Of all the American athletes currently playing professional sports overseas, Dustin Johnson might be one of the most renowned and popular. He recently resigned his membership from the PGA Tour and announced his decision to join LIV Golf, a new Saudi Arabia-backed pro golf tour.
While his decision was met with criticism from many who say he chose ‘money over country,’ Johnson says his new $125 million contract with LIV Golf is about family more than anything else. “I get to spend a lot more time with my family and doing the things I love to do,” he said.
Of course, he wasn’t the only one to join the tour. There were a total of 42 players in the field for their first event, many of which are coming from the PGA Tour. It has become one of the biggest talked about stories in all of sports lately, especially given the political tension with Saudi Arabia.
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American Athletes That Play Overseas
When Dustin Johnson announced his decision to play golf overseas, he joined a growing trend for many players in their respective sports. For example, many WNBA players play overseas during the offseason to earn extra money – Brittney Griner is an unfortunate example.
Many NHL players play overseas in their development years before making the jump to the NHL and in their later years when the NHL doesn’t want them anymore. The same is true for many baseball players, who mainly travel to Japan and Australia when looking for a job.
Then again, if you want to be successful in soccer, you better hope you find a job overseas – more specifically in Europe. The point is American athletes playing sports overseas is nothing new and isn’t going away anytime soon. Here are 20 American athletes doing so right now!
20. Brandon Davies
Brandon Davies went to BYU and was a key player for them between 2011 and 2013. He went undrafted in 2013, but landed with the Los Angeles Clippers and eventually made his NBA debut later that season with the Philadelphia 76ers. Unfortunately, he was out of the NBA by 2015.
That same year, he signed with Élan Chalon of the LNB Pro A. Since then, he has played exclusively overseas, including the Lega Serie A, EuroLeague, and Liga ACB. He currently plays for FC Barcelona and is averaging 9.1 points and 5.6 rebounds per game in 7 games.
19. Stephen Thompson Jr.
Stephen Thompson Jr., who also goes by Stevie Thompson, played four years of college basketball at Oregon State. He averaged 14.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.5 steals during that time. Unfortunately, he went undrafted in 2019 and hasn’t played a game in the NBA.
He did spend some time in the NBA G-League in 2019 and 2020, but he was playing in Serie B Basket (Italy) by August 2020 and currently plays for Reggio Emilia of the Serie A (Italy). He’s still just 25 years old so he still has time to forge a path to the NBA, but it won’t be easy for him.
18. Carter Camper
Carter Camper played four years of college hockey at Miami University before making his pro debut in 2011 and his NHL debut in 2012. He played in three games for the Boston Bruins and scored one goal, but spent the next eight years in the AHL with several different organizations.
In 2020, Camper decided to bring a halt to his American hockey career and took his talents to the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) – Sweden’s top league. He’s a member of Leksands IF and has recorded 25 goals, 69 assists, and 94 points in 96 games played. He has been a beast.
17. Isaiah Canaan
Isaiah Canaan played four productive years of college basketball at Murray State University, where he averaged 15.5 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. He then spent six years in the NBA with several teams, playing his best ball in 2015 and 2016.
In 2019, Canaan decided to take his talents to China and after a brief stint in the NBA G-League, he spent two years playing in Russia before leaving the country due to the invasion of Ukraine. He’s now playing with Galatasaray Nef of the BSL (Turkey) and is playing very well right now.
16. Bryce Cotton
Bryce Cotton played four years of college basketball at Providence College before going undrafted in 2014 and bouncing around between the NBA and the NBA Development League for the next few years. By 2016, he started flirting with the idea of playing abroad and went to China.
After a brief stint in China, he took his talents back to the US before heading to Turkey. By December 2016, he landed in the NBL with the Perth Wildcats and he has flourished ever since. He’s a three-time MVP, five-time scoring champ, and three-time champion in the NBL.
