Apparently, Mathieu Flamini is the most important hero in the battle to save the planet since Captain Planet and the Planeteers.
He did not tell his family, his friends or his teammates, but for seven years, the former Milan midfielder has been working on a way to save the planet. When he joined Milan from Arsenal in 2008, Flamini met Pasquale Granata. The two shared similar interests in environmental issues, and they decided to use their resources to do something about it.
Flamini and Granata founded GF Biochemicals in Caserta, Italy. At first, they wanted the company initials to stand for "Green Futures," but it stands for their names. The name is unimportant, but the discovery Flamini's company made this week is a potential game-changer worldwide.
Earlier this week, Flamini announced the company has become the first to mass produce Levulinic Acid, which can replace oil in all its forms.
Flamini's money—millions of dollars worth—has been poured into the research, equipment and experiments that led to this point.
"Researchers told us LA (Levulinic Acid) is the future and by doing research in that field we could come up with a great discovery and success," Flamini told The Sun. "We financed the research by the Milan Polytechnic. After several months we came up with the technology of how to produce LA on an industrial scale, meaning cheaply and cost-effectively. We patented it."
This is all from the same Mathieu Flamini who joined Milan in 2008 with expectations of servicing a midfield that had been patrolled by the likes of Gennaro Gattuso, Clarence Seedorf and Andrea Pirlo for years. He returned to Arsenal in 2013 and has been a bench player the last two seasons.
The market value for this new technology is nearly 30 billion euros, according to Flamini. That is nearly four times the net worth of Arsenal majority shareholder Stan Kroenke, who is valued at about 7.2 billion euros.
"We've come here after seven years of work. We achieved something that has never been done before," Flamini said. "Of that I am the most proud."