One Direction Visit Boca Juniors' La Bombonera Stadium During Tour of Argentina

Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistMay 7, 2014

British band One Direction, from left, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, and Louis Tomlinson arrive at the BRIT Awards 2014 at the O2 Arena in London on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
Joel Ryan/Associated Press

For all of the footballing greats who have stepped onto Boca Juniors' La Bombonera pitch, the visit of One Direction is likely to leave a lasting impression as sizeable as Diego Maradona, Juan Roman Riquelme or Carlos Tevez across the globe.

The pop heartthrobs took time out of their Argentinian tour schedule to visit the hallowed turf, although those wishing to catch a glimpse of Harry Styles will have been left disappointed. The curly-mopped star failed to appear for the strange unison of sporting and pop culture, as noted by Graeme Yorke of the Daily Mail:

Liam Payne and Zayn Malik took the opportunity to go topless as they autographed some of the club's famous blue and yellow replica kits. The pair, together with Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson - who recently played in a match for professional football team Doncaster Rovers' reserve team - were presented with their own personalised Boca kits at the stadium.

Boca posted a number of photos on their official Twitter feed, showcasing the group's personalised kits, leisurely kickabout and interaction with local children.

Meanwhile, Daniel Storey of Football365 and Sky Sports risked the wrath of "Directioners" the world over by suggesting that the boys' appearance ensures Boca can no longer be considered cool:

One Direction's appearance evokes memories of famous pop star appearances at football stadiums. Topping the list is Diana Ross' botched penalty at the 1994 World Cup opening ceremony in the USA, a miskick that stands up there with the sport's best.

Who could forget Michael Jackson's notorious visit to Craven Cottage in 1999? The King of Pop's decision to watch Fulham against Wigan eventually saw former Cottagers chairman Mohamed Al Fayed install an infamous statute of Jackson, which was recently taken down by new owner Shahid Khan.

Al Fayed recently blamed Fulham's relegation on the decision to remove MJ's presence, as reported by The Guardian:

This statue was a charm and we removed the luck from the club and now we have to pay the price. When [Khan] asked me to move it I said: 'You must be crazy.' This is such a fantastic statue which the fans are crying out for. But now he has paid the price because the club has been relegated.

British pop heroes and football go hand in hand. Rod Stewart was seen weeping with joy as Celtic overcame Barcelona in last season's Champions League, while Liam and Noel Gallagher—better known as Oasis—can be spotted trailing behind Manchester City's every move.

Robbie Williams is also known to watch Port Vale play and is a key figure behind the Soccer Aid efforts. This bi-annual event raises money for UNICEF UK, bringing together sporting legends, musical stars and Hollywood favourites for an entertaining football match.

Williams will be joined by Olly Murs and Take That's Mark Owen in this year's England XI, per Soccer Aid's official website. Nicky Byrne of Westlife is the sole musical inclusion in the Rest of the World squad to be announced right now.

One Direction's Louis Tomlinson famously had to pull out of his professional debut for Doncaster after Aston Villa's Gabriel Agbonlahor floored him during a charity match for Stiliyan Petrov's Cancer Foundation. The pacey forward received death threats after Tomlinson vomited in front of a packed Celtic Park crowd, per Richard Arrowsmith of The Guardian.

Tomlinson's latest step onto the pitch was far more low key, suggesting he and his One Direction teammates won't be running out for the Buenos Aires club anytime soon.