15. Tremont Waters
Tremont Waters played three years of college basketball at LSU before being drafted by the Boston Celtics with the 51st overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Over the past three years, he has struggled to find his footing in the league and even found himself in the G League this year.
After the G League season came to an end, Waters was selected first overall in the Baloncesto Superior Nacional draft. He currently plays for the Gigantes de Carolina in Australia and has played in 17 games this year – averaging 17.1 points, 7.6 assists, and 2.7 rebounds per game.
14. Mike James
Mike James played four years of college basketball – two years at Eastern Arizona College and two more at Lamar University. He went undrafted in 2012 and immediately took his talents to Croatia. Over the next five years, he spent time playing basketball in Italy, Greece, and Spain.
In 2017, James got his shot in the NBA and it started well, but quickly went sour. By 2018, he returned to Greece and went to Italy as he built momentum again. After two years in Russia, he returned to the NBA and played 13 games with Kevin Durant in 2021, but now plays in France.
13. Jahlil Okafor
Jahlil Okafor was a five-star recruit out of high school and played one successful season at Duke University before declaring for the NBA Draft. He was selected third overall by the Philadelphia 76ers and had a bright future ahead of him, but unfortunately injuries plagued him.
Between 2015 and 2021, Okafor struggled to play consistently in the NBA – though he always had a contract offer waiting for him. After four teams in six years, he took his talents to the CBA in China and currently plays for the Zhejiang Lions where he is playing like his college self.
12. Chris Richards
Chris Richards grew up in Birmingham, AL and initially caught the attention of both Texans SC Houston and FC Dallas Academy in 2017. He signed a contract with Dallas FC in 2018, but was sent to Germany as part of a tryout with Bayern Munich and it reportedly went very well.
Richards signed a contract with Munich and was with the team up until 2021, when he was loaned to another German club, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. Since 2018, Richards has scored 7 goals and dished 5 assists in 111 matches. He’s just 22 years old and has a bright future.
11. Weston McKennie
Weston McKennie was born in Fort Lewis, Washington, but his family had to move to Germany between the ages of six and nine due to his father being stationed there in the United States Air Force. This is where McKennie started playing soccer and he quickly emerged as a prospect.
In fact, McKennie turned down a scholarship offer to play at the University of Virginia to start his professional career in 2016. After several years with Schalke 04 in Bundesliga, he has been with Juventus in Serie A (Italy) since 2021. At just 23 years old, he’s one of soccer’s youngest stars.
10. Dwayne Bacon
Dwayne Bacon played two seasons at Florida State University and was drafted by the New Orleans Pelicans in 2017 with the 40th overall pick in the second round. After three seasons with the team, he had the best season of his career with the Magic during the 2020-21 season.
Unfortunately, his strong play wouldn’t earn him a consistent spot on an NBA roster and he would find himself taking his talents to the French LNB Pro A. He currently plays for the AS Monaco Basket and is averaging 13.1 points, 1.4 assists, and 4.2 rebounds in 16 games.
9. James Ennis III
James Ennis III grew up in Ventura, California and played four years of college basketball at Oxnard College, Ventura College, and Long Beach State. Despite being taken by the Atlanta Hawks in the 2013 NBA Draft, Ennis III eventually chose to pursue a better contract overseas.
After a couple years overseas in Australia and Puerto Rico, Ennis III made his return to the NBA and spent the next eight seasons in the league – most recently with the Denver Nuggets. As of March 2022, Ennis III is playing for Hapoel Haifa of the Israeli Basketball Premier League.
8. Giovanni Reyna
Although Giovanni Reyna was born in England, he was born to American parents – his father was playing professional soccer for Sunderland at the time. They eventually made the move back to the United States by the time Giovanni was five years old – where he would grow up.
Soccer was always a big part of his life and he started his youth career with New York City FC in 2015. By 2019, he made the move to Germany and he currently plays for Borussia Dortmund in Bundesliga (Germany). He has recorded 18 goals and 20 assists in 93 matches since 2019.
