JAN 20 EDITIONSportsTrending


By: Charles Ojugbana

While at Arsenal Football Club, the combative French midfielder, Mathieu Flamini didn’t quite standn out as a shining star. For one, picking up yellow cards and avoidable cautions was not exactly the style of play Arsene Wenger espoused during his long-reign as the Gunners boss. Flamini’s height dis-advantage and his less than spectacular performances didn’t endear him to Arsenal faithfuls, at least not as compared to the cult-like hero status of countrymen such as Patrick Viera, Thierry Henry and Robert Pires. And so it was that the environmentally-conscious Flamini departed the Emirates for greener pastures. Or so he thought until fate turned him from football to entrepreneur. Today, thanks to a relatively unknown business, Flamini’s net worth is put at close to that of Bill Gates by Forbes magazine.

According to Goal.com, Flamini’s primary business interest is GF Biochemicals, which he established along with his business partner Pasquale Granata in 2008. The company worked with experts from the University of Pisa and Polytechnic University of Milan to develop technology to produce sustainable alternatives to oil-based products, such as plastic. Levulinic acid, which is produced directly from biomass – or organic materials – is the result of that work and in 2015, GF Biochemicals (GFB) began commercial production. From the GFB’s website, one learns that the product offers a solution to reduce greenhouse emissions and improve the carbon footprint of consumers.

Flamini after his last game with the Gunners

Since 2015, the company has grown and they are expanding operations into the United States, while the value of the market increasing into the tens of billions, which has led to the reports that Flamini is one of the richest footballers in the world.

In recent times he has proudly continued to promote bio-economy. This is supported by one quote from his Twitter page: ‚ÄúSuch an honour to have been invited to speak about bioeconomy among experts in the field, at the conference organised by the European Commission and Bio Based Industry’s Consortium. #athlete in #sports supporting #Sustainability “

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