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The pets of Lionel Messi, Lewis Hamilton, Virat Kohli and other athletes

Sports stars are celebrated by millions of fans across the world from all walks of life. But who do the stars themselves adore?

The obvious answer is family and friends. And there are some others as well – their pets.

Many athletes have pets who are mini-celebrities in their own right, with a sizeable following on social media.

Below are pictures of athletes with pets they own or have owned over the years.

Let’s start with Lewis Hamilton’s considerably famous dogs Roscoe and Coco

Here’s Virat Kohli with Bruno

Lionel Messi’s pet Hulk is simply adorable

NFL megastar Tom Brady’s big family includes many dogs, including Lua

Serena Williams with the super cute Chip

KL Rahul’s Simba is arguably the most famous celebrity pet in India

Alexis Sanchez has two dogs – Atom and Humber

Here is tennis player Bianca Andreescu with the lovely Coco.

NBA star Steph Curry’s amazing pets are named Reza and Rookie

Indian cricketer Ravindra Jadeja is an accomplished rider

Neymar and his beautiful retrievers

Swimming great Michael Phelps and his two beauties

India all-rounder Hardik Pandya and his cute dogs