A footballer leads an extremely frantic and fast paced life. A successful footballer lives a dream life. There are some cases in which a player’s life spirals out of control post retirement. In some other cases, he makes the most out of his free time and becomes even more successful. Here are 5 footballers who achieved success after retirement:
5- Gary Neville
Gary Neville is a Manchester United legend. He was a part of Manchester United’s legendary treble winning squad. He held the right back spot at Old Trafford for more than 18 years and was appointed the club captain after Roy Keane’s retirement. In his time with the Red Devils, Neville has won eight Premier League titles, three FA Cups and two Champions Leagues among other accolades. Throughout his career, Neville has been involved in several controversies because of his outspoken nature. The English right-back was a traditionally defensive minded right back. Furthermore, he was known for his ability to read the game and his tactical intelligence.
In January 2011, Gary Neville announced his retirement mid-season. He turned to punditry after his retirement and became one of the best in the business featuring regularly on Sky Sports. He and Ryan Giggs opened a hospitality company named GG Hospitality which opened resturants in Manchester and London. Neville is also the co-owner of Salford City, a semi-professional football club, alongside Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and his brother Phil Neville. He also had a short but unsuccessful stint as the manager of Valencia CF.
4- Vinnie Jones
Vinnie Jones is a former Premier League player having played for Leeds United and A.F.C. Wimbledon. He was a part of Wimbledon’s FA Cup winning 1988 squad. Jones holds an unenviable record of getting the earliest booking in a Premier League match, after just three seconds. Vinnie Jones was never a great football player and was known for his hard man image. He made his national debut for Wales in 1988. His unexpected call up prompted English great, Jimmy Greaves to say “….but just when you thought there were truly no surprises left in football, Vinnie Jones turns out to be an international player.” He has had several run-ins with the FA for his violent conduct on field and was told by the FA officials to “grow up.”
Vinnie Jones retired from football in 1999. He spent his last season as the player manager at Queens Park Rangers. Vinnie Jones found more success after his retirement than he ever could during his playing days. He has featured in more than 50 hollywood movies including the likes Gone in 60 seconds, Escape Plan and X-Men: The Last Stand. His movie career doesn’t seem to be slowing down as he is set to appear in Kingsman: The Golden Circle. He has even featured in the hit TV series Arrow on CW.
3. Thomas Gravesen
The former Danish international had stints in the Premier League, the Bundesliga and La Liga during his playing days. Garvesen has won a La Liga title with Real Madrid and an SPL title with Celtic. He played as a defensive midfielder and occasionally filled the sweeper role for his team. He was bought by Real Madrid in 2005 after helping Everton in their rise to the the top of the Premier League table. He moved on to Celtic and was loaned back to Everton for his last full season as a professional football player. He turned out 66 times for the Danish international team scoring 5 goals during that time.
Thomas Gravesen has had a very unglamorous post-retirement life. He left football in 2009 and has not come in limelight since then. Neither did he become a successful entrepreneur nor did he become a movie star, still has a whopping 80 million dollar net worth. He currently resides in Las Vegas and is taking full advantage of his investments. The man was never at the level of his fellow Galacticos at Real Madrid but is still remebered by Real Madrid fans for his famous ‘Gravesinha’ dribble. His life after retirement has seen him lead a lavish lifestyle in Sin City.
Pelé was voted the best player of the last century. The ex-Brazil international is the most prolific goalscorer of all time. He had a legendary career and is regarded as the best of all time by many former greats and pundits. He won 3 World Cups and 2 Copa Libertadores. He spent the majority of his career at Santos and the last two years at American side New York Cosmos. He was a typical fox in the box with a tally of over 700 official goals. Pelé had an impeccable technique, balance, dribbling skills and his game was full of Brazilian flair. He became a teenage a sensation at the age of 17 years when he led Brazil to a World Cup win. Since then he lived up to his tag of the best player in football, plundering goals for fun.
Pelé; the name is enough to earn money. Brazilian legend had multiple endorsement offers after hanging up his boots in 1977. He played for New York Cosmos during the last two seasons of his career and was in no need of money. Still one simply doesn’t refuse endorsement offers from companies like Volkswagen, Subway and Hublot. These endorsements have seen his net worth rise to more than 100 million dollars. He is one of those players whose earnings post-retirement have been considerably higher compared to his earnings during the time he played.
1- David Beckham
David Beckham is a football icon. He has played for teams like Manchester United, Real Madrid and AC Milan. Even those who have no interest in the game have heard about David Beckham. Born in London, Beckham came through the ranks at Manchester United and became a legend at the club. He has won six Premier league titles, a La Liga, a Ligue 1 title, an MLS Cup and a Champions trophy. This man started the trend of successful football players going to America to prolong their career in a much less competitive league. He was known for his hard work, crossing and passing abilities and his bending free kicks. One of the best, if not the best free kick takers of his generations, Beckham’s free kicks were a joy to watch for the fans and his teammates.
David Beckham had already been at most of the marketable clubs by the time of his retirement. Real Madrid, Manchester United and AC Milan are commercial giants and Beckham was their poster boy. In his later years, he went to USA and played his last season in France with the nouveau riché Paris Saint-Germain which further boosted his commercial appeal. He has appeared on covers of several magazines with his looks only aiding his cause. Beckham became the first main stream soccer star of this century. To this day, he continues to be recognized all around the world despite retiring back in 2013. His current net worth is over 200 million dollars.