Football and fútbol—though pronounced similarly, have many fundamental differences. That is, unless you ask Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Spanish soccer sensation Thiago Alcântara.
In a promotional video tweeted out earlier this week by FC Bayern English, who will be traveling to Kansas City to take on AC Milan in the International Champions Cup at Arrowhead Stadium in late July, Mahomes and Alcântara draw parallels between their two positions: midfielder and quarterback.
“I think the biggest similarities between midfielder and quarterback have to be that you have to control the pace of the game,” Mahomes said. “You have to make sure that you set the plays and you have to make sure that you make the right decisions.”
“We have to make them play, make them be faster and also stronger with the ball,” Alcântara added. “So I think it’s a position that you control the game.”
“When you’re in the midfield in soccer you have to know where to put the ball at in order to move it down the field and dissect a defense, and that’s kind of the similarities that you have to have at quarterback,” Mahomes continued.
Another key characteristic — one that can’t be taught but is of equal or greater importance — is the ability to ad-lib and make big plays in high-pressure situations.
“Improv is huge in a football game, in a soccer game, in any sport really,” Mahomes said. “I mean the coach can teach you and can tell you certain things that he expects, but whenever you get out there are going to be things that happen that you don’t expect. Being able to have the improvisation to go out there and just make a play however you have to is something that’s huge in my game and in a lot of athletes.”
“Improvisation comes very often because you never know what the opponent is doing or what they’re doing in the same moment as you are with the ball so I think it’s some talent and some improvisation,” the Spanish footballer concluded.
Arrowhead Stadium is just one of 16 venues across the globe playing host for this prestigious competition and Kansas City fans can partake in the historic event, which will take place July 23, 2019 at 8 p.m. Arrowhead Time, by following the link to purchase a ticket.