Scam warning for football fans as McAfee announces the ‘most dangerous footballer’ to search for!  

Scam warning for football fans as McAfee announces the ‘most dangerous footballer’ to search for!  

As savvy cyber-criminals take advantage of the buzz & excitement around European football, McAfee reveals the players whose names are most often exploited by scammers to lead you to malware or risky sites

  1. Several of England’s top players appear in top 10 list
  2. And following Real Madrid’s recent La Liga & Champions League wins, 3 of the top 5 footballers play for the Spanish club

Researchers from online protection company, McAfee, have identified the top-10 most ‘dangerous’ European footballers who are most likely to appear in online scams. A German footballer takes the top spot with the most unsafe search results, followed by players from Portugal & Croatia.

Ticket Scams

A recent McAfee study found that nearly 4 in 5 Brits are concerned about ticket scams & other online scams related to this year’s tournament. It now appears that this concern wasn’t wrong, as McAfee researchers have found fake brand deals, too-good-to-be-true offers & fake ticket listings for matches, using popular European players as a lure.

Vonny Gamot, Head of EMEA at McAfee, commented: “Cyber-criminals often look to use the most talked about celebrities & sports stars in their scams, in order to entice fans into unknowingly installing malware or jeopardising their data, privacy & identity. Staying alert & taking early & proactive steps to manage your online security is extremely important & if a deal sounds too-good-to-be-true, it’s best to avoid clicking & instead, go direct to the source.

“Additionally, with the use of AI, scams are becoming even more sophisticated, but one crucial tell-tale sign is a pressure to act, fast. Is it your last chance to buy tickets to the final? Is there a ‘huge deal’ being touted by one of the footballers for one day only?

Personal Information

Cyber-criminals use this tactic to try & catch you with your guard down. Pay close attention to any enticing offers online, particularly those attached to the players that are in the top 10 list, as these are the footballers most used by cyber-criminals to lure you into disclosing personal information or clicking on malware-laden links.”

Top 10 Most ‘Dangerous’ European Footballers

  1. Antonio Rüdiger, Germany (Real Madrid)
  2. Ruben Dias, Portugal (Manchester City)
  3. Luka Modric, Croatia (Real Madrid)
  4. Jude Bellingham, England (Real Madrid)
  5. Manuel Neuer, Germany (Bayern Munich)
  6. Alvaro Morata, Spain (Atlético Madrid)
  7. Rodrigo, Spain (Al-Rayyan)
  8. Pepe, Portugal (Porto)
  9. Phil Foden, England (Manchester City)
  10. Harry Kane, England (Bayern Munich)

Top 5 Most ‘Dangerous’ England Players

  1. Jude Bellingham, England (Real Madrid)
  2. Phil Foden, England (Manchester City)
  3. Harry Kane, England (Bayern Munich)
  4. Bukayo Saka, England (Arsenal)
  5. Declan Rice, England (Arsenal)


McAfee Labs created the list by identifying the football player names that most frequently generated unsafe search results that could lead consumers to unknowingly install malware, subject them to scams or jeopardise their data, privacy & identity.

This was determined by searching for the player names using 3 of the top search engines along with some helper terms & using McAfee’s WebAdvisor to show the number of risky URLs returned in search results.