5 footballers who are successful property investors

By Fiona Ho
/ EdgeProp |
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With a ludicrous amount of money and a brief playing career, it is no wonder that many footballers are striking out as investors.
From residential property investments to hotels, here are five footballers (both presently active and retired), who have ventured into the world of real estate investing and stayed ahead of the property game.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo
The 33-year-old Portuguese player is reportedly worth $400 million (S$534.62 million) and is touted as the richest football player in the world.
In 2015, he linked up with Pestana Hotel Group and invested over US$40 million (S$53.46 million) in a chain of hotels under the “CR7” brand – a trademark of his initials and shirt number.
He opened his first hotel with Pestana, Pestana CR7 Funchal in Funchal in July 2016 and Pestana CR7 Lisboa in Lisbon in October the same year. Two more hotels under the CR7 brand are slated to open later this year in Madrid and in New York.
Besides an impressive property portfolio, Ronaldo’s CR7 brand also includes clothing and footwear lines.
Unsurprisingly, he is already looking forward to life after football. He told APF in an interview: "Many footballers finish their careers without knowing what they want to do. For me, it's clear - I want to take care of my brands.”
2. Frank Lampard
Former Chelsea and England midfielder Frank Lampard was hot property on the football field before retiring after 21 years of professional football. Now he’s keeping busy making big bucks in the housing market.
As well as his home in Chelsea, the 38-year-old owns three apartments in London’s Docklands, two houses in Cambridge, a Surrey mansion and a four-bedroom house in Barcelona. Collectively, his property portfolio is reported to be worth £23 million (S$41 million).
He also allowed the mother of his ex-fiancee Elen Rivas to live in one of his Barcelona homes, but evicted the 100-year-old when the pair broke up.
3. David Beckham
David Beckham was only 21 when he bought his first home in 1996 for £150,000 (S$267,777) in Manchester, and has since expanded his property portfolio to multi million-dollar mansions in France, Los Angeles, London and Dubai.
He currently lives in a 9,000 sq ft mansion in West London’s upscale Holland Park with his wife, Victoria, and their children, Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz and Harper.
The Beckhams bought the mansion at £21.4 million (S$38.2 million) in 2013 and spent an estimated £8 million (S$14 million) on renovation work. The place has eight bedrooms and seven bathrooms.
Aside from his burgeoning property portfolio, David Beckham has endorsement deals with just about everyone from Haig Club to H&M. Combined with Victoria's successful fashion label, the Beckhams are now collectively worth more than the Queen.
4. Lionel Messi
The best player in the world - (sorry, Ronaldo) - Messi, found himself in hot soup over his taxes in 2016. Fortunately, he happens to have a shrewd eye for business (or maybe just good advisors).
Messi reportedly owns multiple properties in Spain and Argentina, including a £7.5m (S$13 million) gated community in Fighiera.
Add this to his numerous endorsement and sponsorship deals - which includes a lifelong deal with Adidas, and deals with Gatorade, Pepsi, Ooredoo, Huawei and Hawkers - it looks like Messi is set for life (provided that he first learns how to file a tax return).
Plus, a theme park based on him, Messi Experience Park, is set to open in 2020 in the Chinese city of Nanjing.
5. Robbie Fowler
The Liverpool legend played as a striker from 1993 to 2012 and now runs his own property empire. His real estate portfolio had a reported net worth of £31 million (S$55 million) as of 2012.
But rather than investing in high-end property, Fowler - who was known for being a natural scorer with an instinctive goal-poaching ability - spent his money on terraced houses across the north-west, mainly around Liverpool.
How did he end up in property? It all started when former Liverpool captain, Graeme Souness put him in touch with a financial adviser who advised him to go into property investing.
“Since then, and I’m not embarrassed to admit this, it’s my wife who’s the one who has been wearing the trousers. She’s the boss. She did it all while I was playing. Basically I go out and earn the money. She’s happy with that concept,” he was quoted saying by London-based financial adviser, First Wealth.
In addition, he also launched The Property Academy, a training academy in which he dishes out financial knowledge to help others become a multi-millionaire.

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