Barry, Wales, UK. 6th Oct, 2020. David Cotterill of Barry Town instructs play against Cardiff Met Barry Town United v Cardiff Met at Jenner Park in the JD Cymru Premier on the 6th October 2020.

11 footballers who believe in conspiracy theories (that don’t all play for Southampton)

We all like a good conspiracy theory, but it’s not just Southampton players that truly believe in them – as former Manchester City, Liverpool and Real Madrid stars demonstrate

Football is awash with conspiracy theories, from Ronaldo’s appearance in the 1998 World Cup final to Paul the Octopus supposedly faking his own death.

But many players also buy into conspiracy theories concerning the wider world, and we’ve looked at 11 of the best.

Matt Le Tissier

Is the communist takeover in the room with you, Matt?

Matthew Le Tissier, former Southampton FC football player photographed in London, England, United Kingdom.

READ: 11 of Matt Le Tissier’s wildest conspiracy theories from vaccines to the ‘communist takeover’

Rickie Lambert

There must be something in the water at Southampton; Lambert has joined club legend Le Tissier in becoming more and more outspoken and sharing views that many would consider to be controversial.

But his most hilarious was surely the theory that the way you speak to a glass of water affects its taste. Yep, you read that right.

In a sincere tone and with a straight-face Lambert says: “They’ve [scientists] done a test where you spoke positively to one glass of water, froze it, spoke negatively to another glass of water, froze it. Then [they] examined the ice.

“The negativity water was full of holes and blackness. The glass of water that was spoke to positively was full of crystals.

“They’ve done experiments to the word, to the word, and the water responded the same way every time if you spoke to it a certain way.

“The one word where water responds in the most beautiful way and [produced] the most beautiful crystals is showing gratitude to water. So everything I was saying about manifestation is down to showing gratitude.”

Somebody check on James Ward-Prowse, quick.

David Cotterill

Capped 24 times for the Wales national side, Cotterill’s tweets make Le Tissier and Lambert’s views seem quite quaint.

The former midfielder thinks that the moon landings were fake, that the narrative on climate change is flawed and that the world is governed by a global paedophile ring.

In May 2022, in the wake of the Robb Elementary School shooting that claimed 21 lives of mainly small children, he claimed on Instagram that ​“crisis actors” were used.

What’s tragic about Cotterill’s descent into conspiracy is that as recently as 2018, he was widely praised for sharing his history with mental illness, a taboo subject in the macho world of football. Grim.

Flat Earth FC

For a brief period, Fuenlabrada Promesas Madrid were known as Flat Earth FC. You’ll never guess why…

“We are born to unite the voices of millions of flat earth movement followers and all those people who are looking for answers,” club President Javi Poves said in an announcement.

“This will also be the first football club associated with a cause and an idea, without having a specific location. Professional football clubs are subject not only to a nation, but also to a city.

“Flat Earth FC is the first football club whose followers are united by the most important thing, which is an idea.”

Dejan Lovren

Lovren was used to criticism on the pitch during his time at Liverpool, but came under fire for backing a conspiracy theory that suggested the coronavirus is a ploy to force the general public into vaccinations.

The defender left a comment under Bill Gates’ Instagram post thanking healthcare workers stating: “Game over Bill. People are not blind”.

He also referred to himself as being part of “the resistance” and promoted the work of conspiracy theorist David Icke. More on him later.

Iker Casillas

Casillas caught everybody by surprise when he tweeted out his take on whether or not man walked on the moon.

“Next year will be 50 years of the (supposed) moon landing. I’m at a dinner with friends arguing about it. Do you think man stepped on the moon? I don’t think so!”

The World Cup winner had the good grace to ask his followers for their opinion on the matter, and it was a relatively close call.

David Icke

Where to start with David Icke?

Let’s get the straightforward information out of the way: he played in goal for Hereford in the fourth and third tiers of English football in the early 70s.

Right then, so what conspiracies is Icke into?

Just the usual really: he believes he is a “son of the godhead”, the world was going to end in 1997, many members of the ruling class are actually reptiles, the world as we perceive it is a holographic projection…there are loads more here.

He also pisses on Casillas’ theory – he doesn’t believe the moon even exists.

Carlos Roa

The late 90s were pretty interesting for Roa. The goalkeeper won the Spanish Super Cup with Mallorca and famously saved David Batty’s decisive penalty as Argentina knocked England out of the 1998 World Cup.

But in 1999, just as he entered his prime for a goalkeeper, Roa decided to retire from football to undergo a religious retreat as a devout Seventh-day Adventist.

He subsequently refused to discuss a new contract with Mallorca as he believed the world was going to end with the new millennium.

“The year 2000 is going to be difficult,” Roa said. “In the world, there is war, hunger, plague, much poverty, floods. I can assure you that those people who don’t have a spiritual connection with God and the type of life that he wants will be in trouble.”

Less than a year later, he sheepishly returned to Mallorca, forced to play out the remaining two years on his contract, although he failed to regain the form which made him Argentina’s No.1.

Nathan Eccleston

Liverpool fans may remember Eccleston as a promising young forward who made a handful of appearances for the club, missing a decisive penalty in the shock League Cup defeat to Northampton.

But he’s possibly better remembered for being investigated by the Reds for suggesting the 9/11 terrorist attacks were carried out by the Illuminati.

On the tenth anniversary of the attacks, Eccleston tweeted: “I aint going to say attack don’t let the media make u believe that was terrorist that did it. #O.T.I.S. [‘Only the Illuminati Succeed’].”

Matias Vitkieviez

Uruguayan forward Vitkieviez made headlines in 2016 when he captured footage of a UFO near Servette FC’s Stade de Geneve.

A number of others also witnesses the scene, with one telling the Geneva Tribune: “It was about 8:30pm, the phenomenon lasted about 20 seconds and the object departed at once, as if it was burning.”

Vitkieviez posted a video to Facebook with the caption: “Everyone sees the same thing as me? It’s completely crazy! UFO above the industrial area behind the stage of la praille #ufogva”

Fabian Delph

This isn’t a conspiracy theory as such, but it’s still worth a mention.

“I see ghosts all the time, genuinely,” Delph told City’s YouTube channel in 2016. “I think I’ve seen probably four. I’ve seen them.

“When I first signed for Villa I stayed in a hotel, I’ve forgotten what it’s called. There was a lot of things moving in the room, a lot of bangs and when I had hair, the hair on the back of my neck was standing up.

“And about four months ago I’ve seen, in my house in God’s country, I saw two ghosts in the bedroom. I don’t think they’re there to harm me.  But I’ve definitely seen them. It was just a split second and then they were gone.

“The one four months ago, that actually was carrying a body, it went out onto my balcony, then disappeared.”

You alright, Fab?

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