Some say athletes are born, not made. If true, they’ll need a crib. Superstar athletes are well compensated for their exploits on the field, court, course, ice, and track, especially in this era of $300 million contracts and endorsement deals. Their incredible success translates to A-list lives in spectacular homes featuring shark tanks, panic rooms, car elevators—whatever they desire. Here are 20 prodigious homes of living sports legends
Tiger Woods, Jupiter Island, Florida
Woods’ 16,127-square-foot Jupiter Island mansion is more hazardous than most homes. His 3.5 acre backyard is a personal four-hole golf course landscaped with trees, fairways, and sand traps. Toss in a 100-foot lap pool, another dive pool, a hybrid tennis/basketball court, guest house, gym, private beach, and two yacht docks—and you’ve got the ultimate game changer home. It’s reportedly worth up to $60 million.
Rory McIlroy, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
The No. 2 golfer’s modern home is first-rate with a clean open layout, bright white walls, balconies, open staircases, high ceilings, and panoramic party patios with ocean views. At $9.5 million, the 15,286-square-foot residence appreciates with McIlroy’s contemporary touch—built-in cabinets, premium appliances, gym, putting green, sunken bar, pool, hot tub, and four major championship trophies to boot.
Jordan Spieth, Dallas, Texas
The No. 1 golf phenom’s eclectic five-bedroom pad in Preston Hallow is worth $7.1 million (easily financed by 2015′s $53 million earnings). The 16,665-square-foot, brick-and-exposed beam home boasts sweet amenities barely fit for a 22-year-old—glass mosaic infinity pool, fire pit, golf simulator, wine cellar, and garage with an Augusta National clubhouse mural—where the reigning Masters champ can hang his green jacket.
Michael Jordan, Jupiter, Florida
The NBA legend’s palatial $12.4 million Jupiter estate is steps from golf greens at Jack Nicklaus’ exclusive gated Bear’s Club. The 28,000-square-foot mansion has 18 structures, 11 bedrooms, a lavish athletic complex with basketball court and gym, a two-story guard tower to protect him from bitter Knicks fans (or Isis), and a media room that powerfully ventilates cigar smoke during Jordan’s high-stakes poker games.
Lebron James, Brentwood, California
The NBA king holds court in arenas, movies and real estate. His $21 million Brentwood, California house buy fueled rumors he’ll join the Lakers. More likely, the Trainwreck co-star is honing his acting chops from a Hollywood-friendly locale. King James’ new home boasts six bedrooms (the master has a terrace and fireplace), a pool, cabana, deck, and two backyard patios—an ideal west coast throne for NBA royalty.
Steph Curry, Walnut Creek, California
The NBA MVP scored big with a $3.2 million Mediterranean-style estate with five bedrooms, four fireplaces, outdoor kitchen, media/game room, and wine cellar. The 7,900-square-foot pad has a formal courtyard entry, two-story foyer, center-island kitchen, and a master suite with its own private balcony, fireplace, office and marbled bathroom. The grounds include an 800-square-foot casita guest house. Swish!
Shaquille O’Neal, Windermere, Florida
Shaq has no choice but to live large. The lovable 7’1 prankster lives in a 70,000-square-foot mega mansion adorned with chandeliers, a 30-foot-wide bed, and Superman insignias. “Diesel” spreads his jocularity in 11 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, a 20,000-square-foot indoor basketball court, and an outdoor pool nicknamed, “Shaqapulco.” The home’s estimated value is $8 million—making it the most expensive Shaq ever.
Tom Brady, Brookline, Massachusetts
The Patriots QB and supermodel wife Gisele Bündchen live in a custom 5.2-acre chateau. The 14,000-square-foot Chestnut Hill mansion features a pool, wine cellar, yoga studio; and multiple fireplaces, balconies, patios, and garages. The private five-bedroom home is isolated by trees and a fairway of the exclusive Brookline Country Club (aka TCC). Only a stray ball from a bad golfer will disrupt their privacy.
If future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning tells you he lives in Omaha, he’s bluffing…again. Recently retired, the Super Bowl 50 champion actually lives in a Georgian-style mansion in Cherry Hills Village, Colorado. The expansive 16,464-square-foot estate on 3.37 acres has seven bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, a two-story rotunda, veranda, elevator, carport, a heated indoor/outdoor dog kennel, and as many as five MVP trophies.
