As a gifted soccer player, RAMON Calliste seemed to have the world at his feet as a teenager – and now claims he’s hired for life.
Dubbed the ‘next Ryan Giggs’, he played for Manchester United’s youth team and coached with first-team stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney.
In 2006, however, a horrifying ankle injury forced the Cardiff-born starlet into early retirement.
Then in 2013 he started his own business selling high-end watches for over £250,000.
Today, Calliste lives a dream life in Dubai while running his stunning jewelery and designer accessories shop in the heart of London’s exclusive Mayfair.
If you’re looking for a classic £30,000 Rolex Daytona, or even a collector’s Hermes handbag at around £20,000, then his Global Boutique on South Molton Street is the go-to place for this type of luxury.
It has allowed Ramon and his family to live a more sustainable lifestyle that he would have enjoyed had he continued in football.
Project with passion
Speaking to SunSport from his home in Dubai, Calliste revealed: “Watches have always been a passion of mine.
“I picked up the craft fairly quickly, became obsessed with Rolex credentials and thankfully the business has grown since then.
“We have recently opened a very high quality luxury store in Mayfair and I am pleased to say that it is doing very well.
“We sell watches, fine jewelry and we have a certain amount of accessories including Hermes bags which we will expand as they are selling very well.
“Having a Mayfair site, with the amount of customers coming in from all over the world and the type of customers we attract, has been amazing for the business.”
Calliste previously told SunSport he sells watches for around £50,000-70,000.
And it often fetches between £150,000 and £250,000 in sales in a market where customers can make money off pieces that will become collectors’ items over time.
Ramon’s company makes around £5million a year, more than he would have made as a professional footballer.
“It’s always a Rolex-driven business, so those are the most popular.
“But there are always the big ticket items, the Patek Philippes, the Audemars Piguets and Richard Milles that sell for mega bucks.”
Calliste looks back fondly on his football career. In 2000 he signed for Manchester United alongside Sir Alex Ferguson.
Recalling that moment, he told us: “When I arrived at Old Trafford I met Sir Alex Ferguson which was an amazing experience.
“When I saw everything for the first time, I went to the famous room where everyone meets him.
“It was special when I was young, didn’t impress me much, but he had the aura of a big man.”
Ramon didn’t play for United’s first-team but he got a chance to train with some of their superstars.
“We didn’t always train with the first team, but sometimes we had games with five.
“I aspired to train with them consistently and it was great when I got the opportunity.
“I trained with Rooney and Ronaldo which was a big deal.”
An injury ruined his career
After being sacked from Old Trafford, Ramon played for Liverpool’s reserve.
He was their top scorer in the 2005/2006 season but switched to Scunthorpe to capitalize on first-team opportunities after then-Welsh coach John Toshack told him he needed to play more.
“It wasn’t what I wanted to do at first but Toshack told me I had to play football if I wanted to get promoted to the Wales first team,” he said.
“I thought let’s do this and I signed a contract. In the pre-season I suffered a bad ankle injury and never really recovered from it.”
In 2009, Ramon decided he had had enough of football.
He had spells with Cambridge City and West London Saracens of the Middlesex County Football League but was plagued by the dislocated ankle injury that robbed him of his dream.
live the dream
But everything happens for a reason. Now Calliste is happy in the Middle East. His children are thriving in a new environment and fate has given him a different calling.
“I feel fortunate that I’m in a fortunate position to help myself and my family,” he said.
“Dubai is a very beautiful and safe place as well as a huge market center. There are opportunities here and there is also a lot of money here.
“It was an all-round decision for my family and for my children, who have done excellent school work here.
“My life has changed incredibly compared to when I started when I was young.
“I have now built something that will last forever. When you play soccer, you have a certain durability.
“Now I consider the injury a blessing. I am very grateful for my change of direction, even if it was difficult to accept at the time.
“But I’m grateful that this path has been very good to me… long may it continue.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5221544/man-utd-ramon-calliste-cristiano-ronaldo-wayne-rooney-watches/ I played at Manchester United with Ronaldo and Rooney but now I sell luxury watches and jewellery