Footballers' mad business ventures, from Cristiano Ronaldo's hair transplant clinic to Lukas Podolski's kebab shops

Footballers' mad business ventures, from Cristiano Ronaldo's hair transplant clinic to Lukas Podolski's kebab shops

August 18, 2021

A CAREER in football is gone before you know it.

When the glory days are over and the boots are hung up once and for all, a lucky few can turn to a lucrative career as a talking head on TV.

Some other brave souls even try their hand at management in a bid to stay in the game.

But others will look for new and novel ways to keep the bank balance up once the chairman's cheques stop flowing, including these seven stars who are trying something a bit different.

From an ex-Arsenal forward owning kebab shops to Portugal legend Cristiano Ronaldo planning for retirement with a hair transplant clinic, here's the business launches you never saw coming.


The Juventus superstar is set up for life thanks to a glittering career.

But, he clearly still has one eye on maintaining his looks – and his extravagant lifetsyle – as he gets older with this business idea.

Cristiano has two hair transplant clinics, recently opening a new Insparya in Marbella after buying into the company's Madrid shop in 2019.

And Ronaldo wouldn't be shy to undergo a hair transplant, if his thatch started to thin.

"When I think it's necessary, of course, I'll do it," he revealed.

"One's image is an essential tool for being successful. For me, it's fundamental."


Ex-Arsenal star Podolski is in the twilight years of his career, recently joining Polish side Gornik Zabrze at the age of 36.

To supplement his income when he eventually calls it a day, the German star has turned to kebabs.

He has six shops under the chain name Mangal, with four in Cologne.

And he expanded to Bonn, where he also has an ice cream parlour, pub and clothes store.


The ex-West Ham centre forward always had a bit of an engine on him as a player.

Which is funny because now he's into car customisation with AC13 Premier – delivering bespoke motors to football's elite.

His impressive client list includes Harry Kane, Kyle Walker and Andy Carroll among many others in the football world as well as England cricketer Stuart Broad and former super middleweight world champion boxer Carl Froch.


Fishing isn't something you'd associate with Birmingham City manager and former Leeds hardman Bowyer.

But it's something he loved so much, he thought he'd buy a carp lake for punters to enjoy.

He opened up Etang De Bows to punters in 2015.

Following on from its success, he added another site in 2016 with the acquisition of one of Europe’s leading Big Fish venues – Lac Des Lesmont.


There's nothing fishy about AC Milan legend Gattuso's side line.

The ex-midfield general, who recently turned down the Spurs job, opened up a fish shop in 2010 with much fanfare, including guest customers Ronaldinho and David Beckham.

"Someone might even smile at it, but this fish store is a dream come true for me," Gattuso proudly revealed.

"I wanted to become a fisherman when I was a child, but life’s events have later driven me in different directions."

It has since become a fine restaurant.


Musical Dion has had plenty of career changes since he last played.

After all, he's a presenter for Homes Under the Hammer and has become an expert about flipping homes over the years.

But perhaps the greatest thing he ever did was create a new musical instrument.

Dublin invented The Dube, a percussion instrument that's even been used by Stevie Wonder.


Ex-Liverpool star Daniel Agger always loved tattoos and boasts around 21 on his body.

So, it was no surprise when he retired from the game he joined forces with his brother in Copenhagen for a tattoo parlour called Tattoodo.

He also helped launch a company in 2013 called KloAgger, putting £450,000 into a firm that manages sewage systems in Denmark.

You could hardly say Agger's career has gone down the toilet.


Before retiring, Flamini went from pro footballer to environmental entreprenuer.

The ex-Gunner is a co-founder of GF Biochemicals, the first company in the world able to mass-produce levulinic acid.

"We founded GFBiochemicals with the ambition of finding sustainable alternatives to oil-based products," he revealed.

Flamini is also part of the Environmental Excellence Committee for the candidature of Paris as the location for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

It has been predicted that Flamini's company could be worth billions in years to come.


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