Convicted drug dealers Ryan Moore and Paul Hislen bundled Kyle Hutton, 19, and Kal Naismith, 18, into the back of Hutton's Audi A3.
Moore, 24, then drove the "terrified" pair through the city before dumping them in the Niddrie area after their cash, driving licences and mobiles had been stolen. Moore and a third man made off in the 17,000 Audi, which was later recovered.
Detectives branded Moore and Hislen "callous and opportunistic individuals" after they pleaded guilty at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday to abduction charges. The pair did not know that their victims were professional footballers when they pounced.
Detective Inspector Gary Cunningham, who led the inquiry, said: "When Ryan Moore and Paul Hislen stole a car and took two young men with them against their will, they subjected them to a terrifying ordeal that left them notably shaken.
"Neither Moore nor Hislen showed any concern for their victims' wellbeing and proved themselves to be callous and opportunistic individuals."
Both Moore and Hislen, 24, were previously jailed for cocaine dealing as part of the Inch-based drug gang run by Mark Richardson, who was imprisoned for ten years in the summer.
Moore was jailed for 40 months in January 2008 after being caught with 31,000 worth of cocaine in his car alongside passenger Terence Carlin, the brother of another recently jailed drug gang leader, James Carlin.
Both Moore and Hislen were on licence from prison at the time of the offence in September.
Sheriff John Horsburgh, QC jailed Moore for 40 months and ten days and remitted Hislen to the High Court to see if he will be recalled to prison.
Fiscal depute Graeme Jessop said midfielder Hutton and striker Naismith had travelled from their homes in Glasgow to visit a female friend in Edinburgh and had pulled up outside Giuliano's takeaway in Union Place.
As Naismith stood chatting to the girl, Moore and Hislen approached and Hislen offered to buy Hutton's car. Hutton replied: "No, you're alright."
Mr Jessop said: "Hislen thereafter stated, 'Give us the car or get in the boot'. Hutton told the accused to leave him alone to which Hislen replied, 'If you don't get in the back right now I'm going to stab yous' and 'Get in the back, I'm gonna shoot you. Get in the back, I'm gonna kill you'."
The pair were bundled into the back seat and Moore drove off. Hislen got out around ten minutes later and another man, who has not been traced, jumped in and demanded that Hutton and Naismith hand over their identification and mobile phones before threatening to kill their families.
The untraced man demanded cash and after Naismith handed over a 100 note, they were released and fled across Duddingston Golf Course.
Mr Jessop added: "Neither Hutton nor Naismith was physically injured as a result of their ordeal. However, both were terrified and a police officer described them as being obviously 'shaken up' by it."
Solicitor advocate Stuart Carson, for Hislen, said: "He had been in the city all night and was in a very drunk condition. It would appear the start of the incident was a drunken attempt by him to purchase the vehicle that turned ugly very quickly.
"He accepts fully that his actions and what happened must have been very frightening for them. He had no idea who they were."