What Do Soccer Players Do After Retirement? All You Need To Know

Gareth Bale What Do Soccer Players Do After Retirement?
Retired professional footballer Gareth Bale of Wales hits a shot during the Cisco Million Dollar Hole-in-One for Charity Challenge prior to the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am at Pebble Beach Golf Links on February 01, 2023 in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Have you wondered what soccer players do after retirement? Retirement is an unavoidable stage in every athlete’s career, including soccer players.

Retirement for soccer players can be both exciting and daunting as they transition from a life of high-intensity training and competition to a more relaxed pace.

Some players may choose to remain involved in the sport, while others may pursue entirely different paths.

In this article by boot soccer, we will examine the different options available to soccer players after retirement.

Some of them are related, while other players decide to leave soccer and do something different. So keep reading to find out; we will explain everything with examples. 

What do soccer players do after retirement?


One of the most common paths for retired soccer players is coaching. Many former players have become youth, amateur, or professional coaches.

Coaching allows retired players to pass on their knowledge and experience to the next generation of soccer players.

Additionally, coaching allows retired players to stay involved in the game they love while earning a living.

One example is Zinedine Zidane, a retired French soccer player who played for some of the top clubs in Europe, including Real Madrid and Juventus.

He is one of the best soccer players who became successful managers.

After retiring in 2006, Zidane began working as a coach for Real Madrid’s youth team before being appointed as the assistant coach for the senior team.

In 2016, he was appointed as the head coach of Real Madrid, leading them to three consecutive Champions League titles and a La Liga title before resigning in 2018.

He returned as head coach in 2019, leading the team to another La Liga title and a Supercopa de España.

Another example is Pep Guardiola, a retired Spanish soccer player who played for FC Barcelona and the Spanish national team.

The Spaniard is currently one of the best soccer coaches in the world and probably of all time.

After retiring in 2006, Guardiola began his coaching career with Barcelona’s youth teams before being appointed as the head coach of the senior team in 2008.

He led Barcelona to multiple domestic and international titles, including three La Liga titles and two Champions League titles, before leaving in 2012.

He has since coached Bayern Munich and Manchester City, winning numerous titles with both teams.

I can mention many examples here, but it will take so much of your time. With these two examples, you got the point.


Another popular option for retired soccer players is punditry. Many former players have become analysts and commentators for soccer matches.

They provide expert analysis and insight into the game, sharing their experiences and knowledge with fans around the world On TV, and fans love their analysis.

Punditry also allows retired players to stay connected to the game while also showcasing their personality and communication skills.

Several professional soccer players have become commentators after retiring from their playing careers.

One such example is Gary Neville, a retired English soccer player who played for Manchester United and the English national team.

After retiring in 2011, Neville began working as a commentator and analyst for Sky Sports, providing expert analysis and commentary on Premier League matches.

He has since become one of the industry’s most well-respected and popular commentators, known for his insightful and honest analysis of the game.

Another example is Michael Owen, a retired English soccer player who played for Liverpool, Real Madrid, and Manchester United.

After retiring in 2013, Owen began working as a commentator and pundit for BT Sport, providing analysis and commentary on Premier League and Champions League match.

Other examples include Jamie Carragher, a retired English soccer player who played for Liverpool and the English national team, and Robbie Savage, a retired Welsh soccer player who played for several English clubs.

Carragher and Savage are now respected commentators and analysts, providing insights and commentary on matches for various media outlets.

These examples demonstrate how retired soccer players can use their knowledge and experience of the game to become successful commentators and analysts after retirement.


Some soccer players choose to become journalists after retiring from playing.

This career path allows them to stay involved in the sport they love while also using their expertise and experience to provide insight and analysis for fans and audiences.

One example of a former soccer player who became a journalist is Gary Neville, a former Manchester United and England player.

After retiring from playing in 2011, Neville became a pundit for Sky Sports and later joined the network as a commentator and analyst.

He has also written columns for several newspapers and served as a co-owner of Salford City FC.

Another example is Jamie Carragher, a former Liverpool and England player who now works as a pundit for Sky Sports.

Carragher also writes columns for the Telegraph newspaper and has authored several books about soccer.

Other former players who have transitioned to journalism include Rio Ferdinand, Thierry Henry, and Michael Owen.

While not all players choose this career path after retirement, it can be a rewarding way to continue to be involved in the sport and to share their knowledge and insights with fans and audiences.

