Film Footballers: Ferris Le Tissier, Cristiano Zoolander, Darth Fergie and more
Sir Alex Ferguson (Darth Vader)
Imagine getting a half-time team talk from Darth Vader. It would focus your mind, right? True, the wheezing Vader would struggle to give you the Ferguson hair dryer treatment but the pair have plenty in common. Vader scares the crap out of people and uses mind games to bring his enemies to their knees. It’s a role made for Sir Alex.
Jose Mourinho (Han Solo)
The Blues boss would be perfect for the part of Star Wars’ swaggering scallywag. Solo may be arrogant as hell but you can’t help but love him nearly as much as he loves himself. With his sharp clothing, sarcastic wit and ability to charm even a reluctant Princess Leia, he is the Rebel Alliance’s Special One. (This is not to imply that Jose’s sidekick Rui Faria has anything in common with Chewbacca, although he does sport an impressive mane.)
Andy Gray (Melvin Udall)
In As Good As It Gets, Jack Nicholson’s novelist character Udall is asked how he writes female characters so accurately. “I think of a man, and I take away reason and accountability,” he replies. Gray would fill his misogynist shoes well. Perhaps after the first day’s filming, he would get a call from Richard Keys. “Did you smash it?” Keys would ask. Oh, the banter!
Cristiano Ronaldo (Derek Zoolander)
“I’m pretty sure there’s a lot more to life than being really, really good looking,” says Derek Zoolander. “And I plan on finding out what that is.” With gelled hair, a diamond earring, fashion line and even his own museum, the self-styled Portuguese man of phwoar could benefit from a similar journey.
David Moyes (The Woman In Black)
That haunted, haunted expression…
Joey Barton (Lukas ‘Luke’ Jackson)
In the 1960s film Cool Hand Luke, Paul Newman puts in a fine performance as the lead, Lukas Jackson. If they ever do a remake, Barton would surely fancy himself for the part. When Jackson is sent to jail he refuses to conform to the rules and becomes quite the rebellious philosopher. Some critics saw Jackson as a Christ-like martyr figure, itching to lead humanity to a messianic age. So, yeah, Barton would surely fancy himself for the part.
Arsene Wenger (Yoda)
‘Arsene Who?’ screamed the headlines when Mr Wenger was appointed Arsenal boss in 1996. Yoda’s backstory remains similarly mysterious in the Star Wars series. Yet he proves to be a wise tutor, with graduates everywhere you look. He is perhaps the only George Lucas character you could imagine guiding a Premier League side through an unbeaten season. The Gunners boss could also step in as C-3PO: just like the Frenchman, the golden droid loves to bicker. And he speaks six million languages, which is more or less the same number that the polyglot Wenger speaks.
Matt Le Tissier (Ferris Bueller)
Ferris isn’t a fan of the whole work ethic thing. He prefers to take it easy. During his famous Day Off, he dodges his teachers and parents as nimbly as Le Tissier dodged opposing defenders. “Life moves pretty fast,” says Ferris in the film. “If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Which is roughly how Le Tissier viewed the game of football.
Peter Crouch (The Never Ending Story’s 'Falkor')
Oh, come on, you didn’t really think we could get through a piece like this without a Crouch gag?
Roy Keane (Travis Bickle)
The older and angrier Roy Keane gets, the more he becomes like Taxi Driver’s lead. As he casts a fuming eye over the game, he must be busting to say: “Listen, you f*ckers, you screw-heads: here’s a man who would not take it anymore!” Whether he’s giving Gareth Southgate a death stare in the studio, slating all and sundry in his latest memoir or recalling his bust-up with Mick McCarthy, this brooding vigilante is waiting for the day that a real rain comes and washes all the scum off the street.
Brendan Rodgers (White Goodman)
The finest send-up of deluded management outside of Slough and Scranton, Dodgeball's White Goodman is the Brendan Rodgers of movieland. He is pompous, prone to vocally overestimating his own ability and habitually left looking a prat. Just a thought: perhaps when Rodgers threw away the title away at Selhurst Park he was doing a spot of method-acting research to step into Ben Stiller’s shoes for a sequel?
Luis Suarez (Hannibal Lecter)
He’s watching you carefully, you know. The moment you make a mistake he’ll pounce and destroy you. But enough about Luis Suarez, what of Hannibal Lecter? Well, the Silence of the Lambs anti-hero gives the authorities the runaround as he seeks his next neck to bite. He also manages to be the movie’s enduring star despite being on camera for only 16 minutes of the film. Suarez could easily fit that in among his regular suspensions. Okay, so Lecter prefers Chianti and Suarez is partial to Chiellini but it’s all Italian, right?
Luke Skywalker (Michael Owen)
Let’s cut to the chase here: one man’s clean-cut hero is another’s annoying little wimp. Owen has just the sort of blandly handsome features and beta-male vibe to step into Skywalker’s shoes. Like Skywalker, he surrendered to the Dark Side when he moved to Old Trafford, at least in the eyes of Liverpool fans. Also, the injury-prone striker wouldn’t need any direction at all in getting his hand sawn off with a lightsaber.
Terry Venables (Baloo)
Baloo’s a big loveable bear who easily wins the respect of his juniors. True, he occasionally rubs shoulders with the jungle’s shady characters but he has the warm charisma that wins you over every time. And can’t you just see El Tel on stage in some jazzy wine bar, clicking his fingers as he sings The Bare Necessities?