Former Swiss soccer captain retrains as a watchmaker

Former Swiss soccer player Stephan Lichtsteiner wears a magnifier as he holds the movement of a watch during his internship at the production facility of Swiss watch manufacturer Maurice de Mauriac in Zurich, Switzerland March 12, 2021. Picture taken March 12, 2021. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

ZURICH (Reuters) - Switzerland's former soccer captain Stephan Lichtsteiner may have called time on his glittering sports career, but he has now started a new venture - training to become a watchmaker.

Lichtsteiner, who made 108 appearances for the Swiss national side, has started an internship lasting up to six months at Zurich firm Maurice de Mauriac.

"I want to do something productive," the 37-year-old former Juventus, Lazio and Arsenal defender told Reuters on Friday.

"If you are a banker ... you can do that for all your life, but if you are a footballer once you hit your mid 30s, you have to find something else to do."

He said he would make a watch during his internship that would be sold off for charity. After that, he was open to the idea of becoming a full-time watchmaker but hadn't decided for sure and might still go back to sport.

"I see some similarities to football," he told Reuters.

"In football if not all the team is perfect you will not win. It's the same with a watch, if everything is not perfectly in place the watch is not going to work."

The company's owners, Leonard and Massimo Dreifuss, said they were delighted to have Lichtsteiner onboard as their first trainee.

"We had lots of applications but Stephan was the most enthusiastic," said art director Leonard Dreifuss.

"We are aiming for a long-term partnership and will move step by step," said CEO Massimo Dreifuss, when asked if Lichtsteiner would invest in the company.

The brothers said they first met Lichtsteiner at a business talk near Zurich in October.

(Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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