Football! There’s a lot of it about at the moment, and it’s steadily building to a grassy crescendo. Rather than bore you with some idiots kicking a ball around an airport to samba music, we’re sticking to our business principles and bringing you footballing entrepreneurs. Read on to find tales of world cup legends who’ve gone on to start their own business. Some of them have done pretty well too….
He’s won 28 major trophies, scored the winner in a world cup final and is generally considered as one of the greatest midfielders of all time. And if that wasn’t enough, he also looks quite a lot like Keyser Soze era Kevin Spacey.
As well as all these notable achievements, Andres Iniesta has his own wine label – Bodega Iniesta. A family run affair, Andres inherited the business from his father Jose Antonio, who started making wine in vineyards in his hometown of Fuentealbilla.
An integral part of Italy’s world cup triumph in 2006, Gattuso had a fearsome reputation in midfield. The perfect compliment to Pirlo’s poise and grace, he was a battling, aggressive, hard-tackling midfield general.
It’s no surprise then, that when he was finished playing football, Gattuso decided to open a fishmongers. Such was his passion for fish, it was his childhood ambition to be a fisherman. However, as he became an adult his dream was snatched away, and he had to settle for being a multi-millionaire superstar footballer.
“Someone might even smile at it, but this fish store is a dream come true for me. I wanted to become a fisherman when I was a child, but life’s events have later driven me in different directions.” Life can be so cruel eh? At least things have ended well for Gennaro.
Another Spanish world cup winner, Senor Pique is annoyingly successful. One of the most decorated defenders of all time, he’s also one of Spain’s top poker players and is married to Shakira. He’s probably a really nice guy as well.
To keep himself occupied between counting his lucky stars, Pique owns his own gaming company Kerad Games, and has a 27% share in an additive-free meat company. I’ve heard he’s rubbish at FIFA though.
Although perhaps not quite on a par with our other world cup legends, Flamini was an excellent bench warmer at Palace and won an impressive three caps for France.
However, what he lacks in playing credentials, he makes up for in Captain Planet style business achievements. Flamini is co-founder of GF Biochemicals, an environmental company that produces an oil substitute made entirely from biomass.
It all sounds very technical for a player that struggled to make a forward pass, but it appears to be going rather well. There have been reports in the press that his company is worth £20 billion. Mathieu, however, has recently advised that was actually the size of the market, not his company. Still, we could all be singing “You’re saving the planet, and you know you are” very soon.
Back to the good footballers, Dutch midfield legend Clarence Seedorf is the only player to win the Champions league with three different clubs. You’d imagine the much loved player to have his own record label or clothing line. It’s a bit of a surprise then to find out that he actually owns a chain of Japanese restaurants. Even more surprising, it’s called Fingers.
Serving delicious Japanese food and creating a unique ambience, the restaurant became a favourite of the people of Milan in a short space of time. It was soon joined by others, then spread to Porto Cervo, Roma, France and Dubai. Whether it’s called fingers because you eat with them, or it’s the signature dish, we can’t be sure. Here’s hoping it’s the former.
Neither a footballer nor a businessman, Mr Beckham is actually an immaculately crafted money magnet. With a gravitational pull twice that of Jupiter, endorsements and product lines circle him constantly, occasionally exploding in a big ball of financial earnings.
After their playing days are done, many players look to stay in football by going into coaching. Pretty much no-one goes into ownership, or even thinks about setting up a major league franchise in the US. Our boy Dave is no ordinary fella though. His Miami team is now hoping to join the MLS in the next few years.
Of course it helps when you’ve got the bank balance of an oil tycoon. Even his wife Victoria, who you may remember from her hit single ‘Out of your mind’ with Dane Bowers, is an incredibly successful fashion designer and businesswoman. The couple are now reported to be worth more than the Queen.