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Footballers’ rides: the 10 most-financed cars by footballers

Footballer's cars

Footballers are famous for their lavish – and often questionable – taste in cars, apart from Yaya Toure, who appears to have a penchant for lorries… Given how much Premier League players earn, you might be surprised to discover that many of them finance their motors. Here are the top 10 cars financed by footballers, according to high-end vehicle financier JBR Capital, Harry.

Ford Mustang Fastback

Ford Mustang

Far from the glitterati of a Rolls-Royce or Bentley badge, we kick off this list of cars most-financed by footballers with the relatively humble Ford Mustang. This motoring icon has been available in the UK in right-hand-drive form for just a few years.

That said, its legend precedes it. The Mustang is one of the most recognisable cars on the road, with an image that can’t be bought and a 5.0-litre V8 to die for. We understand the appeal there.

Bentley Bentayga Onyx

Bentley Bentayga

If ever a car was made for footballers, it’s the Bentley Bentayga. But footballers are a picky bunch, with many opting for the special Onyx version. What’s Stephen Ireland up to these days?

Even if we were earning Premier League wages, you’d struggle to see us in one of these. There’s probably a reason why we’re not footballers…

Maserati GranCabrio

Maserati GranCabrio

The Maserati GranCabrio is a bit of a veteran player, as it has been on sale over 12 years now. But a bit like Paul Scholes, it can still deliver the goods and mix it with the young upstarts when required.

There’s serious badge appeal to the old Maser, too. Even Ferrari, Aston Martin and Bentley don’t carry quite so much intrigue.

Range Rover Autobiography

Range Rover

The Range Rover is a long-serving footballers’ ride, with Premier League aces helping to turn the mud-plugger into a status symbol. Still one of the most luxurious cars on the road, it’s the perfect car to escape to after a hard game. It certainly beats an early bath.

It’s no surprise that the Autobiography is the one they plump for. Loaded with stylish and luxurious touches, why would you settle for anything less, Clive?

Lamborghini Huracan Spyder

Footballer's cars

For footballers hoping to make a grand entrance, the Lamborghini Huracan Spyder is the car of choice. No shying away in a lap of luxury like the Range Rover, the Huracan announces your arrival at the stadium with the howl of its V10.

It’s not all show and no go, though. With over 600hp, four-wheel-drive and a dual-clutch transmission, the Huracan is like a pacy winger. Accelerating to 62mph in 3.4 seconds on the way to a top speed of 201mph, the Huracan is both perfect for show, and when it’s time to go.

Ferrari 488 Spider

Footballer's cars

Continuing footballers’ penchant for soft-top supercars is the Ferrari 488 Spider. It’s probably the ultimate playboy’s Ferrari right now. Mid-engined and beautiful, but easy to potter around in.

That said, with 670hp on tap, it could prove dangerous for folk whose success is measured by the performance of their right foot.

Audi RS6 Avant

Footballer's cars

The RS6 Avant has an element of ‘sleeper’ about it, being a svelte and sleek Audi, though it doesn’t take long to work out that it means business. Bulbous arches filled with enormous wheels, big booming exhausts and aggressive vents imbue the RS6 with subtle menace and aggression. An estate version of ‘Razor’ Ruddock, if you like, albeit with more pace.

Along with the looks, the performance will be getting footballers signing on the dotted line. For an estate, the RS6 is unbelievably rapid, hitting 62mph in just 3.7 seconds. Less Ruddock and more Michael Owen, then? We’re showing our age with these player references.

Mercedes-Benz G-Class

Footballer's cars

In-your-face bravado is the order of the day for many footballers, and you won’t get many cars that deliver more of it than the Mercedes G-Class. Merc’s military refugee has been with us for four decades now and it’s just been significantly refreshed.

Most footballers will opt for the monstrous G63 AMG variant, which packs a 577hp 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 trumpeting its tune out of side-exit exhausts.

Bentley Continental GT

Footballer's cars

Here’s a proper footballers’ classic: the Bentley Continental GT. Old-school luxury for a new-age audience interested in classic style, mated to modern amenities and performance. Lashings of wood and leather are never far away in a Conti, nor are handsome yet quintessentially ‘Bentley’ looks.

With a 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12 engine and 600hp, the Continental certainly performs like a modern supercar. It’ll sprint to 62mph in 3.7 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 207mph. Dangerous stats for some footballers, who struggle to hold on to a licence for their love of speeding. Allegedly.

Range Rover Sport SVR

Footballer's cars

Of course, a Range Rover tops the list. In this case, the range-topping, rip-snorting SVR variant. With its 5.0-litre supercharged V8 packing a 570hp punch, it’ll rip to 62mph in 4.5 seconds. Perfect for escaping rival supporters in consummate comfort, on a wave of V8 thunder.

Mind you, with such a juicy lump under the bonnet, they might want to consider financing their fuel supply, too.

Harry Kane's Jaguar F-Pace

England players plan to spend World Cup bonuses on supercars

Harry Kane's Jaguar F-PaceWin or lose in Russia, England’s Premier League footballers will almost certainly score a new car this summer. That’s according to Magnitude Finance, which provides prestige vehicle funding for 13 of the 23-man England squad.

