Ronaldo Dreams Of Joining Cast Of Stars Who Swapped Sport For The Silver Screen

The Portugal captain has set his sights on a post-playing career in movies
15:16, 30 Dec 2019

Cristiano Ronaldo has many records under his belt from a career few will ever be able to compete with, but now CR7 has revealed that he is looking for more to add some box-office records to his portfolio.

The Juventus and Portugal superstar, who possesses the most Instagram followers of anyone on the planet, will turn 35 years old in February and has revealed that Hollywood plays a part in his plans for his post-playing career.

"One of the things that I seek to challenge myself in, for example, is acting in a movie," Ronaldo told ESPNFC at the Dubai International Sports Conference. “The moment my body is no longer responding in the right way on the field, then it would be the time to leave.

"I hope I live more than 50 years to learn new things and face different challenges and try to find solutions for them."

So what movies are we most interested in seeing the five-time Ballon d’Or winner star in? Ronal-Do The Right Thing? The Magnificent (Number) Seven? I-Ron Man? The Passion of the Christ-iano? 

While we give you time to recover from those exceptional puns, here are some other sports stars who've transferred to the silver screen...

The Rock - WWE

OK, it’s probably best to start with the biggest film star on the planet at the moment: Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has starred in nearly 40 films across the last 18 years which have grossed nearly $10billion worldwide.

Johnson hasn’t just set the standard for World Wrestling Entertainment stars making the leap to the silver screen, he’s in fact blasted the marker into the stratosphere. Long gone are the days he was known as the wrestler starring in bad-CGI Mummy films.

Jason Statham - Diving

Best chuck in The Rock’s old mucka as well. Those who watched the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland probably weren’t thinking: ‘Hey, that diver looks like he’s going to have a stellar career as an action star.’

Statham dived head first into box-office receipts as one of the most bankable actors in the business, with turns in Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and the blatantly barmy Crank and Transporter series, as well as injecting a new lease of life - alongside Johnson - into the Fast and Furious series. He might have suffered a few bombs in the pool, but the Stath has rarely performed a box-office bellyflop.

OJ Simpson - NFL

The Juice is currently enjoying freedom again but it’s highly unlikely that he’ll be able to enjoy what was once turning into a lucrative film career. The former running-back was a genuine worldie of the gridiron in the late ‘60s and ‘70s, breaking the NFL’s single-season rushing record in 1973 (and in a 14-game season) with the Buffalo Bills. Acting had been a long-held ambition for Simpson, which he achieved in blockbuster pictures such as The Towering Inferno and Capricorn One. He also appeared as Leslie Nielsen’s sidekick Officer Nordberg in the comedy trilogy The Naked Gun before his career was infamously curtailed.

Eric Cantona - Football

When King Eric retired from football in 1997 after helping to lead the Manchester United renaissance that would make the club one of the most dominant forces in Europe, few knew what he was looking for. And that was after a starring role in a Ken Loach film. Looking for Eric arrived in 2009.

Cantona currently has around 30 films on his CV, with one of his more prominent moments coming just a year after leaving Old Trafford, when he played Monsieur de Foix in the Cate Blanchett-headed Elizabeth (1998). 

Vinnie Jones - Football

Vinnie Jones was notoriously one of Wimbledon’s 'Crazy Gang', part of the side that stunned a nation by winning the FA Cup in 1988. He’s also famous for feeling Paul Gascoigne’s balls.

Before his football playing days ended, Jones was already entertaining movie-land, featuring prominently alongside Statham in Lock, Stock... and Ritchie’s follow-up Snatch which juggernauted his acting career until he ended up playing, well, the Juggernaut (bitch). Jones’ list of character names illuminates his range: Mongrel, Brick, McTeague, Mr. Hunter, Cain, Killer, Mahogany and Smasher O’Driscoll.

Ronda Rousey - MMA

The first American woman to ever win an Olympic medal in judo, a magnificent Mixed Martial Arts fighter turned rollicking wrestler, Ronda Rousey fittingly brought her combat skills to action-fuelled sagas in the Fast and the Furious franchise (seems to be like a beacon, this series) and The Expendables, the latter alongside such figures as Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The American hasn’t been in the Octagon since the end of December 2016 after two back-to-back losses provided a blemish to her once spotless reign. She was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2018.

Now where’s that rom-com, Ronda?

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Fred ‘The Hammer’ Williamson - NFL

Charisma, charm and muscles in bundles, ‘The Hammer’ easily transitioned - along with Jim Brown - from being American football star to star-man in the movies. Getting his nickname because of his aggressive playing style, which involved bludgeoning opposing players right about their heads, Williamson appeared in the first ever Superbowl, his Kansas City Chiefs losing out to the Green Bay Packers.

One of the earliest success stories on our list, Williamson was genuinely impressive in early ‘70s urban pictures such as Black Caesar (1973) and, alongside Brown, Three the Hard Way (1975), with his cinematic debut coming in Robert Altman’s classic M*A*S*H (1970). He’s more familiar for his supporting turn in the Robert Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantino flick From Dusk till Dawn (1996). Unfortunately he gets turned into a vampire. Could happen to anyone.

Fred Williamson and Jim Brown
Fred Williamson and Jim Brown

Harold Sakata - Weightlifting

Harold Sakata might not have a name that triggers the instant recognition as others on this list, but you’ll certainly know his face. Sakata is most famous as the bowler-hat wielding villain Oddjob in Sean Connery’s third outing as James Bond, Goldfinger (1964). The character regularly jostles with Jaws for most iconic Bond villain henchman and memorably met his end by being electrocuted inside Fort Knox.

Way before that, however, Sakata was representing the USA in weightlifting, winning silver at the 1948 London Olympics, and was also a professional wrestler. He would also star opposite another 007, George Lazenby, in the Jim Kelly action film Death Dimension (1978), in which Sakata’s villain threatens the world with a weather-controlling device and owns a pet snapping turtle.

Oddjob and Goldfinger
Oddjob and Goldfinger