Jesper Blomqvist united.

Former Man United player Jesper Blomqvist’s life has completely changed since retiring

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The names of Manchester United’s treble-winning side reel off the tongue.

However, the starting XI that Sir Alex Ferguson deployed against Bayern Munich in the 1999 Champions League final wasn’t his preferred line-up by any stretch of the imagination.

With Paul Scholes and Roy Keane both suspended for the final at the Camp Nou in Barcelona, Ferguson played Nicky Butt and David Beckham in central midfield with Ryan Giggs in unfamiliar territory on the right wing and Jesper Blomqvist on the left.

Blomqvist isn’t a name that younger United fans will be overly familiar with but the Swedish international played 67 minutes in the final before he was replaced by Teddy Sheringham, who would eventually score the equalising goal in injury time.

Sadly, Blomqvist didn’t play for United again due to a serious knee injury. He eventually left Old Trafford in 2001, signing for Everton, where he scored one goal in 18 appearances.

He then spent time with Charlton, Djurgarden, Enkoping and Hammarby before hanging up his boots in 2010.

But what is 44-year-old Blomqvist up to now? Living it up in some expensive villa on the Mediterranean? Spending his career earnings on property, cars and clothes in the USA?

Blomqvist's life has changed completely since retiring

Nope, neither of those things.

It turns out that the Swede is now back in his home country working in a pizza restaurant that he’s just opened up on Lidingo island near capital city Stockholm.


Well, allow the man himself to explain.

Blomqvist is quoted by The Sun as saying: "I have done a lot of bad business, been tricked and made unsuccessful investments."

'I can't sleep on the coach and do nothing'

"It is not an emergency crisis, but I can't sleep on the couch and do nothing," he added. "I have taken over a pizzeria on Lidingo. It's been around for a few years, but we'll move to new premises and open in a month.

"I've been looking for a food and beverage project for a long time. I have always thought it would be fun since my time in Italy.

"Neapolitan pizza is really happening. We've had a wood-burning stove shipped from Naples, and we will use the best Italian ingredients.

"We won't strive to make pure Neapolitan pizza - we are in Sweden after all - but we won't make it with curry or bananas.

"I am learning how to bake pizza. In six months' time I'll be there making pizzas even on Saturdays."

Can you imagine Beckham, Ryan Giggs or Dwight Yorke spending their Saturday nights making pizzas in a fast-food restaurant?

That’s what happens when professional footballers fail to look after their money properly.

Still, at least he’s earning an honest living.

And, even if most of his career earnings have been whittled away, at least he will always be able to show his grandchildren his Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League winners’ medals.

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