The “beautiful game” is the biggest sport globally by far. Every country plays football in some capacity and the FIFA World Cup is the world’s largest sporting event by viewership. Naturally, this means you can find football fans from every walk of life. Many celebrities are outspoken football supporters as well, and it’s interesting to hear how their fandom began. Sometimes it began in their childhood, other times it’s the result of their travels or connections later in life.
Here are some famous football fans that you will definitely recognize.
Rod Stewart has had a lengthy career as a singer, with numerous chart-topping hits. It’s safe to say that things have gone well for him in his life but, at the same time, maybe he wonders “what if?”. In his youth, Stewart was crazy about football. His first aspiration was to become a professional player and, in 1960, he even tried out for his local club, Brentford F.C. He eventually turned his attention to music and, though he never became a professional player, his lifelong passion for the sport endured.
Stewart is a diehard Celtic F.C. fan due to his Scottish background. He has even offered to let the team train at the regulation-sized pitch he has at his home. Famously, Stewart mentioned the club in the lyrics to his song You’re in my Heart.
You may remember Knightley from the 2002 film Bend It Like Beckham. In the film, her character Jules is absolutely crazy about football. It turns out Knightley was perfect for this role, as she is actually very similar to Jules. Knightley is a London native who grew up watching West Ham and has been a fervent supporter since her childhood. She has a particular love affair with the ‘Forever Blowing Bubbles’ chant, which she catches herself singing often.
Paul Janke is a German actor who is remembered from shows like Bad Cop: Kriminell gut, Team Ninja Warrior Germany, and most famously, The Bachelor. Janke became famous for his rugged good looks and charismatic demeanor. The actor once said in an interview “I like competition. I’m a sportsman.” After this, he also revealed that he had been playing football since he was four or five. He essentially grew up with the sport, and has held a lifelong passion for it. His favorite team is Hamburger S.V. and he always supports the German national team.
“Citizen of the world” and globally renowned folk singer Manu Chao has many passions in life but one of the biggest and most persistent is football. Though he was born in Paris, he has lived in numerous countries and Barcelona has become the city he is most associated with. His passion for the city and its successful football team Barcelona FC permeates throughout his art. He mentions his love for the city of Barcelona, including in Rumba De Barcelona, and many of his other songs have references to the football club. He even dedicated his song Boca River to the Copa Libertadores final played in 2018.
The singer is said to idolize the Argentinian style of play and has high regards for the talented Lionel Messi. Manu also had a special relationship with the late Diego Maradona and some of his most famous songs pay homage to the Argentinian football king, those songs being Santa Maradona and La Vida Tombola.
Magnus Carlsen is a Norwegian four-time World Chess Champion. With the amount of time he invests in the game, you wouldn’t imagine that he has much spare for anything else. On the contrary, Carlsen is a massive football fan. His favorite team is Madrid and he regularly gives praise to players and teams on Twitter. Carlsen is also very competitive in fantasy football as well. Remarkably, he held first place in the massive seven million player FPL fantasy league for some time before ultimately finishing in 11th place.
Day-Lewis has been called the greatest living actor on more than one occasion. He was born and raised in south London in what he refers to as a “rough neighborhood.” Growing up, his favorite team was always Millwall and he remains a loyal supporter to this day. Day-Lewis fondly remembers attending matches in his youth with his best mates.