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Footballers who excelled at other sports (Part Three)

Continuing the series about footballers who excelled at other sports.

(For Part One click here; and Part Two click here).

Paolo Maldini

Paolo Maldini is regarded as one of the greatest defenders of all-time. The epitome of the one club man he spent his entire career with his boyhood club AC Milan, winning 25 trophies with the Rossonieri, and he also made 125 appearances for Italy.

So high was his fitness that he was able to play at the top level until his early 40s.

However, when it came time to hang up his boots he was not done with professional sports.

Instead, he turned to another of his loves tennis, and, with his doubles partner Stéfano Landonio, they qualified for the Aspria Tennis Cup in Milan a professional tournament on the Challenger Tour (one step below the main tour).

They were convincingly beaten in the first round by the pairing of Tomasz Bednarek and David Pel, in a contest that lasted just 42 minutes. After the defeat Maldini conceded that it was likely to be his last professional tennis match.

However, those who saw him play believe that if he had started much earlier and dedicated his life to it, Maldini could have had a decent career as a professional tennis player.

Clive Allen

As a player it was joked that Clive Allen had had more clubs than Jack Nicklaus.

In an 17 year player career the striker had a spell with almost every team in London – although he joined and left Arsenal without ever playing a game for them after it was decided his style did not fit their brand of football.

Although he was regarded as a journeyman by some, he was still good enough ot earn five full England caps.

He retired from football in 1995 after a brief spell with Carlisle, but then he took up a sport becoming a place kicker with the NFL team The London Monarchs.

The Monarchs were a professional American football team in the briefly lived NFL Europe, and its predecessor the World League of American Football.

Allen played one season with the Monarchs during which the\yu finished sixth out of six teams in the league.

He later returned to football as an assistant coach, most notably with Tottenham Hotspur, the team he had the greatest success as a player.

The Monarchs went out of business the following year.

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