?It’s been an unusual few years for British politics, but for many seeing a coin toss between Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson to become the new Conservative Party leader – and, in turn, the new Prime Minister – has been among the lowest point in our recent political history.
After winning 66.4% in the Tory leadership vote, Johnson will officially become the new Prime Minister on Wednesday.
Football and politics, for better or for worse, are inevitably intertwined and one more than one occasion some of the beautiful game’s biggest names have crossed the divide, with the most notable among them being Andriy Shevchenko and George Weah.
Johnson has already proven on numerous occasions that he’s unlikely to ever challenge those at the highest level of professional sport, having once quite famously rugby tackled a child and also headbutted former Germany international Maurizio Gaudino in the nether region during a charity match.
While the 55-year-old might not be an immediate threat to professional sport, we suspect there are more than a handful of football players past and present who could waltz into Johnson’s shoes and even become a better Prime Minister than BoJo himself.
Although you might technically need to be a British citizen – being Irish or from one of the Commonwealth would also allow you to become an MP initially – Juventus and Italy legend Giorgio Chiellini is more than qualified to become the face of the United Kingdom.
A natural leader, Chiellini not only has a bachelor’s degree in economics and commerce, but the 34-year-old has also picked up a Masters degree for Business Administration.
Despite facing similar eligibility to the aforementioned Chiellini, few can question that ‘Doctor Sócrates’ would make a fine Prime Minister…even though he’s, well, dead.
The former Brazil international didn’t just earn his nickname through his elegance on the pitch, as Sócrates was, in fact, a fully qualified doctor.
He also held a doctorate in Philosophy.
Before anyone out there even begins to think about questioning if the country would be in a safe pair of hands or not (you utter bullies), Liverpool’s back-up goalkeeper Simon Mignolet would be the perfect person to lead the United Kingdom.
He holds a degree in Political Science, can already apply for UK citizenship, and Mignolet also speaks an impressive five languages – although unfortunately, that’s unlikely to be much of a deciding factor in post-Brexit Britain.
If you were hoping that Frank Lampard’s work with youth players would put him on the left side of the political scale, you’d actually be completely wrong.
Because if there’s one this we know is vital to becoming affiliated with the Conservative Party it’s someone’s ability in Latin, and Lampard passed that course – no, he surprisingly didn’t go to a comprehensive – with an A*.
It’s rumoured that Lampard was also asked to stand as a Conservative MP in Kensington.
Of all the names you didn’t expect to see, Leeds United forward Patrick Bamford might just be at the top of that list.
Conversationally fluent in both German and French, the privately educated footballer was actually offered a scholarship by Harvard University in Massachusetts.
But he turned down their offer to instead join Nottingham Forest, where he’s since gone on to play for Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Burnley.
Bamford isn’t the only player on this list to reject a respectable career away from football, as Real Salt Lake centre-back Nedum Onuoha is claimed to have turned down a career in medicine.
Picking up A-Levels in Maths, Business and IT – all at an A grade – the 32-year-old then went on to start a degree whilst he was still on the books at Manchester City over a decade ago.
“I have now finished my A-Levels and start an accountancy degree part-time in September,” Onuoha told City in 2005. “It is not just a case of filling in my spare time with education. The degree is something that I know I have to do.”
Having a degree in Mechanical Engineering hardly makes former West Ham goalkeeper Shaka Hislop the most well-educated player on this list.
But what makes the London-born, Trinidad and Tobago international stand out more than any other fictitious candidate for Prime Minister is his experience as an intern with – drum roll please – NASA.