Sports Stars That Love Heavy Metal Friday October 29 2021, 5:49 AM
Sports Stars That Love Heavy Metal

Jurgen Klopp has become one of the most memorable and interesting managers to have taken control of a Premier League club since arriving at Liverpool FC in 2015.

When arriving in England Klopp was asked about his playing philosophy and ‘Heavy Metal Football’ was a phrase coined by him when asked about his differences to Arsene Wenger, the then Arsenal manager.

“He likes having the ball, playing football, passes. It’s like an orchestra. But it’s a silent song. I like heavy metal more. I always want it loud.”

This style of play has made Liverpool a formidable side under the German manager’s control. Having won the Premier League and European Champions League, Klopp’s side once again are one of the favourites for the Premier League title with a variety of sportsbooks, including betting site 888 Sport. 

A big fan of bands such as Kiss, Jurgen Klopp has brought his passion for loud and fast paced music into Liverpool’s style of play. Their fast-paced players, putting the opposition under constant pressure are clearly influenced by his personality. 

Tomas Rosicky

The former Arsenal midfielder and Czech Republic International is well known for his heavy metal music preference. Singing the praises of Metalica , In Flames and Pantera, Rosicky used his love of music to help him stay positive and work hard during injury. 

The ‘Little Mozart’ on the pitch liked his music somewhat heavier off it. Now retired, Rosicky enjoyed the opportunity to play in London for so much of his career where he had the chance to watch more live shows and discover new bands.

David De Gea

The Spanish International is Manchester United’s long-term goalkeeper. De Gea has been a mainstay in the Premier League since his arrival in 2011.

A calm and composed goalkeeper, off the pitch he prefers a more energetic music style. Fan of metal band Slipknot, De Gea has been able to spend time with the band . He has tried to get the music on in the dressing room from time to time, but very few of the teammates other than manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and fellow Spaniard Juan Mata have gotten on board. 

Carles Puyol

Regarded as one of the greats at Barcelona, the Spanish central defender has represented the club as a leader and role model to every player. 

His long curly hair and strong personality are matched with a love of strong and aggressive music. Puyol is a big death metal fan and would warm up for games listening to bands like Cannibal Corpse and Napalm Death.

His intimidating presence on the pitch as well as his leadership role in the club would have ensured he had his choice of music in the dressing room whenever he chose.

Slaven Bilic

The former Croatia International player and then manager is, like Klopp, a heavy metal manager. 

As well as being a fan he is also a musician, playing guitar in rock bank Rawbau. A prog-metal band formed in his native Croatia, Rawbau take their influences from the likes of the Foo Fighters, Metalica and Aerosmith. The band recorded the anthem for Croatia’s Euro 2008 campaign , in which Bilic led his nation to the quarter finals.

Sergio Ramos

The former Real Madrid captain, now at Paris St Germain, is another footballer with a passion for heavy metal. The strong, physical defender is covered in tattoos and has a history of being one of the most formidable and aggressive defenders in world football.

Ramos once said that music is very important to him as much as it is a way of like. He and his wife, Pilar Rubio, were rumoured to be trying to organise AC/DC or Aerosmith to perform at their wedding . Swedish rock band Europe ended up being the surprise guests to perform.

Claudio Caniggia

It was no surprise that Claudio Caniggia was a big rock fan, mostly from the trademark long flowing hair and head bands he would be seen to wear in every match. He was even excluded from the Argentina world cup squad in 1998 after refusing to comply with manager Daniel Passarrelas orders to cut his hair.  

The former argentine international not only enjoys listening, but is an impressive drummer. He was even invited on to stage by Poisons Bret Michaels to perform at a show in Wisconsin during the 1994 World Cup in the United States.

In professional sport, the metal heads appear to be outnumbered by the more traditional genres. There is a sense that metal music can get an athlete pumped up and build th adrenaline before competing; but there is surely more than this.

Poster boy for metal head baseball players, Sean Doolittle , has said of At the Gates’ Slaughter of the soul “when i put it on and was walking through the ballpark I was just in the zone, nobody was getting in my way”. There is a sense that the music can help him focus with its melodic rhythm to help keep him in his routine as well as build up his confidence and competitiveness.

Researcher Costas Karageorghis looked into the effects of music on the brain. The Parts of that it affects are also necessary for athletes to perform. “If you are thinking about using music, basically use music that has some meaning to you because that is what is going to help you perform better” he says. 

His research found that some athletes who listened to heavy metal found the music helped them calm down. In general we believe it can only pump a person up, however it depends on the meanings of the song the individual depicts to the specific song. 

One song could have different affects for different individuals and it is important for the athlete to identify the specific tracks that help with their performance. Whether it be needing to get calm and composed, or pumped up and focused, metal music can help an athlete. 

For metal fans, we can see the imprint it makes on the sporting landscape, from the athletes appreciation as well as how it can influence a managers style of play for his team.

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