The company is preparing a range of finance packages for the players and their wives and girlfriends – or WAGs, in tabloid speak – with win bonuses said to be in the region of £215,000 per player.

Popular cars include the usual Premier League favourites, such as the Bentley Continental GT, Range Rover and Audi R8, along with the new Lamborghini Urus. Like Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere, the Mitsubishi Mirage and Suzuki Celerio are set to miss out.

In the longest press release quote in living memory, Tim Marlow, head of sales of Magnitude Finance, said: “From the proposals we’re putting together, it will be the largest amount of finance provided for our footballer clientele during a summer – irrespective of how England fare in Russia.

“Many of the England squad, their wives and girlfriends and Premiership-based players representing other nations are looking to buy new cars either to mark a good tournament or a treat at the end of the season.

“The players will have a lot of time on their hands in between training and matches at the World Cup.

“Since landing in Russia, there has been a significant increase in traffic from the region to our website which tells us they are busy looking at finance options for their next car purchase.”

We’ve shortened the quote, but Tim goes on to talk about an online calculator, concierge service and a fast turnaround. Apparently, some players look for an interest-only deal over two years, which allows them to change their car more often than Paul Pogba changes his hairstyle.

Regardless of whether England crashes out in a blaze of VAR glory or Harry Kane captains the team to a World Cup triumph, the players are almost certainly going to be laughing all the way to the polished floor of a prestige car showroom.

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England v Germany: the World Cup of cars

Do you hear that noise? That’s the sound of the World Cup bandwagon, and we’re just about to climb aboard for a ride. We’re comparing the ‘best’ English and German cars from each World Cup year since 1966 with the aim of selecting an overall champion.

We can’t promise you will learn anything from it, but we can assure you of a nail-biting finish. And by the end of it, you probably won’t be feeling quite as bad as David Luiz at the end of the 2014 World Cup semi-final.

Rules of engagement

First, we need to establish some ground rules. This ‘World Cup’ will be split into 14 rounds – one for each World Cup year since 1966 – and we’ve selected important, successful or great cars from each country.

Remember, kids, it’s just for fun, so don’t write in. Oh, and our decision is final – we won’t be using VAR in the event of a questionable decision.

1966

England – Jensen Interceptor

England v Germany: the World Cup of Cars

Ah, 1966 and all that. Memories, if you’re old enough to remember, of Bobby Moore lifting the Jules Rimet trophy, Nobby Stiles dancing and a ball that was certainly over the line. There can only be one winner in this round, especially with a name like Interceptor, which sounds like the nickname of a tough-tackling holding midfielder.

Germany – BMW 02 Series

Germany’s response to the Jensen Interceptor is the BMW 02 Series, the svelte, continental and nimble executive from Bavaria. It lacks the performance needed to topple the West Bromwich powerhouse in this instance, but as the forerunner to the 3 Series, we’re expecting great things in future tournaments, Clive.

1970

England – Range Rover

In 1970, the first Range Rover rolled off the production line in Solihull, making it the ideal car for England’s 1970 World Cup bid. In Mexico, the then-champions succumbed to the midday heat, going down 3-2 against semi-finalists West Germany. In our ‘World Cup’, it’s going to take something mighty to stop the Range Rover from making it 2-0 to England.

Germany – Opel Manta

If you’re still with us, thank you. We can’t promise things will improve by the time we reach 2018, which sounds a bit like the England World Cup team. For its 1970 entry, West Germany wades in with the handsome Opel Manta, which would be happier taking on a Ford Capri in a traffic Grand Prix than it would a Range Rover. Sorry, Opel, it’s 2-0 to England. But fear not, Germany, because England took a two goal lead in 1970, and we know what happened next.

1974

England – Lotus Elite

England isn’t exactly spoilt for choice when it comes to picking a squad for 1974, unless you fancy taking on the Germans in an Austin Allegro Vanden Plas. Instead, it’s left to Hethel’s elite – quite literally – in the form of the Lotus Elite. The 2+2 hatchback-cum-coupe represented a shift upmarket for Lotus, but we sense Germany might have this covered.

Germany – Volkswagen Golf

Indeed, West Germany is toying with England’s defense, demonstrating some fancy footwork with the Volkswagen Scirocco, before going in for the kill with the all-conquering Golf. England is powerless to prevent the Germans clawing a goal back, courtesy of elegant Italian styling and ruthless German efficiency. England 2-1 Germany.

1978

England – Vauxhall Chevette HS

Time for England to restore a little pride with some rallying of the troops. Vauxhall is channeling its inner ‘Flying Finn’ with the 2.3-litre Chevette HS, a highly capable homologation special, especially at the hands of Pentti Airikkala. But England is unable to call upon help from Finland in this instance…

Germany – BMW M1

Boom: have some of that. The BMW M1 may have had its problems during development – a rare lack of commitment from the Italians didn’t help matters – but Vauxhall cannot stop the 3.5-litre mid-engined sports car from romping to victory in 1978. It’s an equaliser for West Germany, with the score tied at 2-2.

1982

England – Bristol Brigand

England head to Spain for the 1982 World Cup in need of a strong performance. Time to restore some pride. A development of the earlier 603, the Bristol Brigand can call upon the might of a V8 engine to launch a string of attacks, with the large two-door coupe capable of speeds of up to 150mph. Enough for England to retake the lead?

