Professional athletes who gain fame in their field often try their hand in other areas, and many times, find incredible success. Several prominent wrestlers who awed fans with their strength and skills are today actors who have played significant roles in many popular movies. Many athletes who have amassed massive fortunes from their games, brand deals, etc., also venture out into the world of business and begin successful companies.

Football has been a much-loved game worldwide for more than a century, and football betting has also become widely accepted today. MuchoVegas.com online casino in Canada provides a space for gamblers to play their games from the comfort of their homes while many online bookies let fans place football bets from anywhere in the world. The world of football is also filled with players who have dabbled or found success in various other fields. Let us look at a few such professional or semi-professional athletes.

Steven Gerrard

Gerrard was a central midfielder who has captained both England’s national team and Liverpool. He was given the 2005 UEFA Club Footballer of the Year award and was considered one of the greatest players of his generation. Today he is the manager of the Scottish Premiership club Rangers.

As a well-known successful footballer, Steven Gerrard has certain luxuries not available to the common man. So, in 2010, when his favourite restaurant was undergoing a revamp, he decided to buy a share. He teamed up with a renowned hotelier to give the restaurant a makeover. Gerrard also decided to start chains of this restaurant in other locations around England and establish himself as a restaurateur.

Anthony Lapaglia

Anthony LaPaglia is well-known worldwide as an Australia actor who has starred in movies such as Empire Records, Autumn in New York, Lantana, Annabelle: Creation, etc.

What many might not know is that LaPaglia played as a professional footballer back in the 80s. He played for Adelaide City and West Adelaide as the goalkeeper during the National Soccer League. What’s more, he was also a part-owner of Sydney FC till 2008, making LaPaglia an established actor with a professional football background.

Ashley Cole

Ashley Cole is a well-known name in football, and he played as a left-back for Arsenal and Chelsea. Cole was considered to be one of the best left-backs and defenders by many. In 2010, Cole was voted as the England Player of the Year, and he became a Coach at Derby following his retirement.

In 2009 Cole ventured out into the world of cinema and was the executive producer of the movie Dead Man Running alongside another football player named Rio Ferdinand. Neither of the footballers pursued a serious career in cinema later on.

Mat Mitchel-King

Mat Mitchel-King is a semi-professional footballer who plays as a defender or a midfielder for Hayes & Yeading United. When he played for Histon FC, he acted as the body-double for a professional footballer, Rio Ferdinand. Mitchel-King continued to be Ferdinand’s part-time body double for Nike advertisements until he joined Crewe Alexandra FC.

Vinnie Jones

Vinnie Jones played as a defensive midfielder for several clubs including Chelsea, Leeds United and Wimbledon back in the 80s and 90s. Though he is a well-established former football player, today he is famous for his various other talents.

Vinnie Jones first started acting with the 1988 film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and has played a significant role in several movies since then. Apart from being a popular actor, Jones has also made a name for himself as a producer and singer. He produced the 2020 film The Big Ugly in which he also acts as one of the main characters.

Socrates

Socrates was a professional Brazillian footballer who played for Botafogo-SP and Corinthians. Socrates played as an attacking midfielder and was named the South American Footballer of the Year in 1983.

But the most important detail regarding this football player is the medical degree he earned as he became prominent in the world of football. This degree has also aptly given him the name Doctor Socrates. He got his medical bachelor’s degree from the Medical school of the University of São Paulo. He earned this degree simultaneously while playing professional football. Socrates put his degree to good use when he started practising medicine after his retirement. Socrates passed away in 2011 at the age of 57.

Morten Gamst Pedersen

Pedersen is a professional footballer from Norway. He has played for Tromsø and Blackburn Rovers but is currently a part of Alta.

Pedersen was the frontman of the boyband called The Players. His bandmates also consisted of four other professional football players. The sales from their single titled “This is for real” went to the charity project called Soccer Against Crime.

Ian Wright

Ian Wright is another professional footballer who has experimented with the music industry. Wright was well-known for his speed and even set a few records during his time. Today he serves as a commentator for ITV Sport and BBC Sport.

In 1993 he released a single titled “Do the right thing”. Chris Lowe co-wrote and produced this hip-hop styled song.

Summing up

Professional football players, with their wealth, influence, and connections are presented with numerous opportunities they wouldn’t have had otherwise. These athletes are free to pursue their hobbies and other activities, and some have even found considerable success in them. Professional football players have been a part of movies, music, restaurants and do not feel limited by what they are popularly known for.