21 Mar Ex-Juventus, Arsenal star-turned-Swiss watchmaker Lichtsteiner joins record of unlikely post-soccer careers
After spending 20 years as an expert footballer, former Juventus and Arsenal full-back Stephan Lichtsteiner brought his long and distinguished career to an end last season.
The former Switzerland captain spent the 2019-20 campaign with Augsburg in Germany and had originally planned to bow out after Euro 2020. However, the tournament’s postponement until this year forced the veteran to change his plans and bring forward his retirement, calling time on a playing career that landed him 16 major club trophies and two Champions League runner-up medals.
Ex-pros’ new careers: Music | Food & Drink | Art | Tech | Politics
Now 37, Lichtsteiner is forging a second career, though not one that you might instantly expect a former footballer to choose. Rather than making the obligatory move into coaching or media work, he has begun retraining as a watchmaker, starting a six-month internship with Zurich-based timepiece manufacturers Maurice de Mauriac.
“I want to do something productive,” he told Reuters. “If you are a banker, you can do that for all your life, but if you are a footballer once you hit your mid-30s, you have to find something else to do.”
Lichtsteiner is hoping to complete his first watch, the “L3 Sees Red,” from scratch during his internship before selling the piece for charity. Whether or not he continues in the watchmaking profession beyond that remains to be seen, but Maurice de Mauriac are enthusiastic about their new trainee and his prospects.
“We had lots of applications but Stephan was the most enthusiastic,” company co-owner and art director Leonard Dreifuss said, while CEO Massimo Dreifuss added: “We are aiming for a long-term partnership and will move step by step.”
Lichtsteiner becomes the latest ex-footballer to retire and retrain in another industry entirely. But he is far from the first, with players taking up roles in a diverse range of vocations — some more surprising than others.
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Well that’s “watch Gaizka Mendieta DJ” ticked off the to-do list pic.twitter.com/DAVvM1DYAO
— Jack Lang (@jacklang) October 19, 2019
After all, many gamers have dabbled in music through the years although primarily as a sideline or ardour venture; an extra-curricular distraction from their day job, reasonably than a full-time pursuit, Nevertheless, each former Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse and Valencia midfielder Gaizka Mendieta have discovered common work as membership night time DJs since calling quits on football. In the meantime, since being compelled to retire via damage, former Porto striker Jackson Martinez has began over as a hip-hop artist in his native Colombia.
In the meantime, former Barcelona goalkeeper Jose Manuel Pinto briefly labored as a music producer (and even had one in every of his songs featured on the “Quick & Livid 8” film soundtrack) earlier than extra just lately qualifying as a health teacher.
Foods and drinks
As you would possibly count on from a few cultured midfielders, each Andrea Pirlo and Andres Iniesta each have sidelines within the refined world of winemaking. Pirlo has owned a 15-acre winery in Brescia since 2007, whereas Iniesta’s household have a complete bodega arrange of their dwelling province of Albacete, Spain.
Daniel Agger was recognized to be a fan of tattoos throughout his football profession with nearly all of his physique coated in artwork, together with a big Viking-inspired mural throughout his complete again and “YNWA” throughout his knuckles in tribute to Liverpool FC. Since retiring, the Dane has certified as a tattoo artist himself and posts semi-regular photos of his handiwork on social media. In a extra conventional sense, former Wolverhampton Wanderers defender Jody Craddock is now a high-quality artist, specialising in extremely lifelike celeb portraiture.
Main the sphere within the know-how sector is former Arsenal and AC Milan midfielder Matthieu Flamini, who has devoted his post-football profession to creating advances in inexperienced vitality. Certainly, the Frenchman heads a pioneering biochemical firm which goals, amongst different issues, to good a course of of producing Levulinic Acid, an artificial substitute for crude oil. On the digital aspect of issues, former Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes has an curiosity within the tech world having created a Spanish relationship app known as “Hola.”
Such is his reputation in his dwelling nation that Andriy Shevchenko felt impressed to face as a candidate within the 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary election. He was unable to win illustration, however now he manages the Ukraine nationwide team so in a approach he nonetheless received. Romario‘s foray into politics proved somewhat extra profitable, with the previous Barcelona striker getting elected to the Brazilian senate in 2014 after garnering essentially the most votes ever acquired by a candidate from the state of Rio de Janeiro. Nevertheless, maybe essentially the most profitable world class striker-turned-politician on file have to be George Weah, who was voted in as president of Liberia in 2018.