Wednesday, 12 Jun 2024

What Do Footballers Do When They Retire?

Footballers Retire

It’s no secret that professional footballers earn staggering amounts of money during their careers. But what happens to them when they decide to hang up their boots? Do they simply live off their fortunes for the rest of their lives, or do they pursue other avenues? In this article, we’ll explore the various paths footballers can take after retirement.

When Do Footballers Retire?

There are two main reasons why footballers retire: injury and old age. Injuries can occur at any time, and while players try to avoid intentionally hurting each other, accidents can happen on the field. A career-ending injury can occur suddenly due to a bad tackle or gradually due to wear and tear.

The retirement age varies depending on the position and the player’s physical condition. Goalkeepers typically have longer careers compared to outfield players because they face less physical pressure. Defenders don’t need to be as fit as midfielders, and attackers can rely on experience and goal-scoring ability. On average, players sign their first professional contract at seventeen, and the average length of a football career is eighteen years. The retirement age for football players is typically around 35-years-old.

Careers and Jobs Following Retirement

Manager / Coach

Football Manager

Many retired players find it difficult to completely walk away from football. Becoming a manager or coach allows them to stay involved in the game. However, it’s becoming increasingly rare for players to transition directly from playing to managing a team. They often start as assistant managers or youth team coaches and work their way up.

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Another Club Based Role

Club Ambassador

Some players prefer to stay connected to the club where they made their name. Many clubs employ ex-players in ambassadorial roles, representing the club at meetings with organizations like UEFA and FIFA. Ex-players can also work as scouts, using their experience and knowledge to identify promising talent for the club.

Football Pundit

Football Pundit

Becoming a pundit is a common career choice for retired players. Former players like Gary Neville, Jamie Carragher, and Thierry Henry have successfully transitioned into television and radio pundits. They provide analysis and opinions on football matches and related topics. In addition to mainstream sports channels, clubs now have their own media platforms where ex-players can contribute as pundits.

Football Journalist

Football Journalist

Former players can also pursue careers in sports journalism. Many newspapers and online media outlets hire ex-professionals to provide insights and opinions. In the age of new media, controversial opinions from former players can generate attention and readership. Their unique perspective adds value to articles and helps engage readers.


Q: Are there other career options for retired footballers?
A: Yes, there are many other paths that footballers can take after retirement. Some become sports commentators, coaches at lower league clubs, or even open their own businesses related to the sport.

Q: Do all retired footballers become millionaires?
A: Not all footballers retire as millionaires. While top-tier players often earn significant wealth, those in lower leagues may not have accumulated vast fortunes. Financial management plays a crucial role in determining post-retirement financial situations.

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Retirement doesn’t mark the end of a footballer’s journey. Many players go on to have successful careers in coaching, punditry, club administration, or sports journalism. Despite the challenges of transitioning into new roles, their experience and expertise make them valuable assets to the football community. So, the next time you see a retired player offering their insights, remember the diverse and fulfilling careers that await them beyond the pitch.

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