Although professional soccer players must commit a large amount of time to their sport, some still find a way to fulfil their passions outside of their work, whether through another sport or something completely different.
Here is a look at high-profile soccer players who are known for having another interest outside of soccer.
James Maddison – Darts
Leicester and England midfielder James Maddison is a big darts fan. Not only is he a regular at the PDC World Championship each year, but he also enjoys playing the game himself, as he often posts videos on his social media account of him at the oche.
When Maddison scored a Premier League goal against Wolves earlier this season, his celebration was of him pretending to throw a dart. He has also revealed that he takes a darts board with him on away trips to play with his teammates and support staff.
Maddison is good friends with former world darts champion Gerwyn Price, who he has had practice sessions with. He regularly hits 180s on the board, so he is quite talented at the game.
2022 was a big year for the midfielder, as not only has been one of the most impressive players in the opening half of the 2022/23 Premier League campaign, but he was also called up to the England squad for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Antoine Griezmann – Horse racing
World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann is one of the leading owners of racehorses in France and he has even had success in a Listed race, one of the highest levels in the sport. The Atletico Madrid player is very knowledgeable about racehorse breeding and extremely passionate about horses.
Griezmann has invested a lot of money into his stables. They are based in Macon, Burgundy. The Frenchman is a regular at Royal Ascot in June, one of the biggest Flat meetings in the world. He will be hoping to have a runner of his own at that event one day.
The 31-year-old recently had an excellent World Cup campaign for France. He was one of the leading players at the Qatar event where Argentina beat his country in the final.
Griezmann remains on loan from Barcelona to Atletico Madrid. He will be doing all he can to help his side finish the season strongly and close the gap on leaders Real Madrid in the standings. On 888sport, which is listed as one of the best sports betting sites in the UAE, Atletico has odds of +10000 for the La Liga crown.
Those who sign up with this bookmaker will get a $100 welcome bonus as well as $30 in free bets. 888sport also has extensive betting on all the major soccer leagues in Europe and around the world, as the sport is one of the most popular in Dubai.
Jesse Lingard – Fashion line
Nottingham Forest forward Jesse Lingard became a fashion designer in 2020 and his clothing range JLingz continues to grow. It means if he was to retire from soccer tomorrow, he would have a strong venture to work on.
Lingard’s business sells hoodies, backpacks, perfumes, and accessories for mobile phones. He actively promotes his brand on his social media accounts where he has built up a large following.
The England international moved to Nottingham Forest on a free transfer last summer, leaving Manchester United, the club he spent 22 years with. He hopes to help his new team retain its Premier League status at the end of the campaign.
Gareth Bale – Golf
Former Real Madrid star Gareth Bale has made his love of golf no secret throughout his soccer career. During his time in Madrid, he enjoyed playing some of the finest courses in the Spanish capital.
Bale, a three-time Champions League winner, is now playing his soccer in the MLS for Los Angeles FC. The 33-year-old is likely to have considered the golf courses in LA before committing to the American soccer team.
Looking forward to watching the US Open this week. Pebble is an amazing course, as long as you drive it well. Cheering for all the #TeamTaylorMade guys this week, especially @djohnsonpga. #usopen pic.twitter.com/9ZEQ0MW09B— Gareth Bale (@GarethBale11) June 13, 2019
The Welshman is thought to be very good at golf. He has a handicap of two, he is an ambassador for the R&A, and his nickname at Real Madrid was “the golfer”. When he calls an end to his playing career, he is sure to spend even more time working on his golf game.
All four of the above players have shown soccer players can have success outside of their sport and pursue their passion in life, albeit as a leisure activity in most cases.