Which football personalities are most like Wimbledon’s stars?

Seed 1: Novak Djokovic

The Contenders

Mario Balotelli: Both sports stars are known for their extroverted personalities and wacky behaviour off the court. Although Balotelli’s antics lead to slightly more serious consequences than Djokovic’s (remember the fireworks). Not quite a perfect match as Djokovic is only likely to get a telling off from Maria Sharapova due to his hilarious impressions of her in-game idiosyncrasies and not a police caution. Balotelli is also slightly more mysterious than Djokovic as we’re only given insights into his private life through sensationalist media stories and rare interviews with Noel Gallagher.

Lionel Messi: Simply because they are both seen as the best in this moment in time. Both players names immediately cues a ‘Are they the greatest of all time?’ debate before the room universally agrees it is impossible to decide but that they are the best in this moment of time. Pele, McEnroe, Maradona, Borg, Messi!? Djokovic!? Only retrospective will create a sure place for these stars in history.

Seed 2: Andy Murray

The Contenders

Sir Alex Ferguson: Both are machine like Scotsman who immediately quell their in-game flusters with confident and to the point interviews. Murray, of course, does not quite have the unwavering winning attitude of Sir Alex, but he still has time to become one of the greats of the game, especially if all the favourites for Wimbledon continue to get injured by the slippery grass courts in years to come. Murray has also recently given some of his time up to let the BBC present a revealing documentary, whereas Sir Alex only recently let the BBC talk to him again. Not a perfect match, and possibly does not go beyond superficial national stereotypes.

Paul Scholes: Stereotyped as quiet and highly professional athletes who do not wish to adhere to the increasing celebrity element within sport.  Highly efficient and consistent sportsman who only let the cameras and the interviewers into their private lives once in a blue moon. However, it seems as though Murray is buckling under media interest about his private life, yet this has been a successful exploration from Murray so far (watch the BBC documentary you’ll see what I mean). Scholes, now retired, will quietly go about his business just as he has done throughout his career.

Several National Teams who haven’t won the big one: At this point in time, Murray has not won Wimbledon. I hope this has changed by Sunday. But in the meantime, Murray remains in the realms of football national teams who have not won the World Cup such as Holland. In particular, Holland’s attempts in 1974 and 1978 where they were on paper the best team in the world reflects Murray’s struggles to appease the British public at everyone’s favourite Tennis tournament. Let’s just hope Murray’s career turns into the Spanish renaissance of 2008, 2010 and 2012.


Seed 3: Roger Federer

The Contenders

Thierry Henry: Known for bringing style, branding and VA-VA-VOOM to their respective games and ushering in a new generation of the cosmopolitan sportsman who acts coolly both on the field of play and in the adverts they get paid an extortionate amount of money to appear in. Potentially Henry’s light faded quicker than Federer’s as he is now seen as Arsenal’s greatest ever player rather than the world’s. However, neither sports star is likely to care once they’ve viewed their bank balances.

Jose Mourinho: Once again the coolness under pressure is a key factor in this comparison. Both are obviously ‘Special ones’ although Federer is far less arrogant than Mourinho and would never admit to being anything ‘Special’. Both are success and money making experts who appear unwavering in their pursuit of success with style. Mourinho’s style comes from his press conferences rather than his conservative footballing outlook whereas Federer’s comes in the way he floats across the court rather than his slightly mundane and robotic interviews.

Johan Cruyff: Both bring an unconventional look and mildly rock/ pop star element to their respective games. Cruyff is slightly more of a rock star with the shaggy hair and thin, yet somehow athletic body. Federer is more of a pop star, with mass popularity and a certain light and likeable element to his gameplay. Both brought innovation during lull periods within their sports, Cruyff’s ‘Total Football’ was the new style implemented after Brazil’s in 1970, whereas Federer destroyed the big serving of Sampras and the void which was left after his decline by introducing a more refined and stylised, technique driven game.

 Seed 4: David Ferrer

The Contenders

Andrea Pirlo: Both often overlooked on lists of the world’s best players despite their incredible consistency. Their games may not be the most interesting (bar Pirlo’s amazing free kick accuracy) but they get the job done the majority of the times they play. Both are also uninterested by the media spotlight, doing their job and saying no more than is required. Dogged and fit, they would be the heroes of their sports if the sporting world wasn’t so engulfed by celebrity culture.

Chelsea in 11/2012 and Wigan in 2012/13: Defying expectations despite their lack of firepower and going on to record some impressive results. However, Chelsea and Wigan succeeded in their respective campaigns whereas Ferrer is yet to secure a grand slam trophy. He is more about an incredible individual result rather than managing to win the whole thing.

Seed 5: Rafael Nadal

The Contenders

Glenn Hoddle: Both have highly superstitious beliefs that often aggravate the public. Hoddle is of course famous for his firing as England manager after comments made about his belief in past lives and karma, however he did say that Chelsea’s Champions League victory was written in the stars so maybe we should start exploring Hoddle’s controversial beliefs a little bit closer. Maybe we should also be exploring Nadal’s superstitious behaviour if it has brought him this much success up to this point. The one that seems to particularly grate on people is the water bottles facing the end Nadal is playing. However, in all honesty, if we take away the superstition and voodoo these two are still excellent sportsmen.

Gareth Bale: Incredible use of the left side of the body means that these two athletes share similarities. Nadal is known for his lasso whip forehand and Bale for his dipping, curving free kicks and shots which bamboozle goalkeepers. Speaking of bamboozling opponents, there must be nothing more satisfying to Nadal than when he hits his inside out forehand to send his opponent the wrong way. Two strong, young competitors who have raised the bar in terms of fitness and bravado in their respective sports.