Why not combine the beautiful game with a beautiful property? In a nod to the World Cup this month, we highlight some European holiday resorts with their own top-notch football facilities, many of which attract top teams for pre-season training camps…

Fancy an apartment in La Manga Club?

One of the favourites to lift the FIFA trophy in 2018, Spain is already a proven winner when it comes to world-class leisure resorts that offer more than just championship golf courses. Arguably the country’s most famous resort, La Manga Club next to the Mar Menor in Murcia is about as good as it gets in terms of football academies. With facilities that include eight natural grass FIFA-standard pitches, including a match pitch with a stand for 800 spectators, as well as a five-a-side pitch, it’s a favourite pre-season training and competition venue for the world’s top international clubs as well as national squads.

Another hang-out favoured by clubs from around Europe is the Oliva Nova Beach and Golf Resort, just north of Dénia in the northern tip of the Costa Blanca. Oliva Nova is home to four FIFA-standard grass pitches, complemented by a gym, restaurants and conference facilities all within the confines of the football academy. Elsewhere in Spain, other training grounds can be found at the Desert Springs Resort in Almería and La Cala Resort in the Costa del Sol, both of which boast a FIFA-standard grass pitch.

Townhouse in Vale do Lobo – tempted?

Spain and Portugal were evenly matched when they met in their opening game of this World Cup – and what a match that was! You might argue the same when it comes to first-rate football facilities in glorious surroundings.

Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo, the Algarve’s two most upmarket resorts in the famous Golden Triangle, both sport FIFA-standard grass pitches and all the trimmings that go with them. At Quinta the pitch is one element of The Campus, the resort’s new sporting centre where residents and guests can sign up to training in different sports – those that choose football can expect to receive coaching from the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Teddy Sheringham and Bobby Zamora! In this corner of the Golden Triangle, you’re just as likely to bump into a sports star on the golf course or in a high-brow restaurant since it’s a popular second-home destination with all types of celebrities.

Elsewhere in the Algarve, the Sports Club at the Amendoeira Resort in Alcantarilha is equally appealing to both professionals and guests looking for one-to-one coaching. It has a full-size grass pitch and a two FIFA-standard astroturf pitches. Also notable is the Cascade Wellness & Lifestyle Resort in Lagos. In a stunning cliff-top location, its two FIFA-standard grass pitches regularly host professional training camps.

Rustic villa in Sardinia, near the famous Forte Village Resort

Sardinia’s glamorous Costa Smeralda is a well-known haunt of the rich and famous, in particular those most at home on the deck of a super yacht. At the other end of the pretty Italian island is the upmarket Forte Village Resort, also popular with the global jet set and home to a world-class football academy that hosts a Chelsea Football Club Soccer School. The mix of grass pitches and synthetic five-a-side pitches have been used by national squads, including England and Germany, as well as European clubs.

A few kilometres south of Forte Village is Chia Laguna Resort, where two further football schools are held, namely Juventus Training Sessions and Campioni Football Academy, the latter organised by former Premiership and England players Andy Johnson and Michael Johnson.

Written by Overseas Guides Company.

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