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10 football players you didn’t know had a university degree!

Football skills and academia are two different types of intelligence, but there are some players who have mastered both! Here are 10 football players you didn’t know had a university degree!

High level academia and football haven’t necessarily been a natural pairing that comes to mind in the past, with the skills required to master each vastly different from one another in many ways.

There are, however, numerous football players who dedicate their time and discipline to mastering both their sport and their academic goals.

Here we rundown 10 football players, both active and retired, that did just that, and earned university degrees as well as playing football at the highest level.

10. Frank Lampard – Masters Degree in Latin

Frank Lampard is one of the most educated football players on our list who also have university degrees!

Frank Lampard is known to most of us due to his footballing legacy in the Premier League and for England’s national side, but he also happens to be one of the most educated men to have played the game.

Frank attended Brentwood School between 1989 and 1994, earning 11 GSCEs that included an A* in Latin. He would later go on to earn a Masters Degree in the subject.

Lampard has also been reported to have a 150+ IQ, which would place him in the top 0.5% of the world’s population for intelligence!

9. Andres Iniesta – Sports Science Degree

Andres Iniesta challenged himself to earn a sports science university degree after playing professionally at the highest level.

Andres Iniesta is one of the most decorated footballers of all time, and widely regarded as one of the best to have played the game in the modern era.

9 La Liga titles and 4 Champions Leagues with Barcelona, not to mention a World Cup and 2 European Championships with Spain, barely cover a handful of his accolades from his time on the pitch.

But Iniesta also dedicated himself to earning a degree in Sports Science, which he achieved in July 2023.

Now a player who many regarded as one of the most intelligent on the pitch has now joined the list of those who transferred it to the classroom!

8. Vincent Kompany – MBA in Politics

Vincent Kompany is oneof our top ten football players who also have university degrees, earning a MBA in politics in 2018!

The current Burnley manager made his name as one of the best centre-backs to grace the Premier League, winning the league title 4 times with Man City between 2011 and 2019.

2 FA Cups, 4 EFL Cups, and 2 FA Community Shields were also a claimed during his tenure with the Citizens, and Kompany even earned a third-place finish at the 2018 World Cup with Belgium.

But it isn’t just football that the Belgian centre-back had his eyes set on, he also had an underlying interest in politics, and pursued an MBA at Manchester Business School in the subject.

He achieved his target and was awarded his MBA in 2018, placing him on this list of educated ballers!

7. Giorgio Chiellini – Bachelor’s in Economics + Masters in Business Administration

Girgio Chiellini is a football player who boasts 2 university degrees, one in economics and one in business administration.

Another legendary centre-back to grace our list of educated football players is Giorgio Chiellini. And the Italian baller is our first mention who actual own 2 degrees!

Both earned at the University of Turin, Chiellini has earned both a Bachelor’s Degree in economics, as well as a Masters Degree in business administration.

So – 2 degrees, 9 Serie A Championships with Juventus, and a European Championship with Italy. Not a bad first line of a CV for Giorgio Chiellini!

6. Edwin van der Sar – Sports & Brand Management Degree

Edwin Van der Sar is best known for his work between the sticks, largely considered as one of the best goalkeepers of all time- but also has an eye for business.

The Dutchman added a Sports & Brand Management Degree on top of his 4 Premier League titles, Champions League title, 2 Football League Cups, 3 FA Community Shields, and a FIFA Club World Cup trophy.

He is currently putting that degree to good use in his position as CEO of Ajax Football Club!

5. Juan Mata – Sports Science + Marketing degrees

Juan Mata joins fellow countryman Andres Iniesta on our list of top flight footballers who have earned university degrees!

Mata won a World Cup and a European Championship with Spain, as well as a total of 2 FA Cups, 2 Champions Leagues, 2 Europa Leagues, an FA Community Shield, and an EFL Cup between his time with Chelsea and Manchester United in the Premier League.

He added degrees in both Marketing and Sports Science from the Universidad Camilo Jose Cela on top of his list of footballing honours and doing so made this list!

4. Romelu Lukaku – Tourism & Public Relations Degree

Romelu Lukaku is best known for his striking prowess, with his career so far seeing him represent high profile sides such as Manchester United, Chelsea, and Inter Milan.

It is not so commonly known, however, that Lukaku is also a polyglot – someone who can speak multiple languages. He is fluent in German, Dutch, English & French.

He also achieved a degree that is somewhat relative to his polyglot skill sets, in Tourism & Pubic Relations!

3. Glen Johnson – Mathematics Degree

Former England right-back Glen Johnson enjoyed a successful Premier League career with Chelsea and Liverpool, but also has an eye for numbers!

On top of a Premier League title, an FA Cup and 2 Football League Cups, Johnson also earned a Mathematics Degree from an open university whilst playing as a professional footballer!

Johnson himself said “I was good at maths at school but I didn’t really think of anything else but football” – he was. surely right, earning his degree in the subject!

2. Andrey Arshavin – Degree in Fashion Design

Andrey Arshavin is best known for his time spent on the pitch with Arsenal and Zenit St Petersburg, as well as his 75 caps for Russia.

He has however, another trick up his sleeve – fashion design!

The Russian winger earned a Degree in Fashion Design, after switching to the subject from Chemical Sciences due to the fact that there were more girls on the course!

1. Arsene Wenger – Economics Degree

Arsene Wenger will be forever known as an Arsenal legend, for his 24 years spent managing the club to 3 Premier League titles, as well as winning 7 FA Cups and 7 FA Community Shields.

Wenger was truly one of the best, and as such was placed in the Premier League Hall of Fame in 2023 and the English Football Hall of Fame all the way back in 2006!

On top of this, the Frenchman has also earned a Degree in Economics from Strasbourg University, and speaks French, English, German, Spanish, Italian, and even a little Japanese!

So there you have it – 10 football players you may not have known also boast university degrees!