Thomas Gravesen once played for Real Madrid, Celtic Glasgow and HSV – and has always been considered a somewhat different football professional. But this episode ups the ante.
German football fans first met Thomas Gravesen in 1997 when the tough midfielder moved from Vejle BK to Hamburger SV from his native Denmark.
He moved on three years later and made a name for himself with Everton in the Premier League. Still, most were surprised when Gravesen joined Real Madrid’s star ensemble in January 2005.
But at least he played 49 games for the royal team alongside legends like Zinédine Zidane, Ronaldo, Luís Figo and David Beckham in a year and a half. He then left the Bernabeu and joined Celtic in Scotland.
One of his teammates there, Paul Caddis, recalled Under The Cosh among other things, that Gravesen did not necessarily lead the luxurious life of a football star. The former Danish national player always spent the season breaks at home in Denmark, while he lived with his mother or father in the attic.
Thomas Gravesen only played PlayStation during the season breaks
“This attic was maybe as big as this table right here,” explained Caddis. “And in that tiny room he just sat on his PlayStation for six weeks.”
And all that practice paid off, after all, Gravesen excelled at a video game, Caddis explained. “He was number one in Call of Duty,” he said. “Honestly, he was totally crazy. But also a brilliant guy.”
In addition to his excessive fondness for the PlayStation, Gravesen was also interested in billiards. The 47-year-old loved to rip his teammates off the table.
“He called us all to the pool table, all the young players. ’25 pounds a man,’ he then said,” recalled Caddis. “He only played when there was money at stake. And at first we didn’t know why.”
Thomas Gravesen ripped off his teammates at billiards
When everyone had placed their bets on the table, often totaling £250, Gravesen disappeared briefly. “He ran down the steps of Celtic Park, we all looked out the window. He opened his trunk and pulled out this incredible pool cue, signed by Ronnie O’Sullivan (English snooker legend, ed.).”
Caddis and Co. couldn’t keep up with their ordinary cues. “He on the other hand had this shiny thing and he swept away with it, it was amazing. He just always took the money with him, he was a fucking multi-millionaire.”
With all the wins, Gravesen might have happily stayed at Celtic longer than just a year. He returned to Everton on loan in 2007, played there for one more season and hung up his football boots in 2008 at the age of 32. Since then, however, there has been no shortage of stories about his career.