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Footballers have become content creators

Not only on the pitch, many footballers also engage on the web as content creators entertaining their fans

Footballers have become content creators  Not only on the pitch, many footballers also engage on the web as content creators entertaining their fans

In 2020 the world came to a standstill due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and with it football. Locked down leagues, the inability to train and television replays of the same matches for months have left a great hunger for sport in all the fans parked on the couch. And it is precisely in these months of lockdown that the passion for video and in particular live streaming to entertain fans has exploded among footballers. Taking advantage of the many new channels that allow them to immediately interface with their audience, many footballers have opened a Twitch channel, the largest platform in this sector, put on their headsets and started to go live, showing themselves to their audience while playing their favourite video games, from FIFA to Fortnite and Call of Duty, to the motor sports MotoGP and Formula 1. And in the latter two cases, there were even real events among professional drivers that replaced weekends on the track. 

But apart from the purple platform, there are also footballers who have dressed, and still continue to do so, the role of real content creators by opening their own YouTube channels. In this case, in contrast to live streaming, the players do not just show themselves live while holding a joystick or chatting with their followers, but create original content that needs to be professionally edited. In doing so, the players step out of the playing field and become youtubers in their own right. 

Benzema and his private life


Karim Benzema is certainly the most praised and decisive footballer at the moment. His four goals in the Champions League semi-final, between first and second leg, against Manchester City are still in the eyes of all football lovers who are clamouring for him to win the next Ballon d'Or. Karim The Dream, however, also dabbles in web content creation through his YouTube channel opened two years ago and which currently has 490,000 subscribers. The Frenchman is very consistent in posting videos, in which he shows excerpts of his daily life, as he takes tours of his maxi house, answers fans' questions and takes them with him to the gym during home training sessions. 

The first video released by Benzema, two years ago now, entitled 'One day KB9' has an impressive 1.9 million views. But it is episode 14, in which the Real Madrid striker shows off his crazy collection of custom-built cars, that has been racking up the most views. The video has currently garnered a staggering 3 million views, true champion numbers for Karim The Dream. 

Ben Foster, a bicycle goalkeeper

Ben Foster, the 39-year-old goalkeeper from Watford, is perhaps the active footballer who is making the most effort as a content creator on YouTube. The Englishman has 1.9 million subscribers to his channel 'Ben Foster - The Cycling GK' in which he manages to combine all his passions: football, cycling and food. The extreme defender publishes almost daily content that is highly appreciated by the public. With his trusty GoPro, Foster makes his videos in which he rides his bike between simple routes and real pedal sports feats completely immersive. 

However, the goalkeeper also shows images of the field, both of the games in which he takes to the green rectangle and in training; in this case always showing everything in the first person. "When we are in front of the camera filming, I just try to make people understand how I approach football. And I've found that the best way to approach this is how I am now. This YouTube stuff has opened a lot more doors, people actually watch it! Even for the cycling videos, I'm getting 100,000 views. It's unbelievable. I love it." 

Lingard, from jerseys to video games

Another English footballer who is very active on YouTube is Jesse Lingard, Manchester United's outside player who was reborn last season with the West Ham shirt, who can count on a channel with 446,000 subscribers. Lingard likes to span multiple topics, showing both excerpts from his private life, in which his ironic and playful nature can be seen, and moments as a gamer. The Warrington boy is a huge FIFA and Call of Duty fan and never misses an opportunity to be seen in action with a joystick in his hands. 

Among the most popular videos with his audience are those in which he reveals, in episodes, his huge collection of football jerseys. The first installment of this series has garnered an impressive 1.2 million views, as he shows the first jersey he wore with Manchester United and the one from his debut with the England national team

Aguero, from the pitch to streaming

Only a few months ago, Sergio Aguero prematurely announced his farewell to playing football due to serious heart problems, but now the Kun is taking advantage of his increased free time to devote himself to live broadcasts on Twitch. The Argentine has a channel of 3.9 million followers who are entertained by the former striker both while he plays PlayStation and while he comments live on the most spectacular matches in European football. And it is precisely the latter that is one of the most loved content by his community.

Aguero puts together an all-encompassing sports programme, even bringing in prominent guests live. His compatriot Carlitos Tevez is a regular presence at his live shows, but recently Mario Balotelli, the Kun's former Manchester City teammate, was also a guest on Aguero TV for an interview that helped bring out interesting sides of SuperMario's personality.

Bobo TV and Ronaldo TV

Bobo Vieri hung up his boots a few years ago, but his BoboTV is one of the most popular channels on Twitch Italy. Together with Antonio Cassano, Daniele Adani and Nicola Ventola, they usually comment on the football week on Mondays and Fridays, touching on various topics and often creating debates that go beyond the platform, on which they count almost 466,000 followers. 

And if Vieri mainly creates content along the lines of sports talk shows, another former Nerazzurri dabbles in live streaming, also making content about gaming. This is Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima, who on his Ronaldo TV with almost 400,000 followers obviously talks about football, but also delights his followers with gaming sessions, especially Call of Duty.