It’s no longer news that a lot of footballers make a good amount of money. This usually throws up questions of how to spend or invest this money. A few invest in real estate while others set up businesses or foundations. A few, however, choose to give back and own a football club of their own. Here are 5 famous players who have gone the latter route and own football clubs of their own.
1. Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima – Real Valladolid
The Brazilian soccer legend and two-time World Cup winner is the proud owner of Spanish La Liga side, Real Valladolid. The 44-year-old bought the 51% controlling stake of the club in September 2018 for about 30 million euros. Ronaldo shares in the club have increased to 82%. Valladolid are currently 16th on the league table.
2. David Beckham – Inter Miami CF
Former England player and captain Beckham is currently the president and co-owner of American Major League Side Inter Miami CF. David bought the then MLS expansion side for about $25 million on the 5th of February, 2014. After years of delays on issues surrounding stadium approvals, Inter Miami finally made their MLS debut on the 1st of March, 2020. A 0-1 home loss to Los Angeles FC. Beckham hopes to make Inter Miami one of the top MLS clubs, by attracting top players from Europe.
Beckham also owns a 10% stake in English non-league side Salford City FC.
3. Didier Drogba – Phoenix Rising FC
The Ivorian legend joined American second-tier side Phoenix Rising FC on the 12th of April, 2017. Drogba also acquired a stake in the club, becoming a player-owner for the remainder of his time with the Arizona-based club. Didier continues to oversee the club in an administrative capacity after his retirement from football.
4. Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Hammarby IF
Swedish superstar Ibrahimovic is a part-owner of Swedish top-flight side Hammarby IF. Zlatan, in November of 2019, bought a 23.5% stake in the club. This share purchase caused displeasure among fans of Malmo FF, the childhood club of Ibrahimovic. The fans would later vandalize Zlatan’s statue in protest. Despite not having a controlling share in Hammarby, Zlatan is actively involved in the running of the club.
5. Thomas Partey – CD Paracuellos Antamira
The Ghanaian international in September 2019 collaborated with 3 other investors to purchase Spanish third-tier side Alcobendas Sport which is currently known as CD Paracuellos Antamira. Partey, alongside his co-investors each, owns an equal stake in the club. Antamira currently competes in the Tercera Division – Group 7.
6. Paolo Maldini – Miami FC
Maldini teamed up with businessman, Riccardo Silva to establish Miami FC in the North American Soccer League, America’s second tier. The former Italian defender appointed Alessandro Nesta as the club’s first coach, however, the club is now managed by Paul Dalglish. Miami FC competes in the USL Championship, the second tier of the American soccer division.
7. Demba Ba and Eden Hazard – San Diego 1904 FC
The San Diego-based soccer club was founded by soccer players Demba Ba and Eden Hazard. San Diego 1904 FC plays in the National Independent Soccer Association, the third tier of American soccer division.
8. Gerrard Pique – Andorra FC
Andorra FC is a football club based in Encamp, Andorra, but have competed in the Spanish football league system since 1948. The club was established in 1942, and was the first football club to be founded in Andorra. Barcelona centre-back, Gerrard Pique bought the club in December 2018 through his company Kosmos Holding Group. Andorra FC currently play in Segunda División B, the third tier of Spanish football, and are managed by former Barca assistant coach, Eder Sarabia.