Very rarely in football do players go on to have more lucrative careers when they hang their boots up.
Some do and most go on to have successful coaching careers and stay in the game.
But the riches that are earned now by footballers in their playing days are rarely topped when they leave the game.
One of these rare breeds is former Everton midfielder, the Mad Dog, Thomas Gravesen.
Everyone remembers Gravesen as the hard man central midfielder who shot into the public eye with Everton.
A top class player, Gravesen was signed by Real Madrid where he spent two years, before finishing his career at Celtic and then back at Goodison Park.
As many ex team mates of the Danish international have said, his ability on the field was unquestionable.
Off the field, he was one of the rarest and maverick characters of his era and the type of player that is hardly seen in the modern age.
As former Celtic midfielder Simon Ferry revealed recently on the Undr The Cosh podcast, the hardman midfielder’s comedy value came from his daft antics mixed in with his Danish/Scouse accent.
As well as around 150 Premier League appearances the hard man was signed by Real Madrid in 2005, underlining the quality he possessed on the pitch.
As Ferry so hilariously explains in the video above, the Dane’s time at Celtic saw him demoted to the reserve team.
What followed was a series of training ground incidents, accents and outrageous behaviour that won him many friends in footballing circles.
A man who called his boots ‘shoes’, spent the off season in his mother’s basement in Denmark and swapped his super car for a Renualt Megane in the winter because it was ‘more of a winter car’, was never too far away from a laugh.
During his time at Madrid he was reported to be earning around £85,000, and shrewd investments in various companies led to him significantly increasing his wealth beyond his footballing money.
It sounds about right for a man who was reported to have only had one outgoing, a phone bill, for parts of his career.
All the stories have floated around since retirement about how Gravesen had increased his wealth to £100 million after moving to Las Vegas and turning his hand to poker.
Judging by many stories that have been told by his former team mates, it is hardly surprising.
Living on a millionaire’s row alongside Hollywood superstars and with his model wife, Gravesen seems to have been living the high life since his retirement.
As you’ll hear in the above videos, he was even at one stage in the top five players in the world on Call of Duty.
Now the Dane is back in his native country as a TV pundit as he was missing the game during his time in Vegas.
Characters such as Gravesen have been rarely seen since his departure from the game around 12 years ago.
Fans want these type of people around still but with the way the game has gone it will be impossible for the mavericks to ever really return.
A mad man off it, but a quality player on the park as well.
And one of the few players who managed to massively increase their wealth after hanging up the boots. Or should I say shoes.