It’s official, elite footballers are smarter than you and me. Yes, that’s right David ‘not much going on inside my head’ Beckham and Alan ‘not much to say’ Shearer are much more intelligent than everyone in Derry. Hold on, this couldn’t be right.
That may be so but when it comes to sounding like complete Neanderthals it’s hard to find a more worthy bunch than that of the professional footballer.
Here are a few of my favourite examples of football foolishness. (Prepare to laugh, some of these will have you in stitches).
David Beckham once said: “I definitely want Brooklyn to be christened, but I don’t know into what religion yet.”
Newsflash ‘Becks’ if you are a Muslim or a Hindu you can’t be christened. Leave it to the professionals and just concentrate on you suntan in L.A.
The less than insightful Alan Shearer once uttered the unforgettable phrase: “I never wanted to leave. I’m here for the rest of my life, and hopefully after that as well.” Enough said!
Ian Rush either had a lobotomy or required geography lessons when he said of his time at Juventus: “I couldn’t settle in Italy. It was like living in a foreign country.” Oh my God, how are you still breathing oxygen?
But my favourite of all time and it doesn’t necessarily convey how stupid footballers can be, instead, it reveals how completely out of his tree Gordon Strachan is and was.
The former Celtic and Coventry boss once said: “The world looks a totally different place after two wins. I can even enjoy watching Blind Date or laugh at Noel’s House Party.”
I don’t know what it means but for some reason it makes me laugh!
The fact that some footballers are, say, a little slow on the uptake, is incidental to this profession. I know doctors who wouldn’t be able to have a conversation with another human being without feeling uncomfortable. I know teachers who wouldn’t know the capital of China and I know of one person who works in a bookies wouldn’t be able to pay out a £10 on an even money shot (honestly, I do!).
Intelligence is totally subjective. It has to be talked about in context and that’s exactly what the researchers in Sweden have done.
The report describes a footballer’s IQ as ‘Game Intelligence’. It’s fair enough to say that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo wouldn’t be able to fly a plane or perform open heart surgery but they abound in some sort of intelligence otherwise they wouldn’t be able to do what it is they do.
Some say that it’s simply down to their physicality but that can’t be right. Look at the likes of George Best, Paul McGrath and Paul Gascoigne; they played everyone else on the field of play around them off the pitch when they were still drunk.
No! I am going to throw in with the Swedes. When it comes to playing at the top level of football ‘Game Intelligence’ is much more important than knowing how to spell your name... then again!