The Month Of gLove: Where To Take A Goalkeeper On A Date

By Ryan Murray

News • Feb 15, 2023

The Month Of gLove: Where To Take A Goalkeeper On A Date

The best Valentine's Day advice you'll probably never need…

For some, Valentine’s Day is a welcome opportunity to shower their significant other with gifts and adulation, or perhaps swoon a prospective partner in an unapologetic show of cringe-induced affection. 

Yet, whether the primary motivation for celebrating this admittedly hyper-commercialised holiday is to express love and appreciation in the context of a long-term relationship, or to court a new romantic interest in the hope a connection will blossom, one universal truth always remains the same on Valentine’s Day: the location of that all-important date is everything.

Indeed, if Cupid’s arrow is to have any chance of hitting its intended target with the precision of an Alisson Becker sidewinder, the ambience, energy, and environment of the surroundings must also be on-point. These intangible components often determine the nature of the interaction, and therefore whether the rendezvous is to be a passionate encounter, or conversely a rather mundane affair.

For those attempting to woo goalkeepers into a romantic allegiance, the rules of this particular game are no different, although landing on an appropriate setting is arguably a little trickier than it may otherwise be. There are certainly some lazy stereotypes in circulation with regards to the eccentricity of goalkeepers, but it’s undeniably true that many harbour, shall we say, rather eccentric personalities. As a consequence, their likes, interests and behaviours are likely to be more changeable, unpredictable and left-field than your regular average Joe.

Nevertheless, we’ve bravely tried to identify the optimum dating location for eight high-profile goalkeepers past and present, by assessing their respective character traits and playing styles. The result? An eclectic mix of venues, typical of the variance and volatility we would naturally associate with the wider goalkeeping population. 

Without making any judgement on the subject group, we’re sure a considerable few have had the dubious honour of selecting a place to date one of these eight goalkeeping legends. Hopefully their choice was as meticulously calculated as our suggestions below…


1. The Victor Valdes: Simple. Classy. 

Quiet, unassuming, but dependable and capable of a moment of sleek magic amidst a dressing room of outfield icons, we would recommend two possible locations for a personality like the highly decorated ex-Barcelona stopper. 

A cinema date would be suitable, observing perfect silence, whilst they watch, from a distance, the performances of a series of global stars at the peak of their professional careers. Sound familiar?

Alternatively, although perhaps a little stretching for a modest, first-date budget, a Hollywood experience day would equally fit the bill. They could sit in the coveted director’s chair, passing on basic instructions to a talented bunch, who will probably ultimately decide to do their own thing anyway. They'd set the scene and call ‘Action!’, before a movie-like, almost scripted showreel played out in front of them. 

On second thoughts, both may feel a little bit too close to home…

2. The David James: Variety Is The Spice Of Life

The maverick ex-England international struggled to shed a reputation for being somewhat error-prone throughout his playing career, despite featuring for a string of top-flight clubs. Off the pitch, James has a varied range of interests, and therefore we believe a date with goalkeepers like him should accommodate this propensity towards trying out new disciplines.

A rampant NFL enthusiast, James clearly has a receptiveness for picking up new sports. Perhaps the golf driving range could be the ideal place to entertain somebody, for an all-star sportsman like James; the size of the ball provides a completely different hand-eye co-ordination challenge to that experienced in football – both in terms of the American and, ahem, proper varieties. Oh, and your goalkeeper still gets to wear a glove…

Also a promising artist, it could be worth taking your goalkeeper for something a little less active and head to a gallery. James' goalkeeping role model was Italian legend Dino Zoff; a pan-European cultural immersion via brush and canvas could be another way to unlock many different sides of a goalkeeper like him. 

3. The Kepa Arrizabalaga: An Expensive Taste

The world’s most expensive goalkeeper had a difficult start to life at the Bridge after swapping Bilbao for West London, but he's now coming into his own, showing flashes of why Chelsea forked out an eye-watering €80m back in the summer of 2018. If you fancy taking a Kepa-esque goalkeeper on a date, you might want to consider somewhere with a high degree of extravagance, but which promises a mixed return on investment.

