If footballers were to change sports, many of them would make for excellent Olympic athletes. But who would be the best in each event? Would Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang be able to give Usain Bolt a run for his money? Would Nani’s backflipping skills help him in the sport of gymnastics? Would Tim Cahill or Wayne Rooney be able to translate their boxing celebrations into real boxing? Ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics, The Mastermind attempts to find out.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang clocked in at a faster speed over 30 metres during his Borussia Dortmund medical test than Usain Bolt did in his first 30 metres of his world record breaking 100m sprint at the 2012 London Olympic Games. The Gabon striker shows of his speed every game in the Bundesliga and could definitely give Bolt and other 100 metre sprinters a run for their money at Rio 2016.
N’Golo Kante never stops running on a football pitch and has developed quite a reputation for seemingly being everywhere on the pitch at all times. That kind of work ethic and stamina would definitely translate well to an Olympic marathon.
Yes the picture above is real. One of Cristiano Ronaldo’s best attributes and one of the reasons why he scores so many goals is because he can jump so incredibly high. After leaping high to score a powerful header against Wales in the semi final of Euro 2016 he only furthered that reputation and although he’d be great at several Olympic events, it’s high jump that he might excel at the most.
50 km Walk
Often criticized for walking around the pitch and not working hard enough in big games, perhaps Mesut Ozil should take up the 50km walk once he retires from football. Although one of the best footballers on the planet and an eye for a pass like none other, his ability to walk around the pitch all game long is also second to none.
Tim Cahill’s signature boxing celebration is probably one of the most well-known things about the midfielder despite him being a very famous footballer and possibly Australia’s greatest of all time! Although his boxing skills are unknown, he’s probably had enough practice by now to do decently well at the Rio Olympics.
During his time in the Premier League with Liverpool, Martin Skrtel was known for his grappling, grabbing and wrestling of opposing players more than he was known for his actual defensive ability! Although the Slovakian captain was never caught by the referee for his penalty area wrestling, he’s pretty much the reason why referees have now started to clamp down on that sort of thing despite Skrtel not even playing in the league anymore! Martin Skrtel’s approach in wrestling his opponents to the ground sure is an effective one, but perhaps it’s one that is better suited for the WWE. He’s even figured out how he’d enter the WWE ring, just check out the picture above! The Mastermind would love to see how Martin Skrtel would fare in a real wrestling match against “The Flying Elbow Man” Marouane Fellaini, “Big Bully” Diego Costa and “Captain Morgan” of Leicester City.
Usually centre backs just make passes from side to side but Hummels isn’t afraid to go the distance and set players through on goal with incredibly fantastic long passes. With that ability to pick out an-inch perfect pass from incredibly long ranges, Mats Hummels could make for a very impressive archer.
Paul Pogba is one of the most complete modern day footballers and has an incredible ability in almost all areas of the game! His wonderful eye for a pass would come in handy during the shooting portion of the pentathlon, his long wingspan and tall build would come in handy for the swimming portion, his quick reflexes and lanky body could help when fencing, his skill in being able to drive the tempo of the play in matches would help in equestrianism and his incredible stamina would definitely make him a very good cross country runner.
At 6’7, Peter Crouch might have picked the wrong sport to go professional in. Although he’s had a fine career in football, the Brit may have been better suited for the sport of basketball. With his incredibly tall build, Crouch would definitely come in handy when rebounding baskets, blocking shots or even just bullying around other players.
Among his many pastimes when he’s not dominating the football pitch, Andrea Pirlo loves to golf. The Italian midfielder often posts pictures of himself golfing with his friends and being one of the best passers of the ball in football history, he’d probably be able to pick out the perfect golf shot both from range and from in close.
Being incredibly flexible and able to pull off all kinds of incredible flips and tricks, Nani could make for an excellent gymnast. Although he hasn’t pulled off any back-flips recently, the Portuguese winger would always do all kinds of flips after scoring for Manchester United.
Although not the most well-known of Premier League footballers, he probably is one of the strongest. Marcin Wasilewski is not built like a footballer at all and would probably be better suited for some form of strength sport like weightlifting. Judging from his tough demeanor and massive upper body strength, he probably spends just about as much time in the gym as he spends on the football pitch practicing his skills. The Polish centre-back didn’t feature often for Leicester City last season during their title-winning surge so that could only mean one thing, more time to spend at the gym.
The first thing that comes up when googling Ashley Young’s name is “Ashley Young dive”. The footballer has made a decent career out of scoring fantastic goals and being versatile enough to fill several different roles for both Manchester United and Aston Villa but he might unfortunately be best known for his incredibly bad reputation for diving. Even when he actually gets tripped, he still sometimes picks up yellow cards for simulation due to his horrible reputation.
The Juventus back line does everything as if it’s a choreographed routine. They’ve been together for so many years for both the Italian National Team and their club and although that doesn’t necessarily translate to synchronized swimming, they’re incredibly organized and do everything with such a togetherness and elegance, so why not? Although their swimming abilities are unknown, The Mastermind would love to see how they’d perform in a choreographed swimming routine.
So there it is! If footballers competed in Olympic events, these are who the front runners in each event would be. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts! We’ll meet again soon, after the Olympics is over and the real football begins.