Germany – Mercedes-Benz 190

There are a few players jockeying for position in West Germany, with the new E30 BMW 3 Series and Audi 100 lining up to take on the Bristol. In the end it’s left to the Mercedes-Benz 190, the most important new car from Stuttgart in many years. But while the 190 was a quantum leap forward over the old 200, it cannot tackle the mighty Brigand in Spain, which puts England back in front.

1986

England – Jaguar XJ

None other than Gary Lineker finished as the top scorer at the 1986 tournament in Mexico, which will remembered for Diego Maradona’s brilliance (not to mention his handball). England take on West Germany with the Jaguar XJ40.

Germany – BMW 7 Series

But the XJ40 is powerless to see off the BMW 7 Series, which scythes down England like a Thomas Berthold tackle. This was a hugely important car for BMW, not least because it replaced an ageing product and was destined to spend its entire time running down the left-hand flank (of the German autobahn). That’s 3-3. Are we destined for a penalty shootout? Nobody tell Gareth Southgate.

1990

England – Lotus Carlton

This will hurt Germany, as the Lotus Carlton also wore an Opel badge. But, as a product of Hethel, it qualifies for the England team, and it’s hard to see how Germany could respond to the 176mph supercar-slayer. Ah, the sweet taste of revenge for the 1990 penalty shootout, although this tie isn’t over yet.

Germany – Mercedes-Benz 500E

Besides, Germany isn’t going down without a fight. Don’t let the subtle looks fool you, because the Mercedes-Benz 500E is as powerful as Lothar Matthäus and as ruthless as Jürgen Klinsmann at his peak. MB’s performance saloon was powered by a 5.0-litre V8 and assembled by Porsche in Stuttgart. It’s a bona fide legend, but the Carlton manages to hang on to put England in front.

1994

England – Jaguar XJ

Sorry, England, but you’re not winning this one. Failure to quality for USA ‘94 meant that England had to sit this one out, so there’s no way a Jaguar XJ (X300) is going to perform well here, even with a choice of six and 12-cylinder engines.

Germany – Audi A8

With its groundbreaking aluminium construction, lightweight body, huge array of engines and choice of interior comforts, the Audi A8 made the Jaguar XJ look rather outmoded. A unified Germany may have lost against Bulgaria in the US tournament, but the A8 cruises to an easy win against England. It’s 4-4, Jim.

1998

England – Bentley Arnage

It wouldn’t be a World Cup without a little controversy, which is why we’re not afraid to give the Bentley Arnage its England debut. Some fine players have emerged from Crewe’s academy, most notably Dean Ashton, Danny Murphy and David ‘in the last minute of extra-time’ Platt. So what’s controversial about another Crewe export? That’d be the 4.4-litre BMW engine, used to power the Arnage at its launch. Don’t mention the engine and we might just get away with it.

Germany – Audi TT

Actually, it would be controversial if England win the 1998 tie, but there’s no chance of that with the Audi TT looming into view. The oh-so-fashionable TT arrived in 1998, dressing to impress like a concept car for the road. With its trendy suit and bespoke interior, the TT knocks the Arnage into submission and gives Germany the lead. Five rounds to go, it’s up for grabs now, Ron.

2002

England – Range Rover L322

The design of the 2002 Range Rover was inspired by yachts, fine furniture and first-class seating, but today it must grab its shin pads for a battle royale. Sure, there’s the small issue of the launch-spec BMW powertrains to gloss over, but the L322 feels like it stems from the golden generation of luxury SUVs.

Germany – Volkswagen Phaeton

Ferdinand Piech’s flight of fantasy faces an uphill battle if it hopes to give Germany a two-goal advantage. Indeed, much like Germany in the 2002 tournament, the Germans must be content with a runners-up medal in our ‘World Cup’. Blimey, this really could go to penalties. That’s 5-5.

2006

England – Lotus Europa S

We head to Germany for the 2006 World Cup, so this will be a tough challenge for England. We’re using a wildcard in the shape of the Lotus Europa S, hoping that, much like Michael Owen at the 1998 tournament, it can surprise a few people.

Germany – Audi R8

Sorry, but not a chance. Germany’s response to Hethel’s lightweight challenger is ruthless in its execution. How could it fail? Based on the Lamborghini Gallardo, the R8 could boast 5,000 unique parts and, at launch, a 4.2-litre V8 engine. With three rounds to go, Germany race into a 6-5 lead.

2010

England – Bentley Mulsanne

It’s perhaps fitting that England’s entry for 2010 is a £220,000 luxury motor, as it seems to reflect the rise in footballers’ wages. The Mulsanne was the first entirely new Bentley in 80 years, with an opulent cabin and a 6.75-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine. How will Germany respond?

Germany – Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

There’s a lot to love about the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. The gullwing doors provide crowd-pleasing theatrics, while the 6.2-litre V8 is a German masterpiece. This is a tough one. Keen not to show any bias, we’re giving this one to the Germans, but it’s by the narrowest of margins. That’s 7-5 to Germany with two rounds to go. It’s not looking good for England.

