Manchester United captain Harry Maguire seems set to avoid jail after being charged with various offences following a clash with Greek police on a recent night out in Mykonos. Maguire vehemently denies any wrongdoing and has told the media that he feared for his life during the incident, claiming he did not know the plainclothes officers were local police. Regardless of what happens next with Maguire – he is in the process of appealing after being found guilty initially – he is far from the first football star to fall foul of the law. Here are five high-profile examples of footballers who got arrested.
Five footballers who got arrested
If media reports are to be believed, imprisonment was not too daunting for Ronaldinho. The former Brazil superstar was locked up earlier this year after being accused of entering Paraguay for a promotional tour with false documents.
Although Ronaldinho did spend just over a month in prison – including his 40th birthday – he was released to serve the rest of his sentence under house arrest after agreeing to pay a bail fee in excess of £1 million.
Ronaldinho fulfilled the last few months of his sentence quarantining in a luxury hotel – Asuncion’s Palmaroga Hotel – where he apparently spent time partying in his room with models. The World Cup winner and his brother, Roberto de Assis Moreira, are now free to return home.
Arsenal stalwart Tony Adams battled alcoholism throughout his career and he was sentenced to four months in prison after crashing his car while under the influence in 1990. Already an England international, it was a major scandal at the time but the club opted to stand by Adams and was rewarded by his performances on the pitch.
Adams served around half of his jail sentence and later went on to captain the club to two Doubles under Arsene Wenger. He later founded the charitable organisation, The Sporting Chance Clinic, which helps sports-people to fight against their addictions.
Now in charge of Fleetwood Town, few would have expected Joey Barton to go on to become a manager when he was convicted for common assault and affray in 2008
One of the most notorious footballers to be arrested, Barton’s playing career was marked by far too many indiscretions to list here, with the Liverpool-born midfielder also admitting attacking Ousmane Dabo, his team-mate at Manchester City, during an argument on the training ground.
The 37-year-old reinvented himself as something of a philosopher towards the end of his playing days but has still made headlines for his temper since hanging up his boots – Barton was forced into early retirement while at Burnley after being caught placing hundreds of bets on football
Barton is currently awaiting trial after he was accused of assaulting Barnsley manager Daniel Stendel after a League One game in April 2019. He denies the charges.
One of the most talented players of all time – though he never played in a major international tournament for Northern Ireland – George Best’s life was marked by drama off the field.
Best struggled with alcoholism throughout his career and spent Christmas 1984 behind bars after being convicted of drunk driving, as well as assaulting a police officer.
Known to have a short fuse, Best’s ex-wife Alex also wrote in her book that the footballer had been violent towards her during their marriage, allegedly punching her in the face.
Going to prison in 2012 proved to be a major turning point in the life of Troy Deeney. The striker was convicted on a charge of affray, which he admitted, after he was involved in a street brawl with students. Deeney was sentenced to 10 months after breaking one of the men’s jaws.
Deeney cited grief over the death of his father as the reason for him going off the rails but he successfully rebuilt his life and career, enjoying a stellar career with Watford.
“Within five months I went from feeling like I was king of the world, playing football, making money and having all my friends love me, to going straight to jail,” he told the Guardian.
Deeney is now something of a role model, proving footballers can make bad decisions early in life and pay for it by going to prison – only to later redeem themselves.
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