5 players whose careers have been plagued by off-field controversy
Since times immemorial, the private lives of footballers have been analysed and examined in exhausting detail in daily tabloids across the world. However, in recent years, football has done its best to sober up, and unlike the days when Paul Merson's drug and booze-fuelled exploits would regularly make headlines, modern-day footballers prefer to keep a low profile.
Controversy is relatively hard to come by lately, and when footballers get caught in compromising situations, it becomes big news. Some high-profile footballers have been mired in controversy over the course of their career, and have gotten into trouble with the media and the law. This list will look at five such high-profile football players.
#5 Franck Ribery
The French footballer is a devout Muslim who has been lauded for his religious beliefs on several occasions in the past, most notable of which is an instance when he told his Bayern team-mates to refrain from drenching him with beer during their title celebrations.
However, Ribery's penchant for debauchery is well known, and the Frenchman famously ran afoul of the law when reports emerged in 2010 that he had solicited a prostitute in a Parisian nightclub. Ribery was just one of four French national team players to be implicated in the incident, along with the likes of Sidney Gouvou and Karim Benzema.
The matter became worse when it was revealed that Zahia Dehar, the prostitute in question, was underage at the time. Ribery issued a public apology in which he admitted to sleeping with Dehar without knowing how old she was. The case against him was dropped in 2011, with prosecutors stating that the players did not know Dehar's age.