After finishing a glittering soccer career many players chose a life in coaching or punditry.
Former Dynamo Kiev, AC Milan and Chelsea striker Andriy Shevchenko has taken a completely different route by switching the soccer pitch for the fairways and greens of the golf course.
Shevchenko, 36, only retired from soccer last year after playing in Euro 2012 for the Ukrainian national team.
But the star striker who scored 321 goals in 648 career games has now managed to get his handicap down to two and competed as an amateur in the European Challenge Tour on Thursday at the Kharkov Superior Cup in Ukraine.
However it was a day to forget on his golfing debut, as Shevchenko hit a 12-over par 84 to leave suggestions that maybe he should have gone into coaching or punditry after playing soccer professionally for almost 20 years.
Of course Shevchenko probably know he has no chance of becoming a top professional golfer but after many years as a soccer payer, he would most probably spend his afternoons and days off on the golf course. Those jokes about PL players spending all their time on the course away from the training ground are mostly fiction.
Many Premier League players are close to scratch golfers, with the likes of Manchester City James Milner and England striker Wayne Rooney said to be very handy with a golf club.
The highlight of “Sheva’s” round was a birdie on a 132-yard par 3 but plenty of bogies put him 20 shots off the lead heading into the weekend.
It will be a miracle if Shevchenko somehow makes the cut, however you have to applaud his determination to try and become a professional golfer after excelling at the highest level of soccer for such a long period of time.
But this got me thinking about which other professional athletes have switched sports in the past. Here’s a quick list I devised:
Michael Jordan, Basketball to Baseball (then back to Basketball)
Bruce Arena, US national Soccer team to US national Lacrosse team
Jackie Robinson, Ran track and played Football before switching to Baseball
Tony Gonzalez, played Basketball and Football at UC Berkley before joining the NFL
And I’m sure there are plenty of others I’m missing. But can athletes really switch between sports and become successful or will Shevchenko’s golf career be a flash in the pan?
Multiple reports claim Crystal Palace has offered its managerial position to Dutch boss Frank De Boer.
Palace has been without a manager since Sam Allardyce retired after the season. The Eagles finished 15th in the Premier League, five points behind eighth place Southampton and seven points clear of the drop zone.
Mexico should be counting their Confederations Cup blessings in congested Group A after a prolonged shoving match at the end of its 2-1 win over New Zealand on Thursday somehow ended with a single red card.
New Zealand is fortunate, too, but the All-Whites have already seen their hopes of the knockout round extinguished by a pair of losses in Russia.
With New Zealand counterattacking in hopes of a late equalizer, Mexico’s Diego Reyes pulled back charging Niko Boxall. It was the second pull back in minutes after Rafa Marquez went uncarded at the other end, and Boxall reacted poorly by lunging cleat-first into Hector Herrera’s calf.
Referee Bakary Gassama should’ve easily pulled two red cards there, but lost his focus in an ensuing melee that saw Herrera charge back to knock down Boxall, headbutts between Diego Reyes and Andrew Durante, and an absurd hand-throwing performance from Javier Aquino. Perhaps this lapse was understandable, which is why he had Video Assistant Referee available.
Even video couldn’t get it right, as a long and sloppy review was seemingly bungled by the referees saw a trio of yellow cards given to Boxall, Reyes, and Herrera.
All three should’ve been sent off, and otherwise Man of the Match contender Aquino and his teammate Marco Fabian should not have escaped discipline by any stretch of the imagination. If Gassama needed it to be level, Michael McGlinchey, Ryan Thomas and Durante could’ve left the match as well.
Instead, a terrific match has been left in the lurch. Will FIFA have the guts to issue supplemental discipline ahead of the important final matches of the group stage?
Cristiano Ronaldo will meet with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez at the conclusion of the Confederations Cup, according to reports, at which point a pair of cut-and-dried options could be on the table.
The 32-year-old Ronaldo remains in fine form at the Confederations Cup, with Portugal’s unbeaten run continuing in Russia. If Portugal is upset by New Zealand in its group stage finale on June 24, it would still stand a good chance of proceeding to the knockout rounds depending on the Mexico-Russia result.
That means the Perez-Ronaldo meeting wouldn’t occur until after July 2, which is when the Final and third-place playoff are scheduled in Russia.