Soccer stars who’ve made the move from the pitch to the big screen


There have been quite a few big name soccer stars who’ve landed cameo roles (or more) in the movies over the years. Some of the films you might never have heard of, others are a bit more main-stream. The overwhelming feeling when you watch any soccer player turned actor, though, is that they probably should have stuck to the first profession they signed up for.

Anyway, here’s a glance back at a few of the most noted performances from soccer actors.

David Beckham has appeared in a soccer film trilogy – Goal. He was in Goal – The Dream Begins, which was a rags to riches tale about a gardener’s son from LA who dreams of playing in the English Premier League. Beckham also appeared in Goal 2 – Living the Dream, but didn’t make a third appearance for Goal 3 – Taking on the World. Perhaps his decision not to take part in the final part of the trilogy was due to the first two films being such shockers!

Then, of course, there was Bend it like Beckham, but David didn’t play the cameo of himself at the end of the film – he was played by a lookalike instead.

French soccer ace Eric Cantona has been in a few films over the years. The most well-remembered is his cameo in Elizabeth as Monsieur de Foix and his role as himself in Looking for Eric.

 Another Frenchman to make it on to the big screen is Zinedine Zidane, with a role in both Goal and Asterix at the Olympic Games. The Asterix movie was a huge hit in France, earning more than $130m at the box office, but probably because of Zidane’s role in the film.

Ally McCoist played the role of a Celtic hero in the film A Shot at Glory. The ex-Glasgow Rangers manager didn’t do anything to make this into a watchable film, though.

One of the most familiar ex-soccer players who you’ll see on the big screen is Vinnie Jones. He played the hard man Big Chris in Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and has gone on to play roles in a range of other films, including Snatch, Swordfish, X-Men and Mean Machine. He even played a hooligan supporting Man United in Euro Trip.

You might not have caught Ian Wright’s debut acting moment, because the movie went straight to DVD in August 2011. Wright played Duke in Gun of the Black Sun, a fantasy adventure film. The plot was one that certainly stretched credulity – with an enchanted Nazi pistol and a baddie trying to restore fascism throughout Europe.

This month’s the quietest on the soccer calendar year, and if you’re missing the faces, you might be tempted to watch one of the movies mentioned here. However, for the most part, these soccer stars’ forays into acting are probably best left alone now. Instead, turn your attention to what might happen next season and take a look at early odds for next year’s Champions League. Check out team and player news on bet365’s blog to guide your UEFA competitions betting decisions for next season and if you want to watch a soccer movie, check out something like Fever Pitch or The Damned United. They may not have real soccer players acting in them, but maybe that’s why they make better viewing than some of the movies listed above.