Excellent List

10 footballers with rather surprising speaking voices

Including the haunting sounds of one of these men

Martin Keown

It’s easy to be thrown by the way a human being talks – after all, someone’s physical appearance or general demeanour can often lead you to make assumptions. The general rule is that big aggressive people have deep voices, little people speak like chipmunks, foreigners have strange accents, and well groomed folk sound a bit posh.

And yet, occasionally a football player will stroll up to a microphone, open his mouth, and totally blow your mind. Where the hell did THAT come from?

After the jump, you can enjoy ten magnificent examples of this human phenomenon…

Jan Molby

Seasoned travelers will well know the importance of adapting to new cultures and lifestyles. Eat the food, dress in the appropriate manner – do everything you can to respect your temporary home. But the greatest Dane of the lot, Jan Molby, has taken such practices to a whole new level. Not only did he master the English language when at Liverpool from 1984-1995, but he even adopted the local dialect, known in some circles as “Carragher”.

Marcel Desailly

Marcel Desailly was a giant in defence throughout his career – a hulking presence at the back who could strike fear into any opposition. But does he have the gruff speaking voice that would suit such a hardened on-field demeanour? No he doesn’t. It’s really high-pitched.

David Bentley

Were a clumsy blind man to bump into David Bentley, he’d be forgiven making a couple of assumptions based on the ensuing mutual apologies. Firstly, that he’d just tangled with a 50-year-old fruit and veg man, and secondly, it most certainly wasn’t a flashy young footballer. Only it was, blind man. It really, honestly was.

Mark Lawrenson

Most footballers don’t tend to dabble much in sarcasm, it’s not in their nature. And yet, to listen to him, you’d assume that sarcasm is exactly all that Mark Lawrenson dabbles in. A presumption which makes it ever more startling that he managed to command a back line without the wing-backs doing the opposite of his suggestions, based on the tutting old womanly manner in which he spoke to them.

Michael Owen

When Michael Owen burst onto the scene in the late 1990s, he was such an enthusiastic young pup, with a great line in superswift breaks, and spectacular goals. So what a shame that the moment he opens his mouth to speak, all fun and excitement is sucked from the atmosphere, and all that you’re left with is a rather unpleasant droning sound. Who saw that coming?

Martin Keown

Another one from the same school of the unexpected as Marcel Desailly, Keown was a big, threatening defender, and really quite frightening to look at. And yet, when he evaluates a match on MOTD2, he does so in the style of a genius serial killer calmly explaining how to dispose of a body to a petrified police officer.

Jermain Defoe

Fans of old fashioned turntables will have rich memories of playing records at the wrong speed – the most common error being the hilarious 33rpm/45rpm mix up, in which a slow number would come out all gabbled and fast. In many ways, a bit like listening to Jermain Defoe speak. For Christ’s sake, slow down, man! It’s not a race.

Peter Schmeichel

Like Jan Molby, Peter Schmeichel is another Dane who politely adopted the local dialect. As time went on during his playing days, he became increasingly Mancunian, stopping only just short of going “the full Stone Roses”.

David Beckham

Of course, everyone is now fully accustomed to Beckham’s speaking voice, and yet it still never fails to slightly shock. Here is a man with impeccable metresexuality, a strong chiseled face, and yet, when he opens his mouth to communicate with people, out comes the voice of a frightened eight-year-old boy explaining that he’s locked in a cupboard and might have recently wet himself.

Steve McClaren

Yes, it was impossible to overlook this. Crouch very nearly made it for his surprising eloquence, as did Theo Walcott. But in the end, the final spot goes to Steve McClaren, who baffled absolutely everyone when he suddenly became Dutch.

Any more for any more? Do any other footballers have voices that don’t quite match their physicality?

Let us know in the comments section.


9 responses so far
  • Jon // March 30, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    I’m always amazed at how restrained some of those English voices can get. (Carragher, Becks, more recently Dan Gosling at Everton) But I nearly fell out my seat when I heard Gennaro Gattuso speak. Pit bull? Hardly. More like Yorkshire Terrier. http://youtu.be/EyezfLmBGq0

  • Lloyd // March 30, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    Roy Keane. No question.

  • SPOT // March 30, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    Steve McClaren “We will see on the night”
    That was the best of the lot.

  • Jordan // March 30, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    Eidur Gudjohnsen
    his english is so soft, you’d think he lived in buckingham palace

  • venga malaga // March 30, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    julian dicks – West Ham legend (the Terminator). Come the interview sounds like a gay farmer.

  • shaz // March 30, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    ole gunnar solskjaer sounds like a proper mancunian!!

  • bonuela // March 30, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    clint mathis for sure. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1OFB0S1HTM

  • Jam // March 31, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Yeah Ole Gunnar definitely.

  • Ross Leslie // March 31, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    Check out Celtc captain Scott Brown. Sounds like he has been on the helium!

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