Let's face it: half the fun in watching the World Cup is the eye candy. Football players have always been extremely attractive, due to their lean physiques, speed, talent and cheekiness.
So while the teams are busy playing for their country, there's also a different kind of competition going on behind the scenes. And don't think these guys don't know it; the amount of hair wax that each player has on his head when the game starts and all the unnecessary stripping after the game is proof that they know just exactly what the fangirls (and some boys) watching want.
So here is Star Lifestyle's very own list of hottest players to look out for in the World Cup 2014. Players have been selected based on not only how good they look, but also how well they play. To prevent arguments, both in our own office and between readers, we have listed them in random order.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
You can't have a “hottest players” list without having C.Ron in it. Anyone who has watched his “Castrol Tested to the Limit” YouTube videos knows that he is probably the perfect human being, be it in terms of physique or athletic ability. No explanations needed as to why he's hot; his latest cover on Vogue Spain did enough talking for all of us. Our only qualms are the recently plucked eyebrows; someone tell this man he is perfect just the way he is!
Iker Casillas (Spain)
Hands down the best looking goalkeeper in the world, the tall, dark and handsome Casillas has a very elegant look befitting of a movie star. Casillas and his team are returning this year as defending champions. We hope his team makes it to the finals simply because we wouldn't know where to look if we didn't have the Spanish team to ogle at!
Neymar Jr. (Brazil)
At just 21 years old, Neymar is a proven goal scorer who has attracted interest from Barcelona, Chelsea and Real Madrid. There's no doubt he will grow up to be quite an attractive man, as promised by his chocolate-y skin and sleepy eyes. Brazil's hopes are high for this young star. We just hope he gets a better haircut soon.
Gerard Pique (Spain)
Pique has the distinguished good looks of a gentleman. His height and comparatively lighter skin tone, hair and eye colour set him apart from his teammates in the Spanish squad. Off the field, he's also married to Shakira and has a beautiful baby boy. We'll try to forget about the fact that he's taken and just focus on how good he looks when he smiles during the games!
Mesut Ozil (Germany)
We love Ozil because he is proof that you don't need conventional good looks to be extremely attractive. There's something really cute about his goldfish eyes, and the fact that he is such an amazing player doesn't hurt. In a mostly cocky sport like football, there's nothing hotter than modesty, which is why someone like Ozil, who is dubbed “the king of goal assists”, has won both our respect and our hearts.
Fernando Llorente (Spain)
This striker has made a name for himself in his club, but often falls in the shadow of other strikers in the Spanish national squad. We hope to see more of him this year, as his dreamy looks and curly hair have a certain irresistible, old-world charm.
Mats Hummels (Germany)
One of the best defenders out there, big-name premier league teams have their eyes on Hummels once transfer season starts. We have our eyes on Hummels because of his pretty-boy good looks and charming smile.
Olivier Giroud (France)
A handsome guy with a French accent pretty much knocks everyone else out of the park. The striker who plays for Arsenal is hot and he knows it, regularly posing with next to nothing on in magazines. Now that Thierry Henry has retired from the national team, it's pretty sweet that we have another Frenchman to covet this time around.
Jack Wilshere (England)
This guy started making headlines when he was only 17 years old. Facing a lot of ups and downs, the now 22-year-old has played a pivotal role in helping Arsenal win the FA Cup after 9 years. Wilshere has the face of an English gentleman, winning a lot of hearts along the way.
Jesus Navas (Spain)
One look into this Spanish midfielder's beautiful eyes, and all is lost. When you Google his name, Google suggests you search “Jesus Navas eyes”. That's pretty much self-explanatory. We hope and pray that there are lots of close-ups of this man during Spain's games.
Hot WAGs (Wives and Girlfriends)
You can't talk about hot football players without talking about their lady loves. Russian model Irina Shayk, girlfriend of Cristiano Ronaldo, definitely tops the charts. Other WAG's to mention are Casillas's girlfriend Spanish TV Presenter Sara Carbonero and Pique's wife Colombian singer Shakira.