10 best fictional soccer players in movies and TV shows

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American football-centric movies and TV shows are typically some of the best sports stories ever told. While there is a lot going for other sports, there is something about football that lends itself well to telling dramatic stories, in the same sense that boxing works in those mediums.

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At the heart of these movies and shows is usually a player known for his talent on the pitch. They can’t show off their skills in every episode or every minute, but you get a feel for who’s great and who isn’t. Some rank among the best athletes ever to appear on screen.


ten Ricky Jerret (Ballers)

Ricky in Ballers

Like many shows that involve football, HBO Ballerinas didn’t put the field stuff in the foreground. Instead, the series focused on Spencer Strasmore (Dwayne Johnson), a former player who worked as a CFO for NFL stars. One of them was Ricky Jerret (John David Washington).

For the most part, Jerret’s mid-game skills haven’t been seen a ton. However, it was clear that Jerret was one of the best players in the league at the time. Whatever problems he faced, he was not on the pitch, but the teams were ready to give him extra chances due to his talent.

9 Becky “The Cooler” O’Shea (The Little Giants)

Becky little giants

The only reason Becky O’Shea (Shawna Waldron) doesn’t rank higher is that she’s never played peewee football on the big screen. If she had been part of a TV show, perhaps she could have evolved into higher forms of the sport.

In the years 1994 Little giants, Becky is clearly the best player on the field but was not chosen by her uncle just because she is a girl. So when the time came to play against his uncle’s team, “The Icebox” entered the game halfway through and turned the tide. She even slammed the vicious Spike with a hard stop, revealing herself as an iconic defensive player.

8 Lucy Draper (Roughness required)

Lucy Draper hits a basket in Necessary Roughness

The State of Texas Fightin ‘Armadillos from the 1991s Roughness necessary weren’t exactly one of the best football teams to ever be portrayed on screen, but they did stand out. The motley team were exhausted and struggling as they were understaffed and had to abide by Ironman rules where some players held multiple positions.

It wasn’t until they got a place-kicker that the team started to turn things around. Lucy Draper (Kathy Ireland), a member of the school’s football team, has been added as a kicker. She ended up hitting the field basket under difficult conditions which led to their first tie and a taste of success.

7 Willie Beamen (Any Sunday)

Jamie Foxx, Al Pacino and Dennis Quaid in "Any Sunday."

Lots of 1999 Any Sunday focused on the drama surrounding the AFFA Miami Sharks. Still, there was a lot of sparkle given to the things going on in the games, and while there were several players to mention, Willie Beamen (Jamie Foxx) was the real star.

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Sharks quarterback Beamen is as talented as they come, but he’s his own worst enemy as evidenced by his attitude issues. It will wow you on the pitch and on the showboat while doing it, making it incredibly entertaining. At the end of the story, he also becomes a team player.

6 Bobby Boucher (The Water Boy)

The biggest hits against Bobby Boucher (Adam Sandler) as a player are his inexperience and the way he doesn’t fully understand football. However, his Mud Dogs trainer figured out that he didn’t really need to know that much to be a star in the 1998s. The water boy.

All Boucher had to do to be great was visualize and attack. He imagined someone who had insulted or upset him in the past when he looked at the opposition and then attacked them. This made him a stud player who helped take the hapless Mud Dogs to the Bourbon Bowl.

5 Rod Tidwell (Jerry Maguire)

Cuba Gooding Jr. in Jerry Maguire

One of the most intriguing things about the 1996s premise Jerry maguire was that he focused on a sports agent rather than a player, which was different. While Tom Cruise was the lead actor, the best guy on the pitch was Rod Tidwell of Cuba Gooding Jr.

Tidwell is one of Maguire’s best clients and he’s a wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals. At first, Tidwell didn’t seem worth it due to constant underperformance. However, he ultimately proves he’s worth it by becoming a star who puts his body on the line to lead the Cardinals to the playoffs.

4 Vontae Mack (draft day)

Chadwick Boseman on draft day

Throughout 2014 Draft day, everyone tells Sonny Weaver Jr. (Kevin Costner) he should take on star quarterback Bo Callahan with the first pick in the NFL Draft. There’s just something about Bo that’s wrong with Sonny, so he’s taking a different path.

RELATED: 5 Things Draft Day Had About The NFL Draft (& 5 Things That Didn’t Work)

Rather, he shocks the world by selecting Vontae Mack (Chadwick Boseman), an Ohio State University linebacker. He wasn’t as touted as Callahan, but closer examination showed Mack dominated him when they played against each other. Combine that with Mack’s intensity and heart on the pitch and he’s clearly a superstar.

3 Paul Crewe (The Longest Court)

Real football that takes place in The longest yard, whether you’re watching the 1974 or 2005 versions, takes place in a prison yard rather than on a professional grill. That being said, Paul Crewe (Burt Reynolds / Adam Sandler) is still the best of the bunch.

There is no doubt about Crewe’s skills as he was one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, but he was kicked out of the league for shaving points. So, despite being in jail, he’s still good at his craft. Crewe is the leader of the inmates, proves himself and leads them to victory.

2 Spencer James (all American)

Spencer without a helmet in All American

There is something really special about Spencer James (Daniel Ezra) on The CW’s All American. The teenager is a jack-of-all-trades, as if he was best known for his offensive skills (where he plays as a running back and wide receiver), he has also enjoyed success as a safety and return from kick.

James’ arrival at Beverly Hills High is exactly what the school needs to ultimately win a state championship. His return home to Crenshaw High is not only enough to put them back in the running, but he’s so talented that the whole fate of the school rests largely on his shoulders. James has had huge games in the series, including tying his father’s one-game touchdown record.

1 Vince Howard (Friday Night Lights)

Many viewers would agree that the pinnacle of football television was Friday night lights. The show starred some great players including Matt Saracen, Jason Street, Smash Williams, Tim Riggins, Luke Cafferty and many more. Choosing the best of the bunch can be difficult.

That person at the top appears to be Vince Howard (Michael B. Jordan). He joined the series in Season 4 and became quarterback for the East Dillon Lions. Howard was like a mix of Street’s passing ability and Smash’s skills as a running back, which is an incredible combination. He led the Lions from a squad from nothing to state champions in just two years.

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