There are a ton of people out there who have a natural talent for one thing. It could be sports, cooking, science, acting or any number of other things. However, there are a select few out there that have the talent to succeed in many different areas. Let’s take a look at some celebrities, who had they not been famous singer or actors, could have been successful soccer players in another life.
Picture this: Renowned chef Gordon Ramsay dribbling a soccer ball in the English Premier League alongside players such as Wayne Rooney, Harry Kane, and Mesut Ozil. Sounds like a bizarre scenario when in fact, it could have been a very likely reality. Though he took a different route, the chef known for effortlessly cooking up insults on Hell’s Kitchen was once a skilled soccer player. Raised in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, Ramsay had a trial with the Glasgow Rangers when he was a teenager. He was with the team for a few months until he got injured. So at the age of 19, he turned his attention towards cooking and thank goodness he did because the world of culinary culture would have been vastly different without him. Although, there’s no arguing that his loud-mouth and brash demeanor in the kitchen would have transferred well on to the field.
Growing up in Canada, Tom Cruise was very involved with soccer throughout his childhood. He never played on a semi-professional or a professional team, but he did play until high school. He gave up dreams of pursuing the sport and instead followed his desire to become an actor in Hollywood. With great blockbusters such as Top Gun, Jerry Maguire, and A Few Good Men, Cruise was obviously very successful. Nonetheless, the famous actor can frequently be found in the stands of LA Galaxy matches.
The Maggie Mae singer with his distinctive raspy voice was once a little boy growing up in England who had a strong love for soccer. He played as center-half for the Middlesex Schoolboys and shortly after, had a trial with Brentford FC. However, the club didn’t offer him a contract which greatly disappointed Stewart so in response he turned towards music. He has since gone on to sell over 100 million albums worldwide. He hasn’t forgotten about his love for the game though. On his estate, he has a full-size soccer field.
The former NBA player who once played for the Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers is a soccer player at heart. Steve Nash was born in South Africa where his father played minor professional soccer. His brother went on to play for the Canadian National Team. In high school, Nash played both soccer and basketball but then went to Santa Clara University to play basketball after he was offered a scholarship. Despite having never played professionally, Nash has maintained involvement with the game. He is the co-owner of MLS’s Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
He’s the best selling Latin artist in history and also the father of the singer, Enrique Iglesias. Nonetheless, if it wasn’t for a car accident, this may have never been the case. Julio Iglesias had been a previous professional soccer player in Madrid, where he was born. He was the goalkeeper for his home city team and additionally played for Real Madrid Castilla, Los Merengues’ B team. After he was involved in a car accident where he irrevocably damaged his lower spine and his legs, Iglesias was hospitalized. In the hospital, a nurse handed him a guitar, and thus a legend was born.
Long before becoming a famous nighttime talk show host, Jon Stewart could be found on the soccer field. He played in college for William and Mary but has since downplayed his experience there. When asked about his time in college, Stewart has said his life then consisted of sleeping late, smoking weed and attending soccer practice. He later went on to coach at Gloucester High School and in 2006, was awarded the All American by the National Soccer Coaches of Association of America.
The famous reggae singer could have very well been a pro player. Though he loved music, Bob Marley also had much passion for soccer. He grew up playing it in Jamaica. However, the lack of professional opportunities in his home country led him to pursue his music career instead. As a famous musician, he kept up with the Brazilian Leagues and was often seen playing soccer in his free time or before concerts. He was once quoted saying, “Football is freedom.”
Where would we be without Spy Kids or The Legend of Zorro? A very sad world, that’s where. The Spanish actor, director, singer, and producer came very close to following a path as a pro soccer player. He grew up playing for youth teams instead and was a very talented player. He caught the attention of many club teams, but at the age of 14, he injured his foot. While recovering, he stumbled upon his love for acting and entered the strange but wonderful place that is Hollywood.
Before the English singer and songwriter was a member of the boy band Take That, Robbie Williams played for Port Vale FC, a League Two team in England. His run with the team was brief as he then wanted to live out his dreams of being a singer. It seems as though he made the right choice because he has since continued on to become the best-selling British solo artist in the UK.
Growing up in Ireland, Colin Farrell came from a soccer family. Both his father and uncle were pro players for Irish side Shamrock Rovers FC. Farrell played competitively, well into his teen years, that is until he started struggling with drugs and alcohol. This misdirection led him to quit soccer and instead pursue acting. Crazy Heart, Seven Psychopaths and Saving Mr. Banks wouldn’t have been the same without you, Mr. Farrell.
The lead guitarist, vocalist and songwriter for the band Weezer didn’t always have dreams of being a famous musician. Instead, Connecticut native Rivers Cuomo had hopes of making it to the pros. Unfortunately, Cuomo suffered from knee injuries, and was informed by his doctor that if he kept playing, he would only hurt his body more. So Cuomo quit the game, moved to California, and wrote his ironic hit song, “Beverly Hills.”
All these celebrities could have taken very different paths. Though they may have continued on to be excellent professional soccer players, we are happy they did not. Our ears may never have been graced with “One Love.” Not only that but what would Hell’s Kitchen be without Gordon Ramsay? Nothing. It wouldn’t exist, and what a shame that would be.