Football’s future musical stars

As Justin Bieber plans his own football team, Al Jazeera lists its own top-ten musical footballing talents.

He owns a record label and he's friends with 50 Cent and Usher - is there no end to Rio Ferdinand's talents?  [GALLO/GETTY]
He owns a record label and he's friends with 50 Cent and Usher - is there no end to Rio Ferdinand's talents? [GALLO/GETTY]

Justin Bieber’s announcement that he wants to own a football team is yet another collision between the worlds of football and music.

The teen sensation has his eyes set on getting David Beckham to coach a celebrity side that will play a two or three times a season. Bieber claims boy band One Direction and rapper Bow Wow have agreed to play; but is there any room for them in the world of football?

The beautiful game already has a number of musical talents within its ranks, and Al Jazeera takes a look at who Bieber will have to dethrone if he wants to be football’s pop idol.

10 – Morten Gamst Pedersen

The striker is the star of Norwegian boy band The Players. While he might have the right look, Pedersen might want to get some tips from One Direction as his band clearly have no direction. Their single “This is for real” will not win a Grammy, but The Players deserve some credit as the record’s proceeds went to charity. Whether they will release more songs is unclear; but Blackburn fans will want Pedersen to focus his efforts on getting the Rovers back into the English Premier League.

9 – Rio Ferdinand

The Manchester United defender always looks composed on the field. He is often pictured with headphones and even owns a record label – White Chalk. While these factors might suggest a zeal for music, they certainly do not translate into talent. While featuring on “Intro” by Nia Jia, who is signed to his label, it is extremely hard to make out what Rio is saying. In any case, while he probably will not become the P-Diddy of the Premier League, fans will almost certainly remember the 33-year-old as a footballing legend.

8 – Carlos Tevez

The Argentinean has teamed up with his brother over the years to form pop group Piola Vago. Behind the mic Tevez is a mere shadow of the man that torments Premiership defences; but did score a major in Argentina with “Lose Your Control”. But fans dreaming for more might have to wait as Tevez has dented any hopes that he will quit Manchester City and return home. He revealed via Twitter this week that he is “settled” and focused on helping the English champions retain their title.

7 –  Lukas Podolski

Emirates new-boy, Lukas Podolski, might just have the “va-va-voom” to end Arsenal’s seven year barren run. The German forward recently featured on “Halleluja” by German pop group Brings. If he can transfer his moves from the video onto the pitch, then it would help Arsenal fans get over the expected loss of Robin van Persie – who said he will not sign a new contract with the club. But despite having some rhythm, Podolski’s vocal abilities suggest he should probably stick to the day job.

6 – Ryan Babel

The former Liverpool man was not a Kop favourite like John Barnes, but he certainly has the rap skills to match him. While not being outstanding, Babel’s musical efforts are far from embarrassing. In a collaboration with Dutch trio – Darryl, Ali B and Soumia – Babel actually looks like he is having fun. The same cannot be said about his time at Anfield. However Babel now applies his trade in Germany with Hoffenheim, and while he is no pop idol, he is definitely not a pop criminal either.

5 – Asamoah Gyan

Asamoah Gyan: Don’t give up the day job just yet [GETTY]

Known as Baby Jet, Gyan is one of the more talented mic-controllers of world football. Teaming up with Castro, who is the 50 Cent of Ghanaian rap, Gyan demonstrates a number of fancy footsteps in the video for “African Girls”. He will need those, and more, as he is pursuing a career in boxing with his first match scheduled for September. In the meantime reports suggest he will seek a permanent move away from Sunderland to the Middle East.

4 – Karim Benzema

The Real Madrid man is the real deal when it comes to music, according to French rapper Rohff. He teamed up with the striker on the song “Fais moi la passé” and claims Benzema “raps like a God”. The Frenchman has no plans to pursue a rap career; but considering Rohff’s endorsement and the fact that he has over two million “likes” on Facebook, he arguably has the credentials to make it big in hip hop.

3 – Djibril Cissé

While Emile Heskey sometimes mimicked being a DJ for goal celebrations, Djibril Cissé destroys turn-tables for real. During his time at Marseille, the French striker released his album “The DJ Inside Me” which featured one the biggest names in the French music, Big Ali. Cissé’s football is certainly in tune these days as he bagged six goals in eight games to keep QPR in the Premiership.

2 – Emmanuel Frimpong

The midfielder has music in his blood. He is the cousin of British rapper Lethal Bizzle – who he raps with on the remix of “Leave it yeah”. His rapping combined with provocative tweets and a fiery personality have helped him develop a presence at Arsenal – despite only a handful of first-team appearances. It is unclear whether his manager at the Emirates, Arsene Wenger, approves of his hip hop antics, but from the evidence at hand, the Ghanaian seems to have what it takes to cut it in the music world.

1 – Clint Dempsey

It is no great surprise that an American tops our list. In “Don’t tread” Dempsey shows he is not just a footballing Vanilla Ice, but a rapper equipped with witty lines like “think soccer ain’t a sport, then why’d Nike sign me?” Going by the alias of Deuce, the Fulham striker is not planning an album and says his main focus is football. Reports suggest he will join Liverpool this summer, and if that happens, his hip hop vibe could make him Anfield’s new “Spice Boy” – a label once donned by the likes of Steve McManaman and Robbie Fowler. If he can have the same impact as them, then Deuce could become a Kop Idol.

That’s our top ten. What are your suggestions?

Source : Al Jazeera

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