2014

England – Aston Martin DB10

But we needn’t have worried, because you can always rely on James Bond to keep the English end up. The Aston Martin DB10 was created for Spectre, in which 007 takes on Mr Hinx in a Jaguar C-X75.

Germany – BMW i8

On another day, BMW’s futurist i8 might have won this, but not today. This round belongs to James Bond and to England. To paraphrase a Bond villian, do you expect us to justify our decision? That’s 7-6 to Germany.

2018

England – McLaren Senna

Chasing a goal to grab a late equaliser, England has a formidable bench to choose from. The Jaguar I-Pace, Aston Martin Vantage, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan and TVR Griffith fail to make the cut, leaving it to the McLaren Senna. We’re out testing it, so we’re unable to deliver our definitive verdict, but the signs are good. Besides, adding some Brazilian flair to the England attack is a compelling proposition.

Germany – Porsche 911 GT3 RS

Germany isn’t short of new talent: the BMW 8 Series, Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door, Ruf SCR and Audi Q8, to name a few. But even the Porsche 911 GT3 RS is unable to resist the full force of the McLaren Senna. The tournament has finished 7-7, so it’s time for penalties.

2018: Penalties

The Jaguar I-Pace steps up like a silent assassin to win it for England. Why? Because the electric car takes the fight to Tesla and sees Jaguar beating the Germans to the market. England winning against Germany on penalties – now there’s a thing. If you’re still here, thank you, we know you have better things to do.

Kahn Chelsea Truck Co. World Cup Edition

World Cup Defender special: it’s all kicking off

Kahn Chelsea Truck Co. World Cup Edition

What better way to celebrate the start of the 2018 FIFA World Cup that with a £70,000 custom Land Rover Defender? That’s the view of vehicle modifier Chelsea Truck Company, part of Kahn Design.

It’s hard to argue with the description that the World Cup Edition sets itself apart from ‘virtually anything on the road’, with the Honey Mustard paintwork certainly not subtle. It makes the recent Kahn Vengeance Green Superhero look almost subtle.

The eye-searing colour is applied to Chelsea Wide Track bodywork, with the stretched wheel arches the most obvious feature.

Stainless steel mesh fills vents in the bonnet, there’s a custom X-Lander front grille, and a new bumper with integrated lights. The headlights themselves are replaced with shadow chrome units, and it is also impossible to ignore the gloss black 20-inch Mondial alloy wheel.

Inside the usually spartan Defender interior, almost everything has been covered with leather. That includes the sports seats, the instrument binacle, and the central glove box. A Kahn Design steering wheel made from billet aluminium is not the biggest trinket, as that prize goes to the Churchill Time Clock.

Beneath all the exterior adornments and interior details, the World Cup Edition is powered by the same 2.2-litre TDCI diesel engine as found in a regular Defender. Adding all the additional bits doesn’t come cheap, with the lucky buyer needing £69,995 to take home the World Cup edition.

Kahn Design founder and CEO Afzal Khan also has plans to try to encourage members of England’s football team to give it their all at the World Cup.

Should England lift the trophy, Mr Kahn has promised to gift midfielder Eric Dier the number plate ‘NO 4’, said to be valued at £500,000. Defender Danny Rose would also have a choice of number plates, said to reward him for his openness about his battles with depression.

England play their first game of the 2018 World Cup against Tunisia on Monday 18th June. That might give us some indication as to whether the promise of number plates helps England score.

Hyundai and Chelsea

Hyundai is Chelsea FC’s new car partner

Hyundai and ChelseaHyundai has become the official global automotive partner of Chelsea Football Club, in a five-year deal that will see the firm’s logo feature on the sleeves of the team shirt in all domestic competitions. 

It’s Hyundai’s first foray into UK football, after being the official World Cup automotive partner since 1999. 

We won’t just see the Hyundai logo on the shirt sleeves, either. It will feature prominently on Stamford Bridge’s matchday LED perimeter signs, car displays at the club and umpteen other types of media and digital content. 

Chelsea players Olivier Giroud, David Luiz and Tiemoue Bakayoko helped announce the deal and to reinforce the message, Hyundai’s giving away four pairs of tickets to Chelsea’s first home Premier League game of the 2018/19 season. 

What do you have to do? Keep an eye out for any @hyundai_uk tweet with the hashtag #ForTheFans between 11-17 June, and retweet it. That’s it. 

We’ll see the Hyundai logo on the team shirts for the first time on July 23rd, when Chelsea play a friendly in Australia against Perth Glory. Over the next five years, adds Hyundai, it’s going to work with Chelsea to “develop a range of initiatives and benefits for the club’s supporters, as part of its ambition to bring ease to mobility and make football more accessible to fans”. 

What we want to know is, when’s the fleet of (sort of) Chelsea-blue i30 N hot hatches being delivered to the players?

Range Rover Evoque is top of the footballers’ car league

It’s 25 years since the top flight of English football went all champagne and prawn sandwiches, with the birth of the Premier League. Since then, much has changed, and not just matters on the pitch.

Television revenue has transformed the game, with enough cash floating around to make Premier League players some of the richest sportsmen in the world. As a result, most top-flight footballers can afford to take their pick of the cars available in the lavish showrooms of West London and Cheshire.


