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The crazy businesses of footballers, from Cristiano Ronaldo’s hair transplant clinic to Lukas Podolski’s kebab shops

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A football career 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.

Lukas Podolski has gone into kebabs to supplement his football income

Lukas Podolski has gone into kebabs to supplement his football income Credit: EPA

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.

CRISTIANO RONALDO

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

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.

Cristiano Ronaldo has invested in the Insparya hair transplant clinic

Cristiano Ronaldo has invested in the Insparya hair transplant clinic

LUKAS PODOLSKI

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

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

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.

Podolski now has six kebab shops in his chain Mangal

Podolski now has six kebab shops in his chain Mangal Credit: EPA

Podolski expand his restaurant chain to Bonn and has four in Cologne

Podolski expand his restaurant chain to Bonn and has four in Cologne Credit: Instagram @mangal_doener

MARLON HAREWOOD

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

This is funny because now he’s into car customisation with AC13 Premier – delivering bespoke motors to the elite of football.

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.

Marlon Harewood runs a car customisation business

Marlon Harewood runs a car customisation business

Harewood has looked after the Premier League's elite over the years

Harewood has looked after the Premier League’s elite over the years Credit: Instagram @ac13premier

LEE BOWYER

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.

Lee Bowyer runs two lakes in France after falling in love with fishing

Lee Bowyer runs two lakes in France after falling in love with fishing Credit: Collect

GENNARO GATTUSO

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.

When Gennaro Gattuso was a kid, he wanted to become a fisherman

When Gennaro Gattuso was a kid, he wanted to become a fisherman Credit: Getty

Gattuso's fish shop soon became a fine dining experience

Gattuso’s fish shop soon became a fine dining experience

DION DUBLIN

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.

Dion Dublin invented The Dube, a musical instrument used by artists including Stevie Wonder

Dion Dublin invented The Dube, a musical instrument used by artists including Stevie Wonder Credit: Getty Images – Getty

DANIEL AGGER

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.

Daniel Agger runs a tattoo parlour in Copenhagen with his brother

Daniel Agger runs a tattoo parlour in Copenhagen with his brother

In 2013, Agger also launched KloAgger - a company that manages sewage systems in Denmark

In 2013, Agger also launched KloAgger – a company that manages sewage systems in Denmark

MATHIEU FLAMINI

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

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.

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

Since quitting football Mathieu Flamini has become an environmental entrepreneur

Since quitting football Mathieu Flamini has become an environmental entrepreneur Credit: Twitter @MathieuFlamini

Flamini is co-founder of GF Biochemicals and is projected to make billions in years to come

Flamini is co-founder of GF Biochemicals and is projected to make billions in years to come Credit: Jamie McPhilimey – The Sun

About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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