(Picture: Action Images via Reuters)
By Chris Lincoln
MANY former professional footballers turn their hand to coaching or punditry after retiring from the game.
Yet some are pursuing more obscure careers as they continue their life outside the beautiful game.
Former Liverpool, Sunderland and QPR striker Djibril Cisse, 35, has recently called time on 17 years of banging the ball in the back of the net to bang out some tunes.
The Champions League winner will now focus on a career as a DJ as he looks to spin some records instead of defenders, as he keeps his bank balance ticking over.
Cisse follows in the footsteps of silky ex-Barcelona and Middlesbrough (still a strange pairing) midfielder Gaizka Mendieta, who also plies his trade on the decks.
Whilst Cisse and Mendieta are going for the loud life, some former Premier League players are taking different tacks.
Towering former Wigan and Portsmouth central defender Arjan de Zeeuw is now a private investigator in the Dutch police force.
There are also those footballers who swap careers in sport, though not necessarily the usual disciplines you would consider.
Energetic midfielder Curtis Woodhouse exchanged boots for gloves but not to go in goal.
The former Sheffield United and Birmingham midfielder spent a spell in the ring as he took up boxing, winning the British light-welterweight title.
Sticking on the theme of combat sports, France’s World Cup winning left-back Bixente Lizarazu added another medal to his trophy cabinet as he became a European champion in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Another former pro who has played on the biggest stage of football took up wrestling, as German goalkeeper Tim Wiese took to throwing people instead of balls.
Wiese is not the only goalkeeper trying his hand at another sport, with extravagant former Manchester United goalkeeper Fabien Barthez taking up motorsport, including an appearance at the Le Mans 24-hour race.
Meanwhile, combative midfielder Thomas Gravesen has gone down the route of pub games with a professional career in poker.
Some former footballers go into the food and drink industry, many opening restaurants as a business venture, though there are still some that offer a tangent to the norm.
Phillipe Albert played centre-back for Newcastle and now works on his friend’s fruit and vegetable stall, whilst former Southampton defender Ken Monkou is a pancake chef as he uses his experience of flattening opposing strikers.
*This article originally featured in the March/April edition of Late Tackle.