- Stereotypes about intelligence aren’t fair according to research.
- We take a look at some of the brightest men to play the beautiful game.
We all think Football and brains don’t go together, but a recent study is making us rethink this assumption. A group of players were found to perform cognitive tasks better than most PHD students, proof that reading the game requires an intelligence that probably doesn’t manifest itself in an ability to boss your way through University Challenge. In honour of these findings we decided to compile a list of players who have ‘conventional’ smarts by doing the ‘academy-academia’ double.
The striker’s uncle, Michel Goba, made sure the player kept on top of his studies. Didier focused on accountancy when he was playing semi-professionally for Le Mans. At age eleven he audited his parents, believe me there were some discrepancies and he was grounded.
The former Portsmouth and West Ham player graduated from Howard University with honours in mechanical engineering. Not impressed? he went on to intern at NASA before being scouted by Reading, how do you like that! Fucking rocket scientist, although I guess it’s not brain surgery.
The Trinidadian also has some pretty smart parenting game.
Playing footie with my 8 yr old son. He scores and says “no wonder Gerard kept scoring on you”. I’ve put him up for adoption.
— Shaka Hislop (@ShakaHislop) July 7, 2015
Saving Neymar’s penalty was a piece of piss.
Steve’s current wonderings in the managerial abyss are down to the immense discomfort of having to sit in the dugout with his gigantic testicles. The former player completed an Economics degree at Liverpool university whilst playing first team football for United. That takes brass.
The former Southampton and West Ham player has some brains to match that
beauty career. Before turning professional he completed an engineering degree at the University of Hertfordshire.
Arshavin enrolled at the St Petersburg University of Technology and Design to study, you guessed it, Fashion!? The Russian originally intended to study chemical technology but transferred after his training prevented him from attending classes. He apparently chose the topic because “there were lots of girls among the students,” hmmm that sounds like a locker room excuse to me. Unfortunately the player’s striking has been derilicting balls lately – he now plays for the Russian powerhouse Kuban Krasnodar FC.
Johnson has transferred his work ethic to pursue a maths degree on the side and it’s all to prove a teacher wrong. “My teachers at school used to say ‘you ain’t going to do anything, you ain’t going to achieve anything’. So I was thinking ‘I’ll show you’. “I love the planning and problem solving, equations, working out, for example, how much fuel a plane needs,” the player added. This all feels very ‘Good Will Hunting’. Hats off to the man.
Further proof you wouldn’t mess with the Croatian, Bilic read law at university and is said to analyse American psychology books to understand his players.
No list would be complete without this man, he is one of the most mysterious people to ever play the game. A qualified doctor who spent much of his post-career publishing articles on economics and politics, he listed Castro, Che Guevara and Lenin amongst his heroes. He campaigned for democracy off the pitch and his random signing for Garforth Town perfectly summed up the randomness of a genius. R.I.P