Despite the fact that most footballers are known to prefer remaining within the profession even after retiring, these modern-day masters of the beautiful game are expanding their horizons as they hustle beyond the sport.
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#1 David Beckham
A father of four and a husband to former British pop group star, the Spice Girl - Victoria, Beckham also has endorsement deals with a number of multinational companies including Adidas, Samsung, Diet Coke, Burger King, Breitling, Pepsi and H&M.
The 41-year-old, who retired from football in 2013, is believed to be earning more than what he used to take home during his active playing career. Beckham is one of the four owners of a Miami-based MLS club.
By 2015, Forbes Magazine estimated that Beckham earned $65. The free-kick specialist owns David Beckham Ventures Limited and Beckham Brand Holdings Limited, a joint venture with his wife Victoria.
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#2 Rio Ferdinand
Apart from earning a living from his football punditry on BT Sport, Ferdinand also owns an Italian restaurant, Rosso that is located at the popular King’s street in Manchester.
Besides having an interest in the hotel industry, Ferdinand also has an interest in fashion. The former Manchester United centre-back, who has the tenth most Premier League appearances (504), also owns a clothing line and an online publication called #5 Magazine that first hit the stands in April, 2009.
The 37-year-old, who is also providing opportunities for education and employment to youngsters through Rio Ferdinand Foundation, also has interest in the entertainment world. He created a record label White Chalk Music and was also the executive producers of the movie ‘Dead Man Running’ directed by Alex De Rakoff alongside his former England team-mate Ashley Cole.
#3 Eric Cantona
Known to some for his ‘Kungfu Kick’, the former Manchester United striker retired from football at the age of 30 but he is still considered an idol, in and outside of football if his presence on the big screens is anything to go by.
Cantona took to the big screen when he premiered in the movie titled ‘Elizabeth’ in 1998. This is just one of his over 20 movies that he has appeared in since his retirement from football. In the ‘Elizbeth’ for example, Cantona performed the character Monsieur De Foix.
The 50-year-old has also directed a TV documentary and a short film besides staring in the ‘Looking for Eric’, where he portrayed himself on-screen and Salvation that was released in 2014. During his playing days, he appeared in various Nike commercials.
The French actor is gifted with both the physique, a high work rate with a combined technical skill and creativity.
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#5 Seedorf Clarence
The current Cameroon coach ruled the midfield in both the club ant national level, he was in his own class.
Apart from coaching, he owns a Japanese restaurant group known as Finger's. It has branches in Milan, Porto Cervo and France. Reports also have it that another restaurant will be set in Dubai soon. It is a venture he started in 2004 and it is one of the favourite restaurants in Italy, Milan to be specific.
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#6 Gennaro Gattuso
Gattuso, who currently manages AC Milan, has interests outside the very sport that brought him to the global limelight having won two Uefa Champions League titles, Copa Italia gong, Serie A, Uefa Super Cup, Italian Super Cups with Milan.
But besides football, Gattuso, whose childhood dream was to become a fisherman, is also a successful businessman having ventured into the food industry. The utility midfielder opened a fish store- Gattuso and Bianchi in January 2010 in Gallarate, Italy.
The business, whose unveiling was graced by among other big-name stars, Brazilian Ronaldinho and David Beckham, is a co-venture between Gattuso and his friend, Andrea Bianchi.
Gattuso was an integral part of the Italian side that won the world cup in 2006. He has also served as the manager of Italian side Pisa whom he helped secure promotion to Serie B.