NYON:  Former England goalkeeper David James and ex-Middlesbrough and Spain midfielder Gaizka Mendieta are part of a new scheme to help players of all ages to manage their finances and avoid the pitfalls – such as overspending and taking poor advice – that come with earning big money.

UEFA, in conjunction with Spanish bank Santander, a UEFA Champions League partner, have launched a course giving players the chance to gain a greater understanding when it comes to managing their money.

James says the best piece of advice he would give is always to be careful who you trust.

He said: “Not being an expert in finance, the difficulty is you listen to something and think it’s going to be right. It sounds so good and you get involved and then it doesn’t work out. As the saying goes, if it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t true.

“These opportunities are there. Football is a massive industry with lots of opportunities. It’s slightly contradictory but if you only focus on football, then you miss out on a lot of opportunities to develop in other areas.”