At the age of 38, English soccer great David Beckham might be more in demand for his ability to sell replica jerseys than his capabilities on the field, but that hasn't put much of a dent in Becks' earnings. Fresh off a stint at the L.A. Galaxy that brought him more than $255M over six seasons, Beckham is now playing for the Qatari-funded club Paris Saint-Germain, prompting a move back to Europe, where he has always kept at least one prominent residence. Known as Beckingham Palace, the Grade II-listed country estate an hour from London was purchased all the way back in 1999 by Beckham and his wife, the former Posh Spice, for around $4M. Since then, the couple have added extravagant extras like a recording studio, a helipad, and both indoor and outdoor swimming pools. Now, despite paying the maintenance on the massive spread while off in Los Angeles, the pair have decided to part with their customized dream house, listing it for just under $15M. The family is currently renting in London, but aren't simply looking to cash out. Reports indicate that the couple has already turned down an offer from developers looking to cash in on the Beckham name, instead holding out for a private buyer.
? A former teammate of Beckham at the L.A. Galaxy and one of the recent undisputed stars of the U.S. National Team, Landon Donovan doesn't earn nearly as much as his English counterpart, but still pulled down enough to afford a celeb-worthy estate in the pricey seaside community of Manhattan Beach, Calif. Last year, amid rumors that Donovan would be decamping for the English Premier League, he listed the five-bedroom, seven-bath property for $4.295M. It sold less than two months after listing, but for a comparatively paltry $2.4M, suggesting that Donovan may have passed the property to his sitcom star ex-wife, Bianca Kajlich.
? In 2010, French soccer icon Thierry Henry left behind an illustrious career in Europe to become the most lauded star in New York Red Bulls history. Reportedly happy to be out of the harsh Euro media spotlight, Henry plunked down $14.85M on a penthouse condo combination in the NYC neighborhood of Soho. The triplex boasts four bedrooms, substantial outdoor space, and walls of glass. The glass, and Henry's PATH train commute, indicates that the soccer star doesn't fear the stateside paparazzi.
? These days, Real Madrid fans have the chance to cheer on Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, but back in 2008 the quick-footed winger was playing for England's Manchester United and getting jeers from his neighbors. Why? Because the star was busy annoying the neighborhood with near constant construction on a brick mansion built on the site of a quaint historic home. Built at a cost of $6M, the extravagant spread was of little use to Ronaldo upon his transfer to Madrid, but with his contract up for renewal, he may find himself fending off angry neighbors in Manchester again sometime soon.
? In terms of fame, Gary Neville may pale in comparison to others on this list, but not when his wacky, eco-friendly mansion is taken into account. The former Manchester United and England star also attracted the ire of neighbors, for erecting a 100-foot-high wind turbine on his rural property. The 8,000-square-foot spread was dug into a hillside on the West Pennine Moors and features a green roof, solar panels, and a rain water harvesting system.
· Beckingham Palace goes up for sale as David and Victoria eye up London life... but won't allow developers to buy it [Daily Mail]
· Landon Donovan Lists Manhattan Beach Compound as Rumors Swirl About His Return to the English Premier League [Zillow Blog]
· 3305 Pine Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266 [Zillow]
· Sacre Bleu! Soccer Superstar Thierry Henry Buys Penthouse [Curbed NY]
· Neighbours' fury over Man United star Ronaldo's 'offensive and brutal' £4million mansion [Daily Mail]
· A lot of work's gone into my green home [The Sun]