Random Rarebits 2

Friday, July 07, 2006

Beautiful game, beautiful men

It's football to some, soccer to some, bolasepak to some. Whatever you call it, it's often called 'the beautiful game' - probably because of the skills and talents demonstrated by players in the field.

The beauty of this game is that you don't have to understand the game like an expert to really enjoy it. During World Cup 2006, you will see all mamak restaurants and stalls and cafes that offer big screen TVs filled to the brim with fans from all walks of life. Even non-football fans like me join football fan friends in watching the game. So, in a way, football enhances bonding among friends.

For the non-football fans, the good news is, even if you don't know a midfielder from a forward, World Cup 2006 is a unique opportunity for you to admire some of the most stunning sportsmen the world has to offer. Hehehe physically especially.

I'm not a diehard football fan so don't ask me about the game. I'm more interested in the players. Here are some eye candies for who shares my "passion" for the game, but not in any particular order.

* * *

To facilitate the rigorous and exhausting task of scrutinising the 32 teams taking part, let me present to you, with the help of a friend, some of the most beautiful men (gulp!) of World Cup 2006.

The sexiest team accolade must go to the searingly intense Italians, who boast four entries on our list. Portugal and England also get an honourable mention for their sexy squad. Sadly, with only five teams in the running, Africa's men didn't quite make the grade.

* * *

Fabio Cannavaro (Italy)

Gasp! Possibly the most beautiful man in football today. Born on 13 September 1973, Italy's skipper and the most capped player among the current Italian squad, Fabio Cannavaro is a stalwart of the Azzurri side.

What he lacks in height (175 cm), this Defender for Juventus makes up for with great anticipation, aggression and power - and of course a stunning body (72 kg), complete with a face Michelangelo would have killed to sculpt.

* * *

David Beckham (England)

What more can be said about David Beckham. David Beckham, born on 2 May 1975, is one of England's true ambassadors for the game of football. Midfielder for Real Madrid (ESP), he is renowned for his spectacular goals and his celebrity lifestyle, he is an idol and hero to many.

Beckham is undeniably one of the world's most gorgeous men - at 182 cm in height and 64kg in weight - a feature that's often overshadowed his sporting prowess. More than anything, however, Beckham is a dedicated professional, who takes immense pride in his role as England captain. His talent with a football was evident from an early age, and it has earned him unprecedented fame and wealth.

* * *

Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)

You don't get much hotter than Cristiano Ronaldo Santos Aveiro, Forward for Manchester United (ENG) Born on 5 February 1985, this 21 year old is one of the sexiest young talents in world football.

With his surging runs and dazzling skills performed at blistering pace, comparisons with his Brazilian namesake have been inevitable. Born on the island of Madeira, he began his footballing career at the age of 17. His rise to stardom since then has been nothing short of meteoric.

* * *

Andriy Shevchenko (Ukraine)

Former A.C. Milan striker, Andriy Shevchenko, who transferred to Chelsea in the 2006 close season, was born in Dvirkivshchyna, Kyev in the Ukraine on 29 September 1976. In 1999, Shevchenko joined Milan from Dynamo Kiev, where he had spent 5 succesful seasons.

He became the first non-Italian to be top scorer in a debut season in Italy with 24 goals in 32 matches. On 31 May 2006, Shevchenko was transferred to Chelsea for around £30 million.

Andriy Shevchenko has faced the seemingly impossible task of hauling his country along the path to Germany practically single-handed. Shevchenko has an excellent scoring record with his national team, Ukraine with nearly a goal every two games.

* * *

Dejan Stankovic (Serbia & Montenegro)

He was born on September 11, 1978) in Zemun, a suburb of Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. Both of his parents, Borislav and Dragica, had strong soccer (football) backgrounds. Stanković currently plays as a midfielder for Internazionale in Milan.

Previous club teams included Red Star Belgrade and Lazio of Rome. "Deki" made his international debut, for FR Yugoslavia, against South Korea on April 22, 1998. He occasionally captains the Serbia and Montenegro national football team. You may not quite know where exactly Serbia and Montenegro is, but Dejan Stankovic's good looks will inspire you to visit.

