Top 10 Footballer Musicians; From Wayne Rooney to Ruud Gullit
Every manager would love to have a Maestro in the midfield to harmonize the team’s playing style, or fullbacks and wingers who keep the rhythm, and strikers with brilliant touches. Here, you can see the footballers that actually succeed in achieving their musical dreams.
Getting paid handsomely to kick a ball may make footballers the most unlikely people to try to succeed in a musical instrument. However, this list of top 10 footballer musicians might make you surprised as we will encounter rappers, drummers, and guitarists who can be proud of their talents in and off the pitch.
You might remember Alexis Sanchez playing ‘Glory Glory Man Utd’ on piano as he was revealed as the Red Devils’ new signing. Although his Man Utd journey wasn’t as delightful as his performance on piano, he’s not the only footballer who’s really good at playing a musical instrument.
All you need to know about Top 10 Footballer Musicians
From Petr Cech’s secret friendship with Queen’s drummer, Roger Taylor, to John Barnes’ rapping in New Order’s ‘World in Motion’, here, we list
footballers with musical talents
. From Hard Rock to Hip-Hop and Reggae, you will meet a diversity of tastes in the football world as we count down the list of top 10 footballer musicians.
10. Wayne Rooney
Clubs: Everton, Manchester United, Derby County
While Wazza was known as a brilliant goal-scorer during his time at Manchester United, he was also well known for making an Oasis cover band with his team mates during their parties, so it won’t be a surprise seeing him in our list of top 10 footballer musicians.
Before England’s Euro 2016 journey, the entire squad attended the England Footballers Foundation's dinner, where they were joined by singer James Bay and football legend Pele amongst others.
joined James Bay on stage to help him sing his hit song ‘Hold Back The River,’ with Gary Neville providing accompaniment on guitar. Neville previously displayed his musical talents following his performance with The Charlatans not so long ago.
However, given that Oasis’ founders Noel and Liam Gallagher being lifetime Manchester City fans, Wayne Rooney’s love for Oasis wasn’t always sweet as he experienced a couple of burns from Gallaghers over the period. For example, Noel Gallagher revealed he served up the ultimate burn to Wayne Rooney for his 21st birthday.
Being asked by Wayne’s wife, Coleen, for a signed guitar, Noel Gallagher sent the Red Devils icon a cheeky Manchester City guitar, with a note saying: 'Happy birthday, Sponge Bob. Next time you want ‘owt signing send us your Bentley.’
9. Alisson Becker
Instrument: Guitar, Vocals
In the summer of 2018, Liverpool fans rejoiced as Daniel Sturridge danced alongside new boy Naby Keita, Fabinho tackled a traditional Brazilian song, and Xherdan Shaqiri belted out Bob Marley’s classic ‘Three Little Birds’.
stole the show during his initiation to the Liverpool team with a brilliant acoustic cover of Oasis’ “Don’t Look Back in Anger”. He later also collaborated with Scouse musician, Jamie Webster, on guitar, singing the club’s anthem ‘Allez Allez Allez’.
However, Alisson isn’t the only Liverpool member who is
. The Brazilian’s fellow countryman, Firmino is apparently no stranger to the piano, while the Reds boss Klopp has previously revealed that he plays the drums.
Alisson told the reporters on the experience:
“It was karaoke time, and somehow they knew that I liked to play the guitar. I don’t know how one ended up there, but I found myself playing for them.
“It’s safer not to expect ‘the new Beatles’ coming from our side, though,”
the Brazilian smiled.
8. Petr Cech
Club: Chelsea, Arsenal
Instrument: Drumkit, Percussion
Nationality: Czech Republic
Having his ownYouTube channel
, which sees him cover artists as diverse as Ed Sheeran, Linkin Park and Rihanna, featuring Alexis Sanchez on keys and Nacho Monreal on shaker duty.
The Premier League iconic goalkeeper has also played with Roger Taylor of Queen, In May 2019, he and Taylor released a charity single called That's Football.
In 2020, he joined folk-rock band Wills & The Willing as their drummer, filming their music video "Iceberg".
revealed how fellow Chelsea goallee, Carlo Cudicini, helped him to start learning drums. He said:
'I never played any instrument before and I never had a music lesson or anything like that.
'But then once with Carlo Cudicini we played Rock Band on the PlayStation and I jumped on the drums without ever playing it before.
'I had so much fun and realised how much I enjoyed it because I love music in general. I was always listening to music but I realised that actively participating in the song you enjoy listening to was even better.”
'It is especially useful for a goalkeeper. There are so many things I learn on the drums that I can use in goalkeeping as well, because the hand-eye coordination and the independence on each of the limbs is helpful.”
7. John Barnes
Clubs: Liverpool, Newcastle United, Watford
While many modern footballers, like Memphis Depay and Ryan Babel, have shown interest of entering the Hip-Hop industry, John Barnes was a pioneer when he showed off his talent in 1988 when he stared in ‘Anfield Rap’, Liverpool’s FA Cup final song in 1988, which was originally a parody of a number of hip hop tracks, notably the intro from LL Cool J's "Rock the Bells" and Eric B. & Rakim's "I Know You Got Soul".
Although BBC reporter Mark Savage credited the song as "the worst offender... an inexplicably awful track" in 2012, the Liverpool icon had a collaboration with Rock band New Order to make England’s anthem for World Cup 1990, ‘World in Motion’.
The song, which became a UK hit immediately, remains immensely popular to this day, with Barnes still asked to perform his rap at every available opportunity.
6. Leighton Baines
Instrument: Guitar, Vocals
As well as being the Toffees captain,Leighton Baines
found himself another duty toward his team mates in the dressing room, make their music taste better.
