These stars have excelled at other sports as well.
Playing football at the highest level is no easy task. Many try and turn pro in the sport. But, only a few are able to make it to a professional level. Even fewer climb to the very top of the sport and manage to stay there. However, there are some footballers who have turned professional in other sports as well.
Excelling in a sport is one of the highest achievements of any athlete’s career. However, these footballers have not only played the sport on the biggest stage but also excelled in other disciplines as well. Let’s look at five footballers who have played other sports professionally.
5. Tim Weise (Pro Wrestling)
The German goalkeeper had a successful career in the Bundesliga. He is best-known for his spell with Werder Bremen. Weise played 194 games for them in the league. The Gladbach-born player also represented Hoffenheim.
He hung up his boots in 2014 and turned to pro wrestling. Tim Weise was offered a contract with WWE. The former footballer made his debut for the promotion in 2016. During an event in Munich, he teamed up with veterans Sheamus and Cesaro.
4. Clive Allen (American Football)
The footballer was a journeyman in the English game. But, he played for some of the biggest clubs in the land. He had short stints at Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, QPR and West Ham United. His best spells came with Tottenham and Queens Park Rangers.
The striker holds the record for most goals in a season for Spurs, with 49 strikes in the 1986-87 season. Even Harry Kane is yet to reach the mark. Allen won the PFA and Football Writers’ Player of the Year award in 1987. He also won five caps for the English national team.
After retiring, the English footballer played American football. The then 36-year-old joined London Monarchs in NFL Europe. He played as a placekicker for them. The team finished bottom of the league that season.
He returned to football as a coach. Clive Allen served as Spurs’ caretaker manager in 2007 and 2008.
3. Ivan Perisic (Beach Volleyball)
The Croatian is the only active footballer on the list. Apart from football, he has also played back volleyball at a professional level. He represented his country on the 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour.
Ivan Perisic partnered with Niksa Dellorco on the tour. The duo lost their very first match against Brazilian opponents.
The winger has a successful football career. He has played for some of the biggest clubs in the world. Perisic has had impressive spells at Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich and Inter Milan. He has won two Bundesliga crowns and a Serie A title.
2. Paolo Maldini (Tennis)
The Italian is a legend of the game. He spent his entire career at AC Milan, taking the club to new heights. The defender won 25 trophies with the Rossoneri. His achievements include seven Serie A and five European titles.
After his retirement from football in 2009, Maldini began playing tennis competitively. The defender participated in the doubles event at the Aspria Tennis Cup in 2017. The competition is part of the ATP Challenger Tour. However, Maldini and his partner Stefano Landonio suffered a heavy defeat. They were beaten 6-1, 6-1 in straight sets.
This was the Italian’s last foray in tennis. He now serves as a director at AC Milan.
1. Petr Cech (Ice Hockey)
The Czech keeper had an illustrious football career. He played a crucial role in Chelsea’s success since the turn of the century. The goalkeeper spent 20 years playing for some elite football clubs in the world.
Petr Cech won five Premier League crowns and a Champions League title. He also won multiple domestic cups in England. After retiring, the goalkeeper turned to ice hockey. The Chelsea legend joined Guilford Phoenix and played as a goaltender.
The former Blues custodian earned a Man of the-Match award on his debut. He saved two penalties in a shootout win. Cech is a technical and performance advisor at Chelsea and continues to play ice hockey in his spare time.