Chelsea's David Luiz spends $1.9 million on diamond-encrusted supercar keys for teammates
It used to be the case that top-flight footballers would celebrate their triumphs with a round of beers and a night at the casino or a day at the races.
But it seems that for today's elite that would be far too restrained.
David Luiz, the Brazilian Chelsea defender, has marked his side's Premier League title by spending £1 million (NZ$1.9 million) on giving his teammates custom-made gold and diamond-encrusted computerised wristbands, programmed to act as a key for their supercars.
Luiz reportedly presented each member of the Chelsea squad - along with the head coach, Antonio Conte, and the billionaire club owner, Roman Abramovich - one of 30 Senturion keys.
They are billed as the "ultimate status symbol for supercar owners" and allow the driver to open the car and start the engine without the needless kerfuffle of fishing keys out of a pocket and groping for the ignition.
Which will no doubt be a big help for Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas, Eden Hazard and the rest of the title-winning team. As the key makers say: "Why carry around a car key when you can wear it on your wrist?"
Luiz handed out the gifts to his team-mates at the club's training ground in Cobham, Surrey, yesterday (Friday), before the final game of the season against Sunderland tomorrow.
The Brazilian international customised his own Senturion key to feature solid 18-carat handcrafted rose gold and 198 black diamonds, and synchronise it with his Mercedes-AMG G Wagon. But he saved the most special thank-you for Mr Abramovich, whose key is described as being forged from a 4.9 billion-year-old meteorite, making it older than planet Earth.
Senturion says "the keys are more expensive than most cars, with prices starting at £38,000 (NZ$71,500) and going into six figures for bespoke pieces".
The firm is at pains to state that over 70 hours are spent on the creation of a single statement piece, with "the world's leading experts" involved in every stage of the process, from "underwater spark erosion to the precision laser-cutting to a thousandth of a millimetre".
A Senturion key can also access your personal wine cellar.
Quite what Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante will make of such an extravagant trinket remains to be seen.Much to the amusement of his team-mates and club staff, the 26-year-old Frenchman, voted player of the year by the Professional Footballers' Association, drives a Mini to the training ground, in contrast to the Aston Martins and Lamborghinis favoured by some of the players.
Ayla Varquin, Senturion's director of communications, said: "It was very generous of David to commission special Senturion pieces for his team-mates and while normally we produce editions of only seven pieces, in this case it was our pleasure to create a custom edition of 30 for his Chelsea team-mates."
The former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba is believed to have spent over £800,000 (NZ$1.5 million) on commemorative rings for his team-mates after the club's 2012 Champions League success.
- The Telegraph, London