For those of us lucky enough to live in Marbella it sometimes feels like not a day goes by without bumping into a sports star. Just this month David Beckham dropped into town with his entourage to film his latest Adidas commercial. But for locals who were enjoying a café con leche at Frank’s Corner, the sighting of the 37-year-old heavily tattooed footballer was nothing out of the ordinary. This is Marbella after all, where countless celebrities from the world of sport have made their home.
Many who grace the back pages of the papers are also here to take advantage of the 320 days of cloudless skies a year. Last week was no exception, when some big names from Everton Football Club flew in for a two day-training session. Teammates including Darron Gibson, Sylvain Distin and Phil Neville were just some of the players to be put through their paces at Macklin’s Gym Marbella (MGM) in Puerto Banús. Rumour has it they then went on to watch the England versus Brazil match at a watering hole in the town’s port. And let’s not forget MGM’s owner, professional boxer Matthew Macklin (a friend of Wayne Rooney) who moved here last year to enjoy the climate and large expat community. School runs are also a chance to spot footballers, with former Málaga and Spain player Santi Cazorla sending his son to the British School of Marbella before moving to London last summer. Marbella is also home to retired Dutch footballer Ruud Van Nistelrooy, who is now a regular sighting in local bars and restaurants in the town. The former Manchester United and Real Madrid striker controversially made the headlines at Christmas after dressing up for the Parade of the Three Kings. 1970s football great Trevor Francis got away from the English weather for a romantic dinner with his wife at celebrity hot spot Rincon de la Sala earlier in the year, while further down the coast in Puerto Banús British champion boxer Amir Khan was reported to have cheated on his fiancée while partying the night away last October. But it’s not just footballers soaking up the sun. Former top snooker player and now pundit Dennis Taylor was spotted enjoying dinner with friends and family at the Pasta Caffe in Nueva Andalucia last Thursday too. So next time you are in the queue at local supermarket Mercadona or enjoying that pint in La Sala, don’t be surprised if you find yourself shoulder to shoulder with someone you’ve just been reading about in the back pages of the newspaper.