I’m a former Premier League defender but now I’m a COP – I spend my days solving crimes & catching crooks

A FORMER Premier League defender has revealed that he is spending his days solving crimes and catching crooks in his new job as a cop.

Arjan de Zeeuw, 43, has settled down in his native Netherlands after a successful playing career and taken on a new role as a detective specialising in forensics.

Arjan de Zeeuw has left football behind for a life as a copBBCHe made over 500 appearances for five different English clubs between 1995 and 2008Getty Images – Getty

The ex-footie star ran out for teams including Wigan Athletic and Portsmouth in his day, but has gone from chasing down breakaway strikers to pursuing criminals as the long arm of the law.

He made over 500 appearances for five different English clubs across his stellar 17-year career from 1995 to 2008.

He retired in 2009 after a season playing for Dutch side ADO’20.

However, before starting his playing career, he completed a degree in medical science, which he is known putting to use in his investigative work.

In 2014, he told BBC Sport: “I was looking at something else other than football.

“I’ve been in football that long and I thought I just need to look at the world a bit more.

“So I tried to get back into my medical studies and I bumped into a friend of mine who was a detective in Alkmaar, where we are now.”

On his decision to enter the police force, he added: “I liked the idea of justice and trying to make the world a better place for everybody, a fairer place.

“I’m going to specialise a bit more into forensics. More than likely it will be bigger investigations.”

He then recalled his training, including learning how to fire a gun and interrogate people.

Arjan continued: “It’s challenging. The good thing is it’s like football, it’s still very much a team effort.

“You’ll hardly ever solve a crime on your own.”

However, despite leaving the beautiful game behind as a career, he’s still joined up with the force’s team, who he generously described as “energetic”.

He joked: “You have to be careful for your legs with these.”

On top of that, he plays for the police’s national team, who qualified for the European final that year.

Discussing how his footie skills have kept up, he chuckled: “I’m lacking a bit of speed and a little bit of touch, but the competitive edge is still there.”

It’s possible he was just being modest though as he recalled how his training came in handy when chasing down a suspect, as he outlasted him for stamina and made the arrest.

He laughed: “I had enough pace to keep up.”