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Evoque finishes first

And yet, the most popular car purchased on finance by Premier League footballers has a relatively modest starting price of £30,760: the Range Rover Evoque. Quite a surprise, given the fact that the average Premier League salary is £2.4 million.

But is it such a big shock? May we suggest that the Evoque is just one of a stable of cars earned by each footballer: the ‘tender’ to a fleet of land-yachts and exotics. The ideal car for the school run or nipping into town for a packet of Match Attax.

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The other cars on the list are more predictable: Lamborghini Aventador, Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, Bentley Bentayga and Jeep Wrangler Kahn Sahara, to pick just a few from the top 10.

It’s all a far cry from the days when Gary Lineker could be seen turning up for training at Leicester City’s Filbert Street ground in a dealer-supplied Fiat Uno or Fiat Strada. Or when Liverpool’s John Barnes became the first player in England to earn £10,000 a week, kickstarting the era of crazy football wages.

Fast forward to the 2016-2017 season and Liverpool’s highest earner was Philippe Coutinho on £150,000 a week, while former Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney topped the table on a staggering £300,000 a week.

Forget a sponsored Ford SportKa, because today, Wayne Rooney could afford to buy every single SportKa in the country, sort out the inevitable rust around the filler cap and wheelarches, before handing them back to their previous owners. Now that he has returned to Goodison Park, we think he should recreate this photo, just for old times’ sake.

Wayne Rooney Ford SportKa

Footballers with finance

But with Premier League players earning so much, why are so many cars bought on finance? After all, Wayne Rooney could afford to buy an Evoque Convertible using the money he earns in one day.

Darren Selig, CEO and co-founder at JBR Capital, explained: “The highest-earning premiership players can bring in six-figure salaries each week and could buy many of the cars on this list easily without finance, but like regular motorists, it pays to be smart and they are increasingly savvy in their financial affairs.

“Footballers want the monthly cost of the loan to be as low as possible, so they can remain flexible. They would rather spend large sums on investments such as property, and do not want to overextend their budget with outright purchases. They also generally run finance deals from two to four years, as these allow them the most flexibility.”

The top 10 list of cars bought on finance, in full:

  1. Range Rover Evoque
  2. Lamborghini Aventador
  3. Mercedes-Benz Onyx G6 GLE Coupe
  4. Bentley Continental GT
  5. Ferrari F12 Berlinetta
  6. Lamborghini Huracan
  7. Jeep Wrangler Kahn Sahara
  8. Porsche 911 GTS
  9. Bentley Bentayga
  10. McLaren 675LT Spider

Champions League 2017: when cars play football

This weekend, all footballing roads – or more specifically the M4 and A48 – lead to Cardiff as the Uefa Champions League bandwagon rolls into town. At the end of the day – read: 19:45 – Juventus and Real Madrid will kick-off with high hopes of scooping Europe’s biggest prize since Amar Pelos Dois won the hearts of Kiev.

These days, football and cars are as intertwined as Cristiano Ronaldo’s Ferrari 599 GTB and the tunnel beneath Manchester Airport. In Cheshire, (dis)tastefully modified cars are as common as fake tan, must-have handbags and sunnies the size of dinner plates.

But while it’s easy to poke fun at footballing car culture – hat tip to Stephen Ireland for services to the industry – the fact remains that football is big business for the car industry. And that’s not a throwaway cliché, Clive.

The Champions League gives 110%

Nissan certainly thinks so, which is why you’re forced to endure endless ads when Gary, Jake and co. have finished over-analysing misplaced passes with old pros. The Japanese firm signed a four-year Uefa Champions League sponsorship deal in 2014, reported to be worth €54.5 (£45m), replacing Ford, which had sponsored the tournament for 22 years.

Whichever way you look at it, that’s an awful lot of Nissan Micras. Or 3,750 base-spec models, to be precise.Champions League 2017: when cars play football

For Nissan, the benefits are obvious. Around 200 million fans are expected to watch the final on June 3, not to mention the countless others who have tuned in since the tournament kicked off back in June 2016. Although quite how many cars Nissan sold off the back of The New Saints vs. Tre Penne is anybody’s guess.

“The Champions League has massive power in terms of views that it can give us,” Jean-Pierre Diernaz, vice president for marketing, Nissan Europe, told the BBC in 2016.

“We are a growing brand around the world, but with the exception of Japan, and possibly the US, we are a challenger brand. To go a step further we need to grow awareness. The Champions League has massive power in terms of views that it can give us.

“It is working in terms of making sure our brand is growing,” the Frenchman said.

Interbrand’s Top 100 Best Global Brands ranks Nissan as number 43, with the brand valued at $11.066m in 2016, an increase of 22%. Messrs Iniesta, Thiago Silva and Aguero kicking a ball about in a studio are doing more than just bookending the commercial break.

A game of two halves

But the car industry’s involvement with the Champions League final goes far deeper than Yaya Touré kicking a football through the roof of a Nissan X-Trail. Real Madrid vs. Juventus presents a compelling automotive sideshow in Ingolstadt vs. Michigan. Or Audi vs. Jeep.

