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Whether it's David Beckham celebrating his mum's 70th birthday, Serena Williams developing a newfound appreciation for motherhood, or Mo Salah posting hilarious screenshots from the family WhatsApp, athletes have a lot of fond memories to look back on a day like Mother's Day. We take a look at how these 11 sportspeople celebrate that precious bond.
Image Credit: Instagram/David Beckham
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LIONEL MESSI: Leo will always put his mum first — even when it costs him €2,000. In 2011, he was handed a hefty fine simply for celebrating a goal against Racing by lifting his shirt and showing off a sweet message to his mother: ‘Happy birthday, mum.’ This year, he played it safe and wished her over Instagram, writing: ‘Feliz cumple, mami. Te amo!!’ (‘Happy birthday, mummy. I love you!!’)
Image Credit: Instagram/Messi
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CRISTIANO RONALDO: When it comes to love, they say actions speak louder than words. So, what exactly are the volume levels when you buy someone a Mercedes? We’re guessing pretty high. Last year Cristiano Ronaldo and his siblings came together to gift their mum Maria Dolores a gorgeous black Merc, wrapped in a red bow. With more than two million followers on Instagram, Maria Dolores often shares family photos, including this one with Ronaldo and his son Cristiano Jr. 'Special day with my Cristianos,' she said.
Image Credit: Instagram/Cristiano Ronaldo
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MO SALAH: What's better than banter with your mother? In 2019, Mo Salah showed off their close relationship via WhatsApp exchange. After Salah was pictured hugging a fan at a signing, mum Mira berated her son over text: ‘Oh my days, what is this? If I saw your father doing this, I would divorce him.’ Salah posted the message publicly with a series of laugh emojis. Move aside, Dejan Lovren — looks like you’ve got competition for 'best friend' in the form of Salah’s mama.
Image Credit: Instagram/Mo Salah
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RAFAEL NADAL: This tennis champ always takes his mum’s calls, even in the middle of a stressful press conference. An old video resurfaced recently showing a shabby-haired Nadal pausing at a US Open media event to pick up his phone, ducking his head and saying, 'Mama, could you do me a favour?...I’m at a full blast press-conference... I’ll call you back later.' Years later, and mama Nadal is still calling him during press conferences – that’s love.
Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News
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DAVID BECKHAM: If you follow Becks on Instagram, you’ll know that mum Sandra is never too far from his heart. When celebrating her 70th with the kids in 2019, the retired footballer wrote: 'Everything that my mum does and believes in revolves around us and nothing really revolves around her – so tonight mum, this is for you as you are the most special person in all of our lives.' This Mother’s Day, Becks also sent wishes to wife Victoria and mother-in-law Jackie. 'Happy Mother’s Day to all the mummy’s out there xx We love you [Victoria, Sandra and Jackie] for everything you give to us and for being the most amazing mums.'
Image Credit: Instagram/Victoria Beckham
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SERENA WILLIAMS: Serena Williams always appreciated mum Oracene Price, but that appreciation shot to a whole new level as Williams gave birth to firstborn Olympia in 2017. Earlier this year Williams admitted to Good Morning America: 'I've always been inspired by my mum, but I've never been inspired to the level that I am now. I respect her so much more. Not that I didn't, but I think when I had a baby, I relied on her more than I ever have. I never expected that, so that's really cool for me.'
Image Credit: AP
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ALEX MORGAN: USWNT star Alex Morgan called her mum, Pam, 'the family’s very own version of Wonder Woman'. In 2016, Pam sacrificed her nights and weekends to take classes to earn her MBA. But her superpowers started way before that — when Morgan was only 7 years old, she wrote her mum a note telling her she wanted to be a professional football player. Clearly mum worked her magic to help Morgan achieve her lifelong dreams.
Image Credit: Instagram/Alex Morgan
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NAOMI OSAKA: How can we forget the adorable moment when Naomi Osaka took a surprise video call from mum Tamaki on a big screen at the US Open, after a second round victory. Tamaki sent several messages to her then 22-year-old daughter — all via emojis. ‘She was saying ‘don’t go on social media, get some sleep’. Then ‘drink a lot of green juice, get some rest’. And ‘I love you’,’ translated Osaka.
Image Credit: Instagram
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SHAQ: It doesn’t matter how tall you are, how much you’re worth or how long you spent as a Hall of Fame basketball player — once a mummy’s boy, always a mummy’s boy. In a series of sweet social media posts over the years, Shaq called his mother ‘the greatest woman I know and ‘our biggest fan’. He wrote: ‘All I am or hope to be, I owe to you.’
Image Credit: Instagram/Shaq
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KEVIN DURANT: It’s the tearjerker moment that got to us all. When NBA star Kevin Durant received the MVP honour, he tearfully directed a message to the real MVP sitting in the audience — his mother, Wanda. ‘We weren’t supposed to be here. You made us believe, you kept us off the street, you put clothes on our backs, food on the table. When you didn’t eat, you made sure we ate. You went to sleep hungry. You sacrificed for us. You’re the real MVP,’ he said, as his mother broke into tears.
Image Credit: Instagram
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ELI MANNING: The NFL star is the youngest son of celebrity quarterback Archie Manning. According to dad Archie, Eli is incredibly close to his mother, just like you'd expect from the baby of the family. ‘Eli and Olivia are certainly very close. They have that special bond that you see between mamas and their baby boys,’ said Archie.
Image Credit: EPA