7. Delmon Young
Delmon Young grew up in Camarillo, California and was the first overall draft pick in the 2003 MLB Draft out of high school. He made his major league debut on August 29, 2006 (he had two hits, one home run, and two RBIs) and last played on June 29, 2015 with the Baltimore Orioles.
Young enjoyed a decade in the major leagues, recording 109 home runs, 566 RBIs, and 473 runs scored. In 2017, he decided he wanted to resurrect his career and signed with the Melbourne Aces in Australia. He has also played baseball in Mexico and Venezuela since then.
6. Shane Larkin
Shane Larkin grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio to an athletic family – his father was a Hall of Fame baseball player. While he wouldn’t pursue baseball, he would find solace in basketball and played two years of college ball at the University of Miami before declaring for the NBA Draft.
Larkin was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks with the 18th pick in 2013, but his draft rights were quickly traded to the Dallas Mavericks. He spent four years in the NBA, but has been playing with the Anadolu Efes in Turkey since 2018 – where he has become nothing short of a star.
5. Adam Jones
Adam Jones grew up in San Diego, California and was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the first round of the 2003 MLB Draft out of Samuel F. B. Morse High School. He made his major league debut on July 14, 2006 and played his last MLB game on September 28, 2019.
During his 14-year MLB career, Jones hit 282 home runs, 945 runs batted in, and 963 runs scored. He decided to leave the MLB to pursue a career with Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan. He last played for the Orix Buffaloes and was looking like his usual self at the plate.
4. Jimmer Fredette
Jimmer Fredette grew up in New York City, but played four years of college basketball at BYU – where he broke numerous records and once scored 52 points in a game. He was selected 10th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2011, but had his rights traded to the Sacramento Kings.
Fredette has always struggled to translate his college success onto an NBA court. He played well in the G League, but it wasn’t until he landed in China that he took off – averaging more than 36.9 points per game in each of his first three seasons. He scored 70 points in a game last year.
3. Christian Pulisic
Christian Pulisic grew up in Hershey, Pennsylvania, though he spent several years of his childhood in England. He began his youth career in 2005 and caught the eye of Borussia Dortmund in 2015. He began his senior career with the club in 2016 and played there until 2019.
Since 2019, Pulisic has been a key player for Chelsea of the Premier League. He has 58 goals and 58 assists in 267 matches. At just 23 years old, he’s one of the game’s brightest young stars and is someone to keep an eye on – especially with the United States’ national team.
2. Rickie Fowler
Alright, Rickie Fowler hasn’t officially announced his intent to play overseas and there’s still a chance it doesn’t happen, but there are a lot of rumors that he might be the next big star to join Dustin Johnson on the LIV Golf tour. He remains open to the idea of a change in scenery.
Fowler turned professional in 2009 and has nine professional wins to his name – five of which came on the PGA Tour. He finished either second or tied for second in each of the four major championships. If he does make the move to play overseas, it would be a big loss for the PGA.
1. Phil Mickelson
Rickie Fowler hasn’t made up his mind on LIV Golf, but Phil Mickelson – a billionaire and one of the sport’s greatest of all-time – has. He recently joined Dustin Johnson on the tour and has signed the biggest contract – totaling over $200 million to join the tour, not including winnings.
Mickelson has received a lot of criticism for this move, but it’s one he’s ready to double down on. He turned pro in 2009 and has 57 professional wins to his name – 45 of which came on the PGA Tour. He also won six major championships, including three Masters Tournament wins.
Most Popular American Athletes Abroad
There are those American athletes that play overseas and then there are those American athletes that have incredibly large fan support overseas – despite playing in the United States. For example, LeBron James is just as famous across the globe as he is in his home country.
