We are all excited to hear juicy stories about celebrities, and we are not talking about women’s gossip magazines but elite sportsmen’s troubles with the law, drugs, drinks or gambling. And while gambling is not ruining the health of these athletes, it can have devastating effects on their finances and even careers. 

We have all heard stories about top celebrity footballers like Wayne Rooney, Paul Merson and Michael Chopra but what about Spanish and Swedish teams’ players? Are there any exciting stories out there? In this article, we are looking at a few examples of Spanish and Swedish footballers’ troubles with gambling and will let you decide which stories are the best. Amy Martinsson, a Swedish iGaming expert helped us create this list of troubled footballers. To read more about Amy, click here

Problem gambling in the celebrity world

If you think it is a coincidence that celebrities like movie stars, pop stars or athletes find themselves addicted to something, you are wrong. There are partly biological and partly environmental reasons why some people get addicted to alcohol, tobacco, drugs, sex, gambling or work for that matter. And while there is no harm with many of the above-mentioned things when done in moderation, when they become an addiction they can ruin your health, finances, relationships and even career. 

This is why it is very important to gamble with moderation. You can choose a bästa online casino from our list and set your limits before you start playing. Any responsible casino will have this option available to players.

Celebrities, and among them footballers, have immense pressure on them to always excel and show only their good sides. Many football players get very successful and come across huge amounts of money at a very young age and later on think that they are invincible and will win in any area of life. But this is of course not true when footballers play casino games and there are no limits to how much they can lose. We have seen many top athletes become very rich and then lose their fortune to gambling in a blink of an eye. 

Spanish footballers tied to a gambling scandal

Kieran Trippier plays as a right-back for La Liga club Atlético Madrid. Trippier was given a 10-week worldwide football ban and fined £70,000 for breaches of the FA’s betting rules after he was proven to have passed on information to his friends about his transfer from Tottenham FC to Atlético Madrid so that they could place bets on his transfer. The Spanish club appealed against the verdict but it was rejected so Trippier had to stay in ban for the whole 10 weeks. He returned to the field in March 2021 when his team played against Real Madrid. 

Cristiano Ronaldo is from Portugal but as far as his career goes, he has been the most successful as Real Madrid’s striker for almost ten years. He participated in 292 matches and scored 311 goals for the team. Ronaldo is the best example that footballers play online games. Cristiano is a PokerStars official sports team member and he regularly plays at PokerStars where thousands of his fans desperately wait for a chance to play against the football legend. 

Raul Bravo is a former Real Madrid left-back star who was arrested in 2019 on charges of money laundering and belonging to criminal organizations. He, among other players, was arrested for match-fixing between 2016 and 2018 after several bookmakers reported unusual betting patterns for certain matches. 

Eidur Gudjohnsen is an Icelandic professional football coach and former player who played for FC Barcelona between 2006 and 2009. Gudjohnsen admitted being a gambling addict and confessed to having lost £400,000 in casinos over a five-month period. He became addicted to roulette and blackjack out of boredom when he was forced to stay at home because of an injury. 

Swedish footballers with a gambling problem

Gambling is very popular in Sweden, even when compared to other European countries and research found that among male elite football players there is a very high risk of gambling addiction. 

Tomas Brolin is a Swedish former professional football player who played as a midfielder or as a forward for several clubs in Sweden, the UK, Italy and Switzerland. After he retired from football he became a successful businessman and later a very successful poker player. He competed in several PokerStars.com European Poker Tours and came 38th out of an 842 in Monte Carlo at the EPT Grand Final

At the end of 2020, Sweden’s public prosecutor charged five football players with match-fixing offences. A player from Södra Götaland has received bribes five times from people who bet on his team losing. In May 2019, an IF Elfsborgs player received a yellow card in a match against FF Kalmar and received money from people who bet on him getting a yellow card. In the above cases, names of these players were not released to the media but a big scandal was stirred and more intense match monitoring systems were put into place to try to avoid these things happening in the future. 


Now you have heard some gambling stories of footballers who play in Spanish or Swedish teams. Some are successful poker players while others try to cheat by match-fixing. It is up to you to decide which stories are the best and we hope you enjoyed this reading.