Unprofessional Foul
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February 16, 2010

How Hard Can It Be?

As good as Ronaldinho? Chad thinks so.

Bengals wide receiver and ‘real football’ fan Chad Ochocinco says that if there is an NFL lockout next year he will play professional footy in Italy or Spain.

The speedy egg catcher(32) is known for being a soccer fan, often tweeting pictures of himself with famous stars such as Thierry Henry and David Beckham.

He’s joking right?

 Actually no–he’s deadly serious.

“I played soccer before football, and I was good. That’s where I get my quick feet — my feet are unbelievable. When I got to high school [Miami Beach High], I had to choose between the sports because they were in the same season. I chose football because I saw more opportunity, but it broke my heart. I still follow soccer; I like to think I play football like Ronaldinho, with the trick moves and the anticipation.”- Chad Ochocinco, AKA Johnson, AKA Ronaldinho.

He even tweeted to ESPN’s Adam Schefter that he has a deal in place to play for AC Milan! If that ever happens I’ll eat a Milan hat and follow it up with a scarf, a shirt and maybe a pair of shorts.

Hilarious really; while he may be a great athlete and handy will a ball at his feet, to suggest that he can just play professional football because he was good at high school is just disrespectful to professional players all over the world who have worked hard for years to get where they are. However handy he may be, I guarantee he wont be better than the millions of current schoolboys in academies all over Europe who will never make it to the big time.

The Bengals star actually seems quite grounded, he often tweets his location and invites fans to join him for breakfast or lunch–but this is just ridiculous. 

I was pretty good at school too,  maybe I should send Paul Lambert a video and offer him my services.



About the Author

Norfolk Ned
I like football. What else is there to say?




27 Comments


  1. RFCSean

    I love OchoCinco, even though he plays for the rival Bungles. The guy always wants to have fun. If the NFL locks out the players, maybe he could play footie with the Crew.


  2. TFA

    If anything, this experiment would allow us to get a better idea of how the athletes in other American sports would perform if they chose to play soccer. The fantasy many of us soccer fans in America is that if we could just get the athletes from football and basketball to play soccer instead we would be a lot better. It’s a nice dream, but who knows if reality would be anything similar to the dream. I saw Ochocinco nee Johnson play some soccer (well play goalie and take a few spot kicks) during some NFL skills challenge a few years back. I was not overly impressed, but I would like to think given some time and training an athlete like Ochocinco could prove adept at another sport. Ronaldinho he would not be, but maybe a faster Brian Ching he could.


  3. Norfolk Ned

    @Sean, maybe Bode Miller could too, or maybe A-rod?


  4. Norfolk Ned

    @TFA Seems madness. Maybe Landon Donovan could be a pro baseball player or Beckham a corner back?

    As you know, fitness and speed are such a fraction when it comes to football. Skill and ability are everything and there are kids with oodles of both who will never make the big time as the best are quite frankly stunning. Youtake a pro from the EPL or Serie A and place them in a reg game with amateurs and they will walk from front to back without needing to pass. I’ve seen it.


  5. Ryan

    “However handy he may be, I guarantee he wont be better than the millions of current schoolboys in academies all over Europe who will never make it to the big time.”

    I don’t know Ned, I agree with you that there’s no way he could hack it in Serie A or anything close to that. But I would always rate the chances of success higher for a successful professional athlete than some kid who failed to pan out.


  6. The thing is, I have seen high level athletes just pick up sports they have never played before in short amounts of time and look real good doing it. High level athletes have a gift that allows them great control over their body. Sure, Ochocinco isn’t going to be Ronaldinho but who’s to say he couldn’t be a Grant Holt?

    Regardless, if this did happen, I believe it would be fun to watch.


  7. ebullientfatalist

    LeBron James as a keeper!


  8. ben

    Hey might be serious, but he’s kidding himself. Pure athleticism and perfect fitness isn’t enough. Remember Jordan trying out baseball?

    I’d be surprised if Chad survived a tryout at a USL club, let alone a top tier footy league.

    If he wants to visit Milan, I’m sure he knows a good travel agent.


  9. ben

    He might be…” dammit.


  10. Norfolk Ned

    @TFA He could’t play in any league, let alone score 24 goals in League One.


  11. Goat

    @Sean: Good to see another Crew supporter here. I’ve often wondered why they didn’t bring him out for some training to try to get some publicity.


  12. Ryan

    @Goat You must not know the Hunt Sports Group very well…


  13. Goat

    Yeah, but what about Hakeem Olajuwan and others who have transitioned from soccer to other sports? According to my brilliant logic, soccer is much harder than football (just think of all the kickers who seamlessly transition to football without growing up playing it!) or basketball and this little experiment is doomed to failure. That being said, I love Ochocinco and I’m sure he’s just having a little fun and promoting the game he loves. Now if only he’d play for the Browns.


  14. Norfolk Ned

    Hakeem Olajuwan was not a professional footballer was he?


  15. Goat

    The distinction between professionals and amateurs in Nigeria was a little hazy back then but I think he was named Lagos’s “Mr. Soccer” in 1977.


  16. wacman1389

    Goat you want on the Browns???? Well, at least when he leaps into the Dawg Pound we won’t dump beer on him


  17. ben

    @Goat: 1977? He was 14 then.


  18. Norfolk Ned

    @Goat, his Wiki page said he played when he was 15. I played Tennis from 8-17, but there is no way I could have been a pro.


  19. Goat

    You and your “facts”


  20. Goat

    @Ned: I agree with you. I don’t think there’s any way he or Kobe (who also grew up playing soccer) or any other athlete for that matter could play professionally (MLS is a different matter, though). I think Ochocinco knows it too and is just engaging in a little self promotion which he has been known to do from time to time.


  21. Goat

    @wacman: I’d like anyone with an ounce of talent to play for the Browns. And for the Browns to pay their players who actually have talent.


  22. Goat

    This isn’t really apropos of anything (other than the sorry state of American soccer, maybe) but last night Cling Mathis was a guest on Fox Football Fone-In. As they were going to commercial, they were showing a Jermain Defoe goal from the weekend. As they were leading into the highlight, Eric Wynalda could be heard saying to Mathis (presumably, although I suppose he could have been talking to that moronic eye candy) “this is the kid I was telling you about.” Leaving aside for a minute Wynalda’s tendency to call everyone a “kid”, what does it say that Mathis, a former poster boy for Los Gringos and veteran of several European leagues including Germany, didn’t appear to know who Jermain Defoe was?


  23. Ted

    He is tall and has a powerful leg so he would be able to take a nice shot if he was completely open and would be valuable on corners.

    Damn, I just described Kenwyne Jones.


  24. nick

    Pure athleticism has to count for something. There’s always some beast with a horrible touch scoring tons of goals in Hungary or Ukraine.


  25. Norfolk Ned

    @Nick then he would be good at the tour de france?


  26. nick

    @Ned

    He probably thinks so.



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