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5 footballers who perfected another sport

Akshay Pai
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
13.59K   //    Timeless
12 Sep 1998:  Gabriel Batistuta of Fiorentina celebrates during the Serie A match against Empoli at the Stadio Communale in Florence, Italy. \ Mandatory Credit: Allsport UK /Allsport
Batistuta became a legend at Fiorentina

Football being the incredibly physical sport that it is, eventually ends up taking a toll on a lot of the athletes’ body; which is why it’s no surprise that the average outfield player ends up retiring somewhere around the age of 35. Goalkeepers fare slightly better in this regard, with most peaking around 30 and usually calling it curtains in either their late 30’s or early forties; usually having to cope with far lesser strains and wear and tear on their bodies.

It’s therefore quite common to hear that a lot of them end up pursuing other interests or careers after football, whether it be because the gloss of a stuttering football career eventually teetered out, or because a promising career failed to live up to expectations due to insurmountable pressure, or a serious injury ruined chances of a career in the beautiful game.

It may also have been that these particular men wanted to try out other avenues of sport and ended up doing surprisingly well.

Here, we present to you a list 5 of footballers who took up other sports and managed to perfect them.


#5 Gabriel Batistuta

Former Argentine football striker Gabrie : News Photo
Batistuta now pursues the sport of polo

One of Argentina’s most revered strikers, Batistuta is known for his exploits with Italian side Fiorentina. He made La Viola’s purple shirt famous alongside Portugal international, Rui Costa.

Batistuta scored 207 goals in 332 games for Fiorentina, missing out on Kurt Hamrin’s all-time record of 208 by just 1 goal. After retirement, Batistuta experienced severe pain in his legs, with much of the cartilage damaged from a long career in football. The pain was reportedly so bad that the striker asked the doctors to amputate his limbs and wet the bed because he couldn’t stand up.

Unsurprisingly, he has lost his passion for the game, despite having earned his coaching badges. Instead, he took up polo, training with Adolfo Cambiasso – the world’s number one ranked player – and ended up netting a brace on his debut.

He now owns a team called ‘La Gloria,’ and of course, they play in purple.

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ANALYST
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