From Thomas Muller to Paul Scholes and Gary Neville: 6 cricket-loving footballers

First Published Nov 24, 2020, 4:47 PM IST

Footballers are one of the hard-working athletes on the planet. Meanwhile, to keep themselves distracted, they like to engage in and follow other sports. Some of the famous footballers also tend to follow the sport of cricket, which is still on the rising stage in other nations.

<p>Athletes specialise in their respective sport. However, it is not just the same sport that they tend to follow.</p>

Athletes specialise in their respective sport. However, it is not just the same sport that they tend to follow.

<p>Same goes for footballers, who are one of the busiest athletes in the world, and follow other sports as a means of distraction from the workload. In the same light, we take a look at some of the footballers, who surprisingly follow the sport of cricket and even love it.</p>

Same goes for footballers, who are one of the busiest athletes in the world, and follow other sports as a means of distraction from the workload. In the same light, we take a look at some of the footballers, who surprisingly follow the sport of cricket and even love it.

<p><strong>Gary Neville: </strong>The famous former Manchester United and England defender and now-turned commentator, Gary Neville's name might not be as intriguing as it sounds. Since he is from England, he is quite well aware of the sport that was born in his country. Also, in case one does not know, he once shared a 236-run stand with Australian opener Matthew Hayden, while playing for Greenmount Cricket Club. Although Neville found success in football, he credits cricket that led to the foundation of his success in the other sport.</p>

Gary Neville: The famous former Manchester United and England defender and now-turned commentator, Gary Neville's name might not be as intriguing as it sounds. Since he is from England, he is quite well aware of the sport that was born in his country. Also, in case one does not know, he once shared a 236-run stand with Australian opener Matthew Hayden, while playing for Greenmount Cricket Club. Although Neville found success in football, he credits cricket that led to the foundation of his success in the other sport.

<p><strong>Dietmar Hamann: </strong>The former Liverpool defensive midfielder and legend, Dietmar Hamann had a terrific career for the club, as well as Germany. Speaking of Germany, cricket is still at its development stages in the nation. Nonetheless, Hamann seems to have generated quite some interest in the sport, thanks to his time in England. He even once tried his hands in the sport at nets, with legendary English all-rounder Andrew Flintoff, besides stating that footballers can learn etiquette from the sport. He even once gambled a lot of money on the sport, which he unfortunately lost.</p>

Dietmar Hamann: The former Liverpool defensive midfielder and legend, Dietmar Hamann had a terrific career for the club, as well as Germany. Speaking of Germany, cricket is still at its development stages in the nation. Nonetheless, Hamann seems to have generated quite some interest in the sport, thanks to his time in England. He even once tried his hands in the sport at nets, with legendary English all-rounder Andrew Flintoff, besides stating that footballers can learn etiquette from the sport. He even once gambled a lot of money on the sport, which he unfortunately lost.

<p><strong>David Luiz: </strong>The next surprise name in the list is Brazilian defender David Luiz, who too admires the sport. The former Chelsea and now Arsenal defender must thank England again for helping him develop the love for the sport. Surprisingly, he has a fan of Team India and its skipper Virat Kohli. He even wished Kohli and co prior to the 2019 ICC World Cup through a video on Twitter. As for cricket in Brazil, it is very scarce.</p>

David Luiz: The next surprise name in the list is Brazilian defender David Luiz, who too admires the sport. The former Chelsea and now Arsenal defender must thank England again for helping him develop the love for the sport. Surprisingly, he has a fan of Team India and its skipper Virat Kohli. He even wished Kohli and co prior to the 2019 ICC World Cup through a video on Twitter. As for cricket in Brazil, it is very scarce.

<p><strong>Paul Scholes:</strong> We have another Englishman, and he is former Manchester United legend and midfielder Paul Scholes. Interestingly, he excels in cricket, besides just football. According to his close associates, he loves to cut and flick in cricket. Although he keenly played cricket during his younger days, it was football where he found the most success. He was also seen playing cricket with fellow English footballers in the sets of Sky Sports, as he continues to follow the sport to date and is often seen attending England's matches.</p>

Paul Scholes: We have another Englishman, and he is former Manchester United legend and midfielder Paul Scholes. Interestingly, he excels in cricket, besides just football. According to his close associates, he loves to cut and flick in cricket. Although he keenly played cricket during his younger days, it was football where he found the most success. He was also seen playing cricket with fellow English footballers in the sets of Sky Sports, as he continues to follow the sport to date and is often seen attending England's matches.

<p><strong>Joe Hart: </strong>The former England and Manchester City goalkeeper has time and again expressed his love for cricket. Although his career is not on the best tracks as of now, in order to keep himself distracted, he engages in playing cricket. Earlier, he used to play cricket in the Birmingham and District Premier League, representing Shrewsbury CC. He even played for the club as recently in 2018, after he was snubbed for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. We feel that he could go back to playing cricket if his football career does not rise again.</p>

Joe Hart: The former England and Manchester City goalkeeper has time and again expressed his love for cricket. Although his career is not on the best tracks as of now, in order to keep himself distracted, he engages in playing cricket. Earlier, he used to play cricket in the Birmingham and District Premier League, representing Shrewsbury CC. He even played for the club as recently in 2018, after he was snubbed for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. We feel that he could go back to playing cricket if his football career does not rise again.

<p><strong>Thomas Muller:</strong> The final surprise name on the list is another German, and he is none other than the renowned attacking midfielder Thomas Muller. The current Bayern Munich player has had tremendous success with the club and his nation. As for his name in this list, it is because he had wished Virat Kohli and his team, ahead of the 2019 CWC, on Twitter, while he was also spotted donning a Team India jersey. It turned out to be a mutual feeling, as Kohli himself had expressed great admiration for the German and his national team in the past, especially during the FIFA World Cups.</p>

Thomas Muller: The final surprise name on the list is another German, and he is none other than the renowned attacking midfielder Thomas Muller. The current Bayern Munich player has had tremendous success with the club and his nation. As for his name in this list, it is because he had wished Virat Kohli and his team, ahead of the 2019 CWC, on Twitter, while he was also spotted donning a Team India jersey. It turned out to be a mutual feeling, as Kohli himself had expressed great admiration for the German and his national team in the past, especially during the FIFA World Cups.