footballer with dog in grandstand

Famous footballers and their dogs

They often say that a dog is a man’s best friend. It is not only as club mascots that they play the part in footballers’ lives. Here are some of the highest-profile footballers and their dogs.

Lionel Messi’s Mastiff

The Barcelona superstar Messi has a hulking great, brown French Mastiff named Senor Hulk, who guards his mansion in Barcelona Mansion.

When Hulk first arrived into the family in 2016, he was a pup, but he soon grew into a size that earns him his name.

Photo from Instagram

Mastiffs de Bordeaux are generally calm, good with children, but also loyal and very good as guard dogs. The Bordeaux breed is the oldest in France, and existed before France even got its name.

In the video below, you can see Hulk having a kickabout with the international star.

Alexis Sanchez’s Golden Retrievers and Dobermans

Alexis Sanchez’s two golden retrievers, Atom and Humber, are the most famous dogs in the sport – with large online profiles on Instagram.

When the Chilean star moved from North London to play with Manchester United, he had Atom and Humber join him in a luxury hotel. He then posted a video of Humber (the lighter of the two), walking through the hotel corridor to the tune of ‘Glory Glory, Man Utd‘.

Adam Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez with Golden Retrievers: Photo from Instagram

During Lockdown, Alexis added to his family with two Doberman pups, advertising on Instagram as ‘Atom and Humber’s new brothers’.

Marcus Rashford’s Cane Corso

The Manchester United striker Rashford’s dog is a glorious Cane Corso (Italian mastiff) named Saint. He first arrived form Russia, a country that allows earcropping, in 2018, to join Atom and Humber in the Man Utd family.

Marcus Rashford with dog Saint: Photo from Instagram

Cane Corsos are notorious as guard dogs – committed to their families and great with children.

You can read more about them in Wufmag article Does a Cane Corso make a good family dog?.

Harry Kane’s Labradors

The Spurs and England star Harry Kane has two Labradors – Brandy and Wilson, named after two NFL stars (Tom Brady and Russell Wilson).

Harry Kane with Labrador dogs Brandy & Wilson: Photo from Instagram

In 2015, the Daily Star claimed that Harry loved his Labrador pups so much that he ‘talks to them on the phone’. The next year, he and partner Katie announced a new baby was on the way. They published a photo of the two Labs sitting with pink and blue ballons around them, and each with a chalkboard around their neck.

One read, “Mum + dad are getting us a human!!, and the other, “Guard dog duty starts January 2017.”

Cristiano Ronaldo’s dogs

The world first saw Ronaldo’s Labrador Marosca via a 2015 selfie on Instagram. Obviously it was shared a lot by fans of the then Real Madrid Star (now Manchester United)

Later in 2021, Cristiano got Antonia (nicknamed ‘Toni’), a Chinese Crested dog. This breed is exotic, small, and without much fur (see below).

Japanese Chin / Chinese Crested Mix” by CAPow! is marked with CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Marcelo’s Lola and Nalla and Uly

Finally, Brazilian star and Real Madrid captain Marcelo is a dog lover, and often posts pics of his Newfoundland (Nalla), French Bulldog (Uly) and Labrador (Lola).

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Marcelo Vieira (@marcelotwelve)

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