With the first match Thursday, we thought we’d recap the players you need to know…for style points of course. Whether you like the player or not, style recognizes style. Here are our picks, in no particular order, for the most fashionable soccer players that have played and are playing in the FIFA World Cup.
#1 Cristiano Ronaldo
We all know the name. Winner of the FIFA Ballon d’Or in 2013. Real Madrid forward. Playing for Portugal in the World Cup. But off the field, number 7 knows how to dress. An advantage to being one of the greatest soccer players in the world (and the highest earning)–you’ve got the body to wear the clothes you want. Cristiano clearly understands the importance of fit. His tux looks expertly tailored. Even his tee shirts hang in the right way. I think it’s safe to say the guy’s got style. He’s sponsored by Armani, Nike, and Coke. Portugal’s first match is on Monday, June 16th.
#2 David Beckham
You all knew he’d make this list, right? Apart from being married to a celebrated fashion designer, Beckham has always made headlines for his style. Usually, for his hair. And even though he’s retired now, he deserves a spot. He has mastered the casual look. Try and tell me you didn’t just consider wearing a beanie? Former England player, as well as a slew of club teams (Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, L.A. Galaxy, Man. U, etc.). Even though he won’t be playing in this year’s World Cup, he is featured in one of Adidas advertisements.
#3 Robin van Persie
Striker for Manchester United. #20. Playing for the Netherlands in the World Cup. Van Persie is known for his shooting technique but currently injured. His healthy status is still up in the air, but he seems confident he’ll be ready to play. We’re confident that the 30 year old has a penchant for good leather jackets. Friday, June 13th van Persie and the Netherlands national team take on Spain at 3 p.m. (ET). Robin has spoken about “avoiding commercial avenues” and sponsorship in order to focus on the game.
#4 Claudio Marchisio
Anyone who can pull off tortoise-shell, horn-rimmed glasses clearly knows a thing or two about men’s fashion. The 28 year old Italian soccer player (Juventus F.C. for club) has been featured in GQ Italia so you already know he’s making headlines for his style. This shades-of-gray airport look gets a thumbs up from us. He is sponsored by Jeep and Hugo Boss. Watch the central midfielder play in Italy’s first match–Saturday, June 14th (against our #6 pick!)
#5 Thierry Henry
Former Arsenal/New York Red Bulls forward (played for France in World Cup 2010). We tried to get a picture of Henry in something other than a suit, but then just decided, why bother…the man can rock a suit. We especially like this brown and navy combo. Thierry was known for his Nike sponsorship, but switched to Reebok in a somewhat surprising move. He won’t be in the FIFA World Cup this year but, he recently joined Twitter. Follow his soccer commentary @ThierryHenry.
#6 Tom Cleverley
In true Brit fashion, Cleverley wears a pair of suede Oxfords with casual looks. Choosing clean cut outfits with a focus on fit. The 25 year old plays for the Manchester United club team as # 23. He is a center attacking midfielder. Look for his “Spanish playing style” (his words) when he plays for England in the World Cup. Their first match is on Saturday, June 14th versus Italy.
Basketball has made recent headlines for having the most fashionable players in sports, we aren’t so sure that’s the case anymore. Did we miss your favorite players? Think anyone else deserved a spot on the list? Let us know. And tune in to the FIFA World Cup Thursday, June 12th through July 13th.