Lukaku, Lampard, Chiellini: Who are the smartest footballers in the world?


While it might be a bit of a stereotype, footballers are not exactly known for their intelligence.

Yes, there is good reason for the development of that stereotype, but the simple fact of the matter is that, for the most part, it is rather unfair and untrue.

In reality, there are some incredibly brainy footballers out there, with some of them even being classified in amongst the most intelligent 0.1 percent of the human population.

So, with that in mind, and in a brave attempt to battle the stereotype, we've compiled a list of football's biggest boffins.

Romelu Lukaku

Lukaku is all the rage right now for his exploits on the field but did you know that off of it he can speak no less than EIGHT languages? 


Enter giveaway 

His grasp of German, English, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch and a Swahili dialect go very nicely with his degree in tourism and international relations.

Juan Mata

Mata is one of those footballers who is just universally loved by fans across the loyalty spectrum.

He's a top class guy, a brilliant footballer and also quite the brain box.


During his time at Manchester United, Mata has studied for, and attained, degrees in both finance and sports science.

Andrey Arshavin 

On his day, Arshavin was simply unplayable.

Fortunately for him, now that his playing days are at an end, the Russian has his degree from the St Petersburg State University of Technology and Design to fall back on.

The former Arsenal man has since launched his own clothing range as well.

Simon Mignolet


The Belgian stopper certainly divided opinion during his playing days at Liverpool but there can be no denying he's got brains to burn.

Alongside owning a coffee shop in his homeland, Mignolet also possesses a degree in law and political sciences.

Frank Lampard

The Chelsea legend is possibly one of the greatest goalscoring midfielder the game has ever seen.

However, off the field, Lamps is just as special.


According to a report in The Sun, the former Chelsea boss scored an incredible 150 on an IQ test with Mensa, landing him amongst the most intelligent 0.1 percent of the global population.

Giorgio Chiellini

You probably wouldn't be wrong if you classified the Italian stalwart as a defensive genius but it seems he also knows his way around a text book.

The uncompromising defender was reportedly one of the sharper pencils at high school, and later graduated from the prestigious University of Turin with a business economics degree.

Edwin Van der Saar 


After calling time on his prestigious playing days, the former Dutch stopper studied for a masters degree in sports and brand management at the Johan Cruyff Institute.

He has since gone on to become the marketing director, and now CEO, of Ajax and is constantly linked with a move back to Manchester United to become their director.

Clarke Carlisle

Once dubbed 'Britains brainiest footballer', Carlisle was the first player to appear on hit TV show, Question Time.

He boasts a degree in sports writing and broadcasting from Staffordshire University and was also a contestant on Countdown.


The late Brazilian legend was not only a supreme footballer, but also sharp as a whip.

He held a bachelors degree in medicine during his playing days and also wrote columns for newspapers on topics ranging from sport, to politics to economics.


Duncan Watmore

Watmore is known as only the second player in the Premier League to ever graduate from university with a first.

He juggled studying economics and business management at Newcastle University with a Premier League playing career, catching up on lectures in the evenings after training sessions.

Glenn Johnson 

(Credit: The Football Terrace)

Johnson's playing days might have been a bit of a mixed bag but there can be no denying he was a superb footballer on his day.

He scored some absolute screamers and enjoyed a thoroughly respectable career.

Away from football, Johnson studied for a degree in mathematics, which we're sure takes quite a lot of brain power.

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