Some of the other most popular American athletes overseas include Tiger Woods, Kevin Durant, Phil Mickelson (also plays overseas), Stephen Curry, Ronda Rousey, Rory McIlroy, Serena Williams, Tom Brady, Dwyane Wade, Shaun White, and James Harden.
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The major professional sports leagues in America are often far more competitive than in other countries – except for soccer. With that said, countries are finally making strides and the more they recruit American athletes, the more that competition will continue to grow in the future.
30 International Soccer Stars Who Will Make You Swoon
It can be argued that international soccer stars make up some of the sexiest, hottest, and most jaw-dropping athletes in the entire world. They not only look good on the field, but they clean up well and will make you swoon with their looks – of course, they all have great bodies, as well.
It’s something that’s easy to overlook when they’re all sweaty in their team uniform, but things start to change the second you glance at their photos on Instagram. Their true beauty begins to show and it’s at that moment that you gain a new celebrity/athlete crush – we’ve all been there.
Today, the football community is filled with international soccer stars that are known to drop jaws and turn heads. They come from all over and play in leagues all around the world, meaning fans everywhere have soccer stars to gush over – you’ll even find me swooning over some of them.
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International Soccer Stars Worth Swooning Over
The Cambridge English Dictionary defines ‘swoon’ as ‘to feel a lot of pleasure, love, etc. because of something or someone’ – generally making that individual faint from extreme emotion. If you ask us, there are a wide range of soccer stars that fall into that category.
For example, some of the sexiest and best-looking soccer stars in the United States include Alex Morgan, Kealia Watt, Sydney Laroux, Ali Krieger, Fabian Johnson, Christian Pulisic, Tyler Adams, Julie Ertz, Weston McKennie, Christen Press, Amy Rodriguez, and more.
With that said, we’re not here to talk about the hottest soccer stars in the United States. Instead, we’re going to look at some of the sexiest international soccer stars in countries around the world – including Spain, Brazil, France, Portugal, Colombia, Portugal, Sweden, and much more.
30. Melanie Leupolz
Melanie Leupolz is a 28-year-old German midfielder who currently plays for Chelsea of the Women’s Super League – she has also played 75 international games for the Germany women’s national team. She won the Women’s Super League, Women’s League Cup, and Women’s Cup in 2020-21 with Chelsea.
29. Fabian Schär
Fabian Schär is a 30-year-old Swiss centre-back who currently plays for Newcastle United of the Premier League – he has also played 71 international games for Switzerland’s national team. In February 2019, he scored the Premier League Goal of the Month in a 1-0 win against Burnley.
28. Julia Simic
Julia Simic is a 33-year-old German midfielder who last played for Milan during the 2020-21 season – she also played two international games with the Germany national team between 2016 and 2021. She retired from the sport in 2021, but she continues to turn heads on social media.
27. Granit Xhaka
Granit Xhaka is a 29-year-old midfielder who currently plays for Arsenal of the Premier League – he has also played 104 international games with the Switzerland national team since 2011 and is the current captain of the team. He has scored 12 international goals, with his last coming in November 2019.
26. Line Røddik Hansen
Line Røddik Hansen is a 34-year-old Danish defender who last played for FC Nordsjælland of the Elitedivisionen (the top division in Denmark) in 2020 – she also played 132 international games with Denmark’s national team between 2006 and 2017. She has since retired from the sport.
25. Thibaut Courtois
Thibaut Courtois is a 30-year-old Belgian goalkeeper who is currently playing for Real Madrid of the UEFA Champions League – he has also played 94 international games with Belgium’s national team since 2011. Considered one of the best in the world, he also has a history with Chelsea and Atlético Madrid.
24. Beatriz Zaneratto João
Beatriz Zaneratto João is a 28-year-old Brazilian forward who currently plays for Palmeiras on loan from Wuhan Jianghan University. She has also played 100 international games with Brazil’s national team since 2011, scoring 33 international goals in that time. She competed at the 2016 Olympics.
