Some professional football players have opted out of football to pursue less conventional careers. We highlight them below.
1. Bixente Lizarazu – Brazilian Jiujitsu fighter
For his club side, Lizarazu achieved great success, capturing league championships in France and Germany and the Champions League with Bayern Munich. But in the end, his greatest success came not once, but twice, for his beloved France. With his 1998 World Cup and 2004 European Championship victories, according to the Sun, he became the first player in history to win all three major international tournaments. The fullback is among a select group of players in the league to have won this award. Yet, with two Olympic gold medals under his belt, Lizarazu can truly claim to be a one-of-a-kind athlete. The Frenchman won the blue belt European Championship in the senior lightweight division just eighteen months after he received his first belt in the sport.
2. Tim Wiese - Wrestler
According to Wikipedia, The former Hoffenheim goalie retired from football to seek a career in wrestling due to his massive frame.
3. Arjan de Zeeuw – Detective
Although De Zeeuw never represented the Netherlands on the international stage, he enjoyed a fruitful playing career, with the bulk of it spent in England. He started with Wigan Athletic and was there for their first two Premier League seasons. After a year with Coventry City, he retired from football and signed with the Dutch club ADO '20. You'd think that someone with his level of expertise and passion for the sport would want to contribute something back to the community. Even though De Zeeuw possesses a medical degree, he never intended to practice medicine and instead pursued a career in law enforcement. According to Daily Star Later in his career, he became a detective in the police force.
4. Ken Monkou – Pancake chef
According to Daily Star, Dutch defender Ken Monkou has spent time in the Premier League with both Chelsea and Southampton. After his playing days were finished, he decided to follow his entrepreneurial dreams and opened a pancake shop in Delft, Netherlands.
5. Grant Holt – Wrestling
According to TalkSport, The 41-year-old has enjoyed a successful football career, but it was with Norwich that he connected most deeply with the fans. After being released by Norwich City, he went on to play for Wigan Athletic, Aston Villa, Huddersfield Town, and Wolves. In 154 games across the three teams, he scored 68 goals in the league. That seemed unlikely, but he eventually accepted to join the World Wrestling Association.
6. Dani Osvaldo - singer
According to The Sun, Osvaldo decided to leave soccer and seek a career as a singer after he was released from his contract with Boca Juniors due to a smoking incident in the locker room. Aside from the fact that he was unquestionably a character during his playing days, he will also undoubtedly become one in the future of rock and roll.
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