7 Footballers Who Featured on TV Shows After Neymar Rocks Up in Netflix’s Money Heist

​So, while in the midst of being embroiled in the most tedious and sleep-inducing transfer saga in recent memory, Neymar thought it best to avert everyone’s gaze towards the magnificent creation we all love and adore, television.

Money Heist on Netflix is about, you guessed it, an almighty heist that plans to steal a rather large sum of money. Seems rather fitting for the 27-year-old to get involved in a plot line such as that, but nevertheless, he’s not the first footballer to have a crack at scripted television.

No and, as a matter of fact, more have done so then you’d think. Well, at least more than I knew. And, while a few may have been before some of the younger readers’ time, some of the faces featured here certainly won’t be unfamiliar to most.

Robbie Keane – Mrs Brown’s Boys

Robbie Keane

With over 251 career goals at club level, Robbie Keane sure knew how to play football. However, oh my good lord he could not do an accent.

Far out in front on the all-time scoring chart for his country, Keane is arguably one of the first names that spring to mind when you speak of Irish football. Another thing that pops into most people’s heads when you say Ireland is Mrs Brown’s Boys, if you haven’t physically ripped out the part of your brain dedicated to 

Playing for LA Galaxy at the time, huge fan of the show Keane ended up making a brief cameo as a Mormon from America (alongside snooker star Ken Doherty), bringing to the table a hugely questionable impersonation and…well, being Robbie Keane. Except not being Robbie Keane. Short but sweet would best describe his appearance.

Gianfranco Zola, Martin Keown & More – Renford Rejects

Arsenal v Chelsea Martin Keown

This classic comedy centred around a five-a-side team who couldn’t make it into their school side, forming their own aspiring outfit.

It ran on Nickelodeon UK between 1998-2001 (and to this day on re-runs) but while the main cast went on to enjoy some relative success in their chosen field, the most memorable stars were the ones who only made guest appearances. And there were plenty of them.

On the show, the likes of Ian Rush, Gianfranco Zola, Martin Keown, Shaka Hislop, Roberto Di Matteo, Jon Harley, John Terry, Kasey Keller and Harry Redknapp all featured, while members of England’s 1966 World Cup-winning squad also made cameos.

Gary Lineker – All in the Game

Gary Lineker

Fair play to Gary Lineker, he’s been around the block. That’s not saying he’s played at umpteen clubs or what have you, he’s just, done a lot of stuff. 

Now the long-running host of Match of the Day, Lineker also had gave TV a shot with a mini-series he helped write back in 1993. Sticking to what he knew – instead of going gung-ho about a fire-breathing police chief who secretly is plotting to overthrow the Queen – he wrote about…..a footballer.

Yes, the story centred around an English player who moved abroad to ply his trade and ended up being pretty good at it. Whatever your opinion on Lineker is, there’s a creative genius underneath that silver hair. Furthermore, as you’d expect, he popped up on the show once or twice.

Cesc Fabregas – The Cesc Fabregas Show

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This was different but, to be fair to the young Spaniard, not atrocious by any means. ​Cesc Fabregas, playing for ​Arsenal at the time, starred as himself in this hour-long drama for Nike.

Broadcast on Sky, the one-off show saw Fabregas feature in several sketches with Gunners teammates Abou Diaby, Philippe Senderos and Nicklas Bendtner, as well as manager Arsene Wenger and Little Britain star Matt Lucas.

His acting left a little to be desired at times, but he did a fairly decent job. It was one of those shows that was quite bad which, in turn, made it kinda good? Ish?

Luis Boa Morte – Grange Hill

Alan Curbishley,Luis Boa Morte

Running for a solid 30 years, Grange Hill became a staple of growing up in England, with the show pushing the boundaries of children’s shows during its time for openly addressing lesser discussed subject matter such as homosexuality, drug abuse and crime.

Which of course meant former Arsenal and ​West Ham winger Luis Boa Morte was due an appearance, right?

Fortunately for the Portuguese winger, he avoided such areas of discussion. Instead, ​he made a cameo in a 1999 episode by playing himself and handing out prizes during a school sports day, with a beaming smile etched across his face the whole time.

Honourable mention, obviously, for Boa Morte’s appearance on ‘go on, show us around your house then’ show Cribs – where he showed off his car (Vauxhall Corsa), living room (‘I don’t spend much time here’), home cinema (cardboard box full of DVDs) and back garden (‘I’ve never been here before’). 

David Beckham – Only Fools and Horses


One of the UK’s most beloved shows starring one of the UK’s most beloved men. A match made in heaven.

We were all treated to ‘Del Boy’, Rodney and the gang meeting up with the former England captain’s on a special Comic Relief episode back in 2014. In his classic ‘wheeler and dealer’ approach, Del Boy attempts to sell some David Beckham underwear with the former ​Manchester United star’s signature on the back.

It’s a great watch, and even better, Beckham repeats one of the all-time most memorable scenes from British television in his own, stupendous way. Well worth a watch.

Michael Owen – Hero to Zero

Michael Owen

Did you ever see Looking for Eric, the magical realism Ken Loach film, where Eric Cantona appears out of the blue to help a middle-aged Man Utd fan navigate the trials and tribulations of life? Well, this was exactly that but nine years before. Ken Loach, you thief! 

In 2000, the year before Michael Owen won the Ballon d’Or no less, Michael Owen appeared out of the poster on a young boy’s bedroom wall to dish out life advice to protagonist Charlie Brice.

The show only ran for six episodes on CBBC and sadly there is very little of Owen’s (presumably) De Niro-like acting left on the internet for the world to see.

​Still, we’ll always have…


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