- NFL star JJ Watt says he has fallen in love with soccer, and his favourite player is Norwich City striker Teemu Pukki.
- “Right now, I love watching Pukki,” he told the BBC of the Finland international. “I love watching that dude play! He’s so much fun.”
- He also says he has love for two of the sport’s biggest stars too in both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
- “If I want to watch beautiful, flowing football, I’ll watch Messi. If I wanna watch somebody score goals, and find different ways score goals, and incredible physique and power, I’m gonna watch Ronaldo.”
- Watt is engaged to Houston Dash star Kealia Ohai, who he says helped him discover that he couldn’t play the sport, despite loving to watch it.
- Read more of our soccer coverage here.
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JJ Watt’s fiancee, Kealia Ohai, is a professional soccer player for the Houston Dash and the United States Womens National Team.
However, the NFL star’s love for “the beautiful game” goes way back to before he met his wife-to-be in 2016.
“I really got into it when I went and I visited Stamford Bridge, and I got to see Chelsea play and I got to see them raise the cup. And then I got to see [Didier] Drogba’s last game as a Blue,” Watt told the BBC.
“I started researching all the history, the tradition, all the clubs, all the rivalries, all the derbies, everything. And I just fell in love with it.”
While Drogba, who Watt calls “his guy”, may have kickstarted his passion for soccer however, it is another Premier League striker who has stolen his heart in recent times – 29-year-old Teemu Pukki.
Pukki, an international with Finland, has taken England’s top division by storm this season with newly promoted Norwich City, scoring six goals already and winning the division’s “Player of the Month” award for August.
“Right now, I love watching Pukki,” he said. “I love watching that dude play! He’s so much fun.”
He’s also a big fan of both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, whom he says are equally enjoyable to watch despite their contrasting styles.
“I mean I like them both for different things. If I want to watch beautiful, flowing football, I’ll watch Messi.
“If I wanna watch somebody score goals, and find different ways score goals, and incredible physique and power, I’m gonna watch Ronaldo.”
Watt may love soccer, but he leaves the playing to his fiancee
“No. I am not good,” the Houston Texans defensive end jokingly told reporters when asked if he can play.
“I found that out when I trained with my fiancee.”
Ohai, 27, signed for Houston Dash as the second overall pick in the 2014 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) College Draft, and has since gone on to make over 100 appearances for James Clarkson’s side, scoring 27 goals.
She has also earned three caps for the USWNT and scored the fastest ever debut goal in the country’s history in October 2016, when she found the net just 48 seconds after coming on as a late substitute.
“She’s very, very good,” said Watt. “I tried to play goalie, ’cause I’m big and athletic, but then she fired a shot at me from like 18 yards away and I said: ‘I don’t wanna play goalie anymore.'”
Watt and Ohai got engaged in May 2019, but are yet to set a date for their wedding.
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