Some call it the greatest sporting event in the world. Some plan their lives around the soaring highs and devastating lows that each national team can deliver to their frothing fan base. I’m talking about the World Cup, and right now, just a short skip across the pond, the finest soccer players in the world are lacing up their cleats in South Africa to claim glory for their nation and bring home the coveted cup. What does this have to do with granite countertops and home remodeling, you might ask? Well, truth be told, not much! What it does allow us to do, however, is take the time to examine some of the exquisite homes that the world’s soccer stars live in when they’re not sprinting from one end of the field to another for 90 minutes. People love this stuff!
If living in divine Spanish luxury is your thing then look no further than the exquisite home of Real Madrid midfielder and Portuguese National Team player Cristiano Ronaldo – a man some might regard as the finest player in the world. It may seem modest for the highest paid player to ever play the sport, but the modern, two story windows, brick exterior, and lush deciduous trees surrounding, it’s a peaceful – if not familiar – brand of home. It rests just outside of Madrid, but it could easily conform to an upscale neighborhood in the states.
Just down the block, Ronaldo’s Real Madrid teammate, and star of the Brazilian National Team, Kaka has set up residence. He took a page out of his midfield partner and chose a brick exterior, but that’s about where the similarities end. Kaka’s Spanish mansion is ultra-modern in design, with lush greenery flowing over the flat rooftops. It seems a little more unique than Ronaldo’s, but hey, I’m sure they hang out, so they probably don’t bicker too much over who has the better pad.
Back in 2006, Chelsea player and Ivory Coast National Team superstar Didier Drogba called for violence taking place in the Ivory Coast civil war to be halted while games were being played, and wouldn’t you know it, they listened. Besides being one of the most culturally influential players on the planet, as well as perhaps being the finest player ever to be born on the African continent, he has a pretty swank setup. Unlike his Spanish league counterparts, Drogba chose to go the grandiose route, living in a sprawling, spire-roofed estate in the English countryside. Sounds like mighty fine living to me, and certainly no shortage on the excess.
English National Team striker, and lead man for Manchester United, Wayne Rooney also calls the English countryside home. Outside of Manchester you can find his elegant, U-shaped home resting in an enclave of overhanging trees. The design certainly borrows influences from classic English estates, but spices it up with a palatial patio surrounding the home and a colossal sunroom to top it all off. In fact, when he bought the property in 2004, he demolished the 1930’s era mansion that laid on the lot to make way for his new home. For all that money he makes you think he’d splurge for a bigger yard, though.
Former English National Team midfielder David Beckham might still be the most recognizable international soccer star in the game today – well, to Americans at least. He calls many locales home, but when he’s not lacing up his cleats as a midfielder for the Los Angeles Galaxy (alongside American superstar Landon Donovan) or for AC Milan he lives in a classically built English estate hulking over a titanic plot of land. His kids have a wonderland-style playset and the driveway is fit for an armada of vehicles. Did you expect anything less from soccer’s poster boy of sponsorship fame?
We will close out with a slightly more heartwarming story. Barcelona midfielder and star of the Spanish National Team, Andres Iniesta, chose to keep things close to where he grew up. He erected a modest, Spanish style home in his hometown of Fuentalbilla in Catalan country in Spain. He wanted to honor the village where he grew up, but certainly wanted everyone to know who lived there, as he commissioned his name to be carved into the stucco façade. We commend you, Andres, for keeping it sentimental, but I bet those other soccer players would rather you visit them than the other way around.
Enjoy the rest of the World Cup!