Mathieu Flamini was the tough-tackling midfielder who was a fan-favourite at Arsenal, but has gone on to enjoy greater success in his business career after retirement.
Flamini had two successful spells at the north London club, separated with five seasons at Milan where he won the Serie A title.
The midfielder won three FA Cups at the Gunners and was also part of the team who finished Champions League runners-up in 2006.
Flamini also enjoyed a brilliant record against rivals Tottenham, something the current crop of players can draw inspiration from ahead of Thursday’s crunch clash.
The 38-year-old faced Spurs 14 times during his career and only lost on one occasion (winning six and drawing seven).
He also scored twice against them, with both of those coming in the same match.
That was in a League Cup tie against Spurs at White Hart Lane back in 2015, where his brace sent Arsenal through in a 2-1 victory.
The first was a brilliant follow-up to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s saved shot, but the second was a magnificent volley.
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Made all the more special by the fact he rarely scored for the Gunners, just 13 across 246 total appearances.
After leaving Arsenal in 2016 he had a brief spell at Crystal Palace before ending his career with Getafe in LaLiga.
Flamini’s playing career was a relatively successful one, but he has enjoyed greater success in business since hanging up his boots.
It had been claimed that his net worth was in excess of $30billion, which would make him one of the richest people in the world, a myth he later debunked.
His business ventures have made him a wealthy man, likely exceeding that of the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi – two of the richest sportsmen in history.
Flamini co-founded biochemical company GF Biochemical in 2008, and this month has been appointed as CEO of the company.
“Contrary to what I read, I do not have €30bn in my bank account,” he said in 2020. “In fact, [€30bn] is the total value of the market we want to ‘attack’ with the new technologies we have developed in recent years.
“There was a misunderstanding. It’s as if we had given a single restaurant the value of the entire catering market in France.”
Flamini also has business interests with former teammate Mesut Ozil, launching a sustainable grooming line called Unity in 2018.
The pair also created The Unity Performance Academy, which ‘combines evidence-based performance and wellness advice with expert guidance from elite athletes, coaches, sports doctors and academics’.
Flamini was a brilliant footballer and a fan favourite at the Emirates, but he may have proved himself to be even more astute off the field.
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