11 Football Players Who Ended Up Getting Fat

Steve McNulty soccer players who got fat

Footballers usually carry around very fit and trim bodies.

This is because of the intense physical activity that a football match entails and the grueling training regimes that they have to go through to ensure they always stay match-fit. 

Despite this, a few football players have been seen to gain too much fat as a result of not staying in shape and sticking to a fitness regime. 

Here are some players who put on too much weight after or during their football careers.

Please note that this article does not in any way make fun of these soccer players who got fat, as a lot of factors such as health, mental health, or injuries contributed to that.

1. Ronaldo de Lima Nazario

The soccer legend was one of the slimmest, nibble, and fastest players in the early part of his career. 

In fact, by some he is considered one of the greatest soccer players of all time.

The Brazilian World Cup winner was blessed with skills and a blistering pace that left his opponents gasping.

Towards the latter part of his career, Ronaldo started to pile on the pounds.

This started around the time he joined Spanish giants Real Madrid. 

El fenomeno looked noticeably bigger around the stomach region during his time with Los Blancos, but he was still able to perform at a decent level for them. 

Criticism around his weight followed him for the rest of his football career, and even in retirement, he has put on the pounds.

2. Diego Maradona

The late football superstar suffered from many off-field health-related issues, which included obesity.

The Argentinian legend ballooned in size years after his retirement from active football.

This led to heart-related complications that led to him undergoing weight reduction surgery to lower the risk to his heart. 

Maradona battled with his weight off and on for many years before his untimely death in 2020 at the age of 60.

3. Steve McNulty

Steve McNulty soccer players who got fat

Steve McNulty is one player who always looked fat but played very well.

He is a former English professional footballer and current coach of Northern Premier League Division One West side Bootle.

He featured in the English Football League for Fleetwood Town, Luton Town, and Tranmere Rovers.

He weighed 88kg while playing and is said to be one of the fattest footballers.

4. Benni McCarthy 

The former South African international was a very deadly striker during his playing. 

McCarthy was renowned for his expert finishing in front of goal as well as his positioning. 

At the start of his career, Benni was quite trim and fit but began to add a lot of weight as his career progressed. 

The former UEFA Champions League winner would later join English side West Ham.

Towards the end of his stint with them, he would be criticized by the owners of the club for his excessive weight.

In fact, it was rumoured that he was fined £200,000 by West Ham for failing to meet the fitness target.

5. Adriano

Adriano Leite Ribeiro, who is known simply as Adriano, is a former Brazilian footballer who added a significant amount of weight during his career.

He played an important role in Inter Milan’s 2005/06 Scudetto win before his career suffered from inconsistency and a decline in his performances which coincided with the death of his father.

He moved back to his native Brazil in 2009 and played for both Flamengo and Corinthians.

While in Corinthians, it was reported that Adriano got fat and was placed under house arrest by his club so he could lose weight.

6. Jeroen Verhoeven

Jeroen Verhoeven fattest footballers

Jeroen Verhoeven is a former Dutch goalkeeper who played for ASV De Dijk in the Dutch Hoofdklasse.

He also had stints with RKC Waalwijk, FC Volendam, AFC Ajax, and FC Utrecht in his 17-year career as a goalkeeper in the Netherlands.

During his career, he got fat and was even known by fans for his waistline.

While playing for Ajax in the 2010/11 season, Verhoeven was teased about his large waistline by opposing fans in a match against ADO Den Haag.

The home supporters showered him with chants of “Pizza!” whenever he touched the ball.

7. Género Zeefuik

Género Zeefuik footballers who got fat

Género Zeefuik is yet another Dutch footballer who got fat during his professional career.

While playing for FC Emmen, Zeefuik added a lot of weight and was even mocked by Ronald de Boer.

Finally, in November 2020, Zeefuik retired from football aged 30, citing mental health-related issues.

8. Jhon van Beukering

Jhon van Beukering soccer players who got fat

Jhon van Beukering is a former Dutch striker who made one appearance for the Indonesia national team.

He played for a number of clubs in the Netherlands.

However, it was while playing for these clubs that he became fat.

During his time at Feyenoord, he was known for his lack of speed and excessive weight.

Very soon, he earned the nickname Jhonny of the Burger King due to his being overweight.

9. Tomas Brolin

Tomas Brolin footballers who got fat

Brolin was a former Swedish international known for his trickery on the ball and excellent shooting skills.

The midfielder was one of the top players of the FIFA 1994 World Cup in the USA, helping Sweden claim a bronze medal in the tournament.

Tomas, in late 1994, suffered an injury that he would battle with recurrently until his retirement at the age of 28.

Despite featuring for notable clubs like Leeds United, Parma, and Crystal Palace, he was unable to regain his past form.

Criticism around his weight and lack of fitness followed him for the rest of his career. 

Since retirement, he has continued to be on the big side.

10. Andy Reid

Andy Reid footballers who got fat

Andy Reid is a former Irish former professional footballer who played as a midfielder for a number of Premier League clubs.

Reid played for the likes of Nottingham Forest, Tottenham Hotspurs, Charlton Athletic, Sunderland, and Sheffield United.

Throughout his career, he was said to be overweight. 

However, his coach at Tottenham, Martin Jol, has rubbished claims about Andy Reid’s size.

11. Eden Hazard 

The Belgium captain drew serious criticism for showing up to his first training session with Real Madrid looking unfit after joining them in the summer of 2018. 

Hazard was able to shed those pounds, but issues of fitness and loss of form have cast a cloud over his time so far at the Bernabeu.

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