STREAMING NOW: Watch Now
CLOSINGS: View Closings

Moving the goalposts: Ryan Babel's property portfolio dabble

Dutch football star Ryan Babel has ditched the stereotype of pro footballers splashing cash on flash cars with a global property portfolio, record label and financial advice for his peers.

Posted: Oct 17, 2020 1:11 PM
Updated: Oct 17, 2020 1:11 PM

The lavish trappings of many top-flight footballers have been well documented -- flash cars, state-of-the-art houses, glistening watches and bejeweled jewelry.

Like many of his peers, Dutch international Ryan Babel has been there and done that, but the former Liverpool star is keen to break away from those stereotypes and explore other hinterlands.

Which is why he estimates his property portfolio will extend to 50 affordable houses in the multi-family market worth in the region of $30 million predominantly in Amsterdam and Miami by the end of the year.

Babel has also dabbled with becoming a stock market day trader and is passing on financial advice to his fellow footballers, not to mention running his Los Angeles-based music label, Underrated Music Group.

"I feel like football players are a lot smarter than years ago but still this is really out there," Babel told CNN Sport.

"It's about trying to change the narrative as still too often when sitting at the table at lunch with teammates, conversations are about the newest car they purchased or the newest watch and you slowly try to change that conversation into what type of investments they have made, what type of real estate they have bought."

Babel was initially a reluctant investor. He bought his first property at the age of 20 after moving from Ajax to Liverpool in July 2007. Following a subsequent transfer to Germany, his agent and father encouraged him to invest in property, initially buying a home to let every quarter.

But with 10 properties to his name, Babel says he felt unfulfilled, as though he was going through the financial motions, so he looked into day trading at the age of 27, enrolling in a year-long course. However post-qualification, ultimately the time needed to invest while playing professional football proved unrealistic.

So he changed tack. Having previously been a solo cash buyer, he brought in partners and leverage from banks, inspired by the books of American businessman Robert Kiyosaki.

"I asked myself what job is able to replace a football salary on a monthly basis," reflected Babel. "It has to be a successful business. I received a book from a friend by Robert Kiyosaki and when I read that book my way of looking at things changed instantly.

"I read a few more and understood different ways of investing in real estate, doing my due diligence, doing homework ... what are the ups and downs.

"That's where I understood that if you invest in multi-family homes, it's quite secure and building the right team ... Since then I've been quite successful at it."

READ: Liverpool's agonizing wait for English football's biggest prize

'Life can come at you very hard and quick'

He estimates his portfolio will grow to 100 properties. Other investments Babel has made include American musician Ryan Leslie's Superphone, a custom text management system enabling direct interaction with fans.

He's also passionate about the idea of sharing with teammates what's he learnt in trying to future proof his financial security.

He says he has shared financial advice with peers in the Dutch international set-up, at current team Galatasaray and at his original club Ajax, where he had been on loan last season when the coronavirus pandemic struck.

"I felt obligated to share this information with colleagues, especially how football players manage finances," said Babel.

"They sometimes have this idea that this lifestyle is forever so they splash money around, they're not investing, not careful and I feel kind of a little bit responsible for the young generation. Of course enjoy life, but put something aside so you can create some type of security later.

"My career is going to be finished one day of course. Maybe one of my purposes now is to teach the younger generational footballers who are getting involved very quick with big contacts.

"Get involved early to get your feet wet outside the comfort zone of football. It's going to be a tough world once you hang up your boots if you've not educated yourself in this society or economy. Life can come at you very hard and quick."

READ: How billionaire owners changed European football

At 33, Babel is enough of a realist to know his career is in its twilight's years. Unlike so many his peers, he is bidding to tell his story not via an ghosted autobiography but through a music album.

"You know how footballers always write an autobiography after their career, I came with the idea to do that but in a music form," said Babel.

"Basically, it will be a music rap album where I speak my truth, my past journey, my football career and the things that happened over the years. I'm busy with that now."

It is all a far cry from the 20-year-old who lived alone for the first time in his life in Liverpool, a club for which he retains a strong affection for.

Under Jurgen Klopp's leadership last season Liverpool won the English domestic title for the first time in 30 years.

Babel believes he would have thrived under the more huggable approach of the German than his long-time manager on Merseyside -- Rafael Benitez.

"I definitely think I would have maybe flourished much better," he said. "Some players need a manager who is like this father figure or uncle. Unfortunately my time was different. I was on my own and had to figure it out all by myself.

"I still was quite young, went there aged 20 at the time and had never experienced living by myself. It was my first experience abroad, all these things, all these factors are shaping a player.

"But yeah I definitely think the type of manager Jurgen Klopp is from what I see from the outside was definitely a manager I could use at the age of 20 years."

READ: How Jurgen Klopp turned Liverpool into title winners

The Koeman effect at Barcelona

This season, Babel has set his sights on winning the Turkish league with Galatasaray as well as maintaining his place in the Dutch national set-up following the departure of coach Ronald Koeman to Barcelona.

READ: Koeman named new Barcelona boss

And Babel is confident his former boss can be a success at the Camp Nou, despite the ongoing saga of Lionel Messi's contract.

