Once upon a time sportsmen were role models for gentlemen. A sporting man with achievements under his belt was something aspirational. A picture of clean living and healthy ambition.
However the days of Fred Perry, Stirling Moss or Sebastian Coe seem a very long way away when considering the bravado and crass behaviour of Mario Ballotelli, David Haye or Lewis Hamilton. That’s not to say that a sportsman can’t be outspoken. The iconic Muhammed Ali famously balanced showmanship, a loud personality with a humility and grace. But it seems that today’s sporting giants are comfortable putting aside the manners, style or social conscience.
Thankfully gentlemanly behaviour is still visible around the sporting world. King & Man would like to take this moment to ‘tip the hat’ to some of the sports world’s last true gentlemen.
As of September 2009, he is ranked as one of the top 100 polo players in the world. Figueras usually plays in Argentina and in the U.S. as part of the Black Watch Polo Team. He is also the face of Ralph Lauren’s Polo fragrances.
An Italian professional footballer who has played for Milan, Juventus and the Italian national team. Pirlo is widely regarded as one of the greatest ever exponents of the “playmaking midfielder” position due to his vision, ball control and passing ability. Pirlo is known for being a wine connoisseur and runs his own vineyard in Italy, which produces around 15–20,000 bottles a year.
Lundqvist is a Swedish professional ice hockey goaltender for the New York Rangers. Before winning the Vezina Trophy in 2012, he was nominated in each of his first three seasons, and is the only goaltender in NHL history to record ten 30 win seasons in his first 11 seasons. Off the ice he is a restauranteur and spokesman for the Garden of Dreams Foundation.
Although Beckham is retired he makes this list due to his continued support of Britain’s sports culture. He is the first English player to win league titles in four countries: England, Spain, the United States and France. Father, model, brand ambassador he has also been a UNICEF representative since 2005, helping raise awareness for children in danger around the world.