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When Football and Metal Collide: Part 1

Marilyn Manson sang about The Beautiful People. Machine Head gave us Beautiful Mourning. And although not common, The Beautiful Game intertwines with metal on a number of occasions, from Download Festival’s 5-a-side tournament to Steve Harris’ West Ham crest on his bass (but more about that in Part 2…).

With Leicester City on the brink of Premier League history and Euro 2016 just around the corner, PlanetMosh has compiled a starting XI* of footballing greats who have nailed their colours to the heavy metal mast.

*Not truly a ‘starting’ XI, there’s four goalkeepers, six defenders and a midfielder, but it’s eleven nonetheless!

David De Gea

January 20th 2015 was a night of Capital One Cup football. But did Manchester Utd and Spain goalkeeper David de Gea stay in and watch it? No. Instead, he went to Manchester Arena and watched Slipknot on their Prepare for Hell tour, tweeting that it had been an awesome show. A huge metal fan, he even requested that Slayer were added to the pre-match playlist in the United dressing room. And yes, the phrase ‘David de Gea listens to Slayer’ rhymes. How whimsical.

Marcus Hahnemann

A man who likes his music ‘the heavier the better’, the former USA and Reading ‘keeper cites Five Finger Death Punch, Mastodon and Machine Head as favoured bands. He also recorded guest vocals for Malefice’s song Omega. His favourite band of all time, however, are Tool, who he has seen on multiple occasions and managed to meet them backstage with…

Kasey Keller

A man who has the ‘honour’ of having played for both current title-chasers Leicester City and Spurs, the shot-stopper was a regular punter to Download Festival during his time in England and is very good friends with Disturbed along with the aforementioned Tool. He also says he takes his daughter to soundchecks. N’awwwww.

Victor Valdes

The final ‘keeper in our list, he apparently shunned then-Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola and listened to AC/DC and Guns N’ Roses to get himself pumped up for matches instead of Coldplay like the rest of the team. It clearly worked on both fronts though, because Barcelona under Guardiola were unstoppable. And their captain at the time was…

Carles Puyol

The shaggy-haired defender was a stalwart of Barcelona’s back line from the late 90’s through to 2014 and bears a passing resemblance to Airbourne’s Joel O’Keefe. Puyol liked his music even heavier though; a huge fan of grindcore legends Napalm Death, he would warm up up to games listening to them

Daniel Agger

Maybe more on a hard rock front than metal, here, but Liverpool’s towering centre back is quoted in an interview as saying his favourite song of all time is ‘Here I Go Again’ by Whitesnake. Never a bad song to get the blood going before taking to the pitch, mind…

Terry Butcher

One of England’s most ferocious defenders, Butcher gave football one of its most iconic images as he played on against Sweden with a gash to the head and left the pitch with blood still running down his face onto his shirt; metal as fuck for a start. A long-time Iron Maiden fan and personal friend of Steve Harris, Butcher also had Sweet Child O’Mine as his phone ringtone once upon a time, as proved when it went off in a press conference.

Olaf Mellberg

Olaf is from Sweden. That says enough, really. In all seriousness though, he is good friends with In Flames and went to support them when they opened for Lamb of God and Slayer in the UK in 2006.

Slaven Bilic

The former defender and current West Ham manager is a fan of Slayer, Maiden, AC/DC, Metallica and Megadeth, but took his love for metal one step further. As rhythm guitarist for the Croatian band Rawbau, he has secured a #1 single in his home country when ‘Vatreno Ludilo’ (‘Fiery Madness’) topped the charts there in 2008.

Tomas Rosicky

The only midfielder on our list, the Arsenal player’s metal credentials were well hidden until he was asked to compile a charity playlist for centrepoint. Included? Pantera, Motorhead, Judas Priest and Killswitch Engage. Nicely done.

Dario Dubois

If you haven’t heard of Dario Dubois then I don’t blame you – he was a defender in the lower tiers of South American football for teams like Victoriano Arenas and Deportivo Paraguay. But he is potentially the most mtal footballer that has ever graced the planet. A lover of death metal, Dario would take to the field wearing corpsepaint similar to the likes of Immortal, Gorgoroth and 1349. When the Argentinian Football Federation asked him to stop, Dario obliged and instead turned to wearing band shirts under his strip and studded wristbands. Sadly he would be killed in 2008, aged just 37.

And as manager…Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool’s hipster, manic, spectacled boss has lit up the Premier League since he joined the Reds in November last year and turned a number of heads when he said he wanted to change the band’s cultured pass and move game into ‘heavy metal football’, citing himself as a ‘Rammstein guy’. He has also used metal as an inspiration for his innovative ‘Gegenpress’ style, where players are asked to compete at an intensely high pressured style on all areas of the pitch. Sehr gut, Herr Klopp!

About Elliot Leaver

PlanetMosh's resident Iron Maiden fanboy and Mr. Babymetal. Also appreciates the music of Pink Floyd, Rammstein, Nightwish, Avenged Sevenfold, Slipknot and many others. Writing to continue to enjoy life away from the stresses of full-time employment.
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