Former Manchester United star Louis Saha now runs a lucrative business helping other retired professional footballers.
Saha, 43, hung up his boots in 2013 after a successful career that saw him play for no less than six Premier League clubs.
He started his high-profile odyssey with Fulham, scoring 63 goals in 142 appearances for the Cottagers after joining Metz.
This convinced Sir Alex Ferguson to sign him for United, a move that paid off as Saha found the net 42 times and helped the club win two Premier League titles and the Champions League.
Spells at Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and Sunderland followed before the French football fleet withdrew with Lazio in 2013.
While most footballers use retirement to enjoy some much-needed downtime, Saha has embarked on starting a business aimed at helping his former colleagues.
In 2014, the prolific forward launched Axis Stars, a network designed to provide people involved in sports with a place to talk about insurance, finance, lifestyle and other career-related topics.
It’s a place where athletes keep tabs on their club, sponsorship, endorsement and insurance as a contract management platform.
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The company also enables athletes to better understand life after sport, provide them with networking opportunities and better prepare them for a second career, thereby reducing their risk of bankruptcy.
Speaking at the time, Saha said: “I wish I could have mastered my work better when I was playing, but now that I am retired I still have a huge role to play in sharing my experience with other people. young players.
“I would have liked to have had a platform like this as a player; it would have helped me manage my career and plan a lot better for the future.
“This is why Axis Stars is designed to help not only active professional players and athletes, but also those at the end of their careers.
“The aim is to help drastically reduce the terrifying statistics which show that around 50 per cent of sports professionals go bankrupt after retirement. I am more proud of this incredible project than of all my accomplishments on the pitch.”
Seven years after its launch, Axis Stars is still going strong and now has its own podcast which has featured boxer Tony Bellew, English cricketer Chris Jordan and TV presenter Kelly Cates.
Reflecting on his decision to get involved with Axis Stars, Saha told The Guardian that it was the best thing he has ever done – big words for a man with a lot of silver in the closet at home.
He said: “In my bad luck I got lucky because now I saw the big picture and I have the opportunity to really help. And I think I feel more excited about it. as an entrepreneur than I have been in the field.
“I really enjoyed being a footballer, and it was very natural to play football, but it’s a real challenge. It’s a difficult process but it’s so rewarding, because if I can help 100,000 people, this is the best thing i have ever done.
“When you’re on the pitch, yes you do have excitement. But have I really created something that will last?
“I’m not sure. This project is something that I think will last, because young people – or maybe even my kids if they ever become professionals – are going to use it.
“I really hope the players understand that they have the opportunity to help those around them. Because it is such a headache to be a star’s family member, as you are drawn into many situations you never thought of. “
However, creating a network for high performance athletes is not without its problems.
In a separate interview, Saha added, “In one week we had 500 people claiming to be [Lionel] Messi.
“And there is only one Messi. We spend a lot of time checking the identities of people who sign up.”