Luis Suárez, Gareth Bale and Memphis Depay: Soccer's most romantic gestures

It might not always be apparent but soccer is a surprisingly romantic business; be it players' love for their team-mates or fans' unbridled passion for their clubs.

So on this Valentine's Day we pay tribute to the true romantics in the sport by remembering seven of most romantic gestures in the history of soccer. 

Raymond Domenech proposes during presser

As anyone who has got down on one knee to propose knows, there is a time and a place to do it. It's safe to say that place isn't in a press conference after you've been knocked out of a major tournament.

But that was exactly what France coach Raymond Domenech did. At a time when he should have been explaining Les Bleus' limp exit from the 2008 UEFA European Championships, he declared his intention to marry long-term partner Estelle Denis. But then Domenech was never one for the orthodox – he famously made selection decisions based on players' star signs.

Remarkably he led France to the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Perhaps unsurprisingly, that ended in acrimony too as the 1998 winners were dumped out in the group stages with the players in open revolt against their embattled coach.

Luis Suárez's celebration tribute

Soccer players having choreographed celebrations is nothing new. Cristiano Ronaldo jumps, spins and lands in dramatic fashion, Lionel Messi points to the sky and Paul Pogba, usually, dabs.

But few are as meaningful as FC Barcelona star Luis Suárez's. The Uruguayan goal machine kisses his wrist and his finger. Both spots carry significance, with his wrist bearing the name of his daughter, Delfina, while his ring finger is for his wife, Sofia. 

He's now taken it a step further – he and his wife have matching lion tattoos on their fingers.

You'll Never Walk Alone

It's not just Liverpool's club anthem and motto, in 2012 the phrase had new meaning when a Liverpool fan proposed to her partner while on a tour of the Premier League side's iconic Anfield home.

As it was a leap year Jade asked her boyfriend, Andi, for his hand in marriage and it was all captured on the Channel 4 show The Wedding Proposal. 

Luckily she got the answer she was looking for – these things don't always go to plan at sporting venues! 

Gareth Bale's big heart

    Another famous celebration with a message behind it, Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale typically celebrates his goals by making a heart gesture with his hands; it's been that way since he was first starring for Tottenham Hotspur.

    And the Welsh wizard's celebration isn't just a declaration of his love for the game, it's a message to his girlfriend, Emma Rhys-Jones – according to an interview with Sports Illustrated in 2010.

    In 2013, Bale successfully applied to have the celebration trademarked with the '11 of hearts' logo set to appear on merchandise including clothes and headwear. 

    Memphis Depay's jacket

    The Olympique Lyonnais forward has never been afraid of making a statement – just see the enormous etching of a lion which adorns his entire back.

    And in 2016 he marked the most romantic day of the year in a way only Memphis Depay could – by getting a jacket custom made with the face of his partner Lori Harvey on it.

    In true 21st-century fashion, Depay shared that tender moment with his Instagram followers. A nice idea, but you have to hope they're still together...

    Amateur booked for wedding proposal 

    It's unlikely Ashton Surber will ever forget the stunning overhead kick he scored for Guam Premier Division side NAPA Rovers in January 2017.

    Not only was it a truly incredible strike, but the NAPA Rovers player marked the goal in unforgettable fashion by charging the length of the field and removing his jersey to reveal a vest which read 'Marry Me'.

    The referee, either not seeing the reason behind the offence or simply being a spoilsport, booked Surber but it mattered not: he got the result he wanted, a 5-1 win and a fiancé.

    Sergio Ramos the crooner

    Real Madrid and Spain captain Sergio Ramos is a man of many talents and a serial winner. He's lifted 20 honours with Los Blancos, including four UEFA Champions Leagues, and is a world and European champion with La Roja too.

    He's famous for his hard-as-nails, win-at-all-costs image. So you'll probably as shocked as we were to learn that the 32-year-old evidently fancies himself as a bit of a crooner too – at least judging by this video of the defender serenading his wife! 

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