Let’s face it, as much as we all do not want to hear it, or face up to it, there will come a point where we are no longer able to play football at the same level that we can (regardless of our current ability level).

Whether you are in the prime of your life, a keen footballer or even a professional, father time will always catch up with us and stop us from doing what we love doing.

As mentioned, professional footballers are no different to anyone else when it comes down to how long they are able to play for. Although many of them will not want to think about life after football and what they will do when they “retire” in their mid-thirties, some have actually decided to plan for their future and have taken the route of education to help them plan the next stages of their lives.

Traditionally, there have been a number of moments were education and professional sport may not have generally mixed. Once, it used to be all about either Braun or Brains; but those are outdated views and simply do not stack up with the modern era that we are currently living in as some have gone on to be extremely successful after football.

So, which footballers have decided to study for a degree whilst continuing to play at the highest level? Well, there are more than you think…

Juan Mata

Perhaps one of the most talented and intelligent footballers to have ever been on a Premier League pitch, Juan Mata has certainly made the most of the gift he has as he decided to obtain two (TWO) different degrees from Madrid’s Universidad Camilo Jose Cela – one in Marketing, and one in Sports Science.

Despite still playing a key role for Manchester United, the Spaniard is advancing into the latter stages of his career. However, it seems he has a number of potentially lucrative options available to him, should he decide to leave football altogether.


Rodri might be earning a pretty wage at Manchester City and still have a vast period of his career left to go, however he has been incredibly forward-thinking about life after the game.

The Premier League might be back now after an unprecedented break, which also means betting is also back with these recommended sportsbooks all available, the Spaniard has been spending his time extremely proactively during the lockdown.

He has been mixing his daily life with football with studying for a business degree, as he admits that life in football might not be forever. Maybe making more money is in his future?

Duncan Watmore

Once tipped to have been one of the brightest talents to come through English football (we have a problem over-hyping young talent, don’t we?), things never got off the ground for Duncan Watmore.

In fact, he has hardly been able to get off the ground himself as he has spent so much time on it with a number of horrible injury issues. However, the Sunderland winger appeared to use the time resting and recuperating wisely as he studied for a degree in Economics. At least he’ll know about supply, demand and economic equilibrium and potentially do something with it in later life.