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Animals Love Soccer

“The roots of our Soccer Tribe lie deep in our primeval past”, allegedly said Desmond Morris. We’re not sure which of the gentlemen came up with this interesting observation, Mr. Morris the Australian rugby league footballer, or Mr. Morris the English zoologist, but either would probably be able to tell you it’s not only people who love soccer. Members of the animal kingdom can be just as enthusiastic about this popular game, as evidenced by videos we’re sharing with you below.

Check out these two cheetahs, both rescued as young cubs. That’s legwork worthy of Benni McCarthy, isn’t it? And the speed… Impressive! A word of caution if you get tempted to join in: these graceful animals have unretractable claws capable of doing quite a bit of damage, so trying to hog the ball might not be the best idea ever.

The Dutch love their lions so much that they even came up with a football song called “Don’t leave the lion hanging out to dry”, meaning “don’t let him down”. Kevin Richardson has worked with lions for most of his life and managed to form a very special relationship, which explains why he gets to pet them like kittens and engage in a soccer match without fearing their teeth and claws. It looks tons of fun, but unless you have Kevin’s lion-whisperer skills, don’t this at home!

If you though elephants were too big and heavy to run around with a football, check out these sporty calves living at an orphanage in Kenya. Having received lessons from Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure, they’re now able to demonstrate some seriously impressive moves. Go calves!

Cows playing soccer might sound like a joke, but Dan was confident he could entice a few of his own to give it a try. Scared and confused at first, it didn’t take long for this unusual soccer team to jump on board, even though they’re so far willing to chase the oversized pink ball but have yet to launch their first strike.

Kids of all species love to play, and baby rhinos are no exception. Perhaps one wouldn’t necessarily expect their chosen game to be soccer, but these little boys (perhaps also girls?) are more than happy to run after a football adapted to their size and strength, using their snouts to hit it around. If this is not one of the cutest things you ever saw, we don’t know what is!

If you found these footages inspiring, perhaps you’ll want to teach your own pet a trick or two? Who knows, there might be a true soccer talent in your home without you having a clue.