There is more to some top football players than exceptional skill and golden feet. Many have additional talents they love to pursue off the pitch that people might not know about, from saving the planet to tattoo artistry.
The Environmental Entrepreneur – Mathieu Flamini
Mathieu Flamini’s football career took in clubs in France, Italy, Spain, and most famously in England where he played almost almost 170 times in two spells at Arsenal. He won two FA Cups at the Emirates and a Serie A title during his time at Milan. But since hanging up his boots the Frenchman has become renowned as a co-founder of GF Biochemicals the first company in the world able to mass-produce levulinic acid, something some people say could save the world. Levulinic acid could be used as a substitute for oil and in plastics, solvents, fuels and the pharmaceuticals industry. While many reports stated Flamini had become a billionaire on the back of his entrepreneurial skins, the ex-footballer has denied it.
The Swordsman – David Beckham
After making the move from Madrid to Los Angeles back in 2007, David Beckham quickly began mixing with some of the biggest names in Hollywood, such as Will Smith and Tom Cruise. Alongside a few cameos, he tried his hand at acting, roundly ridiculed for his appearance in Guy Ritchie’s version of King Arthur. However, when not playing for the LA Galaxy, some speculate Beckham joined the two A-list celebrities for a game or two of fencing.
The Card Player – Denílson
David Beckham isn’t the only footballer who is talented in another sport. After conquering the world of football, Denílson de Oliveira Araújo, more widely known simply as Denílson, decided to become a poker player. The FIFA World Cup winner now spends his downtime playing the game, and in turn, has increased its popularity in his home country of Brazil.
He has since commented that both football and poker require many of the same skills, such as intense focus and anticipation of your competitors’ moves.
The Stick Man – Petr Cech
Although he’s just announced his upcoming retirement, Petr Cech established himself as one of the top goalkeepers in the sport, but he also has another big talent that forces him to perform off the field. When the Arsenal goalkeeper isn’t stopping goals, he’s banging his drum kit.
If you follow Cech’s personal YouTube channel, you’ll see the former Czech Republic international is more than a little handy with a set of drumsticks, as he regularly drums to music from the likes of Coldplay, Linkin Park, System of a Down and Foo Fighters.
He also took to the stage at a Czech music festival in 2013 to perform Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and enjoyed a jamming session with none other than Queen drummer Roger Taylor for a BBC feature.
The Ink Man – Daniel Agger
It takes a talented player to play for Liverpool F.C and Daniel Agger lasted quite a stint on Merseyside from 2006 to 2014. But if he never made it as a footballer, it’s fair to say he could have enjoyed a successful career as a tattoo artist. The heavily tattooed centre back is a fully-qualified artist and even inked Y.N.W.A. across his knuckles in honour of his time with the Reds. He also offered to ink his teammates free of charge if the club won the Premier League title. Maybe he will return to Anfield should Jurgen Klopp’s men pull off the feat this season.