Audi calls itself a “partner of premier international clubs” and has been the vehicle partner of Real Madrid since 2003. The internet is awash with photos of players smiling gleefully at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu as they’re presented with the keys to their new highly-specced Audi.

Hats off to the Audi PR team for convincing Ronaldo to risk a moment of ‘helmet hair’ in the name of corporate sponsorship. He’s probably just thankful that he escaped the possibility of being given a club Chevrolet when he left Manchester United. Hard luck, Rooney, De Gea, et al.Champions League 2017: when cars play football

Not that Audi is a one-club company. Its sponsorship of FC Ingolstadt 04 is understandable, as are its links with Bayern Munich – that must sting, BMW – but a partnership with FC Barcelona? Proof that business is more important than fierce rivalries. When sponsorship deals get Messi…

Jeep: a no-nonsense player

Jeep’s sponsorship of the ‘Old Lady’ dates back to the 2012-2013 season when it signed an initial three-year deal worth €35m, or €11.7m per season. To outsiders, seeing the famous Jeep logo adorning the equally famous black and white stripes of Juve might seem like just another sponsorship deal, but to car enthusiasts and those with a thing for economics, the link is more obvious.

Juventus is controlled by the billionaire Agnelli family, the investment company with a 29.41% share in Fiat and a 22.91% share in Ferrari. In 2015, the Fiat-founding family signed a merger agreement with Chrysler, which created Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and created an indirect link between the American SUV brand and the city of Turin.

Not that Juventus has encountered anything other than smooth roads this season. Having secured the Serie A title, Juve made light work of Barcelona at the quarter final stage and saw off the attacking threat of Monaco in the semis as the Italians marched to the final in Cardiff.Champions League 2017: when cars play football

Top, top cars

Victory at the National Stadium of Wales – Uefa regulations prevent it being called the Principality Stadium – would net the winning team €15.5m, while the other finalist will receive €11m. Enough for the clubs to pick and choose from their corporate sponsor’s range of vehicles.

Leaving aside the fact that the players are given the keys to the cars of their respective club sponsors, you’re unlikely to see Ronaldo splashing out on a new Q2 or Buffon spending any time using the Renegade online configurator. The players can pick and choose from the world’s elite range of supercars.

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The animal arrive👍🔝

A post shared by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano) on

Cristiano Ronaldo’s car collection has been well documented and includes a Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse he bought to celebrate winning Euro 2016 with Portugal. He announced the purchase on Instagram with the simple caption: “The animal arrive.”

Not to be outdone by his Real Madrid teammate, Karim Benzema often arrives at training in a black and chrome Bugatti Veyron. Meanwhile, Toni Kroos drives a Ferrari 488 GTB.

Welshman Gareth Bale, who is hoping to recover from an injury to play in the Cardiff final, reportedly gave up driving supercars because he believed it was the root cause of a succession of hamstring injuries. Bale was a member of a £30,000-a-year supercar club.Champions League 2017: when cars play football

Legendary Italian ’keeper, Gianluigi Buffon is unlikely to suffer any supercar-related injuries ahead of the Champions League final. The 39-year-old Italian is more interested in clean sheets than expensive motors, choosing to squeeze his 6ft 3in frame into a Fiat 500. In his first year as a pro he’d turn up at training riding a Vespa. Once a legend, always a legend.

Predictability, many of Buffon’s teammates at Juve don’t share his love of mundane motors, with some opting to keep it in the family by driving a Ferrari. For Dani Alves it’s an FF, Leonardo Bonucci drives an F12berlinetta, while Claudio Marchisio has chosen a 599 GTO.

At the end of the day…

Not that this precludes the Juve players from partaking in the odd promotional job for Jeep. “Smile and think of the paycheque,” mutters Giorgio Chiellini as he manages something that might pass as a grin. Almost.Champions League 2017: when cars play football

Come Saturday evening, Juventus will be all smiles if they overturn the odds by beating the favourites Real Madrid. Will Italian-American grit triumph over German precision engineering in the battle of the sponsors, or will the Japanese score on the break?

It’s back to you in the studio, Gary.

Sir Geoff Hurst and MAN

Sir Geoff Hurst is the MAN

Sir Geoff Hurst and MAN1966 World Cup winner Sir Geoff Hurst has approved a new limited-edition MAN TGX truck as the German-owned firm helps celebrate 50 years of England’s only major football triumph.

The special MAN TGX tractor unit will be limited to 66 examples, all wearing 66 registration plates (which go live on September 1): unique features include a special door badge and 66-logo dashboard mat, plus a framed replica 1966 England football shirt signed by sir Geoff.

MAN suggests it will equip all trucks with variations of the ’66 TGX’ registration plate.

The hat-trick star in England’s 4-2 World Cup final victory will also attend a handover ceremony at Wembley in September: all 66 buyers of the MAN trucks will be invited to attend, before driving away in their new vehicles.

Simon Elliott is a football fan and also MD of MAN UK. “Our entire business, both here in the UK and in Germany has total respect for him as a player and a footballing ambassador, and we just couldn’t miss the chance to recognise this landmark and the 66 plate.”

The cars of the England Euro 2016 squad

The cars of the England Euro 2016 squad

The cars of the England Euro 2016 squadIt’s the eve of Euro 2016 and there’s only one question on the lips of England fans from Allonby to Zennor. No, not whether or not ‘brave England’ will make it out of Group B, or how Roy will work the formation around Captain Rooney, but what cars are owned by the England players?

