The FIFA 2018 World Cup kicks off in Russia on June 14 with the world’s biggest footballing stars ready to strut their stuff on the pitch.
Footballers are known now as much for their lavish lifestyles and luxury homes as they are for their ability with a ball.
While we mere mortals will never earn the eye-popping £31 million annual salary of Brazilian superstar Neymar Jr or pocket even a fraction of Lionel Messi’s mesmerising £778,000 WEEKLY wage, we can always dream of owning the sort of lavish houses their extraordinary incomes allow them to indulge in.
Close to home
Where to start? Well, how about close to home and England and Leicester striker Jamie Vardy? His former home, the £1.25m Cloughmore House in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, was famously the setting for the celebration of Leicester’s famous Premier League title win in May 2016.
Vardy filmed his team-mates reacting in joyous fashion to the 2-2 draw between Chelsea and Tottenham that clinched the title for the east Midlands club in the house’s enormous kitchen, with its four-oven Aga.
The eight-bedroomed property’s other notable features included two staircases, games room and garden room with a wood-burning stove.
Capping it all
England captain Harry Kane didn’t stray far from his roots in east London when he bought a large detached property in Essex where he lives with his fiancee and their little girl. After a refurbishment, the striker was advised by his bosses at club side Tottenham Hotspur to install security gates.
The most notable feature of Kane’s home is that he employs his own personal chef to cook daily for him and ensure he’s eating properly.
And continuing to demonstrate how sporting superstars operate on a different level to the rest of us, Kane has bought another home closer to Spurs’ training ground so he can be first on the pitch in the morning and last to leave at night. That’s dedication.
Known as CR7 and, along with Messi, the best player in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo puts his £365,000 weekly salary to good use on his £4.8m home in Madrid. With seven bedrooms and eight bathrooms, the house is plenty big enough for Portugal’s captain and Real Madrid’s iconic No.7 and his four kids.
Oh, and there’s also a trophy room, absolutely essential for a player who has won everything in world football. Except the World Cup. And maybe that’s next.
Neymar Jr is the man on whom Brazil has pinned its World Cup hopes. And while the Paris Saint-Germain player has his European base in the stylish French capital, when you’re a nation’s hero, you can afford to hop across the Atlantic any time you like to visit your old stomping ground.
Neymar’s Parisian bolthole is a simple affair: a five-storey mansion with its own swimming pool and sauna that was once owned by French film star Gerard Depardieu. So far, so Footballers’ Wives.
And when he’s back in Rio de Janeiro, he slums it in his £6m six-bed mansion with helipad, tennis court, gym and wine cellar.
Lionel Messi may be the world’s best player – five Ballons d’Or and an avalanche of trophies with Barcelona confirm that – but one thing missing from the cv of Argentina’s captain is a World Cup winners’ medal. He’ll be hoping to put that right in Russia this year. And he’s no doubt been practising his extraordinary skills in the football pitch he’s built in the grounds of his 10,000 sq metre property in the suburbs of Barcelona.
In fact, Messi’s dedication to his sport can be seen in the very design of the house, which is almost shaped like a football and was designed as an eco-property after the superstar footballer bought the house next door for greater privacy. The house, worth around £6m, also has a swimming pool.