Kicking ball with Chelsea's biggest players after a Champions League game. Linking up with Daniel Sturridge in Liverpool and Los Angeles. Turning Juventus' 2015/16 away kit into a cult classic with one of the coldest fit pics the game has seen. Love it or hate it, Drake has never been shy about affiliating himself with the beautiful game.
Over the last decade he's been pictured repping the jerseys of just about every super club in Europe, which has prompted a wave of football fans to criticise Drizzy for clout chasing. It's an accusation that's been levelled at him in some way or another throughout most phases of his career.
But in the same way his authentic love for UK culture has always shined through and has never been a passing phase, his relationship with football also goes deep.
For over 14 years now, the 6 God has been one of rap's most vocal football fans. From lyrical tributes to befriending ballers, and from playing FIFA to playing IRL, Drizzy has always tried to show the world he really does know ball.
We've cut through the noise and timelined some of Drake's most memorable moments in his relationship with football.
1. Drake drops a Ruud van Nistelrooy bar on ‘Comeback Season’
The first time Drake showed love for the game was on his second mixtape, ‘Comeback Season’, back in 2007. Rapping on ’The Presentation’, Drizzy shouts out legendary United hitman RvN: “You can’t miss the boy, me and Rich united like van Nistelrooy”.
2. Drake gets interviewed by Rio Ferdinand
Appearing on screen in an unforgettable beanie hat and track jacket straight of the Old Trafford club shop, Drake sat opposite one of football’s most innovative personalities – Rio Ferdinand – for a conversation that featured in Rio’s self-owned digital magazine, 5.
3. Drake plays with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge after a Champions League game
After linking up with Drogba the previous month, Drake hits Stamford Bridge to take in Chelsea’s Champions League game with Benfica. After full-time, Drizzy hits the pitch to kick some ball with John Terry, Ashley Cole, Didier Drogba and goalkeeper Jamal Blackman.
4. Drake becomes boys with Mario Balotelli
For a few years, Drake and Balotelli had one of the biggest bromances in the game. Linking up for dinner in Manchester, shouting him out on ‘Enough Said’, wearing MB45 jerseys on IG, and featuring his photo on the OVO website were just some of the ways Drizzy showed his dedication to Super Mario.
5. Drake unveils FIFA 14 with EA Sports at E3
Drake has been quoted on several occasions speaking about his love for the EA Sports FIFA franchise, and it really came to a head in 2013 when he surprised everyone by taking to the stage at E3 to officially unveil FIFA 14 and the game’s arrival on next gen platforms.
6. Drake links up with Daniel Sturridge backstage
One of the Drake’s most memorable football link ups went down in 2014, connecting with Prime Daniel Sturridge backstage during the Liverpool leg of his UK tour. The two formed a good connection and they met up again in LA later that summer. This kickstarted the trend of ballers meeting the 6 God backstage.
7. Drake wears Juventus’ wavey pink away jersey
Drake turned Juventus’ 2015/16 away kit into an instant classic with a photo that still hits to this day, dropping at a time when Paul Pogba was the most exciting young baller in Europe with Juve. Memorably, Drizzy photoshopped off the adidas logo because of his Nike affiliations.
8. Drake opens the Manchester derby in Texas
One year after posting the Juve photo, Drake took to the pitch as Pogba’s Manchester United faced Manchester City in a pre-season fixture in Texas. Drake brought the match ball to the pitch and met both teams before kick-off.
9. Drake drops a bar in tribute to CR7 on ‘Scorpion’
In many people’s eyes, Drake forever ended the Ronaldo vs Messi debate by dedicated a bar to CR7 in his track ‘Blue Tint’ from 2018 album, ‘Scorpion’. Comparing his lifestyle to one of the greatest ballers to ever live, Drake rapped: “Way this shit set up I live like Ronaldo, but I never been in Madrid, woah”.
10. Drake wears an OVO x Nike jersey at Wireless
Popping up as a surprise Wireless Festival headliner in 2018, Drake took the stage in a hard Nike x OVO football jersey that hasn’t been seen before or since. An OVO sponsor logo adorns the front of the jersey, while an ‘OVO FC’ crest is made from the colours of the Union Jack and includes the British flag. The game still needs this drop.
11. Drake debuts Neymar’s Nike Shox collab on stage
One of the most recent link ups Drake has had is with Neymar. They originally met when Neymar was with Barcelona and the baller has occasionally worn OVO gear ever since. Drake returned the favour in 2019 by debuting Neymar’s signature Shox collab with Nike on stage.
12. Drake dons a Martine Rose football jersey for SS21 collection
Drizzy was posted up in the booth donning a a Martine Rose football jersey as part of the designer’s one-time digital experience “What We Do All Day” campaign. Baller-inspired bars on ‘Certified Lover Boy’ incoming? We wouldn’t bet against it.