Football fans are currently in the midst of a nail-biting FIFA World Cup in Qatar. In exhilarating matches, Saudi Arabia shocked Argentina and Japan took down Germany, proving their mettle as underdogs. The Beautiful Game is full of surprises – some of which may be revealed off the pitch. The world’s best football players have often stunned their fans with unexpected hidden talents, from magic to music.
While you’re making the most of FIFA season, here are five footballers who have interesting skills outside of the world of sports.
1. David Luiz – Magician
The Brazilian defender has a few tricks up his sleeve, quite literally. A TikTok video in 2020 featured him showing off his skills with a football. He kicks the ball towards the camera, only for it to burst and reveal a bunch of chocolates. The video went viral for this stunt. However, this wasn’t his first gig – in 2016, he performed a magic trick involving cards on Club Chelsea’s Doctor.
2. Prince – Dancing
In 2011, Prince Boeteng showed off his moves as a part of the AC Milan Celebration. He imitated Michael Jackson’s famous dance moves with an ease that surprised fans. He also performed the moonwalk on the pitch, complete with costume, after winning the Scudetto.
— HZ (@HZ_Z7CL) January 21, 2019
3. Manuel Akanji – The ‘Human Calculator’
Turns out the Manchester City defender is something of a math whiz. He’s called the ‘human calculator’ due to his quick calculations and ability to answer complicated math problems easily. When he was first asked to calculate the amount of trophies his club has won, he answered that question in just a second.
4. Shane Long – Singer and Guitarist
This Irish player is not only an excellent striker, but has charmed fans with his musical talent. He revealed his skills on TV in 2016, when the camera caught him playing the guitar and singing Gavin James’ ‘Say Hello’ to his two daughters as they sang along. In another video, he is seen singing Bill Laswell and Bob Marley’s iconic ‘No Woman No Cry’.
5. Alexis Sánchez – Pianist
In January 2018, Manchester United confirmed the identity of their new addition, Chilean forward Alexis Sánchez, by showing off his secret talent. They posted a video of him playing ‘Glory Glory Man United’ on the piano. The 30-second clip was played over 3.5 million times and retweeted more than 100,000 times. And for good reason – Sanchez has some serious skills!
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 22, 2018