When Tottenham and Liverpool fight it out this Saturday in Madrid for the Champions League title, Romain Beynié will be among those following the match. The Swiss Life Select advisor in Switzerland was once a player at that exalted level, with top French club Olympique Lyon.
6 December 2005, Stadion Gerland, Lyon. The French defending champions are up against Norway’s Rosenborg Trondheim in the Champions League group phase. A certain Karim Benzema, barely 18 years old, scores his first goal for Olympique Lyon. Rosenborg equalises later on. Then comes the 90th minute. Benzema is substituted. There follows another première: Romain Beynié, just 18 himself, comes on in place of the future superstar. He is there when the Brazilian striker Fred shoots Lyon to victory in the 93rd minute.
“It was a wonderful moment and I will certainly never forget it”, says Beynié, now 31. All the same, he doesn’t think back too much on those days anymore. In fact, it’s only when other people mention it that he does. “It’s a beautiful memory. No more and no less.” He has moved on since then: instead of a career as a pro footballer he has followed a different path.
Taking the reins in your own hands
Romain Beynié has been working as a customer advisor at Swiss Life Select in Switzerland for two years. “The job is perfect for me. I can be an entrepreneur myself each day. It’s constantly a new challenge for me”, says the born Frenchman. He can determine his daily work life himself, and that’s fantastic. He also likes the customer contact and the work atmosphere. “I have the opportunity to work with my best friend, the guy I used to play with for Lyon. That’s a privilege.”
Work-life balance is important to Beynié. So much is a matter of how you view it, he says. “At the moment I may not have a lot of time for myself, but I see plenty of potential in what I do over the long term.” Romain Beynié still plays football, albeit no longer as a professional with the top-ranked French team, but with the amateur club FC Bavois, in Switzerland's third league. "I still like the challenge of the game and of course I enjoy winning. Football is still my passion", he says.
The final: a highlight
That’s why this Saturday will be a highlight of the 2019 sporting year, for him and for many other football fans. He’s sure to be watching the Champions League final between the two English top teams, Liverpool and Tottenham, on his television. Even though his former teammate Karim Benzema along with Real Madrid, as well as his old club, Olympique Lyon, were already eliminated in the round of 16. “It will be a pleasure to watch the final. Games like that are always a highlight”, says Beynié, and adds with a twinkle in his eye: “Even my wife will be joining me.”