23. Gerard Piqué
Gerard Piqué is a 35-year-old Spanish centre-back who currently plays for Barcelona of La Liga – he has also played 102 international games with spain and 10 international games with Catalonia. Over the past 15 years, he has established himself as one of the greatest defenders of his generation.
22. Lara Dickenmann
Lara Dickenmann is a 36-year-old Swiss midfielder and full-back who last played for VfL Wolfsburg in 2021 – she also played 135 international games with Switzerland’s national team between 2002 and 2018, where she scored 53 international goals. She had an illustrious college career at Ohio State University, breaking a lot of records in the process.
21. James Rodriguez
James Rodriguez is a 31-year-old Colombian midfielder and winger who currently plays for Al-Rayyan of the Qatar Stars League – he has also played 86 international games with Colombia’s national team since 2011, where he has scored 24 international goals. Sorry ladies, but he’s married.
20. Nicole Banecki
Nicole Banecki is a 33-year-old German forward who currently plays for Bayer 04 Leverkusen of the Frauen-Bundesliga. She played for the German national team in 2008 and 2009, playing in five international games. She was at her best in 2013 and 2014 with SC Kriens of the Frauen Nationalliga A.
19. Francisco Román Alarcón Suárez
Francisco Román Alarcón Suárez, who most of us know as Isco, is a 30-year-old Spanish attacking midfielder who currently plays for Sevilla of La Liga – he also played 38 international games with Spain’s national team between 2013 and 2019. He had his most successful stint with Real Madrid between 2013 and 2022.
18. Nichelle Prince
Nichelle Prince is a 27-year-old Canadian forward who currently plays for the Houston Dash of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) – she has also played 83 international games with Canada’s national team, scoring 13 goals in the process. She was a star at Ohio State University between 2013 and 2016.
17. Radamel Falcao
Radamel Falcao is a 36-year-old Colombian forward who currently plays for Rayo Vallecano of La Liga – he has also played 99 international games with Colombia’s national team, scoring 35 goals since 2007 and becoming the team’s all-time leading scorer. He’s one of the best forwards in the world.
16. Nayeli Rangel
Nayeli Rangel is a 30-year-old Mexican midfielder who currently plays for Tigres UANL of the Liga MX Femenil – she has also played 81 international games with Mexico’s national team, scoring seven goals since 2012. She is reportedly in a relationship, which means she’s off the market – sorry fellas.
15. Dele Alli
Dele Alli is a 26-year-old English attacking midfielder who currently plays for Everton of the Premier League – he has also played 37 international games with England’s national team, scoring three goals between 2015 and 2019. He’s still searching for his first goal with Everton, having played 13 domestic league games so far.
14. Frederikke Thøgersen
Frederikke Thøgersen is a 27-year-old Danish midfielder who currently plays for FC Rosengård of the Damallsvenskan in Sweden – she has also played 54 international games with Denmark’s national team since 2014. She is in a relationship with Søren Henriksen, a defender for Vendsyssel FF.
13. Neymar Jr.
Neymar Jr. is a 30-year-old Brazilian winger who currently plays for Paris Saint-Germain of the Ligue 1 – he has also played 119 international games with Brazil’s national team. His 74 goals for Brazil since 2010 is ranked second all-time, trailing none other than Pelé with 77 goals.
12. Adriana Leon
Adriana Leon is a 29-year-old Canadian winger who currently plays for Manchester United of the Women’s Super League – she has also played 86 international games with Canada’s national team, scoring 24 goals with the team. Her last international goal came on July 14, 2022 in a 3-0 win against Jamaica.
11. Lukas Podolski
Lukas Podolski is a 37-year-old German forward who currently plays for Górnik Zabrze of the Ekstraklasa in Poland. Podolski has also played 130 international games with Germany’s national team, scoring 49 international goals in the process. He is married to Monika Puchaslki and they share two children together.
