Top 18 Late Night TV Appearances By Soccer Players
Americans loves celebrities like apple pie and making fun of baseball. It’s why late night TV shows constantly barrage us with uninspired interviews of famous actors trying to get us to watch their new thing.
But occasionally, a late night show does something truly inspired. They bring on a soccer player, someone who can actually keep the viewers who aren’t in states where marijuana is legalized awake.
While soccer is often seen as on the periphery in American culture, late night shows have increasingly realized the allure of featuring footballers who appeal to the young audience every marketing person always says he or she covets.
From the USWNT making the rounds after winning the 2015 Women’s World Cup to Trevor Noah’s poignant commentary on the France World Cup-winning squad’s Africanness, soccer is a growing staple on late night talk shows.
With that in mind, here are the 18 greatest late night appearances by soccer players. Note: These were restricted to American late-night TV shows.
18 Best Late Night TV Appearances By Soccer Players
#18. The Deuce Talks Soccer With Letterman (2014)
The USMNT was so popular at the 2014 World Cup, Clint Dempsey was the first guest on Letterman when he came back.
#17. James Corden Takes On LAFC (2018)
James Corden took home the trophy.
#16. Carli Lloyd Talks Men Flopping With Seth Meyers (2015)
Carli Lloyd doesn’t understand why men flop, either.
#15. Three Questions With David Beckham (2015)
Becks contemplates the deeper questions in life, such as kicking fruit.
#14. Letterman Gushes Over Landycakes (2010)
Late night shows really only invite U.S. players on after World Cups.
#13. Carli Lloyd Dunks James Corden (2015)
Judy Greer gave it a good go, but Chris Tucker is not good at the soccer.
#12. Zlatan Proves He Can Do It All (2018)
He can floss (dance) and open a jar of pickles. But he couldn’t get the Galaxy into the playoffs.
#11. James Corden Coaches Arsenal (2016)
James Corden really should’ve taken over the Gunners after Arsene Wenger left.
#10. Mia Hamm Makes Fun Of Michelle Akers (1996)
One of the earliest appearances for a U.S. soccer player on late night TV was by Mia Hamm, appearing on Letterman after winning the 1996 Olympics. (Apologies, you'll have to watch this one on YouTube.)
#9. Neymar Scores From Roof To Roof (2017)
Before everyone decided to hate Neymar, the then-Barcelona standout attempted to score on poor Guillermo from one building to another.
#8. Thierry Henry Takes Aim At James Corden (2016)
Henry could hit the upper 90 from 25 yards out, but can he avoid James Corden from 10 yards? This was funny until Ashton Kutcher showed up.
#7. James Corden Outcoaches Jose Mourinho (2018)
The 100 kids vs. three pros bit never gets old.
#6. Zlatan Announces Himself To America On Jimmy Kimmel (2018)
Zlatan’s first late night appearance after debuting with the LA Galaxy was a memorable one.
#5. Conan Plays Pick-Up With Giovani Dos Santos (2017)
No one wants to see Conan’s gangly, pasty legs, but he did bribe the goalie to let him score. Conan also has a history of clever celebrations.
#4. Zlatan Is The Universe’s Best Fortune Teller (2018)
In addition to being the universe’s best footballer, Zlatan Ibrahimovic claimed to be the best fortune teller in the universe, much to James Corden’s dismay.
#3. David Beckham Breaks Eggs With Jimmy Fallon (2014)
This one gets a little messy.
#2. Hope Solo Soccersplains 2011 Women’s World Cup Final To Letterman (2011)
Hope Solo and Abby Wambach appeared on David Letterman’s show shortly after losing to Japan in the 2011 Women’s World Cup final. They also kicked soccer balls at New York cabs, but the video quality sucks.
#1. David Beckham Pranked By James Corden (2019)
We could’ve chosen any number of bits Corden and Beckham have done together, from auditioning to be the next James Bond to debuting a new underwear line, but this prank was just too good, one of the rare cases in which a prank is actually funny.