I am a football addict. I live, breathe and work football. I have been training and playing football since I was six years old. You cannot imagine how many bizarre things happened to me in these years.
Sometimes I called myself “the shit magnet”, because I found myself in numerous ridiculous situations and met a lot of funny people throughout my football career. I will describe these things in my future blog posts. But all in all, it was a fun ride. I enjoyed my footballer life more than anything.
I wrote this in past tense, because at the moment I am pursuing my “after career” and this period has by no means been easy for me. I was used to a steady daily pace; where I had everything planed and also had a lot of free time. My usual day was waking up, having breakfast, morning training, some coffee with friends, lunch, rest, afternoon training and again free time. Now my day just looks a little different. I wake up, have breakfast with my wife and son, drive my son to kindergarten, go to office and work for 6 – 7 hours, have lunch, pick up my son, bring him home, go to training (lower division club) for two hours, train a youth team for another two hours and then I fall in bed tired as hell.
Football is the best job
What I am trying to say – the life of a professional footballer is beautiful. It is not easy, but it is beautiful. My hobby and my passion was my work. I earned money by doing what I liked most-playing football. In these years I travelled a lot; after all I played more than 25 UEFA Cup matches. I also played and lived in 4 different countries, met a lot of people and made friends all over the world. Not every job gives you such opportunities to meet so many interesting people and visit so many countries and cities. Ok, mostly I was on the route hotel – stadium – hotel and didn’t have the time to explore different cultures so much, but at least I did some sightseeing.
Why is football so great?
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I had the luxury of experiencing winning the national championships in two countries, national Cups and Supercups, all together 9 titles. In those moments you feel like you are immortal. Your ego grows tremendously. With success we also got some non football benefits. We were more popular and had the chance to meet and date a lot of beautiful ladies. We were well paid and were able to go on vacations twice a year in exotic places.
Health is your wealth
Today I have a different lifestyle and priorities. When you are younger, you are prepared to sacrifice your health to be on top. The funny thing was, I didn’t even notice that. For example, not even one week went by that I didn’t train or play without high fever or sore throat, without small injuries, taking blocking injections and painkillers. I trained in rain, snow, sun, on plus 40 degrees C and minus 30 degrees C. It was something normal to me. I never hesitated even for a second, only because I wanted to stay in the starting eleven, no matter what. I was afraid to lose my position for the next matches and consequently decreasing the chances for a new contract at the end of the season.
Now I know it wasn’t very smart. Health is our biggest wealth. I want to be able to play with my son and be there for him and my wife. So, my advice is – be careful with your health. There will be hundreds of games in your career and it is not worth risking your health or even life for one match.
And it ends like this
I am 30+ now. Slowly my life is going into different directions. I am finishing my MBA in Sports Management, working in a private company held by me and my friends and educating myself to become a football coach. I keep my eyes open for new opportunities. You never know, what life will bring. But I am sure; I will always stay closely connected to football.
The Diary Of A Football Player
A series of posts with everyday examples from a footballer’s real life. It’s a mosaic of sport life from someone with experience (the author has been a footballer for 15 years). Many times controversial in his career, but always with love for the game.
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