A friend of the Last Shadow Puppets duo, Alex Turner and Miles Kane, the ‘indie kid’ was passionate enough to even bring a guitar as a carry-on with the England team to the 2014 World Cup.
Baines turns to music to unwind from the football, adding:
"Football is big in this country and as a player, you can become so immersed that it can take over your life. So I like to shut the door on football, to escape, and that's where music comes in for me."
"There's a playlist mix that the lads at Everton listen to in the changing room before and after a game.
"The lads mostly chose hip-hop and R&B, but I've tried to open their eyes and introduce some other stuff, which doesn't always go down well. But since I've been playing Miles' stuff to them, someone has taken it upon themselves to add some of his singles – 'Come Closer' and 'Inhaler' – to the mix. It's only one in every 15, but it's nice to hear it pop up."
Musician Miles Kane told of his friend’s love of music:
“He's been to a few of our gigs and even gone on tour with us, and we've become best friends.
"Lately, I've been sending him a few new tunes of mine as soon as I've mixed them. I sent him my new single before anyone else, as I trust him and I know how excited he is to hear it."
5. Slaven Bilic
Clubs: West Ham, Everton
A huge rock music fan, the former West Ham and Besiktas boss is among the footballers with musical talents who also had a long music career.
The former Croatia international
serves as the rhythm guitarist of Croatian hard rock band Rawbau with his favored red Gibson Explorer guitar. In 2008, his band recorded a song for Croatia's performance at Euro 2008 titled "Vatreno Iudilo".
During his time at West Ham as a player, Iron Maiden founder Steve Harris, who is a huge Hammers fan, met Bilic Park and even extended an offer of a guest appearance onstage.
Bilic is really a great guy,
” said Harris.
"With regards to being a guest at the concert, I am not sure if he will be in Split, but if he can make it we will see
4. Tomás Rosický
Clubs: Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal, Sparta Prague
Nationality: Czech Republic
Being dubbed as ‘the most metal footballer ever’ by music outlet, ‘Louder’, the Czech Republic absolutely has a place in our list of
top 10 footballer musicians with his guitar skills.
Having practiced his guitar skills during his 18 months on the sidelines because of his hamstring injury, Rosicky played guitar during a live performance with rock band Tři sestry in March 2010. He even performed at the Czech Footballer of the Year Awards.
Wojciech Szczesny,Tomas Rosicky
and Lukas Podolski also showed off their skills for Gunners TV’s Christmas special in 2014. Decked out in the obligatory Christmas jumpers, the three Gunners banded together to make a festive video. Szczesny showcased his keyboard talents along while Podolski demonstrated some percussion skills, while Rosicky was the band's undisputed star.
The Czech Republic international showed off his guitar skills with aplomb breaking into an impromptu guitar solo towards the end of the video.
3. Jese Rodriguez
Clubs: Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain
Although injuries kept the Spaniard from rising to the talent he once promised at Real Madrid, the 28-year-old makes the
top 10 footballer musicians
list in style.
, who goes by the stage name Jey M, was previously part of a two-man reggaeton band with his friend DJ Nuno, which was formed in March 2014 and disbanded later that year.
Despite the band’s short life, Jese released the song "Yo Sabia" the following year, and its music video has since racked up 30 million views on YouTube.
During an interview with FIFA, the Castilla youth product revealed that he fell back on music during his 258 days-long layoff after his injury.
"Music helped me a lot. It was my crutch, especially after the operation, because I couldn't do anything [physically], so I would spend my time after treatment writing songs," stated the Real Madrid forward.
2. Nolberto Solano
Clubs: Newcastle United, West Ham United, Aston Villa, Leicester City
Being known as a prolific free-kick taker during his playing career, the Newcastle United legend was proud of his Trumpet skills as he would call former coachBobby Robson
and play him a few bars over the phone and serenade his team-mates during training.
I don’t think Bobby Robson was so keen on me playing my trumpet,
” Solano said in 2005.
"He didn’t know about it when he first took over as manager, but he soon found out when I rang him up one night and played down the phone to him. I’m not sure he was too amused.
"Sometimes I’d take it [the trumpet] into training and play it for the lads in the dressing room – though it wasn’t always too successful. One time I played a duet with Gary Speed on guitar, but he likes rock music and I like salsa. I now realize the two styles should probably never be mixed."
Solano later formed his own salsa band named The Geordie Latinos, describing himself as an "adopted Geordie.”
1. Ruud Gullit
Clubs: Feyenoord, PSV, AC Milan, Chelsea,
Being known as one of the best players in history, the Black Tulip had also a career in Reggae music during his playing time, making him a perfect nominee to top our list of
top 10 footballer musicians
teamed up with Dutch reggae group Revelation Time to release the anti-apartheid song ‘South Africa’, a song that reached No. 3 hit in the Dutch Top 40.
Previously, he had a modest hit in 1984 with the song "Not the Dancing Kind". Gullit also notably joined his band in front of 3000 people at concerts in Italy, in the year he made a move to AC Milan.
Footballer Musicians who missed the list
Just like any other shortlist, there are plenty of footballers with musical talents who have missed our list of
top 10 footballer musicians
Among a lot of things thatPaul Gascoigne
could succeed in the 90s, was topping the charts with a heavily reworked version of ‘Fog on the Tyne' by Lindisfarne.
Glenn Hoddle & Chris Waddle were other pairs of English footballers who tried their luck in the music business. The then-Tottenham team-mates’ ‘Diamond Lights’ reached a peak position of 12th in the UK charts in 1987.
Former Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge is a passionate hip-hop and R&B fan who announced his plans to try his hand at producing and makes beats in his spare time in 2016.
Meanwhile, Netherlands team-mates Jürgen Locadia and Memphis Depay both chased their luck in hip-hop music by releasing singles.
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