Once in four years, we girls are offered a one-month window of opportunity when we can impress our male, football-frenzied boyfriends/husbands with our knowledge of football players. If we pick the right footie stars (read handsome), maybe we can even get our men to be just a little jealous! As football fever grips us, we give you a list of crush-worthy stars of this edition of the FIFA World Cup. We also give you one little fact about these players so that you have a ready-reckoner!
 

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi

This may be the star’s last chance to inspire his team, Argentina to lift the coveted Cup, and we wish him and his team the best of luck. He has been a terror to defences in the best of opponent teams and we hope this is the end to his wait for the elusive trophy.

Fact: When he scores a goal, he celebrates by lifting his arms to the sky as a gesture to his grandmother who passed away when he was young.

 

Christiano Ronaldo

Christiano Ronaldo

At 34, the man shows no signs of slowing down. His uncanny ability to turn the game in his team’s favour, his speed and agility have gained him a formidable reputation amongst his opponents. If you have not seen his now-famous bicycle kick, we suggest you go watch it now!

Fact: Ronaldo got into the Academy for Sporting in Lisbon because his friend Albert Fantrau sacrificed an opportunity to make a goal during a youth club match so Ronaldo could take the goal. When asked why Fantrau passed the opportunity, he simply said that Ronaldo was better than him. Ronaldo didn’t forget the gesture by his friend and till date, makes sure his friend lives a luxurious life.

 

Neymar

Neymar

Brazil’s hopes of a World Cup are fuelled largely by the presence of this player. Neymar is the most expensive footballer in the history of the game, and his dribbling, finishing and skill with both feet have earned him a devout following.

Fact: He became father to a son at age 19 and scored his 100th professional goal on his 20th birthday.

 

Eden Hazard

Eden Hazard

Belgium’s hope of winning the World Cup title rests on the young shoulders of this hugely talented player. All of 27, Eden Hazard has become famous for his dribbling, his agility and his attacking vision, which helps him find those gaps between defenders.

Fact: Football runs in the family. His mother, Carine Hazard was a professional football player in the Belgian Women’s First Division and only quit when she became pregnant with Eden. He has three brothers who also play football, one of them being Thorgan Hazard who has played for Chelsea.

 

Harry Kane

Harry Kane

At 24, this young player will be championing the English campaign for world domination. He is a sensation on the field and his striking abilities are unparalleled.

Fact: Just to prove how skilled he is, he has scored 66 goals with his right foot, 21 with his left foot and 14 with his head! Talk about skill!