Mario Balotelli Being a Pianist and 10 Hidden Talents of Footballers
Before this week, if someone told you he saw Mario Balotelli play the national anthem for Andrea Pirlo on the piano, you’d think he had eaten an entire cheeseboard before bed.
However, if you do hear someone claim that, don't try and restrain them for their own good, it happened! If you haven’t seen it, here’s the video of Balotelli serenading Pirlo with their country’s national anthem:
Pirlo looked like he wanted those 40 seconds of his life back immediately.
However, when first watching the video, it’s surprising that Balotelli can play a piano. You would assume he’d sooner stick 40-inch wheels on a piano and turn it into a musical monster truck. And possibly try and get a mechanic to install a Transformer’s brain into it.
So what other footballers have hidden talents outside of playing football?
Wait, don’t answer that yet. Because this is an article, we cannot hear you.
Instead, we’ll tell you about footballers with hidden talents.
Robbie Fowler: Property Magnate
Ex-Liverpool, Manchester City, Leeds United and basically every team except for Manchester United striker Robbie Fowler wasn’t just a prolific goal machine in his day. He was a successful property magnate too.
Whenever a list is established of the world’s richest footballers and ex-footballers, amongst your David Beckhams and Cristiano Ronaldos, you will always find Robbie Fowler near the top. In 2005 he was even listed in the top 1,000 wealthiest people in the United Kingdom.
Fowler is reported to have a property portfolio that has netted him over £23 million, and in March 2013, he even set up a school to help teach other people how to become become real estate moguls.
The Robbie Fowler Property Academy is a free workshop that promotes the virtues of a £997 three-day session that “teaches you how to make money.”
We’re assuming Lesson 1 is to get people to pay £997 to learn how to make money.
Theo Walcott: Children’s Author
The old saying goes “everybody has a book in them...even Theo Walcott."
In fact, Theo Walcott has four books in him—children’s books.
Arsenal's Walcott has crafted are T.J. and the Hat-Trick, T.J. and the Penalty, T.J. and the Winning Goal and T.J. and the Cup Run. All four books star T.J. (if you hadn’t guessed), a schoolboy footballer. The books are meant to be quite good, despite the rumors that they made Wayne Rooney angry and confused.
Kevin Prince-Boateng: Dancing
Despite having “Prince” in his name, AC Milan’s Kevin Prince-Boateng has the ability to dance like Michael Jackson.
KPB showed he could move like the late King Of Pop during celebrations for AC Milan’s Scudetto win at the end of 2010-11 season, after promising he would do it if AC won that year's Serie A.
No news yet on whether Fulham Football Club have plans to erect a statue of Boateng outside of Craven Cottage.
John Barnes: Rapping
WARNING: This video contains language that some may find offensive.
When you can play football as well as John Barnes can, you don’t need a hidden talent.
But Barnes has one anyway, and if his spell as Celtic boss was anything to go by, his hidden talent isn’t football management. No, his secret skill is rapping.
There was his famous verse during England’s Word Cup 1990 Official Song, “World In Motion” by New Order.
Then there was the as-easy-to-stomach-as-latex-paint “Anfield Rap”, the official Liverpool FC song for their 1988 FA Cup Final loss to underdogs Wimbledon.
And now footage has emerged this week of Barnes rapping the lyrics to “Rappers Delight” by The Sugarhill Gang.
Daniel Agger: Tattoo Artist
Daniel Agger’s torso is covered in more drawings than the toilet wall in an abandoned Edinburgh pub. But his interest in tattoos isn’t a passive one; he is a qualified tattoo artist.
In fact, the Dane even offered to give every member of the 2008-09 Liverpool team a celebratory tattoo if they won the Premier League. Unfortunately for Liverpool fans—but fortunately for Liverpool players who didn’t want a tattoo forced on them—Liverpool did not win the 2008-09 Premier League.
Phil Neville: Cricket
It might be argued that Phil Neville wasn’t as good of a footballer as his brother Gary, but it is argued that Phil was once better at cricket than former England captain and all-rounder Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff.
Former England cricketer Steve Kirby said. “Phil was captain of the England under-15 side at football and cricket. He was brilliant. I know it's a big statement, but he was better than Flintoff at the time.”
Neville, when he was 15, was the youngest player to ever score a century for a county’s second XI, and it is believed he could have played for England. Which would have meant Phil playing cricket, Gary playing football, and sister Tracy playing netball, all for England.
Neville’s former Everton teammate, Tim Cahill even said of Phil’s prowess as a batsman: “Phil Neville is really good. I've faced him a few times and he's probably better at cricket than he is at football.” And Tim knows what he’s talking about—he from Australia, which used to be good at cricket.
Joe Hart and Gary Lineker are two other footballers who might have had promising careers on wicket as well as on the football pitch.
Jody Craddock: Artist
Some of the game’s greatest players are sometimes described as artists—Zinedine Zidane, Johan Cruyff, Diego Maradona—but never former Sunderland and Wolverhampton Wanderers center-back Jody Craddock.
However, while no one ever claimed he created art with the ball at his feet, no one can deny that he hasn’t created masterpieces with a brush in hand.
Fulham’s Plan A, Plan B and Plan C, Dimitar Berbatov is also a decent caricaturist.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Martial Artist
You can shove your normal art, Craddock. Zlatan Ibrahimovic knows martial arts. We’d like to see where your paintbrush would get you when fighting off a mugger.
In one of football’s least discreet hidden talents, the rich man’s Dimitar Berbatov and Bill Gates’ Andy Carroll, Ibrahimovic is a black belt in taekwondo. He achieved this feat aged 17 in his hometown of Malmo, Sweden.
As we have nothing funny to say about that, here is his wondergoal for Sweden versus England, which was no doubt aided by his ability to tae the hell out of those kwondos.
Dion Dublin: Inventor
Former Manchester United, Aston Villa and England striker Dion Dublin isn’t just talented at playing musical instruments; he accompanied Ocean Colour Scene during a 2011 gig. He invented a musical instrument.
He's like the masterminds who invented the piano, the saxophone and the recorder, which doesn’t actually record anything.
While his invention is not going to rival the electric guitar, the drums or that keyboard thing that people wore like a guitar in the '80s, did the inventors of those instruments ever do this?
Needless to say, we are not aware of any other footballer who has invented an instrument before. Although we’re pretty sure Rafa Benitez invented the "press conference meltdown."
Glenn Hoddle and Chris Waddle: Ability to Encapsulate the '80s
Some would say when Glenn Hoddle and Chris Waddle stepped into the recording studio in 1987 to produce “Diamond Lights,” they proved their hidden talent was singing, but we would disagree.
With “Diamond Lights," Hoddle and Waddle, who both played for Tottenham Hotspur at the time, managed to create a microcosm of the entire decade that was the 1980s. It included:
- Footballers becoming celebrities.
- Synthpop (that’s if you can put the best song ever written in a music genre).
- Weird jackets.
- Video editors just discovering an unconvincing special effect and milking it dry.
- People taking themselves very seriously.
The only thing that could improve “Diamond Lights” would be someone playing The Dube.
Know any more hidden talents of footballers? Then don’t keep it to yourself—that’s what the comments section below is for!