Soccer is probably the most popular sport in the world. Through history, a lot of people have known thousands of soccer players from different places around the globe with different skills and abilities. Some of these professionals take advantage in their retirement of the fame and glory reached as active players, achieving a successful life.
A lot of successful retired players have businesses related with soccer and other disciplines, like sportswear or equipment. Others are the image of important brands or have their own company, letting them get new opportunities after their soccer life. In this article, we will see some cases of successful retired players.
Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima was born in Rio de Janeiro, on 1976. Called “El Fenómeno”, he is considered one of the best soccer players in history. Ronaldo was active for 18 years and was part of the most important soccer clubs in the world, like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Milan, Corinthians, among other teams. He also awarded the FIFA Ballon d’Or and two FIFA world cups.
After his retirement in 2011, Ronaldo worked in publicity campaigns for countless brands in different industries like sportswear, fashion, and entertainment. Currently, he is UN ambassador and he has been the image of PokerStars for various years, also he participates in multiple world poker tours. On the other hand, he owns the Fort Lauderdale Strikers soccer club, from Miami, Florida.
Edson Arantes do Nascimento Pelé, Brazil
Pele is without a doubt the best soccer player of all time. He played as professional for 21 years and is the only player in soccer history with more than 1000 goals, making him a living legend. He won three FIFA world cups with Brazil’s national team and more than 30 individual awards. Pele represented only two professional clubs in his life; Santos from Brazil and the New York Cosmos. With Santos, he won everything which was possible. In his last years of career, he played in the Cosmos team stimulating soccer in the United States and giving to this sport’s popularity of other disciplines like baseball or basketball.
After his retirement as an active player in 1977, Pele did some TV commercials and participated in various documentaries and movies. He has been the image of different companies around the world like P&G, Pepsico, and Mastercard. Besides, he has its own company called Pele Sport and Marketing and is the image of UNICEF.
Diego Armando Maradona, Argentina
He was born on 1960, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is considered by many the best soccer player of all time. In 1986 he won the FIFA world cup with Argentina’s national team. Maradona played in clubs like Boca Juniors, Barcelona, and Napoli. He was an active player for 21 years and is well known for “The hand of God” and for the goal of the century.
After his retirement, he worked as the coach of Argentina’s national team from 2008 to 2010. In 2011 he coached Al Wasl in Saudi Arabia. On the other hand, Diego has been the image of drinks, fashion companies, and other products. In 2005 he hosted a TV show called “La Noche del 10”, where he invited different personalities from the soccer world and show business. In 2014, Diego presented another TV show named “De Zurda” in Venezuela.
José René Higuita, Colombia
Higuita was born on 1966, in Medellin, Colombia. Known as “El loco”, Higuita is considered one of the best goalkeepers in soccer history. During his 24 years as a professional player, he scored 44 goals. In 1995 in a friendly match between Colombia and England, Rene did an amazing move giving him world fame; this move was called The Scorpion.
In 1999, Higuita retired from his active career and started as goalkeeper trainer in Colombia. Years later, he participated in three reality shows in Colombian TV and has been the image of different products, like drinks and hair products. In 2015 he was designated as the coach of Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia. Higuita is one of the most loved retired players in the world.
The retired soccer players mentioned in this article are just a sample of successful cases. There are a lot of other soccer figures with great achievements outside the playing fields, like David Beckham, who is one of the richest retired players in the world, being the image of multiple companies, or Romario from Brazil, who is an important political figure in that country. Another success sample is Quique Wolff, from Argentina, who played for Real Madrid and Argentina’s national team and currently is a TV host and commentator in ESPN channel. There are a lot of other cases showing that soccer career does not finish when players stop playing, but it is a new opportunity to continue what they did on the playing field.