Our office is split down the middle, with half of us relishing the prospect of wall-to-wall football and the other half praying for the tournament to end. If you’re in the latter camp, may we suggest switching to the History channel for a few weeks.

For those of you still with us, let us guide you through the whips* of the players who are about to feel the weight of an entire nation’s hopes and dreams on their shoulders. *We understand whip is a street term for car. No, we didn’t know that either.

The cars of the England Euro 2016 squad1. Joe Hart (Manchester City)

As England’s number one and safest pair of hands, we had visions of Joe Hart driving a Volvo XC90. Alas, no such luck. Instead, Hart uses a Bentley Continental GT to transport him between training sessions and promotional work for a certain shampoo company.

In 2014, his club Manchester City wrapped his car in Christmas wrapping paper. He took it in good spirit. Hart’s the guy on the left, standing head and shoulders above the guy in the Sky Blue Santa outfit. Ho, ho, ho.

The cars of the England Euro 2016 squad2: Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur)

OMG! Kyle Walker was man of the match in the game against Portugal. Here he is with a Range Rover. OMG!

04_England_Cars3: Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur)

By footballing standards, an Audi S3 saloon is a pretty restrained purchase. There’s a new model on the way, but Danny Rose’s car would have cost around £33,000 plus whatever options he went for. The balloons were free. Probably.

The cars of the England Euro 2016 squad4: James Milner (Liverpool)

Liverpool midfielder James Milner has developed a somewhat unfair reputation for being, well… rather boring. The ‘Boring James Milner’ Twitter account has well over 500,000 followers. But Milner has had the last laugh, being named the fifth best player at Euro 2016 by UEFA’s ranking tool.

As for his choice of wheels, something like a Mitsubishi Mirage or Kia Venga would suit the boring tag. But we suspect he follows the crowd and drives a Range Rover. That said, we understand he did own an Aston Martin DB9. Not so boring now, is he?

The cars of the England Euro 2016 squad5: Gary Cahill (Chelsea)

Gary Cahill has owned a number of Range Rovers and has often been papped around Stamford Bridge or the club’s Cobham Training Centre.

This tweet suggests he has recently taken delivery of a new Range Rover Sport. 575hp SVR, perhaps?

The cars of the England Euro 2016 squad6: Chris Smalling (Manchester United)

Chris Smalling, who scored a fine header against Portugal in an otherwise drab match, has been seen driving around Manchester in a Bentley Continental GT.

But if this tweet is anything to go by, he also owns a Chevrolet Corvette. Given Chevrolet’s sponsorship of Manchester United, this wouldn’t be out of the question.

The cars of the England Euro 2016 squad7: Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)

In February 2016, it was reported that Raheem Sterling was looking for a seventh car so he would be able to drive a different car every day.

His fleet already included a matte black Range Rover Evoque, Audi S7 Sportback, Audi Q7, Mercedes-AMG C63, Smart Fortwo and Range Rover Sport. Sterling was said to be considering a BMW i8.

The cars of the England Euro 2016 squad8: Adam Lallana (Liverpool)

You may have noticed a running theme here. The face of a certain moisturising cream owns a Range Rover. Wouldn’t it be nice if one England footballer drove a Dacia Duster? Or a Suzuki Jimny?

The cars of the England Euro 2016 squad9: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)

How much money would you place on Harry Kane walking away with the Golden Boot at Euro 2016? Perhaps more predictably, Kane drives a Range Rover Sport.

In 2015, Kane took part in a promotional feature in which he drove a Vauxhall Corsa VXR. Given he was born in the former Essex parish of Chingford, we had him down as a Fiesta ST man…

The cars of the England Euro 2016 squad10: Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)

For once, the hopes of a nation don’t rest entirely on Rooney’s shoulders or his metatarsal, but England expects him to perform. His motoring back catalogue isn’t quite as impressive as say David Beckham’s or Cristiano Ronaldo’s, but it’s not far off.

It all started with a Ford Sportka when he was at Everton, but he has since moved on to some of the world’s most exotic cars. Today, the supercar of the future, aka the BMW i8, is part of his collection.

The cars of the England Euro 2016 squad11: Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)

How do you celebrate signing a new £13m contract at Leicester City? By ordering a new Bentley Continental GT, of course. Meanwhile, his old Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG was up for sale on Auto Trader.

After winning the Premier League title, the club’s owner promised to buy every player a new electric Mercedes-Benz B-Class. We suspect Vardy might be asked to return the Merc if he signs for Arsenal.

The cars of the England Euro 2016 squad12: Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool)

This is Nathaniel Clyne’s Bentley Continental GT Convertible. Or should that be Nathaniel Cl02yne’s Bentley Continental GT Convertible?

We’re guessing the Mercedes-Benz parked alongside is owned by somebody in Liverpool FC’s accounts department.

The cars of the England Euro 2016 squad13: Fraser Forster (Southampton)

We have no idea what the Southampton and former Celtic ace drives to work. If you know, please write to us at: I Know What Car Fraser Forster Drives, PO Box 2, England, Still in Europe.

