Jatin ∙ Updated: Jun 8 2023, 4:52 PM | 5 Min Read

From Kohli to Rohit: Cricketers and Their Favourite Footballers

image-limzn788Virat Kohli & Harry Kane (Instagram)

In the sporting arena, athletes often find inspiration and admiration beyond their own discipline. Cricket has also seen its players develop a fondness for other sports, including football. These cricketers' adulation for footballers is a perfect example of the cross-pollination of talent and skills between two popular sports.

Besides the fact that the two sports allow teams to play eleven players, cricket and football, though distinct in their rules and playing styles, share common elements of teamwork, skill, and athleticism. It is no wonder that cricketers, who spend hours honing their craft on the cricket pitch, also appreciate the artistry and excellence displayed by football players on the field.

These cricketers, respected and celebrated in their own right, look up to football icons who embody qualities that resonate with their own approach to the game.

In this listicle, we take a look at ten cricketers who love football and their favourite footballers.

10. Jos Buttler – Lionel Messi

image-lin1dc7rMessi has been a legend for Argentina [Source: Twitter]

Jos Buttler has expressed his adulation for the Argentine football legend Lionel Messi. Buttler, known for his explosive batting skills on the cricket field, is also a passionate fan of the beautiful game of football, and he holds Messi in high regard for his extraordinary talent and accomplishments. The stumper once called him his sporting 'idol' and considers him the best footballer on the planet.

9. Mohammad Amir – Sergio Aguero

Mohammad Amir's favourite footballer is one of the best strikers, Sergio Aguero, which he revealed in a conversation with ESPNcricinfo. The southpaw holds the former Manchester City forward in high regard for his stunning goal-scoring ability. While Amir excels in cricket, he finds inspiration in Agüero's footballing prowess and admires the qualities that have made him one of the most respected and accomplished strikers of his generation.

8. Moeen Ali – Fernando Torres

Moeen Ali holds a special place in his heart for his favourite footballer, Fernando Torres. The Spaniard's contributions to Liverpool during his time at the club left a lasting impression on the cricketer-turned-football-enthusiast. In the past, while reflecting on his most cherished game as a Liverpool supporter, Moeen recalled the epic 2005 Champions League final.

7. Ravichandran Ashwin – Diego Maradona

image-lin1fj37Maradona holding FIFA World Cup [Source: Twitter]

Ravichandran Ashwin has a profound admiration for the legendary footballer Diego Maradona. The Argentine veteran defied all odds to establish himself as one of the greatest players in the history of the sport. Maradona's mesmerizing abilities on the field, which are now part of folklore, left a lasting impact on Ashwin. In an interview, Ashwin confirmed that Diego Maradona is indeed his favourite footballer.

6. Jofra Archer – Wayne Rooney

Jofra Archer, known for his ability to thrive in intense situations, attributes this quality to his childhood hero, Wayne Rooney. The former England striker, widely regarded as one of the country's greatest footballers, inspired the speedster with his skills and goal-scoring prowess. 

In his prime, Rooney was a force to be reckoned with on the football field. Rooney's aggressive attacking style and his uncanny knack for breaking down opposition defences captivated Archer and played a significant role in shaping his own sporting aspirations.

5. Yuvraj Singh – Cristiano Ronaldo

image-lin1h5fdRonaldo is one of the finest-ever footballers [Source: Twitter]

Yuvraj Singh holds Manchester United as his favourite football club. However, when it comes to his favourite footballer, he looks no further than the Portuguese icon, Cristiano Ronaldo. In an interview with Viacom18 before the 2022 Qatar World Cup, Yuvraj openly expressed his admiration for Ronaldo and revealed him to be his top choice in the world of football.

4. Ab de Villiers – Lionel Messi

According to a quote published by Times Now, Ab de Villiers expressed his admiration for Lionel Messi, identifying him as his favourite player. The South African described Messi as a no-nonsense player who does not engage in deception on the field. He emphasized the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner’s exceptional skills and the remarkable capability to turn the tide of a game in an instant.

3. Jasprit Bumrah – Zlatan Ibrahimovic

image-lin1jk9iIbrahimovic recently announced his retirement [Source: Twitter]

Jasprit Bumrah’s favourite footballer is Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Known for his distinct style and a towering presence on the football field, Ibrahimovic has garnered a massive fan following, and it appears that his journey has deeply inspired the fast bowler. 

The 29-year-old frequently shares motivational quotes related to Zlatan on his social media accounts. Recently, following Ibrahimovic's retirement from professional football, an emotional Bumrah took to social media to express his gratitude and pay tribute to the football icon for his tremendous influence on him.

2. Rohit Sharma – Zinedine Zidane

Rohit Sharma has a strong affinity for football and has established a notable connection with the sport. He proudly serves as India's brand ambassador for the renowned Spanish League, La Liga. 

In the past, when questioned about his favourite footballer and the player he closely follows, Rohit enthusiastically named none other than the iconic Zinedine Zidane, who is renowned for his illustrious career with Real Madrid and his status as one of the greatest footballers of all time.

1. Virat Kohli – Cristiano Ronaldo

Virat Kohli is widely known for his love for the beautiful game of football. The former Indian captain's passion for football is evident through various instances, such as engaging in football sessions during practice before crucial matches and his ownership of the Indian Super League (ISL) franchise, FC Goa. When Kohli was asked about his favourite footballer, he singled out Cristiano Ronaldo as the most complete player he has witnessed.

The 35-year-old praised Ronaldo's exceptional abilities with both his left and right foot, his speed, and his impressive dribbling skills. He went on to describe the Portugal legend as an incredible goal scorer, emphasizing his proficiency in finding the back of the net. According to him, Ronaldo's exceptional drive sets him apart from everyone else. While acknowledging that top-level athletes possess talent, Kohli firmly believes that no one matches the sheer willpower that Ronaldo exhibits on the field.