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Liam Payne on Soccer Aid 2022 — 'Harry Styles is the best footballer in One Direction!'

One Direction pop star Liam Payne is England Team captain in Soccer Aid 2022 on ITV.
One Direction pop star Liam Payne is England Team captain in Soccer Aid 2022 on ITV. (Image credit: UNICEF/Soccer Aid Productions/Stella Pictures)

Liam Payne has his football boots laced up and his England captain's armband placed around his beefy bicep! The One Direction pop singer couldn't be more excited to be part of Soccer Aid 2022, raising money for UNICEF this time at the London Stadium. Soccer Aid for UNICEF will be shown live on ITV on Sunday June 12 from 6.30pm.

"I took part in the virtual version of Soccer Aid in 2020 [eSoccer Aid] which was great to be part of... but as fun as FIFA is, there’s nothing like a real game of football," Liam says. "I can’t wait to have a proper run out. It goes without saying how vital UNICEF is for children across the globe, being able to do this small thing to help their cause is a real privilege."

The England team of former footballers and celebs led by captain Liam take on a World XI skippered by legendary Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt. Arsene Wnger and Harry Redknapp are the opposing managers. Look out for Martin Compston, Lee Mack, Damian Lewis and Dragon’s Den star Steven Bartlett, Olympic superstar Mo Farah among the celeb players, while Alex Brooker becomes the first ever disabled participant in the event. There’s also a spectacular special half time show performed by rock megastar  Robbie Williams.

Here, Liam Payne reveals his thoughts being England captain for Soccer Aid 2022 and tells us some insider gossip on the footballing skills of he fellow One Direction band members...

Will Olympic superstar Mo Farah be doing the Mo-bot for Soccer Aid 2022 after a goal?

Will Olympic superstar Mo Farah be doing the 'Mo-bot' for Soccer Aid 2022 after a goal? (Image credit: ITV)

Liam Payne on Soccer Aid 2022

Your One Direction bandmates Louis and Niall have both played for Soccer Aid for UNICEF - who do you think is the best footballer out of the three of you?
Liam Payne says: "I’d like to say me but I will tell the truth... actually Harry Styles is the best footballer in One Direction - credit where credit’s due!"

Neither Louis or Niall have scored in previous matches, do you think you could be the first one to put the ball in the back of the net?
Liam says: "100% … I’m going into this with confidence"

Robbie Williams is performing at half time, have you ever seen Robbie perform live?
Liam says: "I have and he’s absolutely incredible to watch! I’m a huge Robbie fan and he’s always so generous with his time and advice. We both grew up in the school of boybands so he has a unique understanding of where I’m at!"

Are you a big football fan?
Liam says: "Oh yeah … I’m a huge West Brom supporter. I don’t get to the games as often as I’d like though." 

You're Captain of the England team, how will you motivate the team?
Liam says: "Good question. I’ve been thinking about this. I think the changing rooms playlist will be a good starting point."

What music will you play to pump up the team?
Liam says: "I’m working on the playlist … a mix between some classic singalong tracks and some dance tunes will be what we need. I’ve got Jamie Jones’ My Paradise on repeat at the minute, so that will definitely be in there."

England is being managed by Harry Redknapp this year, the first time he has managed England, do you think he can spur you on to victory?
Liam says: "If anyone can... it’s him!"

Who are you looking forward to playing the match with?
Liam says: "Well the team sheet is amazing, some real legends. It’s pretty incredible to be playing alongside an Olympian - I’m looking forward to passing the ball to Sir Mo Farah."

Who are you worried about playing against?
Liam says: "The opposition is a good side for sure … and they’ve definitely got a speed advantage with Usain Bolt!"

Are you superstitious? Will you have any pre-match rituals?
Liam says: "Not really - before I go on stage I just make sure I’ve got a good playlist on to get in the zone - we’ll definitely be having the tunes playing in the changing room ... unless the gaffer, Harry, says otherwise!"

Usain Bolt for Soccer Aid 2022

Liam Payne says Usain Bolt will give his opponents a speed advantage in Soccer Aid 2022. (Image credit: UNICEF/Soccer Aid Productions/Stella Pictures)

How to Donate to Soccer Aid for UNICEF 2022

If you'd like to help Liam Payne and the fellow participants by donating to Soccer Aid for UNICEF 2022 go the website www.socceraid.org.

Liam Payne says: "If you’re watching the game and are warm, safe and with food in your belly then please - if you can afford it - donate to help children all over the world who aren’t so lucky."

Nicholas Cannon
Nicholas Cannon

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus Whattowatch.com. I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.