Winning a domestic league or cup competition is one thing, but this weekend UEFA will crown their kings of Europe, as Juventus and Barcelona compete for the converted prize of the Champions League trophy.
Barcelona are the arguable favourites having already won the accolade four times, and sailing through to the final thanks to the devastating attacking prowess of Messi, Neymar and Suarez.
But they face tough competition in the Italian side Juventus, notorious for their intrepid defending. They’re no strangers to European football, having won the cup in its various guises on two occasions already.
Spain began to record house prices towards the back end of 2005 a year after Messi joined Barcelona. During the 2005-2006 season Barca beat Arsenal in the Champions League final, at this time the average house in Barcelona would set you back around £425k, more than double the Spanish average.
The last time Barcelona won the Champions League, dispatching Manchester United in 2011, property prices in Spain were still buoyant. This was due in part to British expats and although prices had dropped by £8.5k since 2006, the average house in Spain still cost £173k rising to £472k in Barcelona.
During 2012 the Spanish market endured its biggest crash since records began, with property values dropping by 13% over the course of the year. Since then prices have continued to drop year on year in both Spain and Catalonia, with Barcelona also failing to reach the final during this time.
Although the market hasn’t bounced back to the heights of 2007, the average house price in Barcelona is now £440k, £320k more than the Spanish average having increased for the first time since 2011. The market in Barcelona is expected to continue this revival and although expensive for Spain, a house here is a far cheaper alternative to the ludicrous inflation of the London market.
Where the property market is concerned, the two teams are far more equally matched. Italy enjoyed a similar property boom to Spain, with prices peaking in 2008 having risen by 85% since 2000. Since then property in the country has been in free-fall, plummeting 8.6% in three years to 2011, when Pirlo joined Juventus.
During his time at the club the value of property fell a further 10.3% between 2011 and 2013, with Italy entering into recession in 2012. The good news for Andrea and the Italian property market, is that the forecast for the Italian economy is good and it is expected to grow by 0.9% in 2015. Although property prices will continue to fall over the course of 2015, by 2016 experts expect a small amount of growth, increasing throughout 2017.
It’s a tale of two halves if you’re considering a transfer to either city. Renting an apartment in Turin can save you some money for transfer fees, with a one bedroom apartment in the city centre around 25% cheaper than Barcelona and a three bedroom apartment about 15% so.
If you’re looking to buy it’s another story, Turin is marginally more expensive than Barcelona, with an apartment costing about another £70 a square metre in the city centre and another £185 a square metre in the surrounding areas.
Both offer a considerably cheaper investment than London, but we recommend a loan spell to trial them for a season, before committing to any lengthy contracts.