Play other sports 

Gareth Bale What Do Soccer Players Do After Retirement?
Retired professional footballer Gareth Bale of Wales hits a shot during the Cisco Million Dollar Hole-in-One for Charity Challenge prior to the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am at Pebble Beach Golf Links on February 01, 2023 in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

It’s not uncommon for soccer players to have a love for other sports, even after retiring from soccer.

Some players may have developed a passion for another sport.

In the case of Gareth, Bale has always been a keen golfer and has continued to play the sport regularly since retiring from soccer.

While he is not a professional golfer, he is an above-average amateur golfer.

Playing golf allows Bale to stay active and competitive while also providing a different challenge than soccer.

After his retirement in 2023, Gareth Bale could focus on golf now.

It requires a different skill set, such as precision, patience, and mental toughness.

Furthermore, golf is a popular pastime for many soccer players, and Bale is not alone in his love for the sport.

Business ventures 

Some retired soccer players choose to pursue business ventures after retirement.

They use their name recognition and personal brand to start companies or invest in existing businesses.

For example, former England international David Beckham has launched several successful business ventures, including a clothing line, fragrance line, and MLS team, Inter Miami CF.

By using their celebrity status, retired players can build successful businesses and expand their portfolios.

An example of a soccer player who started a business venture is former Manchester United and Real Madrid player David Beckham.

After retiring from playing in 2013, Beckham focused on building his own brand and business empire.

One of Beckham’s most successful business ventures is his fashion brand, which includes a range of clothing, accessories, and fragrances.

He has also launched a successful grooming brand, which includes a line of men’s skincare products.

In addition to his fashion and grooming brands, Beckham has also invested in various other businesses, including a Major League Soccer team in Miami and a stake in a global esports company.

Another great example is Gerard Piqué. The former Barcelona defender has ventured into a variety of businesses since he retired from football in 2022.

Gerard Piqué is one of the few soccer players who own a soccer club. He owns Spanish second division football club FC Andorra.

He is also the founder and president of Kosmos Holding (Kosmos Global Holding S.L.), a sports and media investment group he established alongside Hiroshi Mikitani (founder and chairman of Japanese e-commerce firm Rakuten, Inc.), Edmund Chu, Nullah Sarker, and Mike Evans.

Since his retirement, he became the president and owner of the Kings League, a different format soccer league in Barcelona, made up of teams whose owners are content creators from Twitch, YouTube, TikTok and Instagram


Many soccer players are recognized for their athletic abilities, but they also possess striking physical features that can make them appealing models.

Modeling is a popular career option for retired soccer players, as it allows them to stay in the public eye and capitalize on their good looks and unique style.

Additionally, modeling can offer a lucrative income stream for retired soccer players, especially those who may not have saved enough money for retirement.

The modeling industry can be highly profitable, and soccer players may be able to command high fees due to their fame and status.

One example of a soccer player who started modeling after retirement is David Beckham.

After retiring from professional soccer, he continued to stay in the public eye by pursuing a career in modeling and fashion.

He has worked with top designers such as H&M and Louis Vuitton and has graced the covers of numerous fashion magazines.

Further education

Another option for retired soccer players is to pursue further education.

Many players choose to go back to school to earn a degree, which can open up new career opportunities.

A significant number of the soccer players who went to college did so after their retired.

Some players may study sports management or coaching, while others may pursue degrees in completely different fields, such as business, law, or medicine.

Going back to school allows retired players to broaden their horizons and explore new interests.

An example of a soccer player who started his education after retirement is former French international player Lilian Thuram.

Thuram retired from playing in 2008 after a successful career that included winning the FIFA World Cup with France in 1998 and reaching the UEFA Champions League final with Juventus in 2003.

After retiring, Thuram turned his attention to education and founded the Lilian Thuram Foundation in 2008, which is dedicated to promoting education, social justice, and diversity.

The foundation aims to empower young people through education and promote awareness of social and cultural issues.

Thuram also earned a degree in history from the Sorbonne in Paris and has authored several books on race and inequality, including “Mes étoiles noires: De Lucy à Barack Obama” (“My Black Stars: From Lucy to Barack Obama”), which explores the history of black people in France and beyond.

Thuram’s work in education and social justice earned him numerous awards and accolades, including the UNESCO Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence in 2010.

Professional counseling 

Retiring from soccer can be an emotional experience.

Players may experience a sense of loss or grief as they leave behind a career that has defined them for many years.

Retired players need to take the time to process these emotions and to seek support when needed, whether through friends, family, or professional counseling.

An example of a soccer player who started counseling after retirement from soccer is former German international goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand.

Hildebrand retired from playing in 2018 after a career that included stints with top German clubs like VfB Stuttgart and Schalke 04.

