10 sports stars and their dogs from Lionel Messi to Lewis Hamilton

The month of March brought with it International Dogs Day, with many people celebrating Britain’s best-loved pets.

A host of sports stars also own dogs, with doggie bags taking their place in their house alongside medals and trophies.

Some have even set up social media accounts for their pooches to showcase the daily lives of the pets of our sporting heroes.

Some elite sports stars even bring their pets to their events, be that tennis Grand Slams or Formula One Grand Prix.

In honour of these magnificent animals, we take a look at 10 sporting stars, from football to the NFL, who own dogs.

Lionel Messi

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One of the best footballers of all time, the Barcelona superstar owns a giant, brown Douge de Bordeaux (French Mastiff) named Senor Hulk.

The pooch guards his mansion in the suburbs of Spain’s second city and is almost as tall as the Argentinian.

French Mastiffs are known for their calm temperament with people they know, meaning they are great with children.

Alexis Sanchez

The Inter Milan man owns arguably the most famous dogs in football, with his golden retrievers Atom and Humber boasting an Instagram following of more than 183,000 people.

Atom is named after a character from the movie Real Steel, while Humber is named in honour of Sanchez’s brother Humberto.

The duo have been featured in TV adverts and even had their own banners at Sanchez’s former clubs Arsenal and Manchester United.

Serena Williams

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  • One of tennis’ most successful players has owned several dogs in her life, with her current love being Yorkshire Terrier Chip.

    Chip accompanies Williams almost everywhere, including to Grand Slams, and has been pictured next to her trophies.

    The dog has caused some problems for Williams though, with the tennis star falling ill after eating some of Chip’s food hours before reaching the quarter-finals of the 2016 Italian Open.

    Marcus Rashford

    Similarly to Messi, Manchester United striker Rashford owns a Cane Corso (Italian Mastiff), who also acts as his guard dog.

    Rashford’s dog is named The Saint and is estimated to have cost him in the region of £25,000 when he bought him in 2018.

    The Italian Mastiff has a similar personality to other mastiff breeds, although their docked ears give them a more menacing look.

    Mario Balotelli

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    Balotelli will not remember his time on the pitch for Liverpool very fondly, though it was where the striker bought his two Staffies from a rescue home.

    Like his nickname, Super Mario gave a nod to the Nintendo game by calling them Luigi and Bowser, after characters in the series.

    But reportedly the dogs caused havoc at Liverpool’s training ground, with the Sun reporting they left it covered in dog mess.

    David de Gea

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    De Gea and his wife Edurne have a Chow Chow named Matxo, or mule.

    The breed originates in China and has been around for more than 2,000 years, making it one of the oldest breeds still in existence.

    The Manchester United keeper and his wife regularly post pictures of Maxto.

    Lewis Hamilton

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    Hamilton’s dogs Coco and Roscoe had become a staple sight in the paddock on a Formula One weekend, until Coco passed away last year.

    Roscoe still joins the world champion at race weekends, with Hamilton joking at one race that he hoped Roscoe hadn’t escaped after a dog was reported running around the track.

    The Mercedes driver also revealed last July that Roscoe is now on a vegan diet, while he also has his own Instagram account with 187,000 followers.

    Harry Kane

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    The Spurs and England striker is a well-known fan of the NFL and in honour of America’s famous sport, named his dogs after Tom Brady and Russell Wilson.

    Kane clearly loves his dogs, having posting numerous pictures of them on social media over the years.

    It was even revealed back in 2015 that the England captain regularly calls his dogs when he is away from home.

    Tom Brady

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    The seven-time Super Bowl winner is a notable dog-lover, owning three dogs – Lua, Scooby and Fluffy.

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback bought Lua in 2014, before welcoming Scooby to his family a year later.

    All three appear to be rescue dogs, with Fluffy joining the family in 2016.


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    The Real Madrid star was still at Malaga when he got his first dog, which created an unfortunate situation for the Spaniard.

    That's because Isco named him after Barcelona star Lionel Messi, saying at the time "Messi is the best in the world and so is my dog."

    Thankfully another of his dogs is named after Los Blancos hero Luis Figo.

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