For those of us who live outside of Europe, it is surprising to hear about how much attention is paid to the wives and girlfriends of professional athletes over there. For example, I’ve been following the NBA since I was a little kid, and I have no idea who LeBron James’ wife is, or if he is even married. OK, I just looked it up. Her name is Savannah Brinson and I’ve never heard of her. Unless they are already very famous on their own terms—like Tom Brady’s wife Gisele Bündchen—or very outspoken—like Ayesha Curry—North Americans are perhaps not very interested in the relationships of its professional athletes. That is not to say that we don’t have our own bizarre celebrity fixations, but the significant others of athletes doesn’t seem to be one of them.
In England, they’ve got the acronym WAG, which stands for Wives and Girlfriends. The inverse of this is CHAP, which stands for Celebrity Husbands and Partners. Cute, right? The term WAG was invented by the British press around the time of the 2006 world cup, and has been the subject of books, articles, and TV shows. The concept has been criticized as sexist, as well as a distraction from sports, but that hasn’t stopped the interest. WAGs have political influence and are relevant in the fashion world.
The term WAG refers to all sports, but is focused on football. The pre-eminent WAG was probably Victoria Beckham while David was still playing. After that, it was probably Cristiano Ronaldo’s former girlfriend Irina Shayk. He dated the Russian model for around five years before they split. She has since started a relationship with American actor Bradley Cooper and they had a child together earlier this year. What this means is that we’re on the lookout for the world’s number one WAG.
Top 10 Most Beautiful Footballers’ Wives – 2018 Update
# 10 – Ana Ivanovic – Bastian Schweinsteiger’s Wife
Like a few others on this list, Ana Ivanovic is famous for a whole lot more than just dating a footballer. Born in Serbia, the twenty-nine year old is a retired tennis player who won fifteen Women’s Tennis Association titles and spent part of her career as the number one ranked female tennis player in the world. Her and Schweinsteiger started dating back in 2014 and got married in July of last year.
#9 – Candy-Rae Fleur – Daley Blind’s Girlfriend
Candy-Rae Fleur is a Dutch model and dancer who has danced professionally at events like the Video Music Awards. She has also spent time as a “broadcast media professional” which could mean any number of things really, but some say that she is the best-looking WAG associated with any Manchester United player. It is not surprising that she is a mega babe, considering that Daley Blind, who is also from the Netherlands, is an undeniably good-looking guy, even if his name is pretty silly.
#8 – Yolanthe Sneijder-Cabau – Wesley Sneijder’s Wife
Yolanthe Sneijder-Cabau is thirty two years old and was born in Ibiza, Spain. She has been voted the Sexiest Dutch Woman by a major Dutch radio station three times. Beyond just her looks, though, she is very involved in charity work. He is a co-founder and ambassador for an organization that aims to stop child prostitution in developing countries, both by freeing child prostitutes and to stop such situations from arising in the first place. Her and Sneijder seem to have had a fairly consistent, blissful relationship compared to some others on this list. They were married back in 2010, only a couple of days after he appeared in the World Cup Final. Photos of them in public reveal that she is a whole lot taller than he is.
#7 – Gabriella Lenzi – Neymar’s Girlfriend
As one of the best young football stars in the world and generally someone with a vibrant, exciting energy, it’s no surprise that Neymar could snag a beautiful woman. His current girlfriend is Gabriella Lenzi, a twenty two year old Brazilian model. They are known to have begun dating one another around the time of the 2014 World Cup. She is super active on Instagram, constantly posting pictures of herself doing advertisements or on vacation in tropical destinations. She has one and a half million followers, but doesn’t follow anyone: not even Neymar.
#6 – Lena Gercke – Sami Khedira’s Girlfriend
Sami Khedira, while clearly less talented than players like Ronaldo or Neymar, perhaps surpasses them in his skill for attracting beautiful women. Since 2011, he has been dating Lena Gercke, the 29 year old fashion model and television host from Germany. She began her modelling career back in 2004, when she won a casting call for, of all places, Burger King. In 2006, she joined Germany’s Next Top Model and won the competition. She is now the host of Austria’s Next Top Model, and is also the host of a ridiculous TV show called Prankenstein. In her modelling career, she has featured on the cover of plenty of magazines and has walked for New York Fashion Week.
