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telegraph


With Cristiano Ronaldo's tiresome flirtations with Real Madrid and refusal to talk to Sir Alex Ferguson edging the Manchester United manager towards apoplexy and possibly beyond it, now is not the best time to aggravate him further.

Yet that is undoubtedly what Rooney has done. Pictures of the England player having a crafty pool-side wheeze on a cigarette are bound to dismay Ferguson.

This, of course, is not the first time Rooney's vices have courted media attention, but the sight of one of the country's leading professional sportsmen sucking on a cancer stick is likely to baffle as much as disappoint.

Surely, the casual viewer might think, if your livelihood depends upon good health as well as natural talent, to risk it for a nicotine hit makes no sense.

Rooney is on his honeymoon and generous observers might suggest that he could be forgiven a relaxing drag after certain exertions. The glaring, alabaster sheen of his torso in the pictures certainly suggest that, as is traditional on such occasions, he hasn't seen a great deal of daylight on the trip – though Colleen's teak-rich tan suggests that she at least has found opportunity to soak up some sun.

Such is his media profile that Rooney is likely to come in for stern criticism for his habit. Fair or not, Rooney is charged by many to be a role model for his adoring young fans.

And, surely, smoking is incompatible with a successful career as a footballer. Well, not quite. Though smoking rates amongst footballers are lower than the general population it is still prevalent. And we are not just talking about Stan Bowles' possibly apocryphal 80-a-day habit here.

Diego Maradona, Johan Cruyff and Zinedine Zidane all smoked throughout their careers and would make most people's list of the five greatest players of all time.

Zidane was famously snapped having a pre-match drag before the 2006 World Cup semi-final between France and Portugal – a match the player bestrode like a colossus as he led his country in to a second World Cup final.

Zidane's betrayal was noted, as in 2002 he fronted an EU campaign against smoking, in which he told the world "feel free to say no" – though failing to add "though, if you fancy it, feel free to say yes, too".

Closer to home Paul Gascoigne's occasional dalliance with cigarettes was just one of the demons that troubled his life but did not prevent him from producing some of the finest football ever seen from the feet of an Englishman.

David James recently admitted to a 15-year 20-a-day habit that he only kicked when in to his thirties.

An honest and candid figure, James told of cleaning the changing rooms at Vicarage Road as a junior player at Watford after Manchester United had visited and finding most of the detritus to be fag butts.

Whilst at Liverpool he smoked freely, as did his colleagues, on the team bus and in the players lounge – no one complained.

Alen Boksic, Gianluca Vialli, Robert Prosinecki and Frank Leboeuf made a mockery of the idea of serious fitness regimes being brought over from the continent, the former thinking nothing of clearing a pack of the strongest smokes available in a day whilst playing for Middlesbrough.

Joachim Low was seen 'calming his nerves' in a stadium box when banned from the touchline for Germany's Euro 2008 match with Portugal this month.

"What should I say about it? It is my private thing," he said afterwards. "I am just human, with strengths and weaknesses. I smoke a cigarette sometimes, or drink a glass of red wine in the evening. It is not as if I am a hedonist."

And neither is Rooney, whose commitment to training and professionalism, despite his rough around the edges image, has consistently been complimented by managers and trainers.

Nonetheless, giving in to one's cravings as a professional athlete smacks of the slackness of a carpenter willingly leaving his tools out in the rain, and to hell with the possibility they will rust.

Ferguson is likely to put it in stronger terms than that when Rooney returns for training.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml?xml=/sport/2008/06/26/ufnroosmoke126.xml
 

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If he wants to smoke then so be it.

I would personally never smoke, and don't think he should be, but as long as it doesn't affect his performances, who are we to tell him what to do?
 

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I have read about David James and Zidane but am really surprised and amused that there are so many others...
 

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Loads of people smoke on certain occasions so he's probably just chillin! ;)


Fergie will make him quit though...they should sell Alex Fergusons, then everyone would quit! lmao!
 

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More names of smoker footballers.... :eek: :D


mirror

Wayne Rooney and the Top 10 footballers who smoke

Wayne Rooney has been snapped having a sneaky fag in a Las Vegas swimming pool (where else?), the naughty boy. He's not the first professional footballer to be caught smoking, however, as this top ten reveals.

Socrates
The legendary Brazilian captain and World Cup winner got through two packets a day during his playing career and continued to smoke after he retired. He's now a medical doctor.

Gazza and Teddy Sheringham
In the run up to Euro '96 both Gazza and Teddy Sheringham were spotted with tabs on the go. We suspect the reason why they weren't collared by the FA, or indeed the press, for this misdemeanour was because it occurred on the same night as the infamous ‘dentist's chair' incident.

