The start of the 2014 FIFA World Cup is only days away with host country Brazil set to get the world’s biggest soccer tournament underway on June 12 against Croatia.
As the most popular sport in the world, there’s no shortage of professional athletes in the United States that look forward to the World Cup. A few of the biggest names on the Los Angeles Lakers are big fans of the sport and always play close attention during the World Cup.
Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash are arguably the biggest soccer fans from the Lakers. Nash was recently asked about the upcoming World Cup and who he’ll be supporting. The two-time NBA MVP said the following about his allegiance heading into the tournament, according to Sam Laird of Mashable.com:
My family’s English, so I’ve always rooted for England. Then secondarily, I’m looking for Brazil. I love how they play. I love Neymar. I’d love to seem them win it in Brazil. Especially with all the protest and everything, I’d really love to see them do well in their home country.
Last summer, Nash put his soccer skills on display in a tryout for AC Milan. Nash knew his chances were remote to land a spot on the squad, but attended the tryout more for fun than anything else.
Nash’s brother, Martin, is actually a professional soccer player that has played overseas and in Canada. Martin played for his Canada’s National team from 1997 to 2010 making 38 appearances during that time.
Needless to say, Nash’s connection to the sport runs deep and he’ll definitely be paying close attention to the World Cup once things get underway later this week.
Kobe and Pau have supported Spain in the past and may do the same this time around. The five-time NBA champion is also a fan of Italian soccer and may also show some allegiance to the country in which he spent a lot of time in during his childhood.
Top Lakers Head Coaching Candidates