It’s a known fact that soccer is the most beloved and watched sport across the globe! For many, it’s the first sport we play as a kid, but we unfortunately outgrow it to try something new. There are loads of soccer players, however, who played in lower divisions and clubs but never went professional. For instance, many well-known faces played in their past but realized they could make a bigger impact off the pitch. Before many of them left because of a new passion or due to injury, here are 10 celebrities who played soccer growing up!
1. Tom Cruise
Growing up Tom Cruise played soccer all throughout his high school career until a knee injury caused his sporting activities to end in his senior year. Now with his star-studded career, he’s often spotted at LA Galaxy matches or mingling with the real pro’s including David Beckham!
2. Gordon Ramsey
Before Hell’s Kitchen, the celebrity chef was bringing the heat on the soccer pitch. Growing up, Gordon Ramsey had a love for soccer and played an aggressive left-back position. In his teen years, Ramsey was scouted and could’ve had a shot with the Rangers F.C, but after training with their youth academy, he was injured and chose to no longer pursue his soccer career. The renowned chef is still an avid fan of the game, and is often seen repping the UNICEF jersey during charity games alongside other famous faces!
3. Jessica Biel
Who knew that Jessica Biel is not only a fantastic actress but also an expert at almost every sport you can name! As a teen Biel played club soccer before landing her TV breakout role. She played on multiple school and club teams throughout high school playing right midfield and right wing. Today she is still close with her teammates and reminisces on all of her best soccer moments!
4. Jason Statham
Jason Statham’s childhood friend and professional soccer player, Vinnie Jones, introduced the sport to him around 13 years old. Statham played soccer representing his high school and was on the road, set to become a professional player like his friend, but he ultimately left to pursue diving. Years later he can now put actor, model, soccer player, and professional diver all on his resume!
5. Will Ferrell
One of the most visible ambassadors for the sport in the United States, it’s no surprise the Kicking & Screaming star was an athlete himself. Before his big Hollywood break, Will Ferrell was on his university’s soccer team where he used his 6’3” height to his advantage. Now, he’s a part-owner of the Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) and is always seen cheering on the club!
6. Bob Marley
Best known for sharing reggae with the entire world, the beloved artist, Bob Marley, also had a past love for the beautiful game. Many of his friends and soccer acquaintances considered his skills to be at the professional level and couldn’t tell if he loved music or the sport more. To this day, people pay tribute not only to his music but his love for the game.
7. Julia Stiles
It must be a coincidence that her break out role in 10 Things I Hate About You also happened to have several scenes of Julia Stiles playing soccer. While an undergrad in university, she played in an Irish League in the Bronx. She would even show up to soccer practice in full hair and makeup after a film shoot!
8. Rod Stewart
Rod Stewart, one of the most famous British rock and pop artists to date, was a fantastic soccer player. He famously attended trials with Third Division outfit Brentford but was not committed enough to become a professional player. He does admit that the game saved him from drinking and drugs, which is a part of the typical rock and roll lifestyle. Playing in matches alongside performing became his weekly routine, even to this day.
9. Colin Farrell
Before turning to acting, Colin Farrell wanted to be a footballer like the other members in his family. Both his father and uncle played professionally for the Shamrock Rovers, so he grew up with great soccer influences. However, the young Farrell’s skills weren’t as strong as his acting ones, which ultimately led to Hollywood gaining a star.
10. Antonio Banderas
One of Spain’s most famous faces, Antonio Banderas played soccer up until his teen years He wanted to play soccer professionally and was successful playing for his school team, but an unfortunate broken foot crushed his dream of a soccer career. The apparent gifted striker would have made a fantastic player but is better off an actor because he is ‘too polite’ for professional football!
Comment below a celebrity you know grew up playing soccer! If you want to become an all-star soccer player go practice some of the drills we have saved on our Pinterest page with your friends. Happy Holidays!
- Tags: LIFESTYLE