This cheeky midfielder has versatility and the ability to perform wherever he is needed. This Midfielder for Inter (ITA) is technically-gifted and an instinctive finisher, with an excellent sense of positioning and he has recently managed to bring his hair-trigger temper under control (ooh)..


Landon Donovan (United States)

Widely considered to be the best U.S. born talent the country has ever produced. This Midfielder led the Los Angeles Galaxy (USA ) to the MLS Cup and Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup titles in 2005, his first season with the club.

I could think of no better man tasked with popularising soccer in the US than the very desirable Landon Donovan. Blessed with an ability to press forward and get goals, he's described as the most talented and technically gifted American player of his generation. Born on 4 March 1982, this 24 year old three-time American Footballer of the Year is a player worth watching on and off the soccer field.


Luiz Figo (Portugal)

Luís Filipe Madeira Caeiro Figo was born on 4 November 1972 in in the working-class neighbourhood of Almada Lisbon, Portugal. Figo is a Portuguese international footballer, who plays as a midfielder and winger, currently for Inter Milan. Figo was the 2000 European Footballer of the Year, the 2001 FIFA World Player of the Year, and was named amongst the FIFA 100.

Known for his exceptional trickery and dribbling skills on either wing (though he predominantly plays on the right), Figo is one of the few footballers to have played for both the Spanish rival clubs FC Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Figo is one of the best-known faces in world football, and indisputably one of the most talented players to grace the game in recent years. Masterful with the ball at his feet, Figo's skills and leadership qualities have seen him ranked among the greatest Portuguese footballers of all time. Rugged, handsome and very much all man.


Nelson Haedo Valdez (Paraguay)

Nelson Antonio Haedo-Valdez, born 28 November 1983 in Caaguazú, is a Paraguayan football player. An attacker, he has played 6 matches for the Paraguay national football team. He currently plays as a Forward for Werder Bremen (Germany), a club he joined in 2001 just days after celebrating his 18th birthday, from Atletico Tembetary in Paraguay.

The spunky looking has represented his country at the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship and the 2004 Copa America. He also scored the vital qualifying goal against Venezuela which took Paraguay to the 2006 World Cup. While he still has some way to go to make his mark, we'd be happy to help with his ball handling skills.


Michael Ballack

Michael Ballack, born September 26, 1976 in Görlitz, then GDR is a German football player. He is contracted to Chelsea in the English Premier League from 2006 to 2009.

Michael Ballack, the 30 year old midfield maestro of Bayern Munich and Germany, is one of the few German players that the experts unanimously believe to be "world class". Germany's hopes rest largely on his shoulders if they are to win the 2006 FIFA World Cup, with the Chemnitz-born star coming under extreme scrutiny every time he takes to the field. Watch out for those killer blue eyes; they'll break your heart in two.


Gianluigi Buffon (Italy)

Boasting a searing Italian sensuality, Gianluigi Buffon was born in Carrara, Italy on 28 January 1978 into a Sporting family - his mother, Maria Stella was a disks thrower, his father Adriano was a weight lifter, his two sisters, Veronica and Guendalina, play volleyball and his uncle, Angelo Masocco, played basketball. He is also a nephew of former Milan and Italy goalkeeper Lorenzo Buffon.

As a young boy growing up in Italy, Gigi played as a midfielder. However he decided to change his position to goalkeeper after he lost the will to run, this proved to be a great decision as Gigi is now one of the greatest goalkeepers in the world.

The goalkeeper made his Serie A debut at the age of 17 years and was first-choice goalkeeper at Parma for six seasons before his world-record transfer to Juventus in 2001. It was here that he won his first Serie A title, a habit he's become used to.


Luca Toni (Italy)

Luca Toni (born May 26, 1977 in Pavullo nel Frignano, Modena) is an Italian football player. He plays as a striker for ACF Fiorentina and the Italian national team. He started his professional career at Modena in 1994.

After a Serie B season with Treviso in 1999, he moved to Vicenza Calcio, playing in Serie A for the first time. He then moved to Brescia Calcio and played for two seasons along-side Roberto Baggio. He joined Palermo in 2003 and aided the team to win Serie B by scoring thirty goals during the season, consequently gaining his first cap for the national team. In the following season, he scored twenty goals. In July 2005, he was transferred by Palermo owner, Maurizio Zamparini, to Fiorentina for €10m.

