10 Pro Footballers That We Wished Competed in Olympic Sports

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJuly 26, 2012

10 Pro Footballers That We Wished Competed in Olympic Sports

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    Have you ever imagined Cristiano Ronaldo, Xavi or even Mario Balotelli playing another sport?

    Well, with the London Olympics officially starting today with the start of the women's football tournament, it is always fun to speculate what athletes would be good at events other than the one that they are participating in.

    This list of ten world footballers does not contain many Olympians for the 2012 games but it does contain the events in which these football stars would be successful.

Cristiano Ronaldo: Diving

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    There is one thing that Cristiano Ronaldo is known for around the world other than scoring goals, and that is the habit of diving.

    So, even though Ronaldo has no association with the aquatic sport, it seems appropriate that he should be given the title.

    All humor aside, Ronaldo's precision and accuracy on his free kicks are an attribute that a good diver must have in order to contend for medals at the Olympics.

Joey Barton: Judo

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    Joey Barton is now known all over the world for his elbowing of Manchester City's Carlos Tevez on the final day of the Premier League season and the 12-game suspension he earned from the incident.

    Barton may have been in the wrong arena on May 13th for his elbow.

    If the Queens Park Rangers midfielder was competing in judo, the elbow may just be one of the moves he uses to win a match.

    Judo uses a lot of hand-to-hand combat, so perhaps it is a sport that always-in-the-news Barton should take up while spending his long suspension.

Stjarnan FC: Rhythmic Gymnastics

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    Few sports at the Summer Olympics require the perfect choreography that rhythmic gymnastics does.

    Hours, days, months and even years are put into the preparation for the sport.

    In world football, some goal celebrations take the same amount of time to practice just like Stjarnan FC's goal celebrations in 2010.

    The most famous celebration by the Icelandic club would be the reeling in of the fish and then holding it up for a picture at the end.

Nigel De Jong: Wrestling

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    There is no player who tackles rougher in world football than Nigel de Jong does.

    The Manchester City player has taken out many players with his tackles; just ask Stuart Holden how it feels to be tackled by the Dutchman.

    The Manchester City midfielder has earned the nickname, "The Terrier," thanks to his relentless play on the pitch.

    With a nickname like that and a reputation that follows him, throwing de Jong in the ring with some of the world's top wrestlers may just be what he deserves.

    De Jong's scrappy style might just win him a match or two but not a gold medal.

Hulk: Weightlifting

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    How could anyone else other than Hulk be appropriate for the weightlifting competition?

    Hulk should get the chance to compete just because of his name alone.

    The Porto winger got the nickname from his father, who was a fan of The Incredible Hulk when the Brazilian was a youngster.

    He lives up to the nickname very well, with his strong play on the pitch. He also seems to be one of the stronger players overall in world football.

Wayne Rooney- Cycling

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    In the world of cycling, Great Britain can do no wrong.

    Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome finished first and second at the Tour de France and their team, Sky, has been dominant all year.

    So why not put Wayne Rooney on a bicycle and continue the success, because right now, any British man on a bicycle can do nothing but win.

Joe Hart: Volleyball

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    Joe Hart is rapidly becoming one of the top goalkeepers in the world.

    The England and Manchester City first-choice keeper has seen his stock rise drastically in the past two years.

    One of the many skills that goalkeepers must practice is batting the ball into the air, away from attackers, when they cannot catch the ball cleanly.

    Volleyball players use that same basic skill set, and the six foot five inch Hart could even use his height, play up at the net and drop a few spikes down on opponents as well.

Gianluigi Buffon: Handball

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    Handball is a very unique sport that is the Summer Olympics version of curling, meaning that everyone talks about it and watches it for two weeks, then forgets about it for four years.

    The sport is something that most goalkeepers would be good at, as it focuses on catching, shooting and dribbling with the hands.

    Gianluigi Buffon is one of the top keepers, if not the best, in the world, and he also has passion for his sport unlike any other athlete.

    His skill set alone would make Buffon a good fit, but his intangibles as a leader could make any handball team instantly better.

Mario Balotelli: Shooting

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    There are plenty of Olympic sports that Mario Balotelli would excel at, but shooting is something he has experience with in the past.

    While he was still with Inter Milan, Balotelli and a few of his teammates were caught firing a gun from their Audi in the Piazza della Repubblica in Milan in 2010.

    After he made his move to Manchester City, Balotelli was caught shooting darts at youth team players in City's training ground.

    Combine these two incidents with his accuracy to hit the back of the net, he scored 13 Premier League goals last season; Balotelli would be a perfect fit to hit the target in shooting.

Xavi & Andres Iniesta: Synchronized Swimming

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    "Synchronised Swimming is all about grace under pressure, as athletes use pinpoint precision and immense stamina to deliver beautiful routines in the pool."

    That is the official description of synchronized swimming from london2012.com.

    Both Xavi and Andres Iniesta do the exact same thing on the soccer pitch.

    Both Spanish midfielders provide precision in their passing, in situations with the highest amount of pressure for both club and country.

    A pair in synchronized swimming are together for a long time in their careers as they practice their trade. Xavi and Iniesta are no different, as the midfield pair have played with Barcelona's senior team since the start of the 2002-03 season.