- From buying clubs to launching apps, many retired footballers try their hand at continuing a career off the pitch too.
- While some of them, like David Beckham, have created multi-million dollar empires, others are still struggling to keep their businesses afloat.
- Today, with the help of social media, more players are attempting to promote their own brands.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Football players tend to have a reputation for being bad at handling their money.
It’s just like the Northern Irish legend, George Best, once said: “I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered.”
Three out of five Premier League players declare bankruptcy after retirement, according to the Independent.
But there are some players who have proven that they have more than just skills on the pitch, carving out a professional career with their amazing entrepreneurial skills.
Now, a whole generation of players is starting much earlier, using social media to turn themselves into a high-value brand.
But not all of them are successful with their own companies and fail in their second career.
In the past, soccer players were not necessarily associated with fashion and style. But one man changed that significantly: David Beckham. The former star of Manchester United and Real Madrid was one of the first footballers to make a name for himself outside of football.
Whether it was hairstyles, tattoos, football shoes, or varnished fingernails — whatever Beckham wore became a trend. In 2013, he was ranked as the highest-paid player in the world, having earned over $50 million that year.
Beckham has since become a role model for successors like Cristiano Ronaldo and his self-marketing empire.
The legendary German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn did not disappear from the scene after his career as a player. He has been commenting on games for German broadcaster ZDF since 2008. In January 2020 he will also become a board member for FC Bayern.
Three years ago, Kahn also founded the company Goalplay, which offers a special coaching app and sells goalkeeper gloves and bags.
Spanish player Gerard Piqué is one of the best footballers in the world and by the age of 25, had already managed to win all the titles a footballer would ever want to achieve in his life. Since 2010, the FC Barcelona defender has been in a relationship with the singer Shakira, with whom he has two children.
But that’s not all: Piqué is said to have an IQ of 140. He successfully participates in poker tournaments and invests with his company Kosmos Global Holding in various industries, including tennis and media. He has also been responsible for a reform to the Davis Cup, a traditional tennis tournament. He owns the Spanish third division club FC Andorra, which he wants to bring to the Champions League.
During his peak, Italy’s midfielder Andrea Pirlo made his opponents dizzy with his quick feet, even though he always looked calm.
This is another reason why his new job suits him so well: he took over his parents’ winery and now sells its products across Europe. The vineyard produces around 15,000 to 20,000 bottles a year.
Pirlo is not the only ex-football player to have retired as a winemaker — Andres Iniesta and Johan Micoud are also wine connoisseurs.
The Austrian player, Christian Fuchs, who played for Mainz and Schalke, also has other ambitions. These include an online video series under the name “No Fuchs Given”, which consists of him doing strange, football-related challenges. He also sells merchandise on his website.
At the beginning of the year, his team took part in the Fifa eClub World Cup.
“I want to build the next e-Football stars because there are already so many good players and we are focusing on the next generation,” Fuchs told Fifa.
Mathieu Flamini’s company has nothing to do with football, fashion or sports.
With GFBiochemicals, the Frenchman, who previously played for AC Milan and Arsenal and is currently under contract with Getafe, has set himself an ambitious goal: he wants to develop a sustainable alternative for oil-based products.
Today, GF Biochemicals is the first company that is mass-producing levulinic acid — a market, that Forbes estimates to be worth $33 billion.
Philipp Lahm is one of the most successful German football players ever.
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During his career on the pitch, the Munich player was already interested in business. In 2017, he acquired shares and completely took over the sports care, balm and hygiene product manufacturer Sixtus, and the German sports lottery.
In 2018 took over the food company Schneekoppe.
Sometimes soccer players are even more successful after their careers than during.
One example of this is former Norwegian national player Björn Gulden, who has, since 2013, been head of Puma. Previously he worked for companies such as Deichmann, Pandora, and Adidas.
Apart from a few taxation issues, there is not much that has caused Uli Hoeneß problems in his life.
As a player for West Germany, he became German Champion, European Cup Winner, European Champion, and World Champion.
Later, as a manager, he made FC Bayern the most financially and athletically successful German football club.
Hoeneß also founded his own sausage factory in 1985, and now his sausages can be bought in Aldi’s across Germany, and even in the Allianz Arena.
Marcell Jansen is also a passionate entrepreneur.
Under his company name “MJ Beteiligung,” the former Hamburger Sv player is involved in five different businesses, including a “California Street” restaurant called Kinneloa, a medical supply store, a beach sports facility and, of course, a sports fashion label.
He also joined Sky Sport as a pundit.
“I came as a king, left like a legend.”
As most of us know, Zlatan Ibrahimovic does not suffer from a lack of self-confidence. He also loves marketing himself. He has published a biography “I am Zlatan”, launched an app called “Zlatan Unplugged,” and created a mobile game “Zlatan Legends”— starring himself, obviously.
In 2016 he also tried his hand at his own sports fashion brand called A-Z (The “Z” of course stood for Zlatan).
But the label went bankrupt and was liquidated after only two years in October 2018.
Read the original article on Business Insider Deutschland. Copyright 2019.
This post originally appeared on Business Insider Deutschland and has been translated from German.
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