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When Contracts Get Quirky: The Most Bizarre Football Clauses

Football is a sport that can be pretty weird sometimes. Did you know there are some really bizarre football clauses written into player contracts?

These are special rules or conditions that players have to follow, and if they don’t, they could get in big trouble!

There are all sorts of strange clauses out there. Some players even have to pay fines if they gain too much weight or don’t get enough sleep.

From, no biting clause to no fighting clause some of these are just hilarious. So let’s get straight into it.

Most Bizarre Football Clauses

Mario Balotelli’s “Good Behavior” Clause: 

Mario Balotelli was famous for losing his temper a lot on the field. When he played for Liverpool, his contract had a crazy clause – he’d get a £1 million bonus if he avoided getting 3 red cards in one season!

The team was trying to get Balotelli to be better behaved. They really wanted him to control his temper and not get kicked out of games so much. It shows how far teams will go to try and make their players behave better.

Balotelli must have had a tough time staying calm during games! But the big money bonus was a good incentive for him to try harder not to lose his cool.

Ronaldinho’s Nights Out Clause:

Ronaldinho was a total legend of the game. When he played for Flamengo, his contract had a crazy clause that said he could go out partying two nights a week!

This was to match Ronaldinho’s fun-loving personality and lifestyle. The team was willing to let him go out and have a good time, even during the season. It shows how different players need different things to be happy and perform well.

Most players have to be super strict and professional all the time. But Ronaldinho was allowed to go out more because that’s just how he liked to live his life.

Neymar’s Visiting Friends Clause:

When Neymar left his home team in Brazil to join Barcelona, the team was worried he might get homesick. So they put a crazy clause in his contract – Barcelona agreed to pay for Neymar’s friends to visit him in Spain every two weeks!

The team really wanted to make sure Neymar was happy and comfortable in his new home. Having his friends around all the time must have been a big help. It’s a super strange rule, but it shows how far teams will go to take care of their star players.

Most footballers don’t get that kind of special treatment. But Neymar was a huge signing, so Barcelona wanted to do whatever it took to keep him performing his best.

Paying for his friends to visit every couple of weeks? No wonder Barcelona is in a financial crisis.

Lionel Messi – The Catalan Clause

When Lionel Messi’s contract with Barcelona got leaked, people saw a super weird rule in it. The team wanted Messi to fully become part of Catalan culture and learn the Catalan language.

It was like they wanted Messi to really embrace the local culture and not just be a foreign superstar. Barcelona must have thought this would help him feel more at home playing for them.

There was also a clause that said if the region of Catalonia ever became independent, Messi could leave the team for free.

That’s a crazy rule! It shows how much the team wanted to keep Messi connected to the local area.

Keisuke Honda’s Armored Vehicle Clause:

When Japanese legend Keisuke Honda joined the Brazilian team Botafogo in 2020, he made a crazy request – he wanted the team to provide him with an armored vehicle!

Honda was worried about his safety in the city of Rio de Janeiro, which is famous for its passion for football. He must have been concerned about getting mobbed by crazy fans or something bad happening to him.

Botafogo must have agreed to Honda’s request because he ended up playing for them. It’s one of the weirdest football contract clauses you’ll ever hear about – an international superstar needing a bulletproof ride just to get to practice!

Neil Ruddock’s Weight Management Clause: 

When Neil Ruddock played for West Ham, his contract had a crazy clause about his weight. If he got over a certain weight limit, he’d get a 10% fine!

The team was trying to make sure he stayed fit and in shape.

But a lot of people thought this was a really weird and unhealthy way to do it. Putting so much focus on a player’s weight can be bad for their body image and lead to dangerous weight-loss methods.

It’s a pretty bizarre clause, even if the team’s goal was to have Ruddock stay in top physical condition.

Dennis Bergkamp – No-Fly Clause:

Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp had a super weird clause in his contract – he didn’t have to fly to away games! Bergkamp was scared of flying, so the team let him take the train or bus instead.

This meant Bergkamp missed a lot of important European away matches for Arsenal.

While his teammates flew, he had to find another way to get there. It must have been tough for both him and the team.

Most players don’t get special treatment like that. But Bergkamp’s fear of flying was so strong, that Arsenal agreed to let him skip those flights.

Radamel Falcao’s The Dodgy Knee Clause

When Manchester United brought in Radamel Falcao on loan in 2014, they were really worried about his knee problems.

So they put a special clause in his contract – if Falcao’s knee issues came back, United could end the loan without having to pay any penalty fees.

The team was super nervous about Falcao’s injury history. They didn’t want to be stuck with a player who couldn’t even play because of his bad knee. That’s why they made sure they could get out of the deal if things went wrong.

Most loan agreements don’t have clauses like that. Teams usually have to pay if they want to end a loan early.

But United made an exception for Falcao because his injury issues were such a big concern for them. It shows how careful teams have to be when signing players with a history of problems.

Stefan Schwarz’s Space Exploration Clause:

Stefan Schwarz Sunderland contract had a crazy clause that let him leave the team if he got a seat on one of the first commercial spaceflights!

Schwarz was super interested in space travel. The team was willing to let him quit and go to space if he got the chance. That’s about as bizarre as it gets for a football contract clause.

Roberto Firmino’s “Anti-Arsenal” Clause: 

Football contracts can get really creative when it comes to loyalty.

Take Roberto Firmino’s deal with Liverpool – it had a crazy “anti-Arsenal” clause! This meant his £98 million release clause wouldn’t apply if Arsenal tried to buy him. Liverpool didn’t want to help out a rival.

It’s a super strategic move. They were trying to make sure their star player wouldn’t end up at a competing club, no matter the money offered. Gotta protect your own interests, even in the player’s contract!

Rolf-Christel Guie-Mien’s Cooking Lessons Clause: 

When Rolf-Christel Guie-Mien signed with Eintracht Frankfurt, his wife got cooking lessons as part of the deal! The team wanted to help her adjust to living in a new country by teaching her how to cook the local food.

That’s a super strange thing to include in a player’s contract. But teams know they have to do whatever it takes to keep their stars happy, even if that means helping out the whole family.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s 20-Minute Appearance Clause:

When Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain joined Arsenal, his contract said that if he played for 20 minutes or more, Arsenal had to pay his old team Southampton £10,000! So if you ever saw Oxlade-Chamberlain getting subbed on in the 71st minute, that’s why.

Luis Suárez – The No-Bite Clause

Luis Suárez was famous for biting other players during games. So when he signed for Barcelona, his teams would put in “no-bite” clauses.

This meant if he did it again, he’d have to pay big fines or they could even kick him off the team.

It’s a super weird rule, but teams had to do something to try and stop Suárez from doing that weird biting thing. They didn’t want their star player getting in trouble all the time.

But Barcelona’s president later denied having a special no-bite clause in his contract.

Maybe the team just talked to him about it instead of putting it in writing. Either way, it shows how wild football deals can get, even over something as strange as biting!

FAQ

What are clauses in football?

Clauses in football contracts are special rules or conditions that players have to follow as part of their agreements with teams. These clauses can cover all sorts of things beyond just the player’s performance on the field.

What is a release clause in football?

A release clause sets a pre-determined transfer fee in a player’s contract. If another club offers that exact amount, the current team must accept the offer, even if they don’t want to sell.

Which player has the highest release clause?

In 2023, Jude Bellingham joined the Spanish team Real Madrid from Borussia Dortmund. His contract at Real Madrid has a release clause of 1 billion euros, which is around £871 million. Which is the highest in Europe.

A lot of other players at Barcelona and Real Madrid have crazy high release clauses like this in their contracts too.

Conclusion:

These crazy contract clauses show just how wild professional football can be behind the scenes. They give us a glimpse into players’ unique personalities and how far teams will go to keep their top talent.

Some of these rules are a bit concerning, but others offer cool insights into the challenges and opportunities players face. Imagine having to promise you won’t bite other players!

These bizarre clauses remind us that there’s a whole other world to professional football beyond just the game we see on the field. It’s pretty fascinating, even if it is a little strange.

What do you think?

Written by Mith Panchal

Welcome to my corner of the internet, where my love for football meets the art of storytelling. I'm Mith Panchal,I make memes and write blogs here at tacklefrombehind. Most importantly I’m a crazy football addict just like you guys.

My journey in Football started in 2012 because I liked how Cristiano Ronaldo played in FIFA so out of curiosity I watched a few games of Real Madrid and Cristiano and since that day I've been a proud Madridista.

I think that every football game, every football team, and every player has a story to tell. I like to explore those stories and share the best of them with you guys through these blogs.

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