1D friend Louis will probably target my knee at Soccer Aid, Niall Horan says
One Direction star Louis Tomlinson has threatened to tackle bandmate Niall Horan on his weak knee when the pair play on rival sides at Soccer Aid.
The pair will go head to head at the charity football match at Old Trafford on Sunday in aid of Unicef, with Tomlinson playing for England and Horan for the rest of the world.
Horan, who had major knee surgery in early 2014, said: “At some stage, knowing Louis plays, we will bump into each other, so he said he’s going to go for my knee.
“He said ‘watch that knee’, so I will. I will be staying away from anyone who goes near me for a tackle.
“That is where the England boys are at but when Ronaldinho sticks four or five past them then they will be crying.”
Horan, who is billed as an assistant manager for the rest of the world side, added: “It’s the first time I’ve touched a football since I had my knee done but it’s held up well, it’s held up better than my lungs.
“I don’t feel the fittest but my knee is alright, so I might give it a go for 15 or 20 mins.
“I was expecting to just sit on the bench and be a manager, so now I’ve decided to play a few minutes I wish I had trained.
“You look at Olly Murs who had been training non-stop for six months and he’s in unbelievable shape, so I wish I had done a bit more.”
His One Direction bandmate Tomlinson said he is only half joking about aiming for his friend’s weak spot.
He said: “I didn’t know Niall knew! I’m only half joking. I will aim for the other knee.
“It’s like 90% jokes and then I’m thinking how I will feel if he wins and I don’t, so there’s a competitive edge there.
“I would be gutted and he wouldn’t let me hear the end of it and for the next six months or twelve months it would be: ‘Remember when we won at that soccer aid’.”
Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce, who is on the England management team for the charity match, dismissed reports Jose Mourinho has pulled out of the match because of his commitments to new team Manchester United.
He said: “Jose will be with us tomorrow, it will be great to see him. And he’s on my side this time.
“He will hopefully give me a few tricks to help the lads win, it will be good to see him.”
Former England and Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman added: “That will be great, especially at Old Trafford. That’s going to be his first game there and it will be us. ”
Comedian Jack Whitehall, who joins Tomlinson and Seaman on the England team, said the banter has been flying back and forth between the teams.
He added: “It’s always quite feisty, people are away from home and away from their families in a hotel and sometimes they have a little bit too much to drink and people get overexcited and they just need to remember we are here to play in a football match. This is not a stag weekend.”
Other players on the England team include Mark Wright, Marvin Humes and Paddy McGuinness while Michael Sheen will lead out the Rest of The World along with stars including Matthew Morrison, Sir AP McCoy and Game of Thrones star Iwan Rheon.
Soccer Aid will be broadcast live on ITV on Sunday.