American soccer star Landon Donovan is back in the USA, following the national team’s elimination from the World Cup — and he’s learning to deal with his newfound level of stardom.
“Mostly people said, ‘Thank you for inspiring us,’” the Team USA star and member of the Los Angeles Galaxy told Access Hollywood in New York City on Tuesday night over the attention he’s received since returning home. “We take soccer as our job, that’s what we do, so sometimes we’re a little desensitized to what it can mean. But people all day came up and said, ‘Thank you for inspiring a nation!’”
Landon, who served as a keynote speaker for an MTV and Nickelodeon event as part of the 2010 National Conference on Volunteering and Service on Tuesday, told Access that he’s noticed the additional media attention too.
“It’s part of the gig. I get it. I understand,” he said. “When I was younger, I didn’t understand, but now I embrace it because this is a sport that we all love in our little soccer world, this is a sport that we’re very passionate about and if we can spread some of that, bring some new people in, and by doing that, we have to do a few more interviews, be in the media a little bit more, then I think that’s all worth it.”
Some of that attention came from unexpected sources because Landon revealed a super-toned torso when he took off his shirt following a World Cup match, but the soccer star said it wasn’t a planned thing.
“The shirt coming off is not always intentional. Sometimes [players] ask to trade jerseys so you have to trade jerseys,” he explained of disrobing his top half. “It’s a nice thing to do.”
One person who the AH Nation thinks could wear Landon’s jersey in a big screen version of his life is Orlando Bloom, something that impressed the fast-footed star.
“Really? I will take Orlando Bloom any day of the week,” he said of the AH Nation’s pick on who should play him in a movie. “I was shooting more [for] Johnny Depp, but Orlando Bloom is kind of a nice consolation… Anybody with a lot of hair.”
In related Landon news, the athlete also explained why he name checked Access Hollywood following Team USA’s final match in the World Cup, when a reporter asked about his personal life, and a possible reconciliation with his estranged wife, actress Bianca Kajlich.
“It was unintentional, but it happened,” Landon said of saying, “What is this, Access Hollywood?” at a press conference when asked about Bianca. “First thing that came to my mind, so you guys are doing something right. Congratulations.”