|Espen Baardsen past and present|
Image credit: Richard Saker/Action Images
Former Norway and Tottenham goalkeeper Espen Baardsen, who retired from professional football at 25, told Guardian:
"I got bored of football. Once you've played in the Premier League and been to the World Cup, you've seen it and done it.
"It was dictating what I could do and when. I felt unsatisfied intellectually, I wanted to travel the world."
"Football is stressful, try playing in front of 40,000 crazy football supporters who are happy or sad for their whole weekend depending on how you perform.
"And I'm now more relaxed, five kilos lighter, fitter and healthier than I was at the end of my football career."
Baardsen now works for asset management fund, Eclectica.
Ex Sheffield United and Birmingham City Curtis Woodhouse is another who disliked the game to such an extent.
He plays football for Rushden & Diamonds in the Conference National, and competes as a welterweight boxer.
Woodhouse stated that he had "fallen out of love" with football and decided to turn to professional boxing, despite no previous experience.
"Everyone loves football, but I didn't. It felt like a job," he said. "I felt empty playing, it got me angry. I could have carried on playing football until I was 35, making a nice wage and having a nice life, but that's not what I wanted to do."
Woodhouse recently stated his intention to retire from football at the end of the 2008/09 season, in order to concentrate on his boxing career.
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