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Who are the players in Ted Lasso based on?

Ted Lasso
(Image credit: Apple TV+)

Apple TV+ show Ted Lasso is the story of Jason Sudeikis as a warm-hearted rookie in the role of a Premier League football manager - with a squad-sized cast of actors all playing footballers and club staff.

While AFC Richmond is a fictional club, however, much of the show references real life. Some of the characters themselves are even based on real-world counterparts in football. 

INTERVIEW FFT meets Jason Sudeikis of Ted Lasso

Sudeikis's character of Ted is himself based on Jurgen Klopp, according to reports. Though Klopp is a meticulous student of the game and has a background in the Bundesliga, the kind, genial man-manager aspect of Lasso's character is said to reflect the Liverpool boss. 


Elsewhere in the show, Roy Kent is influenced somewhat by near-namesake Roy Keane, as a gruff, box-to-box midfielder who captains the side. Unlike Keane, however, Kent is mentioned to have won a Champions League title with Chelsea before moving across London in the twilight of his career, bearing similarities with Gary Cahill. 

Jamie Tartt, on loan at AFC Richmond from Manchester City, is not said to be based on any particular player but rather an amalgamation of the stereotype of young footballers, in his brashness and egotism. There is, however, a reference to how Tartt's "right foot was kissed by God"; this and the fact he plays for a Manchester club is reminiscent of David Beckham. 

AFC Richmond's other star attacker, Dani Rojas, is an effervescent Mexican player with an infectious enthusiasm for the game, perhaps influenced by the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Javier Hernandez.