"He's a very good coach," he said. "However, sometimes in football timing is very important. Right now, there's a lot going on in Barcelona. I just hope that it doesn't affect the process of him focusing on shaping his squad.

"He's a very good coach and able to bring successes back to Barcelona. For me, I think one of this strengths is give players responsibility and create a groups process ... a certain atmosphere that he's really making a building a team, even here. For us, Koeman created an atmosphere that everyone wanted to be a part of."

As for his own future, Babel envisages a potential final hurrah back in the English Premier League after the remaining two years of his contract in Galatasaray.

And then he will transition full-time into his other businesses, notably his property portfolio.

In and out of the sport, it has been a steep learning curve, and he is honest enough to admit to regrets.

"I had a time where I believed in good ideas very quick and then only me as a person had to invest financially in it. It goes wrong...and it happened to me a little bit too often, reflects Babel.

Older and wiser, he is flourishing both on and off the pitch.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 318763

Reported Deaths: 3652
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin673361116
Ramsey28256505
Anoka22583228
Dakota22414190
Washington14207116
Stearns13976117
St. Louis8991112
Scott859755
Wright795543
Olmsted681134
Sherburne601541
Clay508957
Carver486215
Kandiyohi420522
Rice419237
Blue Earth418016
Crow Wing364034
Otter Tail321723
Chisago315612
Nobles309930
Benton305751
Winona284830
Douglas266837
Mower265823
Polk261224
Morrison233829
Lyon223011
Beltrami219218
McLeod217914
Becker209416
Goodhue208428
Steele19917
Isanti194217
Itasca193923
Carlton191316
Todd182514
Nicollet164026
Mille Lacs157031
Freeborn15546
Le Sueur148811
Cass146010
Brown145715
Waseca139811
Pine13958
Meeker13289
Roseau12194
Martin117420
Hubbard115725
Wabasha10781
Redwood97919
Chippewa9147
Cottonwood8964
Renville89529
Dodge8700
Watonwan8634
Wadena8156
Sibley8004
Rock7889
Aitkin77830
Pipestone74118
Fillmore7240
Houston7134
Yellow Medicine66512
Pennington6638
Kanabec62713
Swift5998
Murray5953
Faribault5732
Pope5531
Clearwater5268
Stevens5243
Marshall5059
Jackson4961
Lake4326
Koochiching3996
Wilkin3925
Lac qui Parle3863
Unassigned38559
Lincoln3651
Norman3537
Big Stone3242
Mahnomen3044
Grant2806
Kittson2298
Red Lake2163
Traverse1491
Lake of the Woods1011
Cook770

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 229327

Reported Deaths: 2395
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk33896336
Linn14340166
Scott1132587
Black Hawk10968137
Woodbury10428129
Johnson964137
Dubuque927491
Story684522
Pottawattamie644070
Dallas641757
Sioux372725
Webster363936
Cerro Gordo359046
Marshall351246
Clinton333844
Buena Vista307314
Muscatine293469
Des Moines291620
Warren283214
Plymouth277142
Wapello257372
Jones233615
Jasper224344
Marion206821
Lee205017
Carroll199922
Bremer196712
Henry18417
Crawford176916
Benton171821
Tama154940
Jackson146513
Washington146215
Delaware144921
Dickinson140311
Boone138311
Mahaska127927
Wright12706
Clay11924
Buchanan118510
Hardin116510
Page11524
Hamilton11429
Clayton11238
Cedar109313
Harrison108630
Kossuth10847
Calhoun10757
Mills10647
Floyd106216
Fayette105610
Lyon10538
Butler10266
Poweshiek99713
Winneshiek98413
Iowa97612
Winnebago93124
Cherokee9014
Hancock8737
Sac8738
Grundy87111
Louisa86818
Chickasaw8664
Allamakee82811
Cass81823
Mitchell8035
Appanoose79912
Humboldt7855
Union7796
Shelby77311
Emmet76824
Guthrie76315
Franklin74321
Jefferson7252
Unassigned6950
Madison6924
Palo Alto6574
Keokuk6157
Pocahontas5644
Howard5619
Osceola5341
Greene5310
Ida50013
Clarke4904
Davis4739
Montgomery47011
Taylor4673
Monroe44712
Adair4418
Monona4402
Worth3690
Fremont3663
Van Buren3615
Lucas3296
Decatur3200
Wayne3027
Audubon3002
Ringgold2202
Adams1712
Rochester
Clear
31° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 17°
Feels Like: 26°
Mason City
Clear
28° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 17°
Feels Like: 21°
Albert Lea
Clear
30° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 18°
Feels Like: 24°
Austin
Clear
30° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 17°
Feels Like: 30°
Charles City
Clear
30° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 17°
Feels Like: 30°
Our Quiet Stretch of Weather Continues
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Sara's Tuesday Evening Forecast

Image

Recycling Christmas Lights

Image

Giving Tuesday

Image

Residents of Shady Oaks getting counseling

Image

Behind the curtain of Frontline Healthcare workers

Image

Somerby Country Club Has Virtual Holiday Events

Image

Autumn Ridge Church Dinates To Food Shelf

Image

Sean's Weather 12/1

Image

Eviction Moratoriums expiring

Image

National Believe Week benefits the Make a Wish Foundation

Community Events