Sportspersons Only: Don’t be a Spectator, Plenty Options After Retirement

After the glitz, glamour and thunderous applauses have been silenced, a sportsperson’s illustrious career can suddenly be replaced by bankruptcy and confusion. It’s a trend that has enveloped some of the greatest soccer talents after entertaining crowds weekly, only for them to resign to a life of regret – far off from the madding crowd.

Paul Gascoigne or Gazza to his devotees, Maradona and Zinedine Zidane were players of great exploits during their era – but they individually chose a different destiny after their playing days. At 47, Kazuyoshi Miura played for Japanese outfit Yokohama FC. But all players are not Miura – their talents have to give in to age one day.

Derick Matsengarwodzi
Considering that a player will be at peak of his career for roughly eight years, with retirement usually beckoning at 35, if you are player you must read on to safeguard your future which could exceed playing and or paying days.

So what options exists for athletes?
Zinedine Zidane has Become a Successful Manager at Real Madrid 

With the experience garnered on the field over years, a former player will overtime develop the thick skin to manage expectations plus discontents often associated with a high tempo match as a manger.

Players generally mutate to football managers, except a few examples – and they earn considerable respect. The reason: they understand the pressure, can relate to problems easily in the adrenalin-filled sporting world. Former players know how to squeeze the best out of a team, even when the odds are down.

Football punditry can be fun-filled adventure, witnessing and giving alternative views on the screen rather than on the pitch. Football analysts are experts offering their opinions on radio or television during a live soccer match – for a fee of course.

This offers a relaxed, stress-free environment to pour out tactics and predict outcomes on the field, though fluency and training might be a prerequisite for some to assist the flair of the programme. Gary Neville, Jamie Carragher and John Barnes earn a decent living as television gurus.

Running a football club can be more demanding. But some opt for a developmental role like forming a football academy that identifies budding talent, grooming them for a more demanding career ahead. During your playing era, you already set the groundwork, everyone adores and recalls and respects your exploits – and this offer you the freedom to direct operations as you see fit. 

This doubles as a fulfillment and a worthwhile business venture. Investing in sport gambling is also an option for someone who understands athletes’ psychology.

Now, this is strictly reserved for megastars: David Beckham is still contracted with his sponsors, long after retirement, Gary Lineker, remember him? Now he advertises crisps. Thierry Henry earns his keep though car advertisements. Pele, Maradona and Zinidine Zidane – arguably the greatest soccer trio were romped in one advert by Luis Vuitton. 

So you see, advertising demands character and track record to attain such recognition, but there is no harm in trying pursuing your dream.

Another fruitful way for former pros to make a decent buck for another few years is through advertising. Again, unfortunately this only usually applies to the megastars who were making the big bucks to begin with, and whom also may have benefitted from some great sponsorship and advertising deals throughout their career.

Paul Gascoigne is now remembered for his off the field excesses rather than his exploits on the pitch. As a footballer, he was a notch above his peers, but when alcohol abuse overtook his talents, he slid into obscurity and died a sad death. 

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