We see many players plying their trades in the Premier League and League of Ireland but once their playing careers come to an end, many disappear from our consciousness as new stars take their place.
From 1997 to 2007, Alessandro Pistone was a fixture in Premier League squads with the Italian lining out for both Newcastle and Everton.
What's he at these days? Well, doing a bit of coaching in his native Italy and running a restaurant called Farinami Pisani in his home city of Milan. Which is how I got in touch with him for an interview on Team 33.
You can listen to the full interview on the podcast player below or stream/download on iTunes. Word of warning, the mobile phone reception from Milan was decidedly poor!
Recent interviews on Team 33 include former Man United cult hero Andrei Kanchelskis, ex-England international Carlton Palmer, Chelsea legends Bobby Tambling and Paddy Mulligan, Dutch legend Johan Neeskens, ex-England striker Darius Vassell, Liverpool legend David Fairclough, former Ireland midfielder Mark Kinsella and former Everton forward Tomasz Radzinski. Plus our in-depth chats with Tony Coton, Packie Bonner, Nobby Solano, Ron Atkinson and Alan Curbishley are still available on iTunes. You can find them all in one place by subscribing to Team 33 on iTunes.
Pistone's restaurant specialises in piadina, which is a type of traditional flatbread. But why open a restaurant?
"Usually footballers spend a lot of time in restaurants or bars or stuff like that," he told me.
"For example at the beginning of my career in England, I was by myself so I needed a way to find friends and spend fun times with them."
He added that, "it's not the only thing that I do because I coach as well" as he divides his time between different pursuits.
Famously, when he first moved to Newcastle in 1997 from his dream club Inter Milan, he didn't drink when he went out to the pub with his team-mates.
"Yes, to be honest, I had a bit of a shock," he said in regard to the culinary culture shock as fine Italian food and wines was replaced by different offerings.
"But the lifestyle was so different so I needed a bit of time [to adapt]. For a bit of time, I wasn't into the English mentality.
Arsenal's Christopher Wreh and Newcastle United's Alessandro Pistone battle in the air for the ball in the 1998 FA Cup final. Tony Marshall/EMPICS Sport
With a laugh he added that, "I used to drink coke or something like that" down the Newcastle pubs.
His debut season ended with an appearance in the 1998 FA Cup final when the Toon Army lost to Arsene Wenger's final. They would return to Wembley the following year but by then Ruud Gullit had taken over as manager and Pistone was one of many players who the legendary Dutchman had issues with including Alan Shearer and Duncan Ferguson during an ill-fated spell. Indeed he was even loaned out to Venezia in Serie A.
"Everybody had problems with Ruud Gullit," said Pistone, adding that the Milan and Netherlands great did "not spend a lot of time with the team", adding that, "I never saw him change his idea[s]".
"I don't think he had a good relation with players so that was probably his problem."
Everton's Alessandro Pistone lies injured during the game against Leeds United. Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport
In contrast, he loved Bobby Robson like many of his team-mates, although by 2000, Pistone had signed for Everton.
He would spend seven years at Goodison Park but unfortunately for the 42 year old, numerous injuries particularly to his knees.
"What I always say is that when you are a footballer, honestly you want to play games and I found it really frustrating really having so many injuries during my career. I think I probably played half of the games that I could have played. So I think this has been probably the most frustrating thing during my football career," he said.
In the full interview, he also discussed being part of the Italy Under-21 side that won the 1996 European Championship alongside Francesco Totti, Alessandro Nesta, Fabio Cannvaro, Christian Panucci, Damiano Tommassi, Gianluigi Buffon and Marco Delvecchio who would all go on to star for Italy at senior level and for some, win the World Cup a decade later.
He also touched on playing for hometown Inter Milan and his rapport with team-mates including the time Shay Given bought him an animal's heart as a Secret Santa gift.
That wasn't all from this week's show. Paul Dollery of The42.ie joined us to talk about their book 'Behind The Lines' and innovative ways of covering the League of Ireland:
We also chatted to our old pal and colleague Robbie Dunne, whose book on Rayo Vallecano Working Class Heroes which he had discussed with us a couple of months ago on the show, told us about being included on The Guardian Sports Book of the Year.
And we also chatted about other matters in the football world: