Sports & Recreation

Football Players Who Are Talented Martial Artists


When you have powerful kicks, learning how to weaponize them seems like a logical next step, and some of the football players definitely agree. In other words, there are a few synergies between football and martial arts that are definitely worth exploring. For example, martial arts teach us how to fall properly to avoid serious injuries, which can definitely come in handy if you want to fake a foul. Also, if you love betting on sports and measuring odds you should use the advantage of Allwin City bonus code, and take into consideration which players are more intimidating because they are martial artists.

All jokes aside, being interested and practicing martial arts is awesome, and if football players inspire their fans to take up that sport as well, all the better. So, here we will go over a few of the famous football players who are also talented in the arts of self-defense and discipline.

Chris Smalling

Praised for playing defense in both England and Manchester United, Chris has won over the fans of football all over the world. However, before he became dedicated to football, Chris was fully committed to judo as a teenager. He was a national champion at one point, and recently he visited his old dojo where he received a warm welcome from previous trainers. Furthermore, he had a backup plan, just in case his football career did not work out, and that is studying business management.

Bolo Zenden

One of Bolo’s colleagues once said that Zenden used one of his karate moves on him. Of course, it was just a joke and he also said how he continuously taunted Bolo to show him one of his techniques. Bolo Zenden is not a master of karate, but he is very talented in Judo. In fact, Zenden earned a black belt at the age of 14 and won a champion title 3 times back in Limburg. So, there is no need to doubt what he is capable of, the titles speak for themselves.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

In the hometown of Malmo Zlatan became a black-belt Taekwon-Do fighter at the age of 17. Thanks to these martial arts skills Ibrahimovic shined on the pitch, awarding the spectators with some of the most sublime volleys and meticulous ball control. This legendary striker is also known for kicking his teammates, so it’s hard not to think that he and Chris Smalling did not have sparing sessions while they were both playing for Manchester United.

Bixente Lizarazu

Bixente always had multiple extra-curricular activities such as surfing, and ice racing. However, in 2008 he decided to pivot his sports efforts and focus on martial arts. With the help of Yannick Beven, who is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, Bixente embarked on a journey of mastering BBJ.

It only took 18 months, and Bixente’s dedication started to bear fruit. The player from Bayern became a European Champion in the senior lightweight division in 2009. Of course, these were only blue belt fighters, but showing such promise at the age of 39 after year and a half of training is really amazing. It seems that he was not just ready to retire from competing in sports.