After nine seasons on Italy 's footballing periphery, the sultry Luca Toni has rocketed to the centre of attention with great goalscoring form. Tall, with great control on the ball and excellent finishing skills (ahem...) Toni has become Italy's number one striker in Serie A and the national team. We bet he's pretty much number one at whatever he does. On 30 June 2006, Toni scored two goals in the 2006 FIFA World Cup quarter-finals against Ukraine.


Alessandro Del Piero (Italy)

Alessandro Del Piero (born November 9, 1974 in Conegliano) is an Italian football player. He is currently the captain of Juventus and a member of the Italian national side.

Usually, Del Piero plays as a support-striker and occasionally between the midfield and the strikers (in the hole), known in Italy as the "Trequartista" position. He is not the tallest of forwards, but is certainly one of the most creative forwards in the world, rather than being a "goal poacher."

Del Piero is renowned for his deadly finishing, and the ease in which he dribbles past defenders. He is an expert in dead-ball situations as he is among the world's best in taking freekicks and penalty kicks. Particularly famous for inside-curling, dipping shot that he takes in the area that is up to 10 yards outside the penalty box, which is known as "La Zona Del Piero" meaning "The Del Piero Zone.

When the young Alessandro Del Piero joined Juventus, he was a physically slight man; he had to work hard to build muscle strength and speed. A combination of these new found attributes, outstanding technique and an eye for goal, soon earned him the nickname Pinturicchio - after the renaissance painter. Actually, I think he'd be much better suited as a painter's subject..


Michael Owen (England)

Michael James Owen (born December 14, 1979 in Chester, Cheshire) is an English football player. Currently with Newcastle United. He has also played for Liverpool and Real Madrid. He plays as a striker, and is noted particularly for his speed, acceleration and clinical finishing. He has enjoyed a hugely successful and high-profile career at both club and international level and was the European Footballer of the Year in 2001.

Michael Owen was just 18 when he etched his name on to the minds of football fans around the world with one of the goals of the 1998 FIFA World Cup. He became an instant global soccer star. At thirty his wholesome boy next door good looks remain a football fantasy come to life.


  • err ...

    unlike some other chicks, the least u didn't say sumthing like ... it's a game where 22 idiot guys running around chasing a ball ... phew.

    btw ... us guys do the same too ... even worse ... we do watch gymrama, synchronised swimming ... where we haven't a clue of how points are calculated. Still ... it's how the ladies look while they are synchronising themselves in the pool :-)

    By Blogger Azer Mantessa, at Sat Jul 08, 02:05:00 AM 2006  

  • yummy yummy, good collection of pics there..:)

    By Blogger Nour, at Sun Jul 09, 05:30:00 PM 2006  

  • beb,
    real footie fans won't consider cristiano ronaldo as hot & sexy; they call him "pussy", "christina" and "crybaby", he!he!

    By Blogger miss elly, at Mon Jul 10, 09:14:00 AM 2006  

  • mantessa: i understand, hehehe...

    nour: glad it's candy for your eyes :)

    miss elly: hehehe i'm a kaki bangku so i'm forgiven for some judgement errors on cristiano ronaldo. but damyn! he's hot aper....

    By Blogger Nel, at Mon Jul 10, 12:25:00 PM 2006  

  • nice...u tau semua pemain ek?

    zinade... he is the most repectful person..tapi semalam nye incident jadi buah mulut orang.

    cite dia nanduk ...and cite dia tu islam tak ramai yang tahu. kena carik sumber tu :)

    By Anonymous Soothsayer, at Mon Jul 10, 06:21:00 PM 2006  

  • soothsayer...

    biasa ler, bila manusia buat silap, sumer kejayaan dia yg lampau org tak ingat dah.

    By Blogger Nel, at Tue Jul 11, 07:30:00 PM 2006  

  • I only know two fellas here. Didn't watch a single match. Heh! Sports ain't my thing, even with the fit and able bods running about! You know what irritates me? When sportswomen start making their looks as important as their game. Right now, female golfers wear shorts when the males are still in classy trousers. Hmmmph..stupid. Oh dear, I feel a post coming on now. You take care. Glad you kicked you know who out of your life. Headbutt him too. (Z)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Jul 21, 10:33:00 PM 2006  

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