In April this year, a music video uploaded on YouTube that featured a masked rapper, who goes by the mononym Dide, created a stir in the football world. In the video description, Dide claimed to be a current Premier League footballer, which left the fans in a frenzy. Numerous theories have emerged about the identity of this incognito rapper, and some of them did seem extremely convincing. But this is not the first time a footballer tried his luck in music. There are some who are not satisfied with simply kicking the ball, and they usually turn to music to satiate their artistic hunger. We look at some of the elite footballers who are pretty good at making melodies.
Alexis Sanchez is renowned for his fearsome striking skill, but he is a gifted pianist as well. The Chilean announced his transfer to Manchester United in 2018 by playing the club’s famous anthem “Glory Glory Man Utd” on piano. When he was at Arsenal, Sanchez the pianist teamed up with Petr Cech the drummer to raise money for the underprivileged community before Christmas.
Sanchez’s musical appetite isn’t bound to a certain genre; he plays everything from Beethoven’s “Für Elise” to the Game of Thrones cover. In 2018, he released a song titled Please Stay, in collaboration with Italian singer Alessandra Di Matteo, to raise funds for the war-ravaged Syria. Sanchez’s musical acumen adds richness to his profile as an incredibly talented and multi-dimensional individual.
Petr Cech had been the bulwark behind the spirited defence for over a decade. It’s a job that can’t be bossed without supple movement, lightning-quick reaction, and crazy hand-eye coordination—a set of attributes that is also necessary for being a drummer. Consequentially, Cech feels such an easy, assuming presence behind the drum kit, as if he is guarding a goalpost. The legendary goalkeeper regularly uploads covers of famous artists like Rihanna, Linkin Park, Ed Sheeran through his YouTube channel.
Former Liverpool forward Daniel Sturridge has consistently shown his passion for music throughout his career, especially in genres like hip-hop and rap. In 2018, he collaborated with Jamaican artist and producer J Hus, renowned for his fusion of UK rap and Afrobeat. Their joint effort “Dipset” garnered mixed reviews, but it showcased Sturridge’s rapping skill to the world. This track is a blend of Sturridge’s rap verses and J Hus’s catchy hooks, resulting in a remarkable fusion of styles. Sturridge also established his own record label, “D Studz Entertainment”, which serves as a great platform for emerging musicians.
Ruud Gullit, the iconic Dutch footballer, had a long and illustrious musical journey, which started with a critically acclaimed single, Not the Dancing Kind. The song quickly broke into the Top 10 of the musical charts in Holland. He then collaborated with Amsterdam’s reggae band The Revelation Time to create a unique fusion of reggae and funk music. This collaboration also produced an anti-apartheid song titled South Africa.
In 1987, after joining AC Milan, Gullit released another track Move Up. Despite his busy football career, Gullit remained dedicated to his musical passion. A year later, he unveiled his album Gullit, which even featured a collaboration with the reggae legend Bob Marley’s backing band, The Wailers.
John Barnes’ musical adventures began in 1990, when he was still operating at the peak. Barnes’ incredible rapping skill came to the fore in the official England World Cup song, World in Motion, which was a collaboration with the band New Order. The amazing reception of this song inspired Barnes to further explore his musical talents, and he released his debut single, Goodbye Cruel World, which garnered favourable reviews.