The 36-year-old actor, whose father and uncle were professional players for Shamrock Rovers in his native Ireland, had to give it up as he wasn't good enough, reported Showbizspy.
"I wanted to be a footballer, but I wasn't good enough. Certainly, when I was 13 or 14, I knew for sure that I'd dropped the ball, so to speak. I mean, my dad was kicking a punctured tennis ball up against the wall in his back garden from the time he was four, on his own, six hours a day," Farrell said.
"So by the time he was nine, he was like that black-and-white footage of Maradona - he could make that ball speak. The knowledge of the game, it was so deep in the marrow of who he was. I just... didn't want it enough.
"He always used to say that to me, 'You're not hungry enough,' and he was right. But I was obviously hungry enough to get on a plane to LA," he added.