Football has moved from a game that was reserved for dropouts to a sport that has provided jobs for persons from all backgrounds.
It’s now a multi-billion industry and that is evidenced by the huge salaries that these players take home each week.
The average professional football is estimated to earn more in just 12 months than doctors earn in a lifetime.
That said, more and more footballers are beginning to realise the importance of education, with some evening combining education with football.
We take a look at 10 players who have acquired Master’s degrees:
Former Chelsea player and manager Frank Lampard is an alumnus of the prestigious Brentwood School.
The 42-year-old enjoyed a distinguished career, where he won multiple trophies including the Premier League and UEFA Champions League.
However, Lampard is also well-educated and holds a degree in a Latin course, after scoring an A in the subject while in school.
Another very educated footballer is Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini. The Italy international is noted for his tough tackles and imperious defending.
But he is also very intelligent off the pitch. Aside from his multiple Serie A, Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italia titles, he also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in economics and commerce.
Chiellini completed the University of Turin in 2010 and went ahead to obtain a Master’s degree in the same course.
Vincent Kompany may be retired now and pursuing a career in coaching but his status as a Premier League legend remains intact.
He was instrumental in the making of Manchester City into an English and European powerhouse and also captain Belgium for many years.
Despite these feats, though, Kompany spent four years of his career combining football and schooling. He was a part-time student at the Alliance Manchester Business School, where he graduated with a degree in Business Administration in 2017.
Everyone that follows Juan Mata knows that he’s a man who writes very well and even has a blog where he usually pens down his thoughts.
The gifted midfielder is also very vested in education and enrolled at the University Camilo Jose Cela in Madrid for a degree in Sports Science and Finance.
Mata may be nearing retirement from football, but it’s obvious he’s already planning for life after he hangs his boots.
Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet is mostly remembered for his stints with Sunderland and Liverpool. He made several Premier League appearances for both teams, and is a Champions League winner.
Off the pitch, though, the 32-year-old has an admirable educational background and holds a Political Science degree which he obtained during his early years in England. Mignolet also speaks five languages.
Former Barcelona star Andres Iniesta has always had life figured out since his childhood. In his football career, he won everything at both club and international level.
He is also from a rich background and can be referred to as an accomplished scholar after obtaining two degrees.
Iniesta has a degree in Biology and another in Sports Science to add to his trophy-laden football career.
The name Socrates is very popular among the older generation of football fans due to the sheer magic that the Brazilian brought to the field.
Named among Pele’s FIFA 100 list of the world’s greatest living players in 2004, Socrates was an absolute football legend.
He held a doctorate degree in Philosophy and inspired many people with his deep political awareness.
Abel Manomey is the record scorer in the Ghana University Sports Association (GUSA) Games.
After getting admission at the University of Education (Bachelor Science in Health Physical Education Recreation and Sports), he was drafted into the school’s football team and he was their key player.
He also pursued a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Health Physical Education Recreation and Sports at the same university, completing in 2020.
After acquiring his Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) in 2005, he had to wait for seven years before enrolling at the University of Education in Winneba.
Abel turned down a mouth-watering offer to join Bahrani club Isaa United to pursue a Master of Philosophy in Health Physical Education Recreation and Sports.
He is currently a player of Ghana Premier League outfit Dreams FC.
Andrey Arshavin’s best years as a footballer came at Russian side Zenit St. Petersburg and Premier League outfit Arsenal.
But more than just a footballer, Arshavin is a trailblazer in the fashion world and has a great fashion sense.
Arshavin’s unquenchable taste for fashion actually inspired him to obtain a degree holder in fashion designing. He further gained a Master’s Degree in fashion designing and is currently one of the most famous designers in Russia.
Glen Johnson had a great career, playing for West Ham United, Stoke City, Portsmouth, Chelsea and Liverpool.
The ex-England international completed a degree in Mathematics in 2012, revealing later that he dedicated two hours of his time each day in order to pass his college exams.