Saturday, 6 October 2018

From Football Pitch To Recording Studio: LaLiga Players Who Embarked On Music Careers

Many LaLiga players are famous not only for their footballing exploits but also for their musical talents!

Mendieta.   Photo credit: Batiste Safont
Football and music go hand in hand. Listen closely and there’s music all around football, from the songs sung by fans in the stands to the motivational tunes blaring in dressing rooms before kick-off.



It shouldn’t really be a surprise, then, that many LaLiga footballers have tried their hand at music over the years, either during their playing careers or after… and with varying degrees of success! Let’s take look at just some of the players who have swapped their boots for beats over the years.

SERGIO RAMOS

As a keen fan of flamenco, the Real Madrid captain has long loved singing and playing the guitar. Ramos has regularly expressed his love for music and has revealed that he often unwinds by writing his own songs. He has also contributed to the official songs for the Spanish national team’s Euro 2016 and 2018 World Cup campaigns, collaborating with world-famous artists like Niña Pastori and Demarco.

JESÉ

The Real Madrid youth graduate has long been interested in music and, in 2014, formed a reggaeton band with close friend DJ Nuno. The group, Big Flow, released tracks through YouTube to some success and it wasn’t long before Jesé went solo and started to release his own music under the name Jey M, donating profits from his music to research into disease prevention.

JOSÉ MANUEL PINTO

A goalkeeper whose hands were made for music as well as catching footballs, José Manuel Pinto founded his own music label – Wahin Makinaciones, based on his stage name Pinto ‘Wahin’ – while he was still playing football for Celta Vigo before making the move to join Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona. In 2015 he released a record, Eres Especial (‘You’re Special’), with Barça teammate Dani Alves and has since had great success as a producer. Having gained a university degree in sound engineering and a master’s in musical production, Pinto was among the engineers who worked on Niña Pastori’s Amame Como Soy, which won the 2016 Latin Grammy for Best Flamenco Album.

ROYSTON DRENTHE

Former Real Madrid winger Royston Drenthe launched a rap career under the name Roya2Faces as his playing days were coming to an end. For those who knew him best, this came as no surprise; Drenthe had a long-standing interest in rap music and has many friends in the industry, most notably U-Niq who, like Drenthe, hails from Rotterdam and who taught him how to write music. While Drenthe came back out of retirement to sign for Sparta Rotterdam this summer, he remains passionate about hip hop and expects to write more songs in the future.

JULIO IGLESIAS

Julio Iglesias is one of the most famous singers in Spain and across the Spanish-speaking world and in 2013 was recognised by the Guinness World Records as the best-selling male Latin artist in history. Impressively, the 75-year-old’s 1983 album Julio was the first foreign-language album to hit the 2 million sales mark in the USA. Before this music career, though, the Madrid native played football for Real Madrid Castilla, the capital city side’s B team. An injury cut his footballing career short, however, and opened up a new door into the music world. Every cloud…

ÁLVARO BENITO

The story of Álvaro Benito shares many parallels to that of Julio Iglesias. Benito also came through Real Madrid’s youth ranks, in his case as a promising midfielder, making 21 LaLiga appearances for the first team across the 1995/96 and 1996/97 seasons and scoring a couple of goals. However, he too was plagued by injury and had to retire from football at the age of 27, at which point he founded a punk rock band called Pignoise, for which he is lead singer and guitarist. Influenced by Green Day and Blink-182, they’ve released eight albums to date.

GERMÁN BURGOS

The former Atlético Madrid goalkeeper and Diego Simeone’s current assistant is another big music fan, in his case of rock music. Lead singer of rock band GARB since the 1990s, the group released a couple of Spanish-language albums in the early noughties as his career was winding down. Fun fact: the name GARB comes from the initials of Burgos’s full name, Germán Adrián Ramón Burgos.

GAIZKA MENDIETA

Following his retirement from football, former Valencia, Barcelona and Spain midfielder Gaizka Mendieta turned to DJing in 2008 with great success. He regularly plays sets across London, and was even invited to DJ at the build-up to the Real Madrid vs Juventus Champions League final in Cardiff in 2017. Mendieta, today a LaLiga Ambassador, was regularly seen in record stores during his playing days and now dedicates a lot of time to his second passion in life.

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