Robert Prosineèki
Ex-Crotaian international Robert Prosineèki was famous in his homeland for being a heavy smoker. He was as well known for his ability to chug away on more than 40 ciggies a day as he was for his midfield prowess. When he was joined Portsmouth in 2001 word is that he cut down… to 20 a day. He lasted one season.

David Ginola
The French love a smoke - if it was an Olympic sport they'd take gold in Beijing - which is probably why ex-Spurs head-turner and shampoo hawker David Ginola enjoyed the odd Gitanes during his playing career. Who says smoking isn't sexy?

Zinedine Zidane
Another Frenchie caught with a salmon between his lips was Zinedine Zidane who was snapped puffing away ahead of France's 2006 World Cup semi-final against Portugal. The thing is Zizou fronted an anti-smoking campaign in 2002. D'oh!

Maradona
Maradona, one of the most prolific footballers in history, began to smoke after he retired from the game. He spent 10 days in intensive care in 2004 with breathing problems, which may or may not have been down to smoking. But probably was. Maradona recognised in 2005 that Wayne Rooney was a closely cut copy of himself, which may not have been a bad observation.

Johann Cruyff
Johann Cruyff was smoking 20 cigarettes a day, prior to heart surgery in 1991, at a time when he was coaching Barcelona. He was also often seen lighting up in the RFK locker room as he talked to reporters. Nowadays, the legendary Dutchman fronts a campaign by the Health Department of the Catalan autonomous government against smoking. And to think, it only took him a double heart bypass to see the error of his ways.

Stanley Matthews
Stanley Matthews was not a smoker himself, but in 1954 he nonetheless backed an advertisement for Craven A cigarettes, who put his "smooth ball control" down to the "smoothness of Craven A".

Fabien Barthez
Fabien Barthez was a high-profile smoker during his time in the Prem. After a game for Man United against Southampton in 2003, defeated manager Gordon Strachan was furious when he returned to his non-smoking office and found cigarettes stubbed out in an ashtray. It seemed that the injured Barthez had been in the room after being stretchered off in the second half. The Scottish manager later said that he "must have been taken off for smoker's cough".

David James
England's number one confessed to a 15 year 20-a-day smoking habit earlier this year in his newspaper column. “I spent most of my career puffing away on fags: after training, before matches and even on the team coach,†he wrote. We're surprised his afro never caught fire.
 

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Many was a time that I saw one of the players walking from his car to the players entrance puffing on a fag. It should not make much difference to a super fit player of today, it certainly didn't back then either.
 

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Red Devil said:
Many was a time that I saw one of the players walking from his car to the players entrance puffing on a fag. It should not make much difference to a super fit player of today, it certainly didn't back then either.
nevertheless, smoking is harmful to the health no matter how fit one may be. esp sportsmen with their lungs working so hard day in day out. it wouldnt be much of a surprise if any of them succumb to the disease bug. :mad:
 

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versa said:
Socrates
The legendary Brazilian captain and World Cup winner got through two packets a day during his playing career and continued to smoke after he retired. He's now a medical doctor.
LMAO! :p
 

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would love to have a spliff with wazza :D

for all we know he could of been smoking his whole life but if he carries on playing like he has for us i wont complain. but na smoking fags is worth the addiction so hope he does stop but aint gonna give him a hard time, come on his on his hunnymoon for god sake. maybe its to celebrate the baby :cool:
 

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look what best did to his body while playing and he is the greatest of all

totally rooney's decision as long as results dont get affected
 

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figo had a crafty fag on the bench at the emirates , so a caller said on talk sport today , apparently the stewards were looking around to see who was doing it so they could eject them , but it was figo
 

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Zidane had 20 a day his whole career.. funnily enough people who smoke have larger lung capacities and can take in more oxygen into their blood!

He doesnt smoke the whole time he's just chillin beans, he's the best player we have, player of the year next season if he finally stays fit!
 
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He might just smoke during the off season...

Do we even know this story is for real?

Are there pictures? :confused:
 

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Lets face it, its not the worst thing he could have been photographed holding, He's on holiday and played one hell of a season, let him have a cig!!!
 

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Do you smoke? No. I did try when I was 14, but gave up after a few puffs. On holiday, after a meal, I might have one cigar.

this was a part of an interview with wayne rooney

it is just one cigar :rolleyes: not 20 a day
its his honeymoon he is allowed to do any thing he want to

but am realy surprised with james :(
20 a day :eek:
 
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