5 Soccer Players With Ph.D. (Doctorate Degree)

Are you wondering if soccer players have PhD?

Soccer is arguably a sport that needs mental and physical strength, but certain players have advanced in educating themselves in a higher institution and due to acquiring more educational knowledge they have been awarded a PhD (Doctorate Degree).

However, in this article, I will be walking you through on the soccer players that have PhD (Doctorate Degrees)

So, without wasting time, let us proceed with the first soccer player with PhD who is Marcus Rashford

1. Marcus Rashford

marcus rashford

Marcus Rashford is one of the newest talents we have seen in soccer. The lad plays the role of a forward for Manchester United and the England national team.

On the other hand, Marcus has been called “Dr” by most of his fans due to him being among one of the soccer players with a Doctorate Degree.

Rashford is also known for certain things such as his charitable work around the focus on education and children’s nutrition.

In his early 20s, he received a Doctorate Degree from the University of Manchester in recognition of his exceptional philanthropic efforts, publicized campaign against child poverty outside of soccer, and remarkable sporting accomplishments on the field.

In the just-ended season, Marcus Rashford has scored 30 goals in all competitions for Manchester United.

At least I forget, the young talented Manchester United’s work has earned him recognition, including being awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire).

2. Gary Neville

Gary Neville

Gary Neville is a top name on the list of soccer players with a PhD.

As a Manchester United right back, Gary Neville helped his team succeed in the competitions they played in. The former Spanish side coach has won a total of 20 trophies which includes eight Premier League titles and two UEFA Champions League titles.

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He is no doubt regarded as one of the best players in England and Europe.

After he retired from football in 2011, Gary Neville went into punditry and work as a commentator for Sky Sports before being appointed a head coach at Valencia in 2015 although he had rough moments with the Spanish side which caused his dismissal.

2014 was one of the best years Neville had experienced, if not the best. He was awarded a Doctorate Degree by the University of Salford for sustainability work and this makes him one of the soccer players with this award.

3. Sócrates


You will have nothing to say to Sócrates other than praising him if you eventually saw the late Brazilian legend on the pitch with the ball. He is arguably one of the most naturally gifted and intelligent players to ever grace the soccer pitch.

Sócrates was not just hailed for his professionalism on the pitch, he was applauded for the efforts he put into his education which finally earned him a Doctorate Degree.

He first of all held a bachelor’s degree in medicine from the University of São Paulo while he was simultaneously playing on the pitch.

Well, this made him a unique player and one of the players to be a professional doctor. Having retired from professional soccer, he practiced medicine in Riberão Preto.

4. Vincent Kompany

Vincent Kompany

Former Manchester City and Belgium defender, Vincent Kompany is a soccer player who was dedicated and loyal to his profession.

While he was still a player, he never mind to leave Manchester City as he spent most of his soccer career playing for Manchester City in the English Premier League.

Kompany earned 89 caps for the Belgium national team and captained the team to third place in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The Manchester City legend did not just have a soccer life but he went ahead to push further in his academics.

In 2017, Vincent Kompany graduated from Alliance Manchester Business School with a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA)

However, it was not long enough when he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Manchester.

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5. Felix Owolabi

Felix Owolabi has made Africa proud by putting Nigeria on the map. Although he is a retired soccer player, he is among the soccer players that have been honored with a Doctorate following his hard work in academics.

Felix featured prominently for the Nigerian national team in the 1970s and early 1980s.

The former soccer player played as a left winger and was a squad member of the Super Eagles that won the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in 1980 and finished as the third-best team in the 1978 edition.

Having been a soccer player who rooted for his education, he was able to obtain his first degrees and even went as far as getting a PhD in Physical Education from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.


Being awarded an honorary doctorate for soccer players has always seemed difficult due to them pushing their careers off and on the pitch but then, certain soccer players such as Gary Neville, Marcus Rashford, Felix Owolabi, and others have done their best in putting their countries on the map.

Despite having beautiful soccer careers, they pushed further for their academics and they need to be well applauded for a work well-done.

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