Perhaps a visit to one of Salt Bae’s infamous steak restaurants, where the exorbitance of the price tag far outweighs the quality of the fayre on offer, would be most apt. Nevertheless, when the ludicrous bill has been settled, it can still be appreciated that a pretty decent standard of product has been acquired – a reality that must soothe the Kepa-based frustrations of the Stamford Bridge faithful from time to time. 

I wonder how many Salt Bae steaks you could buy for one Kepa Arrizabalaga…

4. The Gábor Király: Mr Relaxed 

Famed for donning a rather unfashionable pair of comfortable grey jogging bottoms, we can only suspect that Hungary’s most-capped goalkeeper must be partial to a good lounge around the house. Dressed in apparel more suited to the living room sofa than a football pitch, the former Crystal Palace stopper wouldn’t even need to get changed after a hard day between the sticks.

We'd recommend a night-in date for this type of goalkeeper. Keep it cosy, keep costs down. There'd be no need for chinos or suede derby shoes; a pyjama-clad, balding, slightly above average ex-professional goalkeeper is the perfect date for a pizza and a film. Mind you, depending on when Kiraly last changed those tracksuit bottoms of his, an inevitably large dry cleaning bill to remove the mud-induced stains from the furniture could still need to be accounted for…

5. The John Burridge: Everything Everywhere All At Once

A true journeyman of the game, Cumbrian-born John Burridge turned out for 29 clubs in a career that lasted the best part of three decades. His meandering pathway through the English pyramid enabled him to experience the glitz and glamour of the Premier League, but also sample the rather less salubrious environment of non-league football. The 1995/96 campaign encapsulated Burridge’s proclivity towards frequently changing clubs, turning out for no less than seven teams throughout the season.

In this instance, it’s perhaps better to focus predominantly on how to approach the date, as opposed to fixating on the location. Here, the individual pulling together the date itinerary must ensure any activities are incredibly varied, and ideally last no longer than a couple of hours at a time. Indeed, failure to comply with either of these basic principles could lead to the ‘Budgie’-esque goalkeeper becoming quickly distracted. 

Alternatively, keep it simple, and go on a pub crawl. 

6. The Fabian Barthez: Life At 100MpH 

French maverick Fabian Barthez enjoyed life on the edge. In goal, he was brave and bold, playing at the highest level of European and international football. Off the pitch, he was scoring, rather than saving. Indeed, even Sir Alex Ferguson commented on his romantic pursuits in 2001, saying 'I like it when his fiancée is there. It's always good for a player to have ties. I have seen her. She is a really fine girl,' speaking to The Guardian

Barthez is the sort of guy who lives at 100 miles an hour. In fact, he does it quite literally, becoming a Motorsport driver after retiring from football in 2007. Any date with a character like the Frenchman needs some adrenaline. Try a theme park. Unorthodox, perhaps, but maybe a raised heart rate really will raise a heart rate.

Just remember, Barthez is reportedly a pretty superstitious guy. Be sure not to step on three drain covers or walk under any scaffolding on the way there or back. 

7. The Oliver Kahn: A Big, Bold Personality 

We’ve saved the most clichéd response for last, as we consider how to plot a romantic interlude with this particularly irate silver-haired fox.

At his charismatic best when barking orders at his defensive colleagues or berating opposition players, Kahn would thrive in an atmosphere where hurling insults and constant verbal conflict was encouraged. 

Therefore, perhaps a visit to the Houses of Parliament or Jeremy Kyle Show – the backbenches of either would suffice – would enable goalkeepers like the German to instantly feel at ease in his surroundings. 

Failing that, a night out at the loudest rave you can find could be befitting of Kahn's mega-personality. He'd match the volume levels, too, so much so that he could run the risk of being the awkward guy whose drunken singing is a little too audible. 

So, there it is, a slightly peculiar review of where those chasing the hearts of those who mirror these legendary goalkeepers' personalities may base their romantic operations. 

One thing, however, is for sure: it’s perhaps too bold to state that facilitating a desirable dating location alone is enough for a goalkeeper to fall in glove (sorry), but it certainly acts as a stepping stone towards catching some feelings (really sorry)…. 

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