Neurodiversity is a lot more common thank we think. This blog outlines 5 neurodivergent footballers.
1. Lionel Messi
In addition to his sporting exploits, it is rumoured that Messi is on the autistic spectrum. There is unconfirmed reports that Messi was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome at the age of 9. He is reported to have exhibited qualities common among those with Aspergers during his childhood in the late 1980’s, when he would rarely speak to peers when he wasnt training or playing football games.
2. Steven Naismith
Naismith is an Everton and Scotland football star and is dyslexic. He has previously revealed how his condition has actually benefited him in his football career, despite struggling at school. In a recent interview, he said about how during a game against Arsenal, he worked out the probability of Romelu Lakaku scoring, the possibility of the keeper saving the goal and, by computing a series of variables, arrived to score what seemed a simple goal.
3. Paul Merson
Paul Merson previously played for Aston Villa. His football career has seen him score some of the most creative goals in the Premiership. He’s revealed about how he had a difficult time at school, because of his problems with reading and writing.
4. Michael Owen
Michael Owen is a Manchester United star, and said he kept his Tourettes Syndrome private during his playing career. He revealed how it “never flares up during commentary for some reason, so the public haven’t known about it. I’m opening up now because I want to raise awareness.”
5. Sam Allardyce
Allardyce is a former football player and manager of Sunderland. He discovered in later life he was dyslexic and as a child struggled at school.