Serena Williams, Jupiter, Florida
She was denied a calendar Grand Slam in 2015 but she’s winning the game of life—21 career Grand Slam titles, four Olympic gold medals, $75 million in prize money, and several south Florida estates. This includes two pads in Palm Beach Gardens—a 10,687-square-foot estate she shares with sister Venus, and this $2.5 million five-bedroom home (7,370 square feet) on 1.25 acres with tennis court and pool.
Roger Federer, Wollerau, Switzerland
The 17-time Grand Slam champ splurged $9.2 million on a glass mansion along Lake Zurich in his native Switzerland (don’t fret, he’ll save a fortune in taxes). The modern hillside hideaway is a tiered, three-story structure called “The Residence” (though it should be renamed “The Rogidence”)—featuring floor-to-ceiling windows, wrap-around penthouse-style balconies, a pool, and perfect views of the lake.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Madrid, Spain
Soccer’s cockiest matinee idol owns a $7.1 million minimalist mansion with sleek interiors, allowing the stylish Real Madrid striker deep self-reflection—via countless mirrors, infinity pool and high-gloss everything. His “CR” initials are etched onto countertops, marble floors, and the front door (to remind himself he’s Cristiano Ronaldo and you’re not). No initials grace mirrors. That would block his reflection.
Lionel Messi, Barcelona, Spain
The world’s best footballer will get a kick out of One-Zero Eco House, his future sustainable home shaped like a soccer ball. The FC Barcelona striker hired Spanish architect Luis de Garrido to design the cylindrical, three-level dwelling which showcases wooden terraces, hexagonal sectors, massive pool yard, green-roof garage, and a half grass/half solar-mirrored roof that represents the geometrics of a soccer ball.
David Beckham, London
Nobody can spend it like Beckham—and a reported $50 million cash home purchase is proof. The former Manchester United soccer legend’s 9,000-square-foot Victorian mansion in London’s Kensington and Chelsea district boasts five stories, eight bedrooms, gym, spa, massage quarters, panic room, and a reported $8 million renovated air-conditioning system (inching the investment close to $58 million). Now that sounds extremely cool.
Derek Jeter, Tampa, Florida
The former New York Yankees legend retired to this peaceful English Manor-style home base in Tampa (where his old franchise plays spring training games). Nicknamed “St. Jetersburg,” the 30,875-square-foot stone manse boasts seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms, a waterfront pool, spa, private boat dock, and multiple three-car garages. The $13 million home is no short stop, he’ll likely reside here for awhile.
Barry Bonds, Beverly Park, California
Baseball’s dubious home run king swings for the fences. As usual, he crushes it (the retired star just won a spring training home run derby vs today’s players). Bonds’ most prodigious smash may be his inspired 17,100-square-foot Florentine palazzo (listed at $25 million)—which has seven bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, a pool house, sports court, movie theater and gym where Bonds still works out intensely (obviously).
Jeff Gordon, Charlotte, North Carolina
The four-time Sprint Cup champion won 93 races and $144 million in his career. Now Nascar’s #24 switches gears as broadcaster and family man. Gordon’s contemporary compound in the South Park neighborhood has an extraordinary wine cellar (with bottles from his own label), a zero-edge pool and pool house, a life-sized playhouse for his kids, and a memorabilia wall highlighted by his three Daytona 500 trophies.
Jimmie Johnson, New York City
The popular driver of Lowes #48 car is still Nascar’s reigning star—winning six Sprint Cup Series championships (five in a row). Like Gordon, Johnson’s dominating success earned him homes in Charlotte and New York. His contemporary Manhattan condo has five bedrooms and 3,234 square feet of living space. Even if was smaller, a champ who squeezes into a tight Nascar driver’s seat would turn it into an instant winner.
Floyd Mayweather Jr., Las Vegas, Nevada
The undefeated pugilist who flashed a $100 million paycheck on ESPN flaunts a 22,000-square-foot ego palace of ludicrous sin city curiosities—12-person shower; tiger cub; showroom of shiny Bugattis, McLarens and Bentleys he never drives; and endless money stacks he takes selfies with. For kicks, his “Big Boy Mansion” has its own Instagram account. Even Liberace (from the grave) would say that’s over the top.