Is football going vegan?

Is football going vegan?

Old School Football | Home of retro football clothing

Is the football game of the future going to be powered by plants?

According to a recent survey by, veganism is said to have risen by 700% in recent years with 21% of us claiming to be either vegan or vegetarian and 31% responding that they are eating less meat.

veganAlongside the likes of Messi, Aguero, Bellerin and Defoe we in the Old School Football household, are also enjoying the delights of plant-based meals so we thought we'd investigate the footballers who have taken veganism to heart?

Arsenal defender, Hector Bellerin credits his vegan diet with quicker recovery after a game and for reducing the inflammation in his ankles so much that he no longer needs to strap them.  Of his plant based diet the Spanish right-back explains, “now I see myself totally dependent on this particular diet. There is no denying that I love it more than anything else on my table"

In an interview with the Manchester Evening News, last year, Manchester City and England midfielder, Fabian Delph, described his new lifestyle as key to his progression and explained that he felt strengthened by the transition. 

Delph, was concerned that his career may be coming to a premature end when he began struggling through ligament injuries.  He embarked on a review of his whole approach including mindfulness, meditation and Tai Chi and switched to a vegan diet.

Rangers signing, Jermaine Defoe, believes a vegan diet could help him prolong his career in the youthful world of top flight football  "This is me sending a message out to the younger players to say, if you can do what I am doing, and think about what you are eating, then they could play into your late 30s and early 40s."

As the seventh best goal scorer in Premier League history, he’s eating to stay in the game.

He’ll have a lot to talk about with other Rangers teammate, Russell Martin, at the time of writing, on loan from Norwich, who claims that his reformed eating regime is responsible for improvements in both his speed and agility “I recover quicker after games now and feel good. I can’t think of one negative thing on my game.”

Fellow ex-Norwich City player, Declan Rudd also pinned his allegiances to plants and the goalkeeper, now at Preston North End, says he’s healthier than he’s ever been.

vegan_food _for_footballSergio Aguero and Lionel Messi both follow a diet free of animal products, during the season.

Aguero, the Argentinean striker, who has scored 119 goals in his last four seasons wearing the Man. City shirt, was experiencing troubling injuries back in 2015.  He consulted an Italian doctor who prescribed the elimination of sugar, pasta and meat.  He has stated that his recoveries and his performance, since his plant-based transformation, have encouraged him to continue this particular food pathway.

Messi is said to have consulted the same doctor.  The 5 times winner of the Balloon D’Or switched to a mainly vegan diet back in 2017

Sebastian Perez, the Colombian midfielder, also decided to become vegan in 2017, for, what he describes as, ethical reasons and respect for other animals and, when Shaun Briersley, the Notts County defender, was interviewed by the Nottingham Post about his lifestyle change, he said, “I gave up meat and it’s the best I’ve ever felt playing football”

Alex Morgan, USA and Orlando Pride soccer player and Katie Rood, Bristol City forward, are amongst fellow female footballers to have taken the vegan pledge and with sports stars like, Venus Williams, Lewis Hamilton, David Haye, Kara Lang, Novak Djokovic and Chris Smalling also swearing by the power of plants, perhaps it was only a matter of time before a whole sporting club would declare themselves vegan.

Meat pies used to be the main feature of the retro football supporter’s time on the terraces but Forest Green Rovers have become the World’s First Vegan Football Club, with only plant-based food available to both fans and players at the stadium. 

Maybe football is going a little bit greener and compassion really is the new cool?




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