Ten Footballers With Hidden Talents

Plenty of people think they could have been footballers. Your dad/uncle/best mate/postman has probably chewed your ear off with his tales of schoolboy glory, claiming "it could have been me" instead of those lucky so-and-sos on Match of the Day. But footballers, too, have hidden talents, be they creative, entrepreneurial or downright weird. We've picked out ten of the best below.

Clint Dempsey - rapping

The American midfielder hasn't had the best of times since swapping Fulham for Spurs, but don't be tempted to get into a war of words with him. Because Dempsey, believe it or not, peddles a nifty line in rhyme schemes and beats away from football. Recording under his rapping pseudoym, Deuce, Dempsey is football's answer to Eminem. Now just don't Lose Yourself, Clint.

Rio Ferdinand - entrepreneur

He may be maligned for his incessant tweeting (which, as our infographic shows, doesn't make him particularly popular with his fellow pros), but Rio Ferdinand does deserve some credit for transforming himself into a media mogul in the making. The Manchester United man has launched his own magazine, created his own brand of hats and dabbled in film production. He'd be a veritable rennaissance man if he'd just put down that iPhone for five minutes.

Jimmy Bullard - fishing

"It sounds a bit funny, seeing as it’s Fulham who pay my wages, but the way I’m going I’ll soon be better at fishing than I am at football!" said Jimmy Bullard in an interview with FourFourTwo a few years back. The affable midfielder, now retired, took up the sport at the age of eight but ploughed more time into it after a serious of injuries disrupted his playing career. Bullard is now hoping to make a living out of his hobby and has competed for Daiwa Dorking in match fishing. He always was a fish out of water in the Premier League!

Jody Craddock - art

He may be best known as a heart-on-the-sleeve defensive stalwart for Wolves, but Jody Craddock has another string to his bow. The 37-year-old is a budding artist and a good one at that: he has shown his work in a number of galleries in the midlands and has his own website. Craddock, who studied - and passed - A-Level art, reflected on his style in an interview with The Observer in 2010: "My style has changed a lot. Eight years ago I painted what they used to call a 'contemporary portrait', with the colours polarised. I wouldn't paint like that today. I'm more traditional now." A footballer with a creative eye? That's not too traditional at all, Jody!

Robin van Persie - darts

RVP is clearly deadly at hitting the target... but did you know that his accuracy extends beyond football? The Dutchman proved that he's also handy with the tungsten tips, dishing out a beating to former Arsenal team-mate Gael Clichy in this training ground match-up. His countryman Raymond van Barneveld should watch out; when Robin retires there could be a new contender in town!

Sandro - martial arts

He's turning into one of the Premier League's most feared enforcers, and for good reason. The video above, taken by former Spurs colleague Danny Rose, shows that the Brazilian is a mean practitioner of martial arts. With his bulging muscles and super stretchy legs, Sandro's sure to be putting the pain on opposition midfielders for the next decade or so.

Theo Walcott - author of children's books

When the England attacker isn't flying down the wing - or haggling over a new contract with Arsenal - he's busy with his side project: writing football-themed books for kids. The books tell the story of TJ, a young player who bears a striking resemblance to Walcott himself. Purely coincidental, we're sure... although rumour has it the next instalment is called TJ and the guarantee he'll play down the middle.

Daniel Agger - tattoo artist

The Danish centre-back is clearly not averse to body art, but what you may not know is that Agger is also a qualified tattoo artist. He once offered to give the whole Liverpool squad commemorative ink should they win the Premier League - but let's be honest, his team-mates were always safe with that promise. One of Agger's more interesting tattoos reads: "Mors certa, hora incerta" (death is certain, its hour is uncertain). Make of that what you will.

Djibril Cisse - fashion designer/perfumier

Many people would take one look at Djibril Cisse and laugh at the suggestion that this is a man with his own clothing range. But many people would be wrong. (Although in a more fundamental way they'd be absolutely right, of course.) Cisse wore a skirt (that's not a typo) of his own design to the most recent MTV music awards, and sells items under the brand Mr Lenoir. His most recent venture is the launch of a Mr Lenoir perfume, which retails at a steep £59. What's that I smell? Money getting flushed down the drain? How fitting...

Dion Dublin - musical instrument designer

Yes, yes, Dion Dublin definitely falls into the ex-pro category, but his hobby is so unique we had to fit him in. The former Manchester United and Aston Villa man is surely the only footballer out there to have designed his own musical instrument. The Dube, a wooden drum the shape of a cube (see what he did there?) costs between £150 and £330 depending on which model you choose, and seems to be keeping Dion very busy in his retirement. Well played, lad!