Footballers are perhaps the most beloved among all the athletes. However, it is not just the love that they earn when they spend some quality time on the football field. They not only grab everyone’s respect, admiration and attention but also money and fame. However, this may not always be a case after retirement. Things change when you are not on the playing field anymore. Sometimes the circumstances become so drastic that the footballers have to take jobs which they would never have dreamed of. Among the examples would be of the Dutch International footballer named Berry van Aerle, who is not supposedly a postman. However, not all footballers end on that path. We have compiled a list of most successful retired soccer players.
Top 10 Successful Retired Soccer Players
10. Gianfranco Zola (Italy)
Since his retirement, Zola has sparked a successful managerial career. He was the coach of Italian under 21 team from 2006-2008. He became West Ham United’s manager in 2008 before being terminated at the end of 2009-2010 seasons. Zola then signed a 2-year contract with Watford. He now holds the tenth place among the top 10 most successful retired soccer players.
9. Gerd Muller (Germany)
Retired Soccer Players from Germany Muller was the most celebrated German striker. After retirement, he had alcohol issues, but he went into a rehabilitation program and came out clean. Since then, he is the coach of Bayern Munich for a long time. Muller also has a collection of apparel by Adidas under his belt. Besides, he also holds his place among the highest Bundesliga goalscorers of all time.
8. Pelé (Brazil)
Former Brazilian soccer player, Pele, often dubbed as one of the greatest footballers of all time by football fans. One of True Legend of the Game. The 72-year-old former Brazilian star is notable for his ambassadorial career. Pelé has been UNESCO’s goodwill ambassador and UN ambassador for ecology and environment. He has several autobiographies and has participated in documentaries too. He was also named the Honorary President of the New York Cosmos in 2010.
7. Ronaldo (Brazil)
The former Brazilian striker has had some issues but has since sobered up. He is the co-owner of the Brazilian A1 team. Ronaldo is also expected to become the President of Brazilian Football Confederation in 2014. Ronaldo now also holds the seventh place in our list of the top 10 most successful retired soccer players.
6. Gary Neville (England)
Since retirement, Neville has begun a coaching career. He holds a UEFA coaching license and was appointed to the England team’s coaching staff in 2012. Neville was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Bolton for his outstanding contributions to football.
He frequently appears on the media, writing columns and working as an analyst for various TV channels. Neville now holds the sixth place in our list of the top 10 most successful retired soccer players.
5. Zinedine Zidane (France)
Retired Soccer Players from France and one of the greatest Muslim athletes of all time, Zidane still dubbed as the greatest playmaker. He was extremely popular for his skills and even more popular for his famous headbutt to Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final. Since retirement, Zidane has been playing frequently for Real Madrid Veterans.
He also joined the coaching panel of Real Madrid under the reign of former boss Jose Mourinho and now serves as the head manager. Apart from all that, he has endorsements worth millions of dollars.
4. Sir Bobby Charlton (England)
Perhaps the most celebrated midfielder of England Manchester United, Sir Bobby Charlton took the position at Preston North End club as the manager. He then became the director of Wigan Athletic and now serves as a member of the board of directors of Manchester United. Charlton was the inaugural inductee of the Hall of Fame of English football.
He also won the BBC sports personality of the year lifetime achievement award in 2008. Furthermore, he was involved in some reputable charitable activities and organizations as well as a member of the Laureus World Sports Academy.
3. Luis Figo (Portugal)
The Portugal international star that played for numerous big names which include Real Madrid and Internazionale is quite successful even though his football career is now over. He was the joint seat holder for Team Portugal in A1 Grand Prix during 2005-2006.
He is an ambassador for Internazionale and an organization “Stop TB Partnership.” Furthermore, he is the founder of Network 90 and a bar in Portugal. Figo now holds his place among the top 10 most successful retired soccer players.
2. Eric Cantona (France)
After retirement, the former French striker became involved in media. He performed in various movies and TV commercials. Cantona was also named the captain of the French national beach football team. He also performed a short role on an album of the French rock band Dionysos.
In 2011, Cantona returned to the football world when he was appointed by the New York Cosmos as the director of soccer. He was also involved in a number of political activities and has endorsed two football video games. Cantona surely deserves his place among the top 10 most successful retired soccer players.
1. David Beckham (England)
Retired soccer players from England and one of the most handsome footballers of all time, David Beckham, has had the most promising and successful career both on and off the field. He was insanely popular during his career and perhaps even more popular now. From his endorsements worth millions of euros to him being a fashion icon, Beckham has had it all.
His notable charitable work, his appearances on the TV and is the global ambassador of Chinese football has made him the most successful retired footballer ever. Beckham surely deserves his place among the top 10 most successful retired soccer players.