Footballers who have excelled in other sports (Part 3) – Footie Central
Continuation of the series on footballers who have excelled in other sports.
(For the first part, click on here; and click on the second part here).
Paolo Maldini is considered one of the greatest defenders of all time. The epitome of the only club man, he spent his entire career with his boyhood club AC Milan, winning 25 trophies with the Rossonieri, and he also made 125 appearances for Italy.
His physical condition was so high that he was able to play at the highest level until his early 40s.
However, when it came time to hang up his cleats, he wasn’t done with professional sports.
Instead, he turned to another of his loves, tennis, and together with his doubles partner Stéfano Landonio qualified for the Aspria Tennis Cup in Milan, a professional tournament on the Challenger Tour. (one step below the main lap).
They were convincingly beaten in the first round by the pair of Tomasz Bednarek and David Pel, in a fight that lasted just 42 minutes. After the loss, Maldini admitted it was probably his last professional tennis match.
However, those who saw him play believe that if he had started much earlier and dedicated his life to it, Maldini could have had a decent career as a professional tennis player.
As a player, we joked that Clive Allen had more clubs than Jack Nicklaus.
During a 17-year playing career, the striker had a spell with nearly every London team – although he joined and left Arsenal without ever playing a game for them after deciding his style didn’t didn’t fit their brand of football.
Although considered a journeyman by some, he was still good enough to earn five full England caps.
He retired from football in 1995 after a brief stint with Carlisle, but then started a sport by becoming a kicker with NFL team The London Monarchs.
The Monarchs were a briefly-lived professional American football team in NFL Europe, and its predecessor the American Football World League.
Allen played one season with the Monarchs in which they finished sixth out of six teams in the league.
He then returned to football as an assistant manager, notably with Tottenham Hotspur, the team with which he had the most success as a player.
The monarchs went bankrupt the following year.
Andy is an exiled English football fan living in Cyprus. He loves all sports, but football is his passion, and he still dreams every now and then of scoring the winning goal in a Wembley Cup final, even though his playing days are long gone. It follows most major leagues, across Europe at least, and has a favorite team in each. When he’s not watching, listening to, reading or downloading football podcasts, he spends his time worrying about his beloved Arsenal.