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What every footballer needs: a 40-foot fishtank
Image © Sipa Press - Rex Features
What do you buy the man who has everything? Well, if you're Thierry Henry, you splash out on a 40-foot, four-storey home for your pet fish. And a new house to fit it in.
That's right, the French striker has applied for planning permission to knock down his £6 million Hampstead mansion and rebuild it to incorporate a mansion for his fish.
According to the Daily Mail, the tank would house 300 fish, contain 5,500 gallons of water and cost around £12,000 a year to run. If 12 grand seems like an awful lot to spend on heating fish then look away now. The paper reports that the tank itself will cost £250,000.
To put that in context, the average house price in England and Wales is £160,372, according to the Land Registry. Henry's fish will live in a home worth £90,000 more than most of us.
On top of that of course, this famous footballer doesn't even work in London. The ex-Arsenal player now plays for the New York Red Bulls. Still, it's always nice to know your pets are being looked after when you're away with work...
But this isn't the first time a footballer's extravagance has caused the nation's eyes to widen. Here are some of the craziest, funniest or most bizarre purchases made by footballers. Share your favourites with other readers in the comments below.
William Gallas - £350,000 chrome car
Back in 2009, William Gallas wasn't content with simply owning a luxury Mercedes-Benz. It wasn't enough for him that the SLR McLaren had a top speed of 207mph, or that it could reach 60mph in just 3.6 seconds.
No, he wanted to really stand out and had his supercar chrome-painted. Wow. The insurance bill alone probably deserves a place in this list.
Image © MCP - Rex Features
Obafemi Martins would withdraw £40,000 at weekends
Obafemi Martins - £65,000 a week spending money
If you've ever struggled to make it to the end of the week and your next pay cheque then you'll have some sympathy for Martins, a striker for the Nigerian national team.
Back when he played for Newcastle, he became embroiled in a legal row with his former management company over money they claimed he owed. Crazily, during the proceedings it was claimed that Martins would withdraw £40,000 at the weekends and then £25,000 each Monday. In fact, they said he often lived in his overdraft.
That kind of spending would buy a lot of 40-foot fish tanks over a year...
Djibril Cisse - £2 million on house and title
There's nothing surprising about a fabulously wealthy footballer buying a massively expensive house. But when former Liverpool striker Cisse bought his north-west home, he didn't settle for any ordinary dwelling.
No, his manor house came with the title Lord of the Manor of Frodsham.
And while he may not be lording it over the locals, as he's now playing for London team Queens Park Rangers, he has fallen out with a few. He quickly banned the local hunt from crossing his land, following requests from the Animal Rights Coalition.
Stephen Ireland - everything
When you ask for stories of footballer extravagance, everyone mentions Stephen Ireland. The Aston Villa player has a collection of cars worth more than some small countries, including a £260,000 white Bentley GTC convertible bought for his wife's birthday.
He's also bought a £100,000 fish tank for his £5 million Cheshire mansion. Of course, Henry's news makes that look rather cheap...
Sadly, the story that he wanted to install a shark tank underneath his kitchen, covered by a see-through floor, is apparently untrue. Which is a shame because Bond could do with a new nemesis...
Image © Olycom SPA - Rex Features
Mario Balotelli gave a homeless man £1,000
Mario Balotelli - £1,000 to a homeless man
There have to be some sweet stories in our list. Balotelli gave a homeless man £1,000 last year after winning £25,000 at a casino. He's apparently well-known for handing over cash to Manchester's needy, sometimes wearing a City-coloured Santa hat. As you do.
Of course, there are many other incredible stories of Balotelli's splurges. The Manchester City striker once spent a reported £55,000 staying in a hotel for two months while his home was repaired - a guest had apparently let off a firework inside.
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Wait till murdoch pulls out o' Britain, Sky goes doon the tubes and these boys will be living in their fish tanks !!!! ha ha !!!
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