The cars of the England Euro 2016 squad14: Jordan Henderson (Liverpool)

Jordan Henderson has been spotted driving many cars, including… yes, you’ve guessed it… a Range Rover, along with an Audi RS7.

The cars of the England Euro 2016 squad15: Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool)

The Liverpool striker has a pretty handy two-car garage: a Ferrari 458 Italia and a Rolls-Royce Wraith.

Previously, Sturridge has been spotted behind the wheel of a Porsche Panamera and Hyundai Santa Fe, the latter of which was given to him as part of his contract at Liverpool.

The cars of the England Euro 2016 squad16: John Stones (Everton)

Will John Stones still be an Everton player by the end of Euro 2016? We he start an England game during the tournament? Does he still own this Range Rover?

The cars of the England Euro 2016 squad17: Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur)

For his winning goal in the 3-2 win against Germany, Eric Dier is already an England legend. As for his choice of wheels, we’re not sure.

The cars of the England Euro 2016 squad18: Jack Wilshere (Arsenal)

When you’re injured as much as Jack Wilshere, it pays to have something to occupy your mind. A new app for your smartphone, a good book, a Lamborghini Huracan. Smoking.

The cars of the England Euro 2016 squad19: Ross Barkley (Everton)

Another footballer, another Range Rover. Ross Barkley’s ‘whip’ is described as ‘boss’ by this tweeter. Far out, dude. Or something.

The cars of the England Euro 2016 squad20: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur)

Dele Alli is a player with the world at his feet, but sadly we’re unable to confirm his choice of wheels. That said, you can find footage of the Tottenham ace learning to drive in Milton Keynes. He looks enthralled.

The cars of the England Euro 2016 squad21: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton)

What no Range Rover?

Southampton full back Ryan Bertrand goes his own way, treating himself to a Ferrari 458. Making sure his daughter isn’t left out, he also bought a miniature Ferrari to go with it. Good stuff.

The cars of the England Euro 2016 squad22: Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)

A year ago you probably hadn’t heard of Marcus Rashford. But like Jon Bon Jovi, he emerged in a blaze of glory and now the young gun could be spearheading England’s attack at Euro 2016.

And while most 18-year-olds will be content with a Fiesta or a Corsa, the Manchester United forward drives an Audi RS4.

The cars of the England Euro 2016 squad23: Tom Heaton (Burnley)

Burnley’s shot-stopper earned himself a call up following the injury to Stoke’s Jack Butland. As for his choice of car, we don’t know.

Here we see Tom Heaton on the right, as a pair of MG3s are handed over to fellow Burnley players Sam Vokes and Kieran Trippier.

The cars of the England Euro 2016 squadRoy Hodgson

All of which leaves the boss, Roy Hodgson. Thanks to Vauxhall’s sponsorship of the England team, the gaffer drives a Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer Elite with a 2.0-litre diesel engine.

In a comment that wouldn’t look out of place on Boring James Milner’s Twitter timeline, Hodgson said: “I am delighted to be driving a Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer.” And we’d be delighted if you guided the Three Lions to victory, Roy. No pressure.

Dealer group to teach footballers how to drive

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When it comes to driving supercars, it pays not to bend it like Beckham. But the internet is awash with stories of Premier League footballers for whom their control let them down. Which is why H.R Owen is ‘giving it 110%’ to ensure accidents don’t happen.

The luxury car dealer is partnering with Premier Sports Network to offer bespoke driver training to any football player who buys a car from one of its showrooms. You know, your Rooneys, your Vardys, your Kanes and your Harts. All being well, this should avoid any footballers getting an unwanted six-pointer (on their driving licence).

The offers applies to all models from Ferrari, Lamborghini, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Aston Martin, Maserati and Bugatti, which means Wayne Rooney would have missed out when he bought his first car – a Ford SportKa.

According to H.R. Owen, many footballers rush out to buy an expensive motor when they sign their first lucrative contract. It’s fair to say that while some might have a cultured left foot, they can be a little heavy with their right. This driver training should ensure they know how to use that extra yard of pace.

The training – which extends to the road and track – will involve a two-stage driver-training programme at a location convenient to them. H.R Owen’s driver tuition truly is a game of two halves, Clive.

Five key areas will be approached: team sessions, individual coaching, off-road masterclass, dynamic handling masterclass and a safety-focused session to help develop driver skills. ‘Fergie time’ will be offered to those who require additional training. Probably.

Sharon Wright, H.R. Owen’s special projects director, said: “We noticed that many young sports professionals are in a position to buy some of the most powerful cars on sale today. We felt we had a duty of care to ensure these buyers were trained to the highest level before taking delivery of their vehicles.”

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In 2009, Cristiano Ronaldo crashed his Ferrari 599 GTB in a tunnel beneath Manchester Airport between Wilmslow and Hale. A year later, Mario Balotelli quite literally made a big impact at Manchester City by colliding with a BMW in his Audi R8.

Other incidents and accidents include Cesc Fabregas wrecking his Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG, Ian Wright making a mess of his Ferrari 360 Spider, while more recently, Diafra Sakho smashed his Lamborghini into a front garden.

Quite clearly, the West Ham player realised he wasn’t in acres of space.