Professional football players are often household names that many people look up to. These players train each week to become the best of the best and do their team proud when they take to the pitch. Of course, as athletes, football players can also have the potential to excel at other sports due to their motivation, fitness and much more.

Professional Footballers that Excel at Other Sports

Here, we are going to look at some of the professional football players that have excelled at other sports. Keep reading if you’d like to find out more.

Roy Keane
If you were to place a bet on which sport Roy Keane also excelled at on a site like NetBet, would it have been boxing? Roy Keane played as captain for Manchester United and proved his skills as a footballer, but he also once had a shot at excelling in the boxing ring.

This professional footballer took up boxing aged ten and he enjoyed it a lot. In the end, he focused on football but who knows where he could have been if he chose boxing instead.

Gary Lineker

Garry Lineker is a well-known football player who also hosts Match Of The Day. This player was incredible on the pitch and he managed to make it to third on the list of the all-time goal scorers for England.

While he may be known for his incredible performance as a footballer, Linker was also a great cricket player before he became a professional footballer. Lineker played for a few different teams and showed that he had the potential to go on to be a professional cricket player.

Wayne Rooney

Another football player who might have had a chance at becoming a professional boxer is Wayne Rooney. This player captained both Manchester United and England in his time and is a household name for many football fans around the world.

Rooney took up boxing and continued until he was 15 years old but needed to stop to focus on his football career. This was probably a good move for Rooney as he went on to become a great player.

Gareth Bale

Finally, professional footballer Gareth Bale also excelled at many sports including rugby, athletics and hockey. When he was just 14, he managed to run a personal best of 100 metres in 11.4 seconds and he took part in many other athletes events.

While he didn’t go onto become a professional sprinter, Bale was able to use these skills on the pitch as he sprinted up and down with the ball. Luckily, he decided to focus on football so we got to watch his career unfold on the pitch.


Professional footballers are very impressive athletes and so it comes as no surprise that they have excelled in other sports during their lifetime. While they have decided to focus on their football career, they were able to use the skills that they had learned in other sports to additionally further their progression.

It is interesting to consider where they might have ended up had they decided not to focus on football.

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