For footballers, the sport is their life. For years they eat, breath and live football.
So when they retire it can beg the question…what next?
The usual route is invest in a race horse, become a pundit and hang around after dinner speeches and gala balls for a while. But these former footballers had other, wackier ideas.
Possibly one of the most famous cases of this is former Hoffenheim keeper, Tim Wiese. After being banished from his club for being thrown out of a party, Wiese decided a change of career was needed. And so, 2 years later, after gaining 40kg in weight and eating at least 1kg of meat a day, the former Hoffenheim and Germany goalkeeper made his WWE debut in which he was victorious! He is now back between the posts, playing in the eighth tier of German football for SSV Dillingen.
8 Trophies, including a World Cup, obviously couldn’t quench the Frenchmans thirst for victory. A year after announcing his retirement from football, Barthez made the move into motorsport. He started well and got his first podium in 2010. In 2013, he was crowned French GT Champion alongside Morgan Moullin-Traffort, driving a Ferrari.
In 2014 he raced in the 24 hour Le Mans race and his team finished 29th overall and 9th in their class.
What do you do after getting 9 caps for your country and spending four years at Spurs? Obviously you start up a childrens bouncy castle business. That what former Nigeria winger, John Chiedozie did. His son currently plays for Boreham Wood having left Bournemouth’s academy.
Well, where to start with Tomas Brolin. He started his career brightly and won a few trophies with Parma. His transfer to Leeds saw a dip in form and ended in him being voted one of the 50 worst players ever in the Premier League. Normally a forward, he finished his career by playing the last 15 minutes of a game in goal. He then retired and set up an Italian-Swedish restaurant (Italian-Swedish?!) which was repeatedly fined for allowing underage drinking. He also invested some money into real estate and a new type of mouthpiece for vacuum cleaners. He now seems to have found his niche in poker and has played in tournaments since 2006. Phew, what a busy man!
Wow. What a career Maldini had. One of the longest serving captains of the Italian national team, 7 Serie A titles and regarded as one of the best defenders of all time. The Italian legend has now turned his hand to tennis. Along with his doubles partner, Stefano Landonio, Maldini has now qualified for a professional tennis tournament, the Challenger Tour event. Just got to remember to use his racket and not volley it away.
They may be retired but, on this evidence, they certainly aren’t bored.