10. Kosovare Asllani
Kosovare Asllani is a 33-year-old Swedish striker and attacking midfielder who currently plays for AC Milan of the Italian Serie A – she has also played 166 international games for Sweden’s national team, scoring 44 goals since 2008. Her last international goal came on July 17, 2022 in a 5-0 win against Portugal.
9. Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo is a 37-year-old Portuguese forward who currently plays for Manchester United of the Premier League. One of the most iconic and talented international soccer stars of all-time, Ronaldo is the captain of Portugal’s national team and has scored 117 goals in 189 appearances with the team.
8. Selina Wagner
Selina Wagner is a 31-year-old German midfielder who currently plays for SC Sand of the Bundesliga – she previously played for SC Freiburg, VfL Wolfsburg, and 1. FC Saarbrucken. She has never played for Germany’s national team, but was a part of their U-17, U-19, U-20, and U-23 teams.
7. Ignazio Abate
Ignazio Abate is a 35-year-old former Italian right back who last played for Milan of Serie A – he made 243 domestic club appearances for the team between 2009 and 2019. He also played in 22 international games with Italy’s national team between 2011 and 2015, scoring one goal in a 1-1 friendly matchup with Germany.
6. Alisha Lehmann
Alisha Lehmann is a 23-year-old Swiss forward who currently plays for Aston Villa of the English FA Women’s Super League – she has also made 34 international appearances with Switzerland’s national team, scoring seven goals in the process. Her last international goal came on February 20, 2022 in a 2-2 tie against Northern Ireland.
5. Alexis Sánchez
Alexis Sánchez is a 33-year-old Chilean forward who currently plays for Marseille of the Ligue 1. He spent the last three years with Inter Milan, but has also had stints with Manchester United, Arsenal, and Barcelona since 2011. He has scored 48 international goals for Chile’s national team since 2006, making him Chile’s all-time leading goal scorer.
4. Rachel Daley
Rachel Daley is a 30-year-old English forward and full-back who recently joined Aston Villa of the FA Women’s Super League after stints with West Ham United and the Houston Dash since 2016. She has made 57 international appearances with England’s national team (scoring 8 goals) and four international appearances with Great Britain’s national team.
3. Sergio Ramos
Sergio Ramos is a 36-year-old Spanish centre-back who currently plays for Paris Saint-Germain of the Ligue 1 – he’s considered one of the greatest defenders to ever play the game of football. Ramos enjoyed a legendary career with Real Madrid between 2005 and 2021, and has made 180 international appearances with Spain’s national team.
2. Shelina Zadorsky
Shelina Zadorsky is a 29-year-old Canadian centre-back who currently plays for Tottenham Hotspur of the FA Women’s Super League – having previously played for the Orlando Pride and Washington Spirit. She has made 81 international appearances with Canada’s national team, scoring three goals since 2015.
1. Olivier Giroud
Olivier Giroud is a 35-year-old French striker who currently plays for AC Milan of Italy’s Serie A – he previously played for Chelsea between 2018 and 2021, and Arsenal between 2012 and 2018. Since 2011, he has made 112 international appearances with France’s national team and has scored 48 goals in the process.
International Soccer Stars Currently on the Rise
The international soccer stars listed above are sure to garner a double take whenever you lay eyes on them. Their beauty and looks will make you swoon, regardless of how good or bad their personality is. It’s safe to say that anyone would be stupid to decline a date with any of them.
Of course, there are plenty of international soccer stars currently on the rise and they’re worth keeping an eye on in the near future – including Alphonso Davies (Canada), Pedri (Spain), Ansu Fati (Spain), Gianluigi Donnarumma (Italy), Eduardo Camavinga (France), and more.
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Now, we want to know which international soccer stars have caught your eye. Is there anyone you’re swooning over – someone that you wouldn’t hesitate to say ‘Yes’ to, if they were to propose on one knee? If so, let us know right away and maybe they’ll make our next list.
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