GALLERY: Who are the GAA stars who've given soccer a shot?

We looked at those to have crossed codes to varying degrees on this week's Team 33

Graham Geraghty, Paul Merson, Arsenal

Graham Geraghty's head and Paul Merson's body (Picture by: Neal Simpson / EMPICS Sport and )

If Gabriel Batistuta was a Gaelic footballer, he'd probably be a "marquee forward" - the type some pundits often claimed Mayo needed.

The former Fiorentina and Roma legend never played GAA and to the best of our knowledge, has also never heard of Gaelic football or hurling, especially as his non-soccer interests are dominated by polo and basketball.

But as we looked back on during this week's Team 33, many well-known GAA have gone in the other direction and given soccer a go with varying degrees of involvement and varying degrees of success.

So on this week's show and with the expert aid of Balls.ie writer and Team 33 panellist Conor Neville, we looked back at those who have switched codes, as well as a brief chat about Xabi Alonso's very brief and successful time playing junior club football in Meath.

You can listen in via the podcast player or download on iTunes:

But who would make it into a loosely interpreted XI of GAA stars turned soccer pioneers?

Here's the lads who made our XI.

Shane Supple (Goalkeeper)

Shane Supple with St Brigid's in 2010 ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

A goalkeeper for St Brigid's, who was also on the Dublin panel, the 28-year played for Ipswich between 2005 and 2009, including under the management of Roy Keane, before leaving the game and returning to Ireland.

Dave Barry (Cafu-esque right-back)

Dave Barry ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

The ex-Cork GAA right-half forward, simultaneously lined out with Cork City during the 1980s and '90s which he spoke to Off The Ball about in 2014. He was a midfielder when it came to soccer, but we'll stick him in our problem position of right back with licence to spend all his time in the opposition half.

 Kevin Nolan (left centre-back)

 

Dublin footballer Kevin Nolan ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Not the ex-Bolton and West Ham midfielder of the same name, the Dublin footballer went for trials with Leicester City and Blackburn Rovers as a youth.

Kevin Moran (Centre-half)

Kevin Moran in 1983 ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

The Ireland legend and Manchester United FA Cup winner also enjoyed All-Ireland glory with Dublin and as Conor relates on the podcast, 1980 saw him returning to Ireland incognito to play a challenge match for the Dubs without United knowing.

Mick Deegan (left-back)

Dublin GAA's Mick Deegan is congratulated on scoring the first goal from the penalty spot by current Dublin GAA boss Jim Gavin during a Dublin City v Dublin GAA friendly match in 2001 ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

The former Dublin left-half back also played soccer for Crusaders up North.

Anthony Tohill (Midfield)

Anthony Tohill leads the Derry team out in 2001 ©INPHO/Billy Sticklan

The 1993 All-Ireland winner with Derry's soccer career took him to the county's premier League of Ireland club Derry City, while he also spent time in the Manchester United reserves in 1995.

Graham Geraghty (Box-to-box midfielder)

The Meath All-Ireland winner impressed Alex Ferguson in 1994 playing GAA and also went on trial at Arsenal, where Paul Merson described him as the fittest player he'd ever seen.

Here's Ferguson talking about Geraghty:

Rory Gallagher (attacking midfield)

Donegal manager Rory Gallagher ©INPHO/James Crombie

The current Donegal manager and ex-Fermanagh and Cavan forward showed promise when it came to soccer and as Conor explained on the podcast, he in fact once roomed with ex-Manchester United defender and current Sunderland centre-back Wes Brown.

Jack Grealish (Young starlet)

 

 Jack Grealish taking a goal and not a point (Picture by: David Davies / EMPICS Sport)

The ex-Ireland youth international has played at Croke Park with Warwickshire GAA as a child.

 Peter Withnell (Second striker)

Peter Withnell ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

 An All-Ireland winner with Down in 1991, he also played in the Northern Irish football league with the likes of Cliftonville and Crusaders, as well as Dundalk down here.

On the podcast, Conor recounts a story GAA pundit Joe Brolly shared about Withnell. 

Jason Sherlock (Goal poacher)

Jason Sherlock of Rovers (right) © INPHO/Billy Stickland

The former Dublin star and 1995 All-Ireland winner played soccer for UCD between 1994 and 1998, before a year-long spell at Shamrock Rovers. A striker, he scored 40 league goals in total for those two clubs combined.

Jim McGuinness (Manager)

(From left to right) Celtic manager Ronny Deila, Efe Ambrose, Jim McGuinness, Leigh Griffiths and assistant manager John Collins before the UEFA Champions League Qualifying, Play-Off at Celtic Park, Glasgow (Picture by: Jeff Holmes / PA Wire/Press Association Images)

Currently coaching at Celtic, the ex-Donegal All-Ireland-winning boss has spoken about being inspired by the likes of Pep Guardiola and Diego Simeone as he learns the ropes.