Forgotten Man Utd ace unrecognisable with beard and pony tail – he runs pizzeria

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Some of the stars of Manchester United’s glory days have gone on to be famous faces in the footballing sphere, but one seemingly vanished off of the face of the earth.

Roy Keane and Gary Neville are two of the finest television pundits in England, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer just enjoyed (maybe) a spell as Red Devils manager and, of course, David Beckham is now a worldwide icon and owns Inter Miami.

However, not all of those who were on the pitch lifting trophies under the management of Sir Alex Ferguson went on to have prosperous careers once they hung up their boots.

But one player who didn’t go on to have a lifetime in the limelight was Swedish winger Jesper Blomqvist, who won the treble with United in the 1998/99 campaign.

The 47-year-old has since spoken to The Telegraph about his newfound career owning a pizzeria having previously tried to become a manager and TV personality and pundit.

Speaking of his spell in the dugout, Blomqvist said: “Putting the team in front and not taking into consideration the human being behind the player – for me, that was the toughest challenge.

“I tend to look more at the human being. Ferguson was good at that. When it comes to winning games you can’t care about the human being. You have to be ruthless and sometimes I missed that. That’s my nature and it is hard to change.”

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Blomqvist then won the Swedish equivalent of Strictly Come Dancing before reigniting his passion for food, and more specifically, pizza.

Having spent several years of his career in Italy, playing for AC Milan and Parma, the ex-winger knew he had a love for cooking and Italian cuisine so went into business with two owners of a successful pizzeria in Sweden.

He added: “I have to say it is tough when people ask me in the beginning, ‘What are you doing?’ And I say, ‘I have a pizzeria’. It was tough that people look down at you.

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“Then I have to explain it’s the best pizzeria! Now I don’t care. People seem to be saying, ‘Are you down there? Have you lost all your money?’ I couldn’t care less.

“I can understand it and feel it myself. It’s not a problem. It’s just me who has to work with myself. Footballers have been very spoiled. It’s very easy to lose perspective and to get carried away and this money can destroy players.

"It’s the way it is, you have to learn to handle it and it’s difficult. I am so happy I was brought up in the north of Sweden where you keep your feet on the ground and you have to work hard.”

  • Manchester United FC
  • Premier League

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