By 90Min
April 07, 2019

Footballers trying their hand at the ridiculous world or professional wrestling once they hang up their boots is not unheard of. Norwich legend Grant Holt kicks about on the UK independent scene these days, and former Werder Bremen goalkeeper Tim Wiese even spent two years in the big leagues with WWE.

So, with WrestleMania happening today (7 April) it seems like as good a time as ever to guess at some other football personalities who would succeed on the Grandest Stage of Them All. 


Paul Pogba 

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There's a certain intangible, indefinable factor that makes a good performer a great performer. In the world of professional wrestling, it's known as the 'it' factor, and if anyone has 'it' then Manchester United enigma Paul Pogba has 'it.'


The fact that he outlasted Jose Mourinho's tenure at Old Trafford tells you he has the mental strength required to make the cut, and he has the charisma and confidence - without taking himself too seriously - required to get himself over with the WWE crowds. He's also a physical specimen, which could serve him well when it comes to taking a spear from Roman Reigns without snapping in two. 


Cristiano Ronaldo

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In many ways, Ronaldo is football's answer to John Cena. He is the reliable face of the brand, and he always performs on the big stage. 


He carries with him a big enough name that he could quite easily cross over into wrestling and be recognised without having to invest time in building up his character from scratch. He's a phenomenal athlete, and while he's extremely likeable, he's also rich and handsome enough to play the Ric Flair 'better than you' bad guy, should the situation call for it. 

He's already done literally everything in football so he may as well go on and become a Grand Slam champion in WWE. Would you put it past him? 


Raheem Sterling

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Jamaican-Born England Flop Spends HUNDREDS on Flight to US as He Embraces VIOLENT NATURE in WWE Dream


This one is worth dreaming up just for the ridiculous headlines that would emerge from certain newspapers. WWE's cruiserweight division has stagnated a bit of late, so the addition of Sterling - a fresh, young, hard-working babyface with the world at his feet - could really get things back on the right track.

His lightning pace and agility means he would have an immediate advantage when it comes to his in-ring work, and his character really writes itself; the Daniel Bryan-esque underdog who overcomes adversity to eventually become smallest WWE Champion ever. By far. 


Zinedine Zidane

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Sometimes, all it takes to get yourself over in wrestling is one iconic move or slogan, one distinguishing feature that resonates with the fans. The Rock had the People's Elbow, Stone Cold had the Stunner, and Triple H had that thing where he spat water into the air. Zidane, known around the world as the guy who once headbutted that other guy at the World Cup, has the headbutt. 

While it might be a bit late for Zizou to embark on a full-time career in-ring, he has the charisma to get by as a successful manager who acts as a mouthpiece for his client and then sticks the head on their opponent when the ref isn't looking. Don't lie, yes you would watch that. 


Jurgen Klopp

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Perhaps more than anything, intensity is required to succeed in wrestling. So...need I go further?  

 

The Liverpool boss is capable of being absolutely terrifying, and has motivational skills up there with anyone in management. He'd perhaps play the Triple H role of on-screen authority figure for most of the year, and dust off his ring gear for a match every now and then when the situation merits it. 

He'd also definitely enter the ring to Rammstein.


Adama Traore

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This one is quite self-explanatory. Look at the man. He's a unit. He has arms bigger than Rey Mysterio's torso.  


Physically, there's no question that he is up to the task. Whether or not he can deliver a story or sell a pedigree remains to be seen, but it's certainly something worth thinking about if the whole Wolves thing doesn't work out for him. 


Jose Mourinho

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"How many Premier Leagues has Vince McMahon won? I've won it three times. I am the greatest WWE Superstar of all time."


Mourinho is football's greatest heel of the last decade. The guy is an absolutely masterful wind-up merchant, and that could be used to great effect in the ring. 


His last season at United was testament to his abilities, as he spent five months telling everyone how great he was despite very obviously failing. Ed Woodward finally snapped and smashed him with a steel chair, and now he's out of work. One can only hope for a surprise guest appearance at 'Mania. 


Zlatan Ibrahimovic

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We've saved the best for last here, because this is the one we all really want to see. Zlatan, in a WWE ring, karate kicking people left, right and centre, and declaring himself the greatest wrestler in the world despite not even having a match yet.


He's already hinted at wanting to go into movies, and given that he's an astounding athlete who does martial arts training in his spare time, wrestling isn't even that much of a stretch. 


He's Zlatan, after all. He can do anything. The only reason Brock Lesnar still has the Universal Championship is because Zlatan hasn't decided to take it yet.

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