Watching today’s football heroes battle it out at the World Cup in Brazil, don’t you wonder what sort of luxury pad they disappear to after a hard day’s work? Curious for a peek into their world, we went house-hunting in four countries known for their love of the Beautiful Game. Our budget? The equivalent to the average salary of players in the Premiership, namely £1.6million or thereabouts.

Article written by The Overseas Guides Company

The Algarve has always scored highly with British footballers, whether they’re there for training, a holiday in a luxury hotel or spending time at their second home – both England skipper Steven Gerrard and fellow Liverpool man Michael Owen own property there. The main place to hang out is the upmarket resort of Quinta do Lago, which offers everything a loaded footballer and his wife might need – three stunning golf courses, top notch dining, concierge service on the beach, spas… On our budget, you won’t get much change from this stunning four-bedroom villa overlooking the 11th green of Quinta do Lago’s San Lorenzo Golf course.

The reigning Spanish champs might be out of this World Cup, but a chic pad in prime Costa del Sol territory will always be a winner with the international jet set and sport-stars. Former England former managers Glen Hoddle and Fabio Capello are amongst a raft of celebrities that have homes in this area of Spain, famous for its beaches, huge selection of golf courses and swish marinas. Favourite spots for the hip crowd include glitzy Puerto Banus, La Zagaleta Golf Resort, Marbella’s Nikki Beach and Golden Mile, and Sotogrande Marina. We found a swanky villa just under budget and with four-bedrooms and views over La Zagaleta golf course.

Exotic, vibrant, colourful – Brazil lives for carnivals and football. Top players there are demi-gods but where do they retreat to for some ‘me’ time and a few caipirinhas? Well, one option is the famous Pipa Beach in the northern state of Rio Grande do Norte, where the sparkling blue sea and pure white sandy beaches have made it a hot holiday destination. Being Brazil – and not prime Rio or Sao Paulo – your money goes a bit further there. Which means you could invest in this 18-bedroom hotel in Pippa Beach and still have enough for a beautiful four-bedroom beach apartment a bit further south in Aracaju.

Italians are passionate people, and nothing gets their pulse racing quite like football, ice cream and fashion. Which is why a stint in Milan went down so well in the Beckham household – Becks experienced Italian football to the full, while Posh schmoozed with the fashionistas and mingled beside the Milanese catwalks. A little over budget – but you’d stretch to it if the other half insisted – is this rather stunning apartment next to Milan’s world-famous San Siro stadium.

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