10 Professional Soccer Players Who Could Play In the NFL
10 Professional Soccer Players Who Could Play in the NFL
The argument always seems to come up between soccer players and football players about which sport’s athletes are tougher or more athletic, but what has been largely ignored are the similarities between the types of athletes that each sport requires.
Both players in the top international soccer leagues -- Bundesliga, European Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, etc. -- and the NFL (specifically the NFL’s skill players) have similar heights, weights, sprint speeds, etc. The athletes in both sports have different skill sets, but the athleticism is universal.
If many of these soccer players had grown up playing American football, they may have ended up in the NFL instead. It’s all up to location and nationality as to what sport that they grew up loving.
Athletes tend to want to play as many sports as possible. Chad Ochocinco, the eccentric, attention-craving superstar of the Cincinnati Bengals for so many years, even had a stint on the reserve squad for the MLS team Sporting Kansas City.
As both a soccer fan and an NFL fan, I began to wonder what if soccer wasn’t the world’s game and American football is what caught the world’s attention? Which professional soccer players would fit best into the NFL?
If you have any other suggestions on potential Soccer/NFL players, feel free to comment. A few NFL teams that are desperate for something to help them win may even take your suggestion to heart. Who knows, “Wayne Rooney to the New York Jets” may end up being a headline this transfer season.
No. 10 Emmanuel Adebayor
The ex-Arsenal, now Tottenham striker is tall, strong and fast. He has the right body type to have been a fairly successful wide receiver in the NFL.
No. 9 Yaya Toure
Toure is known to command his team from the back. He’s defensive-minded and is the last line of defense. He would fit in perfectly as a strong safety.
No. 8 Nigel De Jong
Known as one of the meanest players in the world, De Jong would be a great cornerback. He’s small, but active, and his nasty reputation gets into his opponent’s head almost like the St. Louis Rams’ Cortland Finnegan.
No. 7 Mario Balotelli
Not only is Balotelli ridiculously muscular and athletic, but he has the right size, ego and temperament for a cornerback in the NFL.
No. 6 Wayne Rooney
Rooney is physical and fast, but can also cut and change directions extremely well. He is the perfect build for a slot receiver, because he gets beat up all the time by tough Premiership defenses and continues to produce.
No. 5 Theo Walcott
Arguably the fastest soccer player in the world, Walcott would blaze past the secondary as a wide receiver. I don’t know about you, but Tom Brady to Walcott sounds good to me.
No. 4 Andy Carroll
Carroll is big and tall and can also jump extremely high, as his record of headed goals proves. The English striker is built like a tight end; he is extremely physical and would be a nightmare to try and take down.
No. 3 Hulk
Even his name is indicative of his size and strength. The Brazilian would make a ferocious linebacker.
No. 2 Cristiano Ronaldo
Fast, strong, and with great vision, Ronaldo could have made a great quarterback. He’s faster than Cam Newton, too.
No. 1 Luis Suarez
The Liverpool and Uruguayan striker is good with his hands, as Ghana found out the hard way in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.