#5 – Viktoria Varga – Graziano Pelle’s Girlfriend
This one is a little weird, and serves as a good example of how things that would be creepy for some are made normal by the presence of money and power. Graziano Pellè is a thirty one year old Italian striker who plays for a Chinese club as well as internationally for Italy. A few years ago, he saw Viktoria Varga on Facebook and began messaging her. Apparently, she was uneasy about the whole thing early on, but her mood changed when he flew out to meet her personally, and they have been together ever since. According to her fairly popular Instagram account, she is an “International model & Influencer.” More than half of her photos are of her lounging on beaches; it’s worth a look.
#4 – Sara Carbonero – Iker Casillas’s Wife
Everyone says that goaltenders are always a little crazy, but that didn’t deter the Spanish sports journalist and television presenter Sara Carbonero from getting married to Iker Casillas. She was named The Sexiest Reporter in the world by an American publication back in 2009. Casillas is considered to be one of the greatest goaltenders, if not just of recent memory than of all time. He has ridiculous reflexes and shot-stopping ability, and has been a mainstay on the Spanish national team for years. He is also, as many publications have pointed out, unusually good-looking for a goaltender. The couple have two sons named Lucas and Martin. They were married in March of 2016. During the 2010 World Cup, controversy arose when Carbonero was accused of distracting Casillas during a game against Switzerland, causing Spain to lose unexpectedly. Carbonero and her crew had been standing only a few feet away from where Casillas was playing in net. People also began to question her credibility as a journalist when she interviewed Casillas after the game.
#3 – Pilar Rubio Fernandez – Sergio Ramos’ Girlfriend
As has become a common trend on this list, Pilar Rubio Fernandez is a reporter and television presenter. It’s hard to tell which way to interpret this trend. Perhaps footballers are frequently encountering reporters and presenters and it is a way for them to meet and begin dating. Or, perhaps beautiful women with connections to famous athletes have an easier time establishing themselves in the media. Regardless, this relationship has stood the test of time so far. Coming in at third on this list of the top ten footballers’ wives and girlfriends is Sergio Ramos’ girlfriend, Pilar Rubio Fernandez. She began dating the Real Madrid captain back in 2012, and since then they have had two sons, named Sergio and Marco. In the years 2008 and 2009, Pilar was declared to be the Sexiest Woman Alive by a Spanish magazine. She has had a huge number of different reporting, acting, and presenting gigs in a long career that has lasted for a decade and seems poised to continue.
#2 – Ann-Kathrin Brömmel – Mario Gotze’s Girlfriend
Ann-Kathrin Brömmel is a twenty seven year old German model, singer, blogger, and popular social media presence. She has been involved in modelling in Germany since she was only sixteen years old. Apparently, her and Gotze met in a club in 2012 and developed a strong relationship immediately. Gotze is a young star in the football world. At only twenty five years of age, he is fast and versatile and a good playmaker. He’s not a tall player, at only 5’9, but he has been described as one of Germany’s brightest young talents, and he scored the winning goal at the 2014 World Cup.
#1 – Shakira – Gerald Pique’s Girlfriend
Who else could be number one but Shakira on this list of the top footballers’ wives and girlfriends? She is the only WAG on this list who is way more famous globally than her footballer boyfriend. Shakira, from Columbia, is a singer and a producer and a dancer and one of the best selling Latin American artists to ever exist. Appropriately, her and Pique met at the World Cup back in 2010. That year, she wrote and performed the anthem, “Waka Waka.” They have been together ever since, and have a pair of children.
And, as we come to the end of a list of this nature, I have to wonder why we care about things like famous people’s personal lives and wives. What does liking football have to do with wanting to know the details of the players’ lives? What does this kind of information provide for us and why? And if we only have one life, would we spend any portion of it speculating about whether people we will never meet, and who will never think about us or care about us in any way, are in happy relationships? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s about using people who have unlimited access to money, resources, and the supposed “best” kinds of things that life has to offer as ways of gauging or own relationships. If an extremely famous and attractive athlete can’t keep things going with his well-educated, model girlfriend, maybe it’s not so bad that I’m not perfect in my relationships either. Or, if a national hero who is under immense pressure in the media all day is able to sustain a relationship that seems positive and normal with someone who has an equally demanding life, maybe that gives people hope about the ability of their own relationships to survive in the face of strain or challenges. Or maybe we just like to see a nice face and body.
Let us know who we missed in the comments section below.