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Louis Tomlinson recalls the time Ronaldinho tried to nutmeg him: ‘There’s a sick picture’

Louis Tomlinson recalls the time Ronaldinho tried to nutmeg him: ‘There’s a sick picture’

Louis Tomlinson Ronaldinho Soccer Aid

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Having to defend against Brazilian legend Ronaldinho is a tough enough task for any footballer, let alone when you’re a singer-songwriter and former member of boy band One Direction.

At Soccer Aid in 2016, though, Louis Tomlinson had exactly that assignment. 

With Tomlinson playing for England and Ronaldinho turning out for the Rest of the World team at the charity game raising money for UNICEF – composed of celebrities and former professional players – the pair came up against one another in front of 70,000 people at Old Trafford, and countless more people watching at home. 

Never one to shy away from a bit of samba magic, Ronaldinho attempted to find his way past the One Direction member with a piece of skill. Tomlinson recalls that moment exclusively to FourFourTwo with glee, his defending superior in that specific moment.

🚨 Exclusive interview with @Louis_Tomlinson! The former One Direction star tells FourFourTwo about marking Ronaldinho, how Pogba’s a fan – and having a Doncaster shirt signed by Pele…Buy the March 2023 issue now 👇 https://t.co/V8FqDkRuZz pic.twitter.com/R9TisREbacFebruary 3, 2023

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“I played in Soccer Aid and Ronaldinho tried to nutmeg me,” Tomlinson explains to FFT

“I was all over his shirt, giving him no respect, and I just managed to nick the ball off him! There’s a sick picture that I’ve seen of it.”

England ended up beating the Rest of the World team 3-2, with Tomlinson coming on in the 83rd minute, while Ronaldinho played the entire game. 

Tomlinson is a competent footballer himself, though, having played in multiple charity matches. One of those involved playing at Doncaster Rovers’ Keepmoat Stadium for the Bluebell Wood Charity.

Doncaster – his hometown club – offered Tomlinson a deal to join the team for the 2013/14 season on non-contract terms after the game, his performance impressing the club’s hierarchy. Tomlinson became a development player, participating in reserve team games.

Given squad number 28 for the 2013/14 season, Tomlinson said of the move: “It’s unbelievable really. I have been a massive football fan for a long time and growing up in Doncaster, I’ve been to plenty of games at the Keepmoat. To be part of the club is incredible.”

He has since played in countless other charity matches in the UK since Soccer Aid in 2016, alongside his regular job of touring the world and singing to sell-out crowds.

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Ryan is a staff writer for FourFourTwo, joining the team full-time in October 2022. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture’s websites, before eventually earning himself a position with FourFourTwo permanently. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer while a Trainee News Writer at Future. 

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