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The defender turned detective

Britain Wembley Champions League

A view of Wembley stadium whilst silhouetted by the sun in London, Friday, Feb. 8, 2013. UEFA has priced cheaper tickets for the Champions League final at Wembley Stadium than two years ago. UEFA was criticized in 2011 for setting “market prices” in one of Europe’s most expensive cities, and fans of Barcelona and Manchester United paid euro 95 for tickets. UEFA says prices now start at 60 pounds (euro 70; $94) for the May 25 match. Top category seats cost 330 pounds (euro 387; $520), up from euro 350 in 2011. ( AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

AP

It’s always fascinating when former players shun the predictable routes of coaching and media and pursue new careers far removed from soccer.

The BBC has a great interview with the ex-Wigan Athletic defender, Arjan de Zeeuw, who had the chance to be a coach but instead has become a detective in his native Netherlands. He said:

“It was never my intention to put my feet up after playing - I like to use my brain a little bit. I thought about a career in medicine but when I discovered it would take eight years before I could practise, I turned my attention elsewhere. I’m what is known as a detective in training. I’m involved in cases now and I should be fully qualified by the end of the summer. Eventually I want to specialise in forensics.”

The piece with the 42-year-old comes before Wigan’s FA Cup semi-final against second-division Millwall at Wembley Stadium (pictured) tomorrow. De Zeeuw played for Wigan in their previous appearance at England’s national stadium, a defeat by Gillingham in the third-tier play-offs in 2000.

Saturday’s game is either a great day out or a troublesome distraction for Wigan, who are in the Premier League’s relegation zone (which is pretty much normal for them at this time of year).

Center back to cop is good, but as unusual post-soccer jobs go, surely no one can beat former Sweden and Leeds United forward Tomas Brolin, who sold shoes and vacuum cleaners on the internet.