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The beautiful game has become a bountiful investment for actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney. Reynolds and McElhenney bought soccer team Wrexham AFC in Wales for $2.5 million in 2021 and have already turned it into a champion. In April, Wrexham clinched the National League title and a promotion to the fourth tier of English soccer—or football, technically. The team’s rise is featured in the FX documentary series Welcome to Wrexham.
With the backing of major sponsors like TikTok and Expedia and a growing fan base, Wrexham and its owners are bound to stay in the spotlight. But Reynolds and McElhenney aren’t the only big names to taste success on the pitch. Here are some of the other celebrities who have invested in soccer teams around the world.
Team: Seattle Sounders FC
The comedian, actor, and host of The Price Is Right has been with the Sounders since their first season as an MLS franchise in 2009. The team won the MLS Cup in 2016 and 2019. The 64-year-old Carey said he had only two conditions for joining Seattle’s ownership: that the team have a marching band and that it would give fans a say in the club’s management.
Team: Austin FC
Matthew McConaughey, 53, is a Texas native and joined the ownership group of MLS franchise Austin FC in 2019. The Dazed and Confused and Interstellar star was also given the title of Minister of Culture, making sure the team’s identity reflects that of the people of Austin. “We are relentlessly optimistic, we’re highly creative,” McConaughey told MLS.com. “We like to win, we like to win well, and know how to wear our wins well.”
Team: Club Necaxa
Kate Upton, a 30-year-old model and actor, joined the ownership group of Liga MX franchise Club Necaxa in 2021 with her husband, MLB pitcher Justin Verlander, as well as former NBA player Shawn Marion and actor Eva Longoria. According to Sportico, Necaxa is now worth more than $200 million. The Mexican team is set to compete in The Soccer Tournament, a special 32-team event June 1–4 in North Carolina with a $1 million prize on the line.
Team: Angel City FC
Actor Natalie Portman, 41, is a co-founder of the NWSL team Angel City that’s based in Los Angeles and backed by an investor group that includes soccer royalty—former U.S. Women’s National Team members Shannon Boxx, Lauren Holiday, Julie Foudy, and Abby Wambach—and celebrities like actors Jessica Chastain and Sophia Bush, singer Christina Aguilera, and skier Lindsey Vonn. Portman is also the executive producer of the Angel City docuseries about the club’s inaugural season in 2022. It debuts May 16 on HBO and will stream on HBO Max.
Team: Nashville SC
The Legally Blonde star and Tennessee native became a part-owner of one of the newest MLS franchises in April 2022. That same year year, the team debuted the 30,000-seat GEODIS Park—the largest soccer-specific stadium in the United States and Canada—where it plays home matches. Witherspoon, 47, is joined in the ownership group by NFL running back Derrick Henry.
Mark Consuelos and Kelly Ripa
Team: A.S.D. Campobasso
Talk show host Kelly Ripa, 52, and her husband, Mark Consuelos, 52, purchased a stake in Campobasso, which plays in the fifth tier of Italian football, in November 2022. The Lupi, or Wolves, were slated for a promotion in 2021, but the Italian Football Federation banned the team from competing due to “administrative irregularities.” The club has new life following a merger and is trying to work its way back up the ladder. “When I heard the story about these fans being at risk of losing the sport they love, Kelly and I wanted to get involved and be part of the solution,” Consuelos told ESPN.
Michael B. Jordan
Team: AFC Bournemouth
Michael B. Jordan, the face of the Creed movie franchise, invested in the Premier League franchise in December 2022. He attended his first match later that month, greeting fans on his way into the stadium. The actor, 36, and chairman Bill Foley are trying to lead a drastic turnaround. Bournemouth is 14th in the EPL standings through this past Sunday, 43 points behind first-place Manchester City.
Team: Kansas City Current
Patrick Mahomes, a two-time Super Bowl winner with the Kansas City Chiefs, is hoping to become a champ in both forms of football after joining wife Brittany as a part-owner of the Kansas City Current, a NWSL franchise, in January 2023. According to CBS Sports, the 27-year-old is also a minority owner of the Kansas City Royals MLB franchise, since July 2020, and MLS club Sporting KC, since 2021.
Team: Los Angeles FC
The 55-year-old actor starred in the 2005 soccer comedy Kicking & Screaming but mostly does a lot of cheering as part-owner of Los Angeles’ MLS franchise—especially after LAFC beat the Philadelphia Union for its first MLS Cup in 2022. Ferrell is part of an ownership group that includes NBA great Magic Johnson, as well as USWNT legend Mia Hamm Garciaparra and her husband, former MLB shortstop Nomar Garciaparra.
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