Not every football player was discovered as a young kid like Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. Some of them had to wait a long time to earn their place in a big team. While some of them even had to learn a civil profession before their football careers. Let’s see our list of the most famous football players with normal jobs.
Football is the world’s most popular sport with millions of people playing it everywhere. But only a small percentage of them will become a professional footballer and earn nice sums during their career. But for some players the route to stardom took a little longer than for others, and had to wait for a place in a top team for several years. Now Jamie Vardy is one of the best English players, a key member of the Premier League side of Leicester and part of the English national team. But it wasn’t always the case just with the other members of the following list.
Football players with normal jobs before their football careers
1. Peter Schmeichel
The Danish star goalkeeper spent most of his career at Manchester United and won five Premier League, three FA Cup and one Champions League titles with the club. But he had various jobs before football like working in a textile factory. Or as a cleaner in a care home and as a sales manager for WWF. After a short spell at a flooring firm Schmeichel was finally signed by Danish top side Brondby in 1987, at the age of 24. Four years later he joined United and the rest is history. Now his son, Kasper Schmeichel continues his legacy and plays for Premier League side Leicester City.
2. Jamie Vardy
Staying at Leicester, we have another important player of the club, Jamie Vardy who had to wait even longer for his breakthrough. He was rejected by Sheffield Wednesday at the age of 16, so Vardy joined non-league football earning £30 per week. Obviously it wasn’t enough to live on so he also worked as a factory technician making medical splints. In 2010 the manager of National League side FC Halifax Town signed him for £15,000 then he moved up a level with Fleetwood Town next season. But Vardy’s main breakthrough came in 2012 when he joined Championship side Leicester. As we all know now, he won the Premier League title with the club in the 2015-16 season and was also voted the Player of the Season.
3. Rickie Lambert
Rickie Lambert had a similar path as Vardy, even though he hasn’t achieved such successes. He was dropped by Liverpool as a youngster and started his football career in the third division. He played at clubs like Blackpool, Macclesfield Town and League Two side Rochdale. Between two clubs in the beginning of his career Lambert also worked in a beetroot bottling plant putting lids on jars. He joined Southampton in 2009 and helped the team to promotion to the Premier League in 2012. It got even better in 2014 when Liverpool signed him for £4 million but he only spent a year there. Sadly Lambert’s PL career didn’t last long as he rejoined Championship side Cardiff City in 2016 as online sportsbooks news in the UK were reporting.
4. Stuart Pearce
A former captain of the English national team, Stuart Pearce is the next on our list of football players with normal jobs. Pearce started in non-league football in his local side, Wealdstone while working as an electrician. But even after his assignment by top flight clubs Coventry City and Nottingham Forest, Pearce was advertising himself as an electrician in the club’s matchday programme. He spent 12 years at Forest between 1985 and 1997 and won two League Cup titles with the club. Pearce was also a member of the English team which reached the semi-final in Euro 1996 hosted by England. Online gambling sites in the UK are also mentioning England in the favorites in next year’s tournament with the odds of 6.00 to win it.
5. Vinnie Jones
Another famous player, Vinnie Jones has also started his career at non-league side Wealdstone at the age of 19. Besides football Jones also worked as a hod carrier on construction sites. Then in 1986 he joined Wimbledon and won the FA Cup with the club in 1988. A few years later he returned to the Dons in 1992 and played there six more years. Following his football career Jones started to appear in movies. He played in Guy Ritchie’s cult films, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and its follow-up, Snatch. But he also appeared in more mainstream films like Gone in 60 seconds, usually playing a tough character like he was on the pitch.
6. Moreno Torricelli
Italian full-back Moreno Torricelli played in amateur teams in the Province of Milan and worked in a factory at the same time. Until the age of 22, when his team, U.S. Caratese played against Juventus in a pre-season friendly. Torricelli made such an impression on Juventus manager Giovanni Trapattoni that the club signed him after. He became a starter shortly and key member of the team which won 3 Serie A, 2 Italian Cup, 1 Champions League and 1 UEFA Cup titles. He was also capped 10 times for the national team, but didn’t achieve similar successes with them.
+1 Jose Mourinho
And lastly we have one of the most famous football managers of the world, Jose Mourinho in the list. The Special One also started as a player but his career never took off. He started to focus on coaching and studied sports science at the university. He worked as a PE teacher for 5 years teaching disabled children before his first roles in football. In 1992 he became the interpreter of Sporting’s new manager, Bobby Robson, then followed him to Porto and Barcelona. But Mourinho also operated as an assistant manager for Robson and his successor, Louis van Gaal and learnt a lot from them. He finally got his first job as a manager at Benfica in 2000 and two years later at Porto, where he won his first title in 2003.