Amaz­ing sto­ries of the Arse­nal star, leg­endary foot­ball play­er Hakan Sukur and ex-Spar­tak play­er and foot­ball com­men­ta­tor Dmit­ry Gradilenko. It’s nev­er too late to take a taxi!

Caitlin Foord

It is unheard of for most top Euro­pean league foot­ballers to have a sec­ond job at the peak of their play­ing career. How­ev­er, Arse­nal’s Caitlin Foord was still a star in her native Aus­tralia when she decid­ed to make extra mon­ey dri­ving for Uber. She decid­ed to become a dri­ver while play­ing for Syd­ney FC and work­ing as a phys­io­ther­a­pist’s assis­tant.

It was dur­ing the 2017/18 sea­son break that Foord, who rep­re­sent­ed her coun­try at this year’s Wom­en’s World Cup, found her way into taxi dri­ving as a means of dis­trac­tion and income. How­ev­er, this peri­od hard­ly last­ed long enough to be called a career. The foot­ball play­er worked behind the wheel for only 48 hours.

“I did it to give myself some­thing to do oth­er than my phys­i­cal ther­a­pist, where I work part-time,” Foord said in 2019. “Just to see what it was like.

“When I got injured, I was bored and tired of the same con­ver­sa­tions with peo­ple, so I signed up as an Uber dri­ver and drove peo­ple around the city.”

Hakan Shukur

Caitlin Froude This is not the only exam­ple where work­ing in a taxi helps out. The Turk­ish author­i­ties said good­bye to the great play­er, genius and Turk­ish scor­er Hakan Sukur from the coun­try, con­fis­cat­ing all his cap­i­tal. The foot­baller thought­less­ly ven­tured into pol­i­tics, becom­ing an oppo­si­tion­ist and per­sona non gra­ta.

Shukur was so pop­u­lar in Turkey that in 1995 his wed­ding was shown live on the coun­try’s cen­tral tele­vi­sion chan­nel.

In 1997, Hakan Şukur scored 38 goals for Galatasaray. Then he received the “sil­ver boot”, despite the fact that Ronal­do took the “gold­en boot”.

In 2003, UEFA rec­og­nized Hakan as Turkey’s best foot­baller of the 50th anniver­sary.

Now Hakan Shukur works as an Uber dri­ver in Wash­ing­ton and sells books, which is how he sup­ports his fam­i­ly.

Dmitry Gradilenko: profile in Yandex.Taxi

In Rus­sia there is a sim­i­lar exam­ple of an unsuc­cess­ful career: Dmit­ry Gradilenko.

He began his career in the mid-1980s at Kras­naya Pres­nya, and lat­er the most notable clubs in his biog­ra­phy were Spar­tak and CSKA.

In Rus­sia, he is remem­bered for the fact that he man­aged to change 12 clubs through­out the his­to­ry of his jour­ney.

Dmit­ry end­ed his career in 2002, decid­ing to become a foot­ball agent.

“When call­ing a taxi, there is a sur­prise effect. Wait­ing for the dri­ver’s name is always unset­tling. You nev­er know, he’ll come for you Islom­chon or Kamal­bek. Today my friend called a car, and it was not a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Cen­tral Asia who came to pick him up, but a real foot­ball man­ag­er. Or, appar­ent­ly, an ex. Won­der­ful are your works, O Lord.”

I left the gym after train­ing — there were a lot of mes­sages on What­sApp with a pho­to of Gradilenko the taxi dri­ver. The sur­prise is under­stand­able: agent, TV expert, gen­er­al direc­tor. And all this is quite recent. Life is such a thing, you can’t say no to prison or mon­ey. There is noth­ing shame­ful about this.

A taxi dri­ver is a decent and ordi­nary job. How many times have talk­a­tive taxi dri­vers tried to tell me that their busi­ness has just gone down the drain, and they don’t know any­thing else. The same thing prob­a­bly hap­pened with Grad.“, com­ment­ed Gradilenko’s for­mer col­league on tele­vi­sion report­ing Ilya Kaza­kov.