Suman Chakraborty: The FIFA World Cup is not just about the sublime football amongst the best football playing nations, it’s not just about Ronaldo’s free kick, Messi’s dribble or DeGea’s saves, the WAGs of the stars too drag equal attractions from the fans.
The mega event kicks off next month and many of the top footballers on the planet will be watched from their stands by their wives and girlfriends. Today, www.xtratime.in takes a look at some of the glamorous babes who might be cheering on from the stands.
In the old days – before reality TV – footballers’ wives were meek and dowdy matrons who were almost invisible except on the biggest occasions.
But then came Victoria Beckham, Cheryl Cole and Coleen Rooney — wives of England stars David, Ashley and Wayne respectively.
So when the FIFA World Cup kicks off on June 14 the names of the wives and girlfriends (WAGs) of players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Mario Gotze trip off the tongue almost as easily as the players themselves.
Ronaldo & Georgina
Ronaldo, whose Real Madrid team will be hoping to win the Champions’ League Final against Liverpool later this month, is currently dating 22-year-old Spanish model Georgina Rodriguez.
Messi & Antonella
Messi, 30, married his 29-year-old girlfriend Antonella Roccuzzo in their native Argentina last summer. The couple too would be a star attraction off the field in Russia.
England Team Has Army of WAGs
The UK media is one of the most celebrity-obsessed in the world and the England team possesses a clutch of high-profile WAGs.
Liverpool star Nathaniel Clyne and his girlfriend Carla Howe would be an attraction for the fans. Tottenham star Dele Alli is currently “walking out” with stunning model Ruby Mae, 23, while Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling has a son, Thiago, with former shop worker Paige Milian, who has 32,000 followers on Instagram.
Mo Salah & Magi
One player whose wife you are unlikely to see in a bikini or a low-cut dress is Liverpool’s Egyptian striking sensation Mo Salah.
He married Magi in 2013 — she wore a modest Muslim-style wedding dress — and his daughter Makka (Mecca) is named after the holy city in Saudi Arabia.
They include Katerina Akinfeev, whose husband Igor is the national team’s goalkeeper, and Anastasia Kostenko, the runner-up in the Miss Russia beauty pageant, who married Lokomotiv Moscow midfielder Dmitry in January.
Mario Gotze & Anne-Kathrin Brommel
German attacker Gotze’s kiss to Brommel’s was equally discussed with the trophy-winning goal he scored against Germany to win the title in 2014. This couple would be a star attraction for the fans in Russia as well.