Footballers put plenty of time into becoming the best players they can possibly be.
But sometimes it’s easy to forget even the biggest stars have lives outside of their careers.
Indeed, some footballers have unusual, unexpected hobbies and talents, from music to other sports.
We’ve explored 13 examples below.
1. Clint Dempsey – Rapper
Fans of the United States national team, and the clubs Clint Dempsey turned out for, may know that Dempsey – who recently retired from playing – was often referred to as ‘Deuce’ by his teammates.
But that wasn’t just a nickname; it was a stage name. Dempsey, or ‘Deuce’, is a bonafide rapper with a proper music video and everything.
2. Manuel Akanji – Mathmetician
Not only is Manuel Akanji doing the business on the pitch for high-flying Dortmund. He’s also ridiculously good at maths, as he proved with an appearance on a Swiss TV show.
The Switzerland international worked out maths problems before the presenter, who was tooled with a calculator, could even begin to process the numbers.
3. Petr Cech – Drummer
One of the better-known footballers with a side hobby is Petr Cech, who has been sharing videos of himself playing the drums for some time now.
The former Arsenal goalkeeper appears to be a big fan of Dave Grohl, having covered both Foo Fighters and Nirvana songs in the past.
And he recently released his own song for charity, called ‘That’s Football‘, teaming up with Queen drummer Roger Taylor.
4. Shane Long – Guitarist/singer
Here’s a player who must never be scared of going through an initiation whenever he joins a new club. Shane Long proved he has a belting voice in a Soccer AM interview a few years ago.
He can strum the guitar pretty well, too.
5. Sandro – Guitarist/singer
Even more confident a performer than Long is former Tottenham midfielder Sandro, who is clearly a character both on and off the pitch.
A fan favourite at just about every club he’s played for, the Brazilian is a keen musician who isn’t afraid to put on a show.
6. Tomas Rosicky – Guitarist
Yet another guitarist on our list is former Arsenal midfielder Tomas Rosicky. Footballers who have struggled with injuries often turn to other hobbies, and Rosicky certainly had some bad luck during his Arsenal days.
Still, he once performed on stage with Czech band Tři Sestry, so that’s something.
7. Ivan Perisic – Beach volleyball player
There aren’t many sportspeople who have represented their country at two sports, but Bayern Munich forward Ivan Perisic is one of them.
He made his international beach volleyball debut in 2017, representing Croatia at the Porec Major. The 30-year-old has some serious skills on the sand, just like he does on the grass.
8. Daniel Agger – Tattoo artist
Many modern footballers are covered in tattoos these days, but not a lot of them have held the tattoo pen themselves – former Liverpool defender Daniel Agger certainly has.
As for the tattoos Agger himself possesses, he has ‘YNWA’ plastered across his knuckles as well as a couple of Liver birds on his fingers.
Anybody fancy a tattoo? must be about 10 years ago!:))) pic.twitter.com/ynXDIOYMoW
— Daniel Agger (@DanielAgger) January 29, 2014
9. David Luiz – Magician
David Luiz has produced plenty of magic on the pitch over the years, but perhaps his most impressive sleight of hand moments have come off it.
Back in 2016, the Brazilian amazed his teammates with a card trick in the Chelsea changing room.
10. David Meyler – FIFA YouTuber
Our attentions now turn to a very modern talent. Reading midfielder David Meyler has over 373,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel, which is centred around playing FIFA, in addition to almost 82,000 followers on Twitch.
He even has a catchphrase: “Yes lads.” Make of it what you will.
11. Andrei Arshavin – Fashion designer
“I have designed several garments myself,” said Andrei Arshavin when asked about his double life as a women’s clothes designer back in 2009.
It’s not unusual for footballers to go into fashion these days, but Arshavin was literally a trendsetter. There’s also a weird video of him singing on YouTube – he’s no Shane Long.
12. Alexis Sanchez – pianist
Manchester United’s video announcement of Alexis Sanchez’s arrival, in which the Chilean played the piano, seemed like a bit of a joke. But Sanchez can genuinely tinkle the ivories.
United fans — and now Inter supporters since he joined on loan — are still ‘right here waiting’ for him to rediscover his Arsenal form. Sorry about that one.
13. Hal Robson-Kanu – Crypto-currency entrepreneur
Away from the pitch, one of the heroes of Wales’ Euro 2016 campaign, Hal Robson-Kanu, spends his time exploring blockchain technology and crypto-currency.
“Not many people understand blockchain technology,” Robson-Kanu told the Independent in 2018. “It’s like trying to explain fundamentally how the internet works.” We’ll just watch that goal again, then, shall we?