This summer has been a banner time for soccer fans, with the UEFA European Championships and the COPA America Centenario taking place. But now that those competitions are over (with Portugal and Chile taking the respective crowns), all eyes are on the start of the European domestic powerhouse leagues.
So while we all wait for the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga and German Bundesliga to kick off again, let’s get to know the dogs that inspire seven worldwide soccer stars to success on the field.
Ronaldo and Marosca
When he’s not leading his country to victory at the European Championships, the most famous footballer in the world can be found hamming it up on Instagram with his Labrador, Marosca. With Ronaldo showing a strong history of supporting charitable endeavors — he’s tattoo free so that he can donate blood twice a year — let’s hope she’s a rescue.
Alexis Sanchez’s Big Dog Love
Chilean star Alexis Sanchez might be soccer’s biggest dog lover. In the past he’s put together Phil Collins and Titanic-themed video tributes to his faithful furry friends, Atom and Humber. Here he’s pictured goofing it up with the former while they skip around the world in a private jet.
Harry Kane’s Dogs
Harry Kane was meant to be England’s goal scoring savior at the Euros — but the Tottenham Hotspur player flopped as his country’s team were sent home early. Nevertheless, he had his dogs Brady and Wilson waiting for him back at his house — and Kane used them to tell the world all about a new addition to his household.
Neymar and Poker
One third of Barcelona’s famed MSN strike force alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, Brazilian poster boy Neymar also has a playful pup that he’s been sporting enough to call Poker. Beyond the Instagram selfies, you can also catch the two of them engaging in tag sessions on YouTube.
Messi’s Newest Dog
Neymar’s attacking pal Lionel Messi has also gotten in on the dog scene. Here he’s snapped himself with a pup that his girlfriend brought home to make it a grand total of three canines in Casa de Messi.
Aaron Ramsey and Halo
The bleached-blond Arsenal FC player became one of the fan favorites at Euro 2016 with his standout performances for the Wales team. Is Halo, his soccer playing Beagle, the real secret to his success?
David Beckham’s Dogs
Finally, former Manchester United and Real Madrid player David Beckham might have long since retired from the football scene, but when it comes to celebrity soccer dogs, his family are royalty. Along with Bulldogs called Scarlet and Coco, and a Shar-Pei named Barnaby, last Christmas saw them welcoming puppy Olive into their family.
After giving the pooch her own Instagram account, she quickly clocked up over 80,000 followers — although this pup is not exactly on point about keeping her fans updated on her moves.
Have we missed any famous dog-obsessed soccer stars? Let us know in the comments below!