12

In The Lodger, The Doctor plays an (amazing) game of football.

Where did he learn to play like that?

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    Note that in the episode, The Doctor didn’t necessarily seem to realise that he knew how to play. Maybe Gallifreyans have an uncanny natural aptitude for the game. – Paul D. Waite Oct 29 '12 at 16:52
17

This was more a case of showing off an actor's skills than a specific skill of the Doctor. Matt Smith was planning on pursuing a career as a professional footballer and had been scouted by Leicester City in his teenager years until a back injury put that dream to rest. After that he got into acting and eventually became the Doctor we know and love so the specific scene in The Lodger was more about making use of the skills they had available than making a specific point about the Doctor's skills.

That said, in terms of explaining the skills within the universe, it's not difficult to imagine any incarnation of the Doctor getting interested in football and learning to play with some of the best trainers inbetween adventures. Due to the Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey nature of the show, along with the inconsistent amount of time that can pass between the episodes we are shown, there would be plenty of time for the Doctor to take a holiday to 1966 or similar to brush up on his football, though I wouldn't expect it to be explained in show.

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    The Lodger also originally aired during the 2010 World Cup, and it was a "happy accident" the episode ended as England vs USA match kicked off on the other channel. See also tardis.wikia.com/wiki/Football for more of the Doctor as a player and spectator of football, including a brush with the 1966 World Cup. – Hugo Aug 8 '12 at 18:31
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    The Doctor, in general, seems to have unnervingly good hand-eye coordination. As far as firearms, though he uses them rarely, he never misses (or so he claims). Whether this is just more Doctor awesomeness or another fringe benefit of being a Time Lord is open to debate. – Chris B. Behrens Nov 2 '12 at 14:20
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    Well he does have two hearts. That's got to be good for your endurance and stamina! – Sean Condon Oct 27 '13 at 10:08
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    We see as early as episode 2 of the 9th Doctor that he can control his perceptions of time while still moving freely (he effectively slows down time to move through the fan). Using this ability to a lesser extent would let him appear to have amazing physical abilities. – Jeff Oct 27 '13 at 19:08
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    In "The Doctor's Daughter", Jenny shows extraordinary athletic ability (so such may be a Gallifreyan characteristic). Even as a human being ("Human Nature"), he used a cricket ball to initiate a Rube Goldberg sequence to save a mother and child from a falling piano. The 5th Doctor played cricket well ("Black Orchid"). – Paul A. Clayton Oct 28 '13 at 22:32
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If the Doctor were a mere human trying out football for the first time, there'd definitely be something suspicious about his talent. Perhaps Gallifreyans were accustomed to even more difficult and complicated games, and football was a breeze for him. Much as any adult joining a group of kindergarteners' made-up game would soon learn the rules and play much better than them, the Doctor could master football without having played it before. That's my opinion.

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