Footballers have all sorts of hobbies or past times they get up to when they have some free time.
Some footballers love to play video games, others indulge in their passion for music, and a few love to shop for fashion accessories. While some football players own restaurants or even own other football clubs.
They are a growing number of footballers who are big fans of anime.
Anime is a style of animation that was created and originated in Japan.
These anime are usually movies or series covering various stories based on science fiction, martial arts, action, horror, and the like.
Anime’s recent emergence in mainstream media has been a fascinating development in global popular culture.
Today we will be looking at football players who are big fans of anime.
1. Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang
The Gabonese striker is a huge fan of anime. He has, on several occasions, showed his love for anime.
When he was still on the books of Spanish side FC Barcelona, Aubameyeng showcased a unique celebration in last season’s El-Classico match after scoring against Real Madrid.
He mimicked a pose of an anime character called Dragonball Z from a popular animated series.
Pierre also has tattoos and fashion items like t-shirts and sneakers, celebrating his love for all things anime.
2. Eden Hazard
The Belgian international is a big fan of anime series Naruto.
The skillful winger, in his spare time, has often been seen watching this martial arts theme anime serial.
Hazard is reported to have watched every episode of this extremely long series just to show you the level of dedication to the anime serial.
3. Ibrahima Konaté
The young Liverpool defender is an easygoing guy who loves anime.
On April 26, 2022, the French footballer scored against Manchester United at Wembley and celebrated his headed goal with the iconic fist-over-heart salute from Attack on Titan.
Afterward, he shared images of his goal celebration on Twitter, where he captioned the pictures “Shinzou wo Sasageyo” (“Dedicate your heart”), the iconic phrase from Attack on Titan.
He also posted a GIF of Dragon Ball Super’s Son Goku changing into his Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan (Super Saiyan Blue) form.
4. Kurt Zouma
The big West Ham defender may not be a lover of cats, but there’s no disputing his love for anime.
Apart from Dragon ball, Zouma is also a fan of anime fantasy series One Piece.
His love for anime even rubbed off on his former Chelsea teammates Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell, who recreated a scene from Dragon Ball in honour of Kurt for their goal celebration.
5. Bakary Sako
The former Crystal Palace footballer is another player who loves to indulge in his passion for anime.
Bakary went as far as customizing his soccer boots to depict various anime characters from Dragon Ball, One Piece, Naruto, etc.
6. Geoffrey Kondogbia
The Central African international has a huge obsession with his favorite anime series, One Piece.
Kondogbia, apart from being a keen watcher of the series, also collects dolls and action figures depicting the various characters in the serial.
Geoffrey also went as far as to arrange a personal meeting with the series creator Eichiro Oda to show you his level of dedication to the series.
7. Paul Pogba
Five years ago, Paul Pogba unveiled a new ‘Super Saiyan Blue’ hairdo, which was inspired by the popular anime DragonBall Z, on Instagram.
The Frenchman is also a big fan of Eichiiro Oda, the author of One Piece. He reacted on social when Geoffrey Kondogbia met the author.
8. Michy Batshuayi
Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi is another soccer player who likes anime.
The AC Milan forward loves cartoons and recently showed his Instagram followers what he calls his ‘personal museum.’
The exhibits in his museum are mostly collectible toys placed in a class cabinet or still in their original boxes. However, the stand-out figure is the life-size character from the popular anime cartoon Dragon Ball Z.
This shows that Michy Batshuayi is an avid lover of anime.