Ibrahimovic’s Asterix cameo joins pantheon of footballing movie stars

After winning almost everything there is to win in football, it seems that AC Milan forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic has set his sights on conquering the movie world after landing a role in the new ‘Asterix’ movie .

Ibrahimovic has a cameo appearance in the new live-action reboot of the popular franchise: Asterix & Obelix: The Middle Kingdom. The Swede plays a Roman gladiator named Caius Antivirus and is joined by heavyweights such as Vincent Cassel (who plays Julius Caesar) and Marion Cotillard (Cleopatra).

The Milan forward proudly revealed the news on social media by sharing a teaser trailer of the film, which includes a glimpse of the 40-year-old in a fiery action sequence in full gladiator attire.

The film is directed by Guillaume Canet, who also plays Asterix, while Gilles Lellouche plays the role of his affable companion, Obelix. This marks the first time in franchise history that live-action Obelix will not be played by veteran French actor Gerard Depardieu.

Here we take a look at the list of other star footballers making it to the big screen.

Zinedine Zidane

Ibrahimovic isn’t the first footballer to appear in an Asterix film. He follows in the footsteps of Zinedine Zidane, who wore a long black wig for his mesmerizing cameo appearance in ‘Asterix at the Olympics’ in 2008.

This film – the second most expensive non-English language production of all time at the time of its making – also featured roles for fellow sports stars Michael Schumacher, Tony Parker and Amelie Mauresmo.

It’s hard to say how good Zidane’s cameo actually was as just the sight of him with long hair is mesmerizing enough.

Eric Canton

Cantona has a more than extensive cinematic portfolio and even had an eponymous role in the British film Looking for Eric.

The former Leeds United, Manchester United and France star has starred and directed a number of French and European art house films and shared screen time with big names like Cate Blanchett and Sir Richard Attenborough in Elizabeth.

The xXx action film franchise returned in 2016 with xXx: Return of Xander Cage.

Vin Diesel was back in the title role, but the leading man was also joined by Paris Saint-German and Brazilian striker Neymar, who managed to secure a small but incredibly poignant cameo in which he played a young Brazilian seems kicking against things .

David Beckham

Former England captain David Beckham has a nice cameo appearance in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, with some dialogue in the scene where the titular character pulls the sword out of the stone.

Even with a prosthetic nose and scar make-up, Becks is still glowing.

And who can forget the supporting role of the former Manchester United, Real Madrid and LA Galaxy midfielder in ‘Goal’?

Francesco Toti

As a player, AS Roma and Italy legend Francesco Totti has earned all the praise a footballer can dream of and he can now add an ‘award-winning movie star’ to his impressive CV.

Mi Chiamo Francesco Totti (My Name Is Francesco Totti), released last October, won Best Documentary at the 2021 Nastri d’Argento (Silver Ribbon) Film Awards in Italy.

In Alex Infascelli’s film, Totti relives the ups and downs of his career as he stares into a mirror as he prepares to attend his last game before retirement. It traces his earliest years as a child up until his tearful farewell at the Stadio Olimpico in 2017.


A year or two ago, former Barcelona and Brazil star Ronaldinho was cast in the role of “Ronaldo” – a Brazilian martial arts expert – in the latest film in Jean Claude Van Damme’s “Kickboxer” film series.

Ronaldinho was apparently tasked with honing Van Damme’s roundhouse kick technique in Kickboxer: Retaliation, which also starred Game of Thrones’ Mike Tyson and Hafthor “The Mountain” Bjornsson.

After winning the 2018 World Cup with France, Giroud and Kimpembe were offered a chance to flex their acting muscles in an animated version of Spider-Man.

Giroud used his soft tones to pronounce the Green Goblin (“Bouffon Vert‘) in the French-dubbed version of Spider-Man: New Generation, while Kimpembe took on the role of Scorpion, another villainous foe of our web-slinging hero.


Arguably the most popular of all the occasions football has embraced celluloid, it starred as what is arguably the greatest player of all time.

The great Brazilian Pele was among the real pros – including Bobby Moore and Ossie Ardiles – who starred alongside Michael Caine and Sylvester Stallone in 1981’s ‘Escape to Victory,’ in which a team of Allied POWs try to escape Nazi generals.

Barcelona and Spain legend Iniesta landed a starring role in “¡Pirates!‘, the Spanish language version of an animated film from Aardman Studios (made famous by Wallace & Gromit) in which the Barcelona legend gave his voice to an albino pirate aiming to win the coveted Pirate of the Year award .

We pave the way for Giroud and Kimpembe, lad Les Bleus Star Griezmann was selected to provide the voice of Superman in the French version of the “Lego Batman Movie” as originally voiced by Channing Tatum.

Hardly a memorable classic, but Podolski – once for Bayern Munich, Cologne, Arsenal and Inter Milan – enjoyed a brief comic appearance in a German film called Macho Man, which was filmed in his hometown of Cologne.

“My scene is in the [Cologne] stadium and I think it’s really funny. Totally suits me,” he enthused when announcing the role. “And I am very pleased to be on board.”

Vinnie Jones

Possibly the ex-footballer with the most accomplished acting resume, with impressive performances as villainous jerks in action blockbusters like Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, Gone In 60 Seconds, Snatch, Swordfish, Mean Machine “. ,”, “X-Men: The Last Stand”, etc, etc.

Also known as the hardman of the game, Jones has played for Wimbledon, Leeds, Sheffield United, Chelsea and Wales.

File Under: hopelessly typed but happily piling up the paychecks.

Carlo Ancelotti

Ancelotti pulled some strings to bag a brief cameo as the doctor in Star Trek Beyond, which was released in 2016.

The friendly Real Madrid executive explained that he landed the role through a friend who happened to be the husband of Zoe Saldana, who plays Uhura in the rebooted franchise.

Frank Leboeuf

The former Chelsea defender’s biggest credit to date is his seminal role as the “Swiss Doctor” in Professor Stephen Hawking’s 2014 biopic The Theory of Everything.

Since then, the 1998 world champion has taken on several other film roles, although it has to be said that none are quite as prominent.

Stan Collymore

Collymore made his acting debut opposite Sharon Stone in the 2006 adult thriller sequel Basic Instinct II: Risk Addiction.

The ex-Liverpooler’s character was killed off before the opening credits, but he was still allowed to walk the red carpet at the world premiere.

Ian Wright

Proof that the Premier League’s golden-era strikers seem to offer a rich seam for casting directors, Arsenal and Crystal Palace legend Wright starred in British crime classic Black Gun of the Sun as Duke in 2011 .

https://www.espn.com/soccer/blog-the-toe-poke/story/4753878/ibrahimovics-asterix-cameo-joins-pantheon-of-footballers-turned-movie-stars Ibrahimovic’s Asterix cameo joins pantheon of footballing movie stars

Emma Bowman

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