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3 Football Heros Who Have Moved to Motor Racing

World class Footballers have the wealth to spend on super cars that can reach 200mph but they are not known as they best drivers in the world to put it mildly. These won't be playing in the up and coming Euros this year but they have been legends in the game now trying their hand at Motor Racing.

A select few, however, decided their need for speed was so great that they turned to motor racing once they hung their boots up.

From amateur rallying to 24 Hours of Le Mans, the quality of competition is varied — but all clearly have a thrill behind the wheel. Here, we run through the pros who have taken to the track.

Jerzy Dudek

When Jerzy Dudek hung up his gloves in 2011, the former Liverpool and Real Madrid keeper returned to his true love.

The 2005 Champions League winner required little speed during his 20-year career between the posts, but as a 24-hour racing driver that's all he needs.

Dudek, now 45, competes in the Volkswagen Castrol Cup, a racing championship which runs through circuits in Eastern Europe.

"Motor racing was my passion before football," Dudek told LFCTV. "I raced go-karts but of course that stopped when I became a professional footballer.

"This is my hobby and my passion now. It’s too late for me to be a professional racing driver, so I know my level and I know how good I am and I always approach things with joy, with laughter and also focus because it has to be serious too."

Fabien Barthez

At the age of 36, Barthez took up motorsport professionally in 2008 when he competed in the Porsche Carrera Cup France.

He then entered the French GT Championship, Bioracing Series and the Caterham Sigma Cup France and achieved his first podium finish at the FFSA GT Championship.

In 2014, Barthez went that step further and entered his first 24 Hours of Le Mans race, finishing a credible 29th. He has the DNA of a world class competitor.

"I have always been fascinated by motor sport, even when I was playing football. It always intrigued me," Barthez said.

"It’s not like football: you can still be good even when you are 35, which was my age when I stopped playing."

Andre Villas-Boas

Portuguese coach Villas-Boas left his job at Shanghai SIPG in November to compete in his first rally, but it all ended in misery.

The 40-year-old had to withdraw from the Dakar Rally when his Toyota Hilux hit a sand dune.

Despite having pain in his spine and back, there was nothing broken.

Before racing, Villas-Boas told the official Dakar Rally website: "The Dakar was in my mind for quite some time.

"Racing runs in the blood of my family and my dream was to do the Dakar one day."

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