It’s not common. However, glamour and Football have a prolific association. Not only is the game a celebrated event of the world, it’s also an extremely popular affair. Especially the World Cup event is capable of propagating not just uncouth behavior but also deep hysteria. The fans are as much a part of the news, as the players and the coaches. Each player’s personal life is subject to varied opinions, and much of the brunt of the constant perusal by the unapologetic paparazzi is borne by the people closest to the players (read family members, girlfriends, wives etc). The popularity of the game has had a resounding effect on the popularity of the players. The iconic status, the lavish lifestyle, the adoring fans and the glamorous girlfriends or spouses, all in all every minute detail related to the players is open to speculation and debate. And by and by, football in contemporary context has, therefore, come to be associated with power and glamour. All we mortals succumb easily to the lure of beauty and glamour and style. So, we decided to leverage this aspect of the game and, the various faces of the players and their near and dear ones, who over the years, have come to be recognized as the ‘Style Icons’ or ‘Glamour Dolls’ much like the Hollywood style brigade. Read on for some juicy tit-bits…
The Iconic Footballers and Their Iconic Better-halves
Unlike football’s less glamorous cousin, cricket, where only the players are in the limelight, the footballers’ girlfriends or wives are as popular with the media as their iconic partners. In fact, names like Posh, Cheryl and Colleen have become synonymous with style and glamour. They are the style icons for millions of ‘want to-bes’, across the globe. Their ever changing hairstyles, couture styles and mannerisms are minutely studied and inculcated by eager teenagers and adults, alike. But, there is more to these women than just the way they look and function. They have been successful individuals in their own right prior to being associated with their popular partners. In fact some of them are still pursuing successful careers as models, actresses, television presenters and even pop stars.
Victoria Beckham, the former Posh Spice, is the wife of the most glamorous player, David Beckham. Her steady and constant image transformation, from a pop singer to being the wife of the man with ‘Golden Balls’ and a mother of three, is probably stuff that gets chronicled. Posh has not just acquired a larger than life image, but has also dealt with issues relating to her husband’s adulterous affairs and her own weight problems to rumors about a marriage collapse, with stoic dignity. Of course all these instances have only