Arsenal's Mathieu Flamini reveals he owns a secret biochemical company
With the end of his playing days on the horizon, Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini has revealed that he's set himself up with a neat little post-football money spinner.
However, rather than following the traditional path of moving into the media or buying a restaurant, the France midfielder has set his sights a little higher.
Indeed, the 31-year-old has revealed that he both co-created and now runs a pioneering biochemical company that could realistically end up revolutionising the energy industry as we know it.
Flamini started the GF Biochemical company shortly after joining AC Milan in 2008 when he first met like-minded business associate Pasquale Granata. They currently employ around 80 people at their laboratories in Caserta, Italy.
Since then the pair have pumped millions of pounds and countless hours into the project, but in that short space of time GF have already pioneered several scientific breakthroughs -- including a rather important development announced earlier this week.
GF have apparently become the first company in the world to successfully discover a way to mass produce Levulinic Acid, which we're reliably informed is a synthetic substitute for oil in all its forms. As such, Flamini's firm are the first in the world to enter a market potentially worth an estimated £20 billion.
Now for the slightly strange part: Flamini has somehow managed to keep his biochemical sideline secret for the past seven years. According to the man himself, not even his own family were aware of his non-footballing interests.
"For seven years I haven't mentioned it to anyone," he admitted to The Sun. "When I moved to Milan in 2008 I met Pasquale, who became a close friend and we always had in mind to do something together.
"Not even my family knew anything about it. My parents did not know about it until about a year ago.
"First, they were worried, but now they are proud. My Milan teammates probably found out in our launch this week and my Arsenal teammates will probably find out reading this. I don't think Arsene Wenger knows, I never spoke to him about it."
The midfielder explained that he didn't want to alarm his nearest and dearest and therefore chose to keep GF quiet until the company made some tangible progress.
"I wanted it to be all in place first, up and running and announce it when I was ready," he continued. "We've arrived here after seven years of work. We achieved something that has never been done before. Of that I am the most proud."