When I was away filming in Marbella, a good looking young man figured out my work with a major magazine and decided to come and ask me for advice. "I'm a footballer" he said, as we sat in our swimwear at an outrageously flamboyant celebrity filled beach party. "I wanted to ask you for help". I was more than happy to help such a talent, especially when at a disgustingly frivolous party where £25,000 bottles of champagne are being spilled and reality tv cast members are desperately seeking attention. I thought he was a breath of fresh air.
"I want to be famous" he said.
My face dropped, I must have looked as shocked and as disappointed as I felt - "I can get any girl here," he unashamedly continued, "Who should I sleep with to get photographed?".
"Basically I wanna be really really famous, What should I do?"
This desperation for fame is flooding football, as if the money they earn isn't enough, so many sport stars crave front page stories. Clearly it's not for the pounds and not necessarily for the women, these guys have more money and women then they can handle.
More and more teenagers want to be footballers, not because they want to feel the emotion of scoring at Wembley or shooting a penalty for their country in the World Cup, many now say they want to be footballers... because they want to be famous.
Fame should be a reflection of success. A recognition of talent, skill and hard work. Recognition on account of notable achievements. Shagging a popular TV personality isn't an achievement.
Footballers have talent. They entertain hundreds of thousands with their skills and keep alive an inspirational industry of sport. Footballers are athletes, they are, in theory, disciplined sports men that train hard.
Many of these men greatly deserve the fame and attention they receive. The goals that get our country a trophy should be celebrated and our footballers admired...to an extent.
Egos are now a problem in football. I'd go as far as to say that fame-hungry egos could ruin the game.
When footballers are known for their behaviour off the pitch and those talking about them cannot tell me what team they play for, there is a problem.
Footballers no longer have the respect they once used to. The humble hard working Olympic athletes put all our footballers to shame. Watching the athletes in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games, and not reading about debauched nights out put things into perspective.
Personally I couldn't care less what players do off the pitch as long as it isn't affecting their game on it, but footballers giving football a bad name is an issue.
Joey Barton's website bursts on my screen with a massive header reading "depending who you listen to I'm a footballer, ex-con, ranting anti-celebrity, 'football's philosopher king', loving dad and violent thug all rolled in to one." He's proud of his media title, and if you ever read his twitter posts you'll clearly see his desire for attention.
Barton was at Man City, a great position in an amazing team. Despite his talent Man City didn't want him any longer mostly due to a fight between him and his team mate Ousmane Dabo which left Dabo facially scarred and Barton charged with aggressive bodily harm. His aggression took him off the pitch and off the team, match bans are common for Barton, now we have lost a talented player to the French premiere league.
Aggression is one thing, hunger for fame is another - most of our footballers now have massive PR teams and focus a great deal of time on headlines. To be honest players often do have a lot of time on their hands training for a few hours a day, It's no wonder when many complain of boredom.
It's more than common for me to hear about a footballer calling press offices to tell us who they are sleeping with, what parties they are going to and where to send paps.
This young player I met in Marbella was a pure reflection of footballs current state and undisciplined future. Our footballers deserve to be admired as talented inspirational athletes and therefore need to act as such. "If you want to be famous," I said, "score a bloody good goal".Suggest a correction