballers with unusual jewellery stories to tell. When it comes to bling, some players might wish they hadn’t bothered making their purchase. Here are some prime examples…
Perhaps the most unusual jewellery story of all footballers belongs to West Ham legend Bobby Moore. The then England captain was detained for questioning by the Colombian authorities about the theft of a £625 diamond and emerald bracelet ahead of the 1970 Word Cup in Mexico. England were in Colombia for a warm-up game when the bracelet went missing from a jewellery shop inside their Bogota hotel. Moore was in custody for four days before being allowed to rejoin the rest of the squad in Mexico.
Then Everton striker Victor Anichebe was a young professional making his way in the game in 2009. He considered treating himself to some new jewellery while recovering from an injury. Unfortunately, he chose the whiter-than-white Cheshire town of Knutsford to do some window shopping and promptly found himself being arrested on suspicion of attempted theft.
Argentina legend Diego Maradona is beloved in Italy by virtue of his time at Napoli. But the Italian taxman is not so keen. With Maradona facing an unpaid tax bill of £28 million and visiting Italy to attend a weight-loss clinic, Italian fraud police pounced and seized three diamond earrings, worth £3,600, in a raid.
In a bizarre echoing of the Bobby Moore incident, Senegal midfielder Khalilou Fadiga was questioned over the theft of a gold necklace worth £157 from a shop in Daegu, South Korea, ahead of the 2002 World Cup. Authorities said the then Auxerre player admitted the offence, but he was not prosecuted.
Luciano Re Cecconi
By far the most tragic story on our list is that of former Lazio midfielder Luciano Re Cecconi. A member of the Italy World Cup squad in 1974, he was dead just three years later. He was shot dead in Rome while pretending to rob a friend’s jewellery shop as a practical joke.
Swiss player Paulo Diogo was playing for Servette FC in 2004 when he set up future Birmingham City and Wigan Athletic winger Jean Beausejour for an 87th-minute. He celebrated enthusiastically by leaping at the fence that separated the fans from the player. But he got his wedding ring caught in the barrier and severed much of his finger when he jumped off the fence without noticing the ring was caught. He was shown a yellow card for his time-wasting celebrations. Surgeons failed to reattach the finger and it was amputated.
Samuel Eto’o, one of the richest footballers still playing, was unable to add to his jewellery collection in 2015 because he was suspected of being a Nigerian fraudster. The Cameroon international was at a jewellers in London and trying to buy a £10,000 watch when staff claimed his credit card had been declined. But over the course of the following conversation, it became clear that the store was twitchy after reportedly being duped by a group of Nigerians with fake credit cards in the previous days.