The life of Thomas Graveson is fascinating.
As a footballer, the Dane was a tough midfielder and his £2.5million move from Everton to Real Madrid shocked the footballing world.
It’s still one of the weirdest transfers in football history.
The Dane lasted a season and a half at the club, racking up 49 appearances before returning to the UK with Celtic and then a loan spell at Everton.
While his career on the pitch was quite enigmatic, it was perhaps after his retirement that Gravesen became a cult figure.
Some of the stories that have emerged from players who have played with him are just fantastic.
In fact, there’s a 20-minute video of former teammates telling hilarious anecdotes about Gravesen in Simon Ferry’s “Open Goal.”
Reports vary but, nowadays, many suggest that Gravesen is worth £100million. He earned this fortune playing poker – although there are also reports suggesting he lost £54million in a single night.
He lives in a glamorous gated community in Las Vegas, where he calls neighbors like Andre Agassi and Nicolas Cage.
In his biography he is described as “a grenade with the pin pulled out”. And after the Daily mail revealed five of Gravesen’s wildest stories, it’s hard to disagree.
Knock out one of Ronaldo’s teeth and fight Robinho
It’s probably not a good idea to fight with a club legend after joining Real Madrid, but that’s what Gravesen did.
The clash with Ronaldo was seen as innocent as he tried to give him big hugs before throwing him all over the place. However, the legendary Brazilian lost his tooth.
But the fight with Robinho was much more serious.
Cameras caught Gravesen and Robinho clashing, with the midfielder later saying: “I made a few hard tackles on him but didn’t leave any bruises on him,” Gravesen said. “He retaliated by hitting me and kicking me a few times, so I went to get him.
“It would have been better if I hadn’t reacted like that but Spanish television, which had filmed the sequence of events, decided not to show them. I wonder why?”
Meet a pornstar
Gravesen went from a relatively unknown footballer to a household name when he signed for Real Madrid. This high status led him to befriend pornstar Kira Eggers.
He is now married to model Kamila Persse.
Shoot fireworks at Wayne Rooney
You’d think the Everton players would go out of their way to protect a new emerging talent in the form of Wayne Rooney.
Gravesen is not normal, however.
Then-manager David Moyes told the story:
“It was the old gymnasium, it’s about 60 meters long. Thomas and Wayne, they were shooting fireworks. They had big rockets full of gunpowder, they were holding one end and shooting at each other.
Moyes added: “Tommy was mental in a good way. He was a great player and we loved him. He wasn’t listening but it wasn’t in a bad way. I think it was a tiny bit where he didn’t want to hear from you and was just doing his own thing. He was mad in his training. He was a good boy but mental.
Work as a car salesman
A sign of how Gravesen’s mind works is that when he started out at Vejle Boldklub, he wanted another job to stay motivated.
“I need to know the alarm clock goes off in the morning or I’ll never go to bed,” Gravesen said.
“Before, I had a period of three to four months during which I did not work. I only slept in the morning and couldn’t sleep at night. I completely changed night and day and clearly noticed that my game was getting worse and my condition was getting worse.
Successful player in Las Vegas and worth between £80m and £100m
There are now many avenues that retired footballers can take these days.
Few people choose professional poker. But that’s what Gravesen chose, apparently.
Many outlets have claimed Gravesen is worth up to £100million with the suggestion that he won it playing poker. But it’s called ‘gambling’ for a reason and an online poker forum suggests he also lost a lot of money overnight.
User TarantulaGargantu told the extraordinary story of the night Gravesen lost an absolute fortune.
The story continues: “I can confirm he won £80m but it wasn’t easy. I was there in one of the sessions where he was playing a guy one-on-one and lost £54m in one night Can’t say who it was against, though.
The story has not been verified.
It is also believed that he drives in his Mercedes SLR McLaren – worth around $500,000.
What a life.