Former Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini has ventured far beyond the football field to achieve extraordinary success after his retirement. Flamini, who made 246 appearances for Arsenal across two stints from 2004 to 2008 and later from 2013 to 2016, pursued a groundbreaking business venture post-departure from the Gunners.
His entrepreneurial journey began after leaving Arsenal in 2008 to join AC Milan when he, along with his business partner Pasquale Granata, established ‘GF Biochemicals.’ Their objective was to revolutionise the energy industry. Over the years, Flamini, now 39, transitioned from a celebrated football career to become a biochemical entrepreneur, finding unparalleled success in an industry unrelated to his sporting prowess.
According to reports from The Sun, GF Biochemicals, founded 15 years ago, is purportedly valued at £21 billion—a staggering 40 times higher than Cristiano Ronaldo’s estimated net worth of £500 million. The company’s focus on producing levulinic acid, a synthetic oil substitute derived from wood and corn waste, led to groundbreaking achievements. In 2015, GF Biochemicals became the first company globally to mass-produce the acid, applicable in pharmaceuticals, plastics, cosmetics, and other industries.
Flamini, now the CEO of the company, expressed his childhood interest in football and sustainability, underscoring his environmental consciousness growing up near the sea in Marseilles. Despite his success, Flamini kept his business venture discreet for five years, navigating its uncertain trajectory alongside his football commitments.
He acknowledged the challenges of balancing entrepreneurship and football, recalling humorous moments at the training ground when his professional attire clashed with the typical sportswear, inviting jests from teammates. Flamini emphasised his commitment to environmental causes, aligning himself with the younger generation, notably Greta Thunberg, in shaping a sustainable future.
Beyond GF Biochemicals, Flamini has diversified his investments, involving himself in multiple startups and contributing to initiatives like BIOCIRCE and BioJournal. His role in the Environmental Olympic Committee for Paris 2024 Olympics underscores his dedication to environmental advocacy.