The Most Glamorous World Cup Wives and Girlfriends
Players Wifes And Girlfriends
While the sports press will focus on the action on the pitch, the 2018 FIFA World Cup is a chance for the lifestyle pages to go crazy for the wives and girlfriends. The men on the pitch are some of the most famous and highly-paid athletes in the world, but who are their partners?
Inevitably there are actresses, television presenters and models on the list of wives and girlfriends. Here are some that you might recognise and a few you almost certainly won't.
Husband: Gerard Pique, Spain.
Shakira is an international megastar in her own right. The Colombian singer was listed in Forbes' 100 Most Powerful Women in the World list from 2012-2015. She has used her influence for humanitarian work in Colombia and the rest of the world.
She's a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and has her own foundation that funds schools and medical care for 4000 underprivileged children in Colombia. She even wrote and performed the theme tune for the 2010 World Cup. She's that famous.
In 2011 Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll married Barcelona star Gerard Pique. Now the power couple have two children.
Pique is one of Spain's most decorated footballers and he's an absolute general in defence for the national team and Barcelona. He is a legend of the game that has won World Cups, Euro Championships and Champions League medals. But, even he cannot hold a candle to his wife's international fan base.
The 41-year-old could come along to support her husband as he takes the field for Spain in Russia. If she does, the lifestyle press will have a field day.
2. Han Hye Jin
Husband: Ki Sung Yeung, South Korea
This South Korean actress is adored in her homeland but she could wander the streets of Russia in total anonymity.
She has appeared in hit soap operas, hosted talk shows and starred in hard-hitting period dramas. Now she has a daughter with celebrated South Korean footballer Sung Yeung and they are part of the South Korean 'celebrity circuit'.
He is the national team's captain, which he has played for since 2007, so he is a hometown hero as well. He plays his club football for Swansea in England. The 29-year-old will want to make an impression with his countrymen in this World Cup.
3. Cathy Hummels
Husband: Matts Hummels, Germany
In 2015, Cathy Fischer married Bayern Munich star Matts Hummels. The television presenter still works and has become an Instagram influencer, with more than 300,000 followers.
The pair have a child, but it's possible they could all make the trip to watch Hummels and his team defend the World Cup.
Hummels is, quite simply, one of the world's best defenders. He was on the shortlist for the Golden Ball Award in the 2014 World Cup and he has played his part on one of the most effective German teams of all time since 2010.
4. Margaret Natsuki
Partner: Shinji Kagawa, Japan
She is so famous in her native Japan that she has only one name: Maggy.
The Japanese-Canadian-Scottish model is more famous than her footballer boyfriend. We expect to see her at the World Cup in some capacity. She will draw in the Japanese crowds on TV.
Kagawa is a megastar in the German Bundesliga, where he plays for Borussia Dortmund. An ill-fated move to Manchester United didn't work out so he returned to Dortmund and has flourished ever since.
He has been a mainstay on the Japanese national team since 2008 and he carries the weight of his nation on his shoulders this time around as well.
5. Maja Nilsson
Partner: Victor Lindelof, Sweden
Maja Nilsson is a popular blogger in her native Sweden who is together with Manchester United footballer Victor Lindelof. They are now power players in their homeland.
She will almost certainly make the trip to Russia to check out the fashion and atmosphere while Manchester United defender Lindelof gives his all on the pitch.
6. Georgina Rodriguez
Partner: Cristiano Ronaldo
Spanish model Georgina Rodriguez will certainly turn a few heads if she's in the crowd in Russia.
Cristiano Ronaldo recently ended a five-year relationship with Russian model Irina Shayk, and now he is with 22-year-old Spaniard Rodriguez. Inevitably, as the partner of the world's most famous footballer and, until recently, eligible bachelor, her social media following is simply massive.
She's an influencer, a celebrity merely by association with CR7 himself, and she could be one of this year's off-field stars.
She is also the mother of his fourth child, which has attracted a lot of attention to their relationship in the media.
6. Pilar Rubio Fernandez
Husband: Sergio Ramos, Spain
The Spanish television presenter married Sergio Ramos in 2012, but she has continued her work as a television presenter and celebrity.
Pilar Rubio Fernandez might not be quite as famous as Shakira, but she still cuts an impressive figure next to Ramos and they are undoubtedly part of the Spanish A-List.