5 modern day football players who have appeared in movies
Football has evolved from being just a sport played by 22 players on a field and watched by a few thousands in the stadium to a global phenomenon adored by billions around the world.
The rise in popularity of the sport has also seen a concordant increase in the marketability of the players, helped by the popularity of social media, as the players have grown from being just sports stars to becoming global brands, instantly recognisable anywhere on the planet, and are among the most followed people across social media platforms.
The modern footballer enjoys pop culture status, and receives as much if not more attention than mainstream celebrities, with fans interested in everything from the footballer’s love life to the fashion brands they patronise.
It is therefore not much of a surprise that players are regulars on the entertainment scene, with Man Utd's Paul Pogba even going as far as presenting an award at a marquee music award show.
Hollywood is perhaps the epitome of everything entertainment in the world, with a dedicated fan base around the globe, hence the increasing celebrity lifestyle of footballers means they are steadily becoming attractions for movie flicks.
The recent revelation that Chelsea star and World Cup winner Olivier Giroud is set to lend his voice as the Green Goblin in the upcoming Spiderman movie is the latest in a long line of footballers who briefly traded the lush green fields for the silver screen, which is a practice dating back a couple of decades.
In this piece, we present a list of five popular footballers in recent times who have starred in Hollywood movies.
#5 Neymar (XXX : Return of Xander Cage)
Neymar is undoubtedly one of the best players in the world right now, and has an incredibly global appeal to go with his talents, being voted as the world's most marketable athlete in 2014 ahead of the World Cup in his hometown where just about every company wanted to be associated with the 26-year-old.
Neymar has starred in a couple of minor roles in his hometown, including in an episode of blockbuster series Trail of Lies (Amor a Vida) in 2013, and making an appearance in Shakira's World Cup theme song La La La - Brazil in 2014.
His major breakthrough however came in 2017 as he appeared in the much publicised; XXX: Return of Xander Cage, where he acted the part of a footballer about to be recruited to the secret organisation by Samuel L Jackson, with his special skill being earmarked as being good at shooting objects with his foot.