After retiring, Hildebrand became a licensed psychotherapist and started offering counseling services to professional athletes.

He uses his experience as a professional athlete to help others cope with the mental and emotional challenges that come with the pressure of high-performance sports.

Starting charitable organizations

Retired soccer players can also use their skills and experience to give back to their communities through charity work.

Many former players have started their own charitable organizations or work with existing charities to help those in need. 

For example, former Manchester United and England player Rio Ferdinand started the Rio Ferdinand Foundation, which works with young people in deprived areas of the UK.

By using their platform and resources, retired players can make a positive impact in the world. He is also a Pundit for BT Sports.

Another example of a soccer player who started a charitable organization after retiring, Abidal founded the Eric Abidal Foundation, which is dedicated to raising awareness and funds for research into liver disease and cancer.

Abidal himself underwent a liver transplant in 2012 and has used his platform and experience to raise awareness and funds for these causes.

Take a break 

Some retired soccer players choose to take a break from the public eye and focus on their personal lives.

After years of intense training, travel, and media attention, it can be refreshing to take some time away from the limelight.

Many retired players use their newfound free time to spend more time with their families, travel, or pursue hobbies they didn’t have time for while playing professionally.

An example of a soccer player who chose to take a break from the public eye and focus on their personal life is former German international midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Schweinsteiger retired from playing in 2019 after a successful career that included winning the FIFA World Cup with Germany in 2014 and numerous domestic and international trophies with his club teams.

After retiring, Schweinsteiger took a break from the public eye and focused on his personal life.

He spent time with his family and enjoyed traveling and experiencing new cultures. Recently he again came into the limelight.

He accompanied live broadcasts of football matches as an expert in Qatar for the next three years up to and including the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

What is the common retirement age in soccer?

Many soccer players retire in their late mid or late 30s.

Now you may ask why they are in their 30, and you are right. In their 30s, athletes are usually quite young, but here are a few reasons: 

One of the main factors is the physical demands of the sport. Soccer is a high-intensity, physically demanding sport that requires players to maintain a high level of fitness and endurance.

As players age, they may find it increasingly difficult to keep up with the demands of the game and may experience more frequent injuries and longer recovery times.

Another reason why many soccer players may also choose to retire in their 30s is simply that they feel that it is time to move on to other pursuits.

Playing professional soccer can be a grueling and demanding career, and some players may feel that they have accomplished all they can in the sport and are ready to explore other opportunities and interests.

Do soccer players get paid after retirement? 

Yes, soccer players do receive retirement fees from national teams and sometimes their clubs as well.

The amount of fee soccer players get from the club or the national teams may vary, and it depends on several reasons. Firstly, it depends on how much they contributed to their teams or clubs.

The fee also depends on how much amount they used to get when they were serving the team or club. 

Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) set a fee of £6,420 every season. So let’s say a player for 5 seasons for a team, so £6,420 x 5= £32100; this player will get £32100 when he retires, which is a good amount of money. 

Can a soccer player come back after retirement?

Yes, a soccer player can come back after retirement, although it is relatively rare.

Some players may retire from soccer only to return a few years later, either because the team needs them or because they feel that they still have something to offer to the game.

There are many soccer players who retired and came back.

Lionel Messi announced his retirement from international football in 2016 following Argentina’s loss to Chile in the Copa America Centenario final.

The decision came after years of frustration for Messi, who had come close to winning major international tournaments with Argentina on several occasions but had always fallen short.

Many factors likely contributed to Messi’s decision to retire from the national team at that time.

He had faced intense criticism and scrutiny from both the media and fans in Argentina, who had grown frustrated with the team’s lack of success.

Additionally, Messi had been dealing with personal issues, including a tax fraud case in Spain and the death of his grandmother.

However, Messi’s retirement was short-lived. Just a few months after announcing his departure from the national team, he returned to play in Argentina’s World Cup qualifying matches. 

According to Messi, his decision to return was motivated by a desire to help his country and to continue pursuing his dream of winning a major international trophy. And here we are, Messi won the 2022 World Cup for Argentina.


In conclusion, the careers and pursuits of soccer players after retirement are varied and often reflect the individual goals and interests of each player. Some choose to stay involved in the sport as coaches, commentators, or journalists, while others pursue new ventures entirely. 

Still, others choose to retire from public life altogether and focus on their personal lives and families. Whatever their post-playing paths may be, it is clear that soccer players have a wide range of opportunities available to them after they retire. 

Whether they are seeking new challenges, continuing to pursue their passion for the sport, or simply taking a well-deserved break, retired soccer players continue to make their mark on the world in many different ways.

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