One of the surprise TV hits recently has been Ted Lasso, which follows an American college football coach as he is suddenly recruited to coach an English Premier League team, despite having no experience coaching soccer. The series captured the attention of audiences all around the world and earned star Jason Sudeikis a Golden Globe win for Best Actor in a Television Series (Musical or Comedy), according to Variety. We’re all looking forward to the upcoming third season of Ted Lasso so we can get more of its trademark warmth and humor back in our lives.
Soccer might not seem like an obvious choice for a TV comedy, but the sport has captured the attention of cinema-goers from all over the world. From romantic comedies like Bend It Like Beckham to international films like Shaolin Soccer, the sport has become a common sight on our screens, either at the movies or at home. Unfortunately, not every offering is quite as good as these films. Mean Machine, starring former UK soccer star Vinnie Jones, failed to live up to the Burt Reynolds original.
While Vinnie Jones used the film to launch a successful film career, other soccer stars have certainly tried to make that leap in the past. So with that in mind, here are a few of our favorite soccer stars that have shown up in films.
David Beckham – King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
No list of soccer stars is complete without mentioning David Beckham. The soccer legend has had success both in his native England, having led the England national team in several international tournaments, and in the US, where he is perhaps the most famous face in the sport. But his good looks didn’t just help him marry one of the Spice Girls; he’s also had more than one cameo in feature films. Most recently, he showed up in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, a gritty retelling of the Arthurian legends from director Guy Ritchie. Beckham’s appearance was a quick but memorable part of a film that ultimately went on to underperform at the box office.
Neymar – xXx: Return of Xander Cage
Another soccer star who has an international following, Neymar is one of the highest-paid athletes in the world. In this scene, he is being recruited to be part of the xXx program, which had previously been led by the likes of Vin Diesel and Ice Cube. He is shown chatting to Samuel L. Jackson and even stops a robbery with a display of his powerful footwork. In real life, Neymar is a man of many talents, which he’s hoping to use to lead his team, Paris St Germain, to Champions League victory. They’re among the favorites in the latest betting markets on Ladbrokes for the title this season, but even if they fail to get there, he can always fall back on his acting career. As well as this appearance, he also popped up in the Spanish language series Money Heist on Netflix.
Olivier Giroud – Spider-man: Into the Spiderverse
Olivier Giroud might still be looking for success with his team at AC Milan, but if it doesn’t work out for him, he might have a future in voice acting. The French soccer star has had a successful international career and added to his accomplishments by lending his voice to the monstrous Bouffon Vert, also known as Green Goblin, in the French dub of Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse. The role puts him in unique company, sharing the role with Academy Award winner Willem Dafoe, who reprised one of his most famous roles in 2021’s Spider-Man: No Way Home. No word yet on if Giroud will come back for Across the Spiderverse, due out in October 2022, but we’re hopeful he’ll make at least one more appearance on the big screen.
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