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Former soccer captain retrains as watchmaker

/ 05:36 AM March 17, 2021

‘I SEE SOME SIMILARITIES TO FOOTBALL’ Former Swiss soccer player Stephan Lichtsteiner works on a watch during his internship at the production facility of Swiss watch manufacturer Maurice de Mauriac in Zurich, Switzerland. —REUTERS

ZURICH — Switzerland’s former soccer captain Stephan Lichtsteiner may have called time on his glittering sports career, but he has now started a new venture—training to become a watchmaker.

Lichtsteiner, who made 108 appearances for the Swiss national side, has started an internship lasting up to six months at the Zurich firm, Maurice de Mauriac.

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“I want to do something productive,” said the 37-year-old former Juventus, Lazio and Arsenal defender. “If you are a banker … you can do that for all your life, but if you are a footballer, once you hit your mid-30s, you have to find something else to do.”

Lichtsteiner said that during his internship, he would make a watch to be sold off for charity. After that, he was open to the idea of becoming a full-time watchmaker although he had yet to make a final decision and could still end going back to the sport.

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“I see some similarities to football,” he told Reuters. “In football, if not all the team is perfect, you will not win. It’s the same with a watch. If everything is not perfectly in place, the watch is not going to work.”

The company’s owners, brothers Leonard and Massimo Dreifuss, said they were delighted to have Lichtsteiner onboard as their first trainee.

“We had lots of applications but Stephan was the most enthusiastic,” said Leonard, who is the art director.

“We are aiming for a long-term partnership and will move step by step,” said Massimo, who is the CEO, when asked if Lichtsteiner would invest in the company.

The brothers said they first met Lichtsteiner during a business talk near Zurich in October.

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