Top 10 Most Intelligent Football (Soccer) Players

Swedish researchers have concluded that professional footballers are considerably more intelligent than they are given credit for.

In 2013, Paul McVeigh published a book entitled ‘The Stupid Footballer is Dead: Insights into the Mind of a Professional Footballer’ delving into the demand for sharp and speedy thinking required on the pitch from a modern soccer player.

But 30 years before this book, Sócrates proved that there was such thing as a brainy soccer player.

The Top TenXW


A Brazilian player, nicknamed "Doctor Socrates" for his doctorate in medicine and his political and socio-economic knowledge. He co-founded a political movement named the Corinthians Democracy.
He is the only player in the world who finished medical school while playing soccer and also was one of the few who practiced it after leaving the football world.
You can learn more about his intellectual capacity from my list "Top 10 Interesting Facts About The Football (Soccer) Player Sócrates". - Metal_Treasure

2Frank LampardFrank James Lampard is an English professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for New York City FC in Major League Soccer.

Frank Lampard is a famous and controversial Chelsea player (UK), known as “The Professor” by his teammates.

Mensa, the association of smart people, tested Frank Lampard in 2009 and he scored one of the highest marks ever recorded (his IQ was over 150).

His GCSE exams were mindblowing, too - he scored maximum points by obtaining only A’s, including an A in Latin.

The Chelsea doctor also tested Frank and he scored the highest point the firm ever recorded.

Ironically, Lampard had many appearances in the media for foolish acts where he was doing something immoral, wrong or illegal. Does smartness come with some bad sides? - Metal_Treasure

3Shaka HislopNeil Shaka Hislop is a former football goalkeeper. The majority of his career was spent in the top division in England where he was a part of the Newcastle United team which finished second in the Premier League for two successive seasons under Kevin Keegan's first tenure.

He's a former Newcastle United goalkeeper.
Shaka Hislop took smartness to another level and began his career by earning a scholarship to play soccer at Howard University in the U.S. He obtained a degree in Mechanical Engineering and then joined NASA as an intern for a while. Not many footballers can say they worked for NASA, but Shaka Hislop can.
Currently he's known for his blog work for The Guardian and his analytical work for ESPN as a soccer commentator.
So, from Trinidad and Tobago to Howard to The Premier League (UK), and to The Guardian and ESPN.
He is also one of only two non-British members, alongside Pele, to be inducted into the PFA's Roll of Honor. - Metal_Treasure

4Dennis BergkampDennis Nicolaas Maria Bergkamp is a Dutch former professional footballer, who is the assistant manager to Frank de Boer at Ajax.

He is miles ahead of his peers in the brains department. Maybe he was perceived as a shady player back in the day because he was able to use his wits. While playing for Arsenal, Bergkamp earned himself a degree in Medical Engineering at the University of Bath. He is currently an assistant manager for Frank de Boer at Ajax. - Metal_Treasure

5Yuto Nagatomo

He has a Bachelor in Economics and he has also written two books. - Metal_Treasure

6Clarke CarlisleClarke James Carlisle is an English former professional footballer who played as a defender and was chairman of the Professional Footballers' Association.

He won the “Britain’s Brainiest Footballer” in 2002 - a contest where soccer players test their intelligence and respond to different questions from mathematics, English and general knowledge.

He obtained 10 A grades at the GCSE exams. Carlisle also obtained a degree in Professional Sports Writing and Broadcasting from Staffordshire University. - Metal_Treasure

7Johan Cruyff

He's on this this list for his noticeable intelligence and innovation on the pitch. - Metal_Treasure

8David WetherallDavid Wetherall is an English former footballer who played as a central defender, finishing his playing career with Bradford City at the end of the 2007–08 season.

The former English and Bradford City central defender, David has a first-class honors degree in Chemistry from Sheffield University. - Metal_Treasure

9Juan MataJuan Manuel Mata García is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Premier League club Manchester United and the Spain national team.

Juan Mata is an intelligent and articulate Spanish player and it shows in his playmaker's style of play. He has a degree in journalism and when he was transferred to Chelsea, he embarked upon several distance learning courses, including a Sports Science degree, Physical Education and Marketing.
When asked by The Independent about his unusual view towards education, he intelligently replied:
"I don't think football and studying are mutually exclusive. I am focused on my career but like to enjoy other things, like study for example." - Metal_Treasure

10Lionel MessiLionel Andrés "Leo" Messi is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish club Barcelona. He is also known as one of the greatest football players of all time. He was born in Rosario, Argentina on June 24th, 1987.

The Contenders

11Barry HorneBarry Horne is a Welsh former professional footballer, former chairman of the Professional Footballers' Association and sports television pundit.

Former Welsh professional and Everton footballer, Barry Horne has a first-class degree in Chemistry from the University of Liverpool. Barry is presently teaching chemistry and physics at Kings School in Chester, and is also the football director there. - Metal_Treasure

12Christiano Ronaldo
13Manuel NeuerManuel Peter Neuer is a German professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Bayern Munich and the Germany national team.
14Nedum OnuohaChinedum "Nedum" Onuoha is an English professional footballer who plays as a defender for Queens Park Rangers in the Football League Championship.
15Simon MignoletSimon Luc Hildebert Mignolet is a Belgian professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Premier League club Liverpool and the Belgium national team.
16Matthew Lawrence
17Seyi OlofinjanaSeyi George Olofinjana is a Nigerian footballer who play as a midfielder who last played for Start in Tippeligaen.
18Jean-Alain Boumsong
19Aaron RamseyAaron James Ramsey is a Welsh professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Premier League club Arsenal and the Wales national team.
20Riyad MahrezRiyad Mahrez is a professional footballer who plays for English club Leicester City and the Algerian national team as a winger.

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