SUNSPORT today revealed that Manuel Pellegrini is an engineering genius who once built a HOUSE for a friend.
But the incoming Manchester City boss is not the only clever clogs in football.
We have trawled libraries, labs and lecture rooms to find the beautiful game’s 10 biggest brainboxes.
LEGENDARY Brazil star — named after the Greek philosopher — was a qualified doctor and political activist.
2 MAROUANE CHAMAKH
ARSENAL flop is a trained accountant — not that totting up his Gunners goals tally needs much skill.
Striker may not be great in the box. But he admits: “I am good at spreadsheets.”
3 NEDUM ONUOHA
EXAM king famously landed three As at A-Level in Maths, Business Studies and IT — but reckons he could have scored even MORE top grades at school.
He said: “I couldn’t fit five in. There was literally not enough time.”
4 SHAKA HISLOP
FORMER Newcastle keeper has a degree in mechanical engineering — and even spent a summer working at NASA on their Space Station Freedom Project in Washington.
Trinidad brainiac Hislop was also involved in a top-level engineering project in the Caribbean.
WE revealed last month how World Cup legend Ronaldo is now a TEA BOY in a top London marketing agency.
The Brazilian, who is 10 weeks into an internship at Mayfair-based WPP, said: “It is my purpose to learn.”
His boss Sir Martin Sorrell added: “Apart from being a great footballer, he has a really intelligent approach to what we do.”
6 JUAN MATA
CHELSEA star tests the grey Mata by studying for TWO degrees — in marketing and sports science.
Mata, who writes to his Spanish-based tutor by email, says: “I have an uncle who works in marketing in a bank and I’d like to be involved in sports marketing or promotions.”
7 IAIN DOWIE
NO wonder former striker Dowie was always looking for space — he worked at a top aircraft company before his playing career took off.
Dowie bagged a Masters degree in engineering and then spent time at British Aerospace.
8 GLEN JOHNSON
HUMAN calculator Johnson spends two hours a day studying for an Open University maths degree.
The Liverpool egghead says: “I love the planning and problem solving, equations, working out, for example, how much fuel a plane needs.”
9 RAMON VEGA
SPURS League Cup winner Vega traded in professional football for a money-spinning career in the City.
His firm Vega Swiss Asset Management looks after £650MILLION of clients’ cash from their posh Park Lane offices.
The business boffin recently trousered £13m by backing Italy to avoid a Greece-style financial meltdown. He said: “I worked harder than anybody who’d come out of Oxford.”
10 BARRY HORNE
EVERTON and Wales legend Horne now wears a WHITE kit — as a chemistry teacher at a Chester school.