Best careers after retiring from professional football
There are two main reasons why footballers decide to call it a day: Injury and old age. Obviously, there is no telling when the first one may strike. Football is a physical game and accidents can most certainly happen.
When it comes to age, this is another factor that varies from player to player. Goalkeepers typically last longer than outfield players. This is because the pressure on them to keep fit is clearly less than their teammates.
Defenders don’t need to be as fit as midfielders who often need to be the fittest. Attackers can get away with being a little bit slower/older if they’ve got a good eye for goal. The average retirement age of a football player is 35-years-old. It can be more or less depending on the position the player plays.
Here are some of the best career choices that professional football players make after retiring:
It’s an obvious one, but very few managers haven’t had at least some experience at the top-end of the game. Players often find it very difficult to walk away from football altogether. So it’s no surprise that they instead turn to being the people in charge of the team.
It’s getting more unusual for players to go from being in the team to being its manager. So they need to prove themselves and work their way up the ladder by starting life off as a coach. This could be in the form of an assistant manager or being in charge of the youth team. But players often cut their teeth in less important roles in clubs before being given the chance to sit in the hot-seat. Frank Lampard is the best example of a young coach who is now the Chelsea boss.
Another club based role
Not all players believe that they’re cut out to be managers or even coaches, but they still want to keep a hand in the daily running of the club where they made their name. Nowadays plenty of clubs use ex-players in ambassadorial roles, sending them to meetings with UEFA, FIFA and other representative organisations for things like cup draws or executive meetings.
Another club-based role that some players turn to is that of scout. They may not believe that they can coach a player. But they may feel that they have the ability to spot a good one and draw the manager’s attention to them. Scouts often have specialized areas of interest, perhaps from their days playing in Spain, France or South America.
When it comes to football those that can, do and those that can’t, criticise. Alongside joining the coaching staff becoming a pundit is perhaps the most common route that ex-players head down. It’s virtually impossible to turn on a football-based programme without seeing a former player offering their opinion of the game at hand.
Gary Neville of Manchester United, Jamie Carragher of Liverpool and Thierry Henry of Arsenal are all examples of former players who have, to a greater or lesser degree, made a success of becoming a television or radio pundit in the days since their retirement from football.
It’s not just the main sports channels that need former players to offer their opinions, either. Nowadays the proliferation of a club’s own media means that ex-players can talk on the radio, write for the website or present on the television owned and operated by the club they used to ply their trade for.
The final example of a job that a former player might take on is not dissimilar to the previous one. Plenty of newspapers make use of ex-professionals to fill their column inches or, as is becoming more popular in the days of online content, earn them clicks. New media is all the rage and the opinion of someone who used to be in the pay of a club – especially if it’s a controversial one – can make the difference between getting readers and going bust.