FORMER Everton winger Royston Drenthe has swapped crosses for crime – by taking on the role of a drug-dealing gangster.
The Holland international, who also had spells with Reading and Sheffield Wednesday, now plays for Spanish club Racing Murcia.
Royston Drenthe has landed a role as villain in Dutch crime drama Mocro Maffia
Drenthe, 33, has also bagged a part in hit Dutch crime drama Mocro Maffia.
He plays villain Frenkie Prof, who appears in five episodes before being gunned down outside a bar.
The role has chilling echoes of Drenthe’s own father, who was shot dead after being caught up in Rotterdam’s drug trade when the footballer was just three years old.
The former Real Madrid star said: “I could truly be myself in the role.
“I know the street talk, and the cast were able to learn from me.
“I grew up in West Rotterdam – the ‘hood – and often saw junkies shooting up in the street as a kid.
“I don’t know the full details of my father’s murder, but I know he was quick to speak his mind and that proved to be fatal.
“He is still a legend in the city. I hope he’s looking down on me now and seeing me do a good job.
Drenthe, now at Racing Murcia, previously played for Everton and Real MadridCredit: Getty Images – Getty
“They say someone offered him a drink in a bar, and he spitefully said he had enough money to buy his own drinks.
“I would have just accepted the drink, but not him. It led to a disagreement.”
Drenthe continued: “I could have grown up in a similar way.
“My mum brought me up well, but you never know what temptations and paths might come your way.
“I always looked up to actors as a kid. I watched rappers like 50 Cent act in films, and thought I can do it as well.
“During casting they asked me if I’d acted before. I said no, but it seems like I’m a natural talent as I got the part.”
Drenthe has lived a controversial life on and off the pitch.
SunSport revealed last week that a Dutch court cleared him of money laundering after police found over £150,000 in cash in his car.