Donald Trump the soccer dad? US president has supported son Barron’s fledgling football career, talking him up to Fifa and introducing him to Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney

US president Donald Trump and first lady Melania are staunch supporters of their son Barron’s love of soccer. Photo: EPA/SIPA Pool
Barron Trump is a long-time lover of soccer, going from Arsenal Football Club fan to player for the DC United’s under-12 and Arlington Soccer Association’s under-14 teams. Meanwhile, his father US president Donald Trump is doing everything he can to support Barron’s emerging professional sports career, from singing his praises to the president of Fifa to making introductions to soccer stars. Here are four ways Trump has supported Barron’s sporting aspirations over the past few years.

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Wayne Rooney and his sons with Donald Trump's son Barron. Photo: @whitehouse/Instagram

Bagging a major souvenir

During a meeting in July 2018, Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin celebrated the USA’s successful bid to host the Fifa World Cup 2026. After the World Cup 2018 in Moscow, Putin gifted Trump with a souvenir ball, saying “Now the ball is in your court”.

But Trump decided that Barron was best suited to hold on to the memento.

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Vladimir Putin presents a souvenir ball from the 2018 Fifa World Cup to Donald Trump during a joint press conference in Helsinki in July 2018. Photo: Agence France-Presse Photo

Putting in a good word with Fifa

Trump jumped on the opportunity to talk his son up to Gianni Infantino, the president of Fifa, when he visited the White House in August 2018. After thanking Infantino for his visit and hailing him as a “highly respected man”, he shared an anecdote about how Barron influenced his thinking.

“When my son heard [Infantino] was going to be here, he said, ‘Dad, I’d like to meet him,’” Trump recounted. “Barron loves soccer. And soccer has to be one of the fastest-growing sports in the world.”

Infantino speaks with Trump at the White House in September, 2019. Photo: AP Photo

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Schmoozing with soccer legends

Being the US president’s son can certainly get you some cool meet-and-greets. In 2018, Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney attended the White House Christmas party and Barron got to hang out with the footballer’s young sons. He also got a picture with Rooney, who was playing for DC United at the time. The Rooneys were invited back to the White House in March 2019 for a tour.
Barron with Wayne Rooney and his sons in 2018. Photo: @whitehouse/Instagram

Speaking out to the world

In May 2019 Trump tweeted about how sad it is that kids are unable to play little league sports due to Covid-19. In a press briefing, he added that Barron was finding it particularly difficult because he’s “a good athlete and he loves soccer.”

Trump with Barron during the 58th presidential inauguration parade in January 2017. Photo: Bloomberg

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Donald Trump

When you’re Barron Trump, son of the US president, loving soccer means dear old dad gifting you with Fifa World Cup souvenirs direct from Vladimir Putin, organising hangouts with famous players like Wayne Rooney, and giving shout-outs to your sports career at press conferences