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Supersize footballers: Five larger than life players after Higuain’s pre-season gains

Lee Gormley | August 10, 2016

Five supersize footballers after Higuain gains

The new season will soon kick-off around Europe, with the likes of Serie A, La Liga and the Premier League finally returning to action after the summer break, while many teams have been involved in pre-season showings and international outings.

One such side is Italian champions Juventus, with the Old Lady having contested with West Ham United in a warm-up friendly ahead of the new campaign, a game which included a rather heavy-looking Gonzalo Higuain.

West Ham United v Juventus - Betway Cup - London Stadium

The Argentine sharpshooter recently arrived in Turin for a mammoth €90m from domestic rivals Napoli, though the striker looked far from fully fit in the maiden game at the Hammers’ Olympic Stadium in London.

Slaven Bilic’s men were toppled 3-2 by the Italian champions, who are 11/1 with Coral to clinch the Champions League next year, with Paulo Dybala, Mario Mandzukic, Simone Zaza and Andy Carroll all on target, though it was Higuain that was in the spotlight.

The new Juventus forward faces a race to shed the pounds before the new Serie A term begins and, following the attacker’s evidentsummer of indulging, Coral look at five supersize footballers from past and present…

Adebayo Akinfenwa

AFC Wimbledon v Plymouth Argyle - Sky Bet League Two - Play Off - Final - Wembley Stadium

Currently plying his trade at Wycombe Wanderers after a summer switch from Wimbledon, Akinfenwa is simply known as ‘the Beast’ due to his brute strength and mammoth frame, weighing around 16 stone.

The 34-year-old striker has been installed as the strongest player in many editions of football video games and can bench press 200kg, almost double his own body weight.

Akinfenwa is a true supersize footballer, even owning his own clothing line dubbed ‘Beast Mode On’, and is set to showcase his incredible strength and size in League Two this upcoming season with the Chairboys.

Ronaldo

Brazil Soccer

Since the rampant rise of Cristiano Ronaldo at the pinnacle of world football, the recent Euro 2016 winner with Portugal has somewhat eclipsed the reputation of his Brazilian namesake, with the latter now widely referred to as ‘the fat Ronaldo’.

Such a term is harsh indeed, though it’s not without cause, with the former Brazil international legend having endured a constant battle with weight in the latter stages of his illustrious career.

The former Real Madrid and Inter Milan hitman was untouchable in his teens and early 20s, but by the time he departed Europe for his homeland, three time FIFA World Player of the Year Ronaldo was considerably overweight.

Although, the legend of the game did appear on Brazilian TV in a weight loss programme back in 2012 and managed to impressively lose a remarkable 37lbs.

George Elokobi

Soccer - Carling Cup - Fourth Round - Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester City - Molineux

Having already mentioned Akinfenwa, we move onto another beast of the sport, Colchester United defender Elokobi.

The 30-year-old Cameroonian centre back, previously of Oldham Athletic and Wolves, is a daunting prospect for League Two forwards, standing at six foot tall and weighing a heavy load of just over 14 stone, sizeable enough for the cruiserweight boxing limit.

Elokobi became a cult hero during his time at Wolves because of his sheer size and physical strength, and in 2011 memorably headed in the winner over Manchester United in a 2-1 Premier League victory.

Adriano

Brazil Soccer Adriano

Former Brazil international attacker, previously a teammate of the aforementioned Ronaldo for the Samba Boys, was a powerhouse of a frontman and took Serie A by storm during his time at Inter Milan.

The now 34-year-old struck fear into many top defenders in Italy with his attacking power and a thumping left foot, as well as possessing an impressive goal average for his national side.

Although, his career became plagued by inconsistency and injuries, causing him to pile on the pounds and get into a poor playing condition, much of this stemming from his lifestyle off the pitch too.

With a reputation for being a party boy, Adriano looked far from a professional footballer when arriving at Corinthians in 2011, but after a recent period of absence he has just joined Miami United in America’s fourth tier division.

Diego Maradona

Diego Maradona and Pelé at Match of Friendship by Hublot in Paris

Argentina legend Maradona is regarded as one of the greatest footballers to have ever graced the pitch, and rightly so, having helped his country secure the 1986 World Cup and two Serie A crowns with Napoli.

The 55-year-old also delved into management later in life, including a brief period as national boss at the 2010 World Cup, though his most memorable moment came during his playing days against England with the infamous ‘Hand of God’.

Maradona was always a stocky player but his persistent off the field issues saw him become quite large in the mid 1980s, especially towards the end of his career when playing for the likes of Newell’s Old Boys and Boca Juniors.

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