Football, being the most popular sport in the world help the stars earn the humungous amount of money. And almost every footballer in the world has the love for fancy cars. They are used to driving cars capable of reaching 200mph but do you know there are few footballers who swapped the football field for motor racing.
From amateur rallying to 24 Hours of Le Mans few footballers have tried their hand on this as well.
Fabien Barthez: Former Manchester United and France goalkeeper took up motorsport professionally in 2008 when he competed in the Porsche Carrera Cup France. He also then took part in the French GT Championship, Bioracing Series and the Caterham Sigma Cup France and achieved his first podium finish at the FFSA GT Championship.
In 2014, Barthez went that step further and entered his first 24 Hours of Le Mans race. He finished 29th.
Jerzy Dudek: After retiring from 2011, former Liverpool and Real Madrid goalkeeper returned to his true love. Dudek, now 45, competes in the Volkswagen Castrol Cup, a racing championship which runs through circuits in Eastern Europe. “Motor racing was my passion before football,” Dudek told LFCTV. “I raced go-karts but of course that stopped when I became a professional footballer. This is my hobby and my passion now. It’s too late for me to be a professional racing driver, so I know my level and I know how good I am and I always approach things with joy, with laughter and also focus because it has to be serious too.”
Andre Villas Boas: Former Chelsea coach – left his job at Shanghai SIPG in November to compete in his first rally, but it didn’t go as planned. He had to withdraw from the Dakar Rally when his car hit a sand dune. Before racing, Villas-Boas told the official Dakar Rally website: “The Dakar was in my mind for quite some time.
“Racing runs in the blood of my family and my dream was to do the Dakar one day.”
Santiago Canizares: Former Real Madrid and Valencia goalkeeper – survived the scariest crash. The Spaniard hurtled off the road in his Suzuki at the Sierra Moreno Rally. There were fears for his safety but Canizares walked away, simply saying: “This would be the football equivalent of a slide tackle.”