What happens when a footballer comes to the end of their career?
After what can be over a decade, or indeed an entire life of doing what you love - and being paid well to do so - suddenly it is over.
Some go into coaching, the more eloquent go into punditry (Martin Keown and Stan Collymore aside) whilst others find themselves lost in limbo - with only knackered knees to remind them of their past glories.
Others - well they get their act together early.
Recently we read how Thomas Gravesen, a former Everton, Real Madrid and Celtic midfielder, had made some solid financial investments and was now doing better outside of football then he was when playing - at least from a financial stand-point.
So if you get everything in order before the clock runs out on that short-lived existence known as a football career there is always opportunity to go on and have a fruitful post-football life.
One player who already has the wheels in motion for such an event is Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker.
Mertesacker is known to give himself a head-start so that the pace of the world around him doesn’t make him look stupid - and that seems to be what he has done in his business life.
Along with his brother Timo and former Werder Bremen team-mate Clemens Fritz he has founded a real estate company in Hanover, Germany.
Fritz, who himself is approaching retirement age at 33, spoke about the joint venture to German magazine Bild this week - giving us an insight into the retirement plans of Arsenal’s BFG:
“We founded the company two years ago. It's the two of us as a second income for the period after our career. We have come together on the idea. Real estate is a solid investment in uncertain times. We are involved in all projects meet every now and then in Hanover at meetings. It is important for us to be involved in the decisions. We do not regret it ..."
Let’s hope Per isn’t going round trying to sell any houses with low door-frames now … leave that to Clemens.
image: © ronnie macdonald