Friendship Day is here folks! Ever since August 6 was christened ‘World Friendship Day’ in 1958, people never missed the chance to celebrate a whole day with their closest friends. And footballers are no different. Over the years, football has seen its own share of pairs that have gone on to become best friends on and off the field. Let’s take a look at some of the best friends in the world of football :
1) Marco Reus and Mario Gotze :
It was hard for Dortmund fans to digest the fact that Mario Gotze made the switch to Bayern in 2013, after playing an integral role in Dortmund’s success between 2010-2013. So imagine how hard it must have been for Marco Reus to see his best friend leave Signal Idura Park.
The German duo have been almost like brothers on the pitch and were often spotted together off the field as well. Reus even went to the extent of saying, “If I would have no limits and could spend as much money for a player as I want, I would bring Mario back.”, just before Dortmund’s Champions League final in 2013 breaking many hearts around the globe.
However it eventually did end happily , for the fans at least, as Gotze moved back to Dortmund last season after an unsuccessful stint at the Allianz Arena.
2) David Alaba and Frank Ribery :
Austria’s David Alaba first met Ribery in 2008 when he made the switch to Bayern Munich. And the duo has become inseparable since then. Their antics during training sessions has often left teammates and fans snorting with laughter and their pranks have often irked managers, especially Pep Guardiola.
Not to mention their constant mock bickering in social media . Not very far from ideal friendship goals
3) Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Maxwell :
‘King’ Zlatan and Maxwell first met in Ajax in 2001. After a 19 year old Zlatan realised he was broke and couldn’t find a place to live in , he called up fellow Ajax youth player Maxwell for help. Thus began possibly football’s biggest bromance ever.
The duo has been inseparable since then , having also played together with Ajax, Inter Milan, Barcelona and PSG winning 10 titles together. Sixteen years on, and they are still best friends, with the Swedish striker mentioning their friendship on several occasions in his autobiography, I am Zlatan.
4) Andres Iniesta and Dani Jarque :
Andres Iniesta’s well known friendship with late Espanyol player Dani Jarque began when they met in Spanish youth teams and the duo had been close friends since till Dani’s unfortunate and untimely death after he suffered from a heart attack at the age of 26.
Andres Iniesta celebrating his 116th-minute winner against Netherlands in the 2010 World Cup remains an iconic image in football fans’ eyes till date. The midfielder slotted the ball into the goal and ran towards the fans on his left as he took off his jersey to reveal the words ‘Dani Jarque siempre con nosotros’, (Dani Jarque, always with us). His gesture earned him a standing ovation from rival fans when Barcelona played Espanyol in 2010. And he continues to earn the respect till date.
5) Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku :
Over the years, Manchester United has seen some great bromances being formed- David and Gary Neville, Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney, and many more. However, ever since the world of football was made aware of the friendship between Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba, most will agree it eclipses them all .
Pogba in a recent interview told that he and Lukaku were friends for a long time and often spend time together playing basketball, football and dancing in each other’s company.
It is said Pogba played a huge part in bringing the Belgian striker to Old Trafford and United fans would be hoping the pair can translate this friendship onto the field as Mourinho’s United looks to mount a serious challenge for the league title in the upcoming season.
6) Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcelo :
Over the years, Marcelo has often been the provider for Cristiano’s fantastic goals , not very unlike the Leo Messi-Dani Alves partnership. And it’s very rare to see Cristiano celebrating a goal without Marcelo close by.
So it’s not very surprising to see Cristiano and Marcelo form a strong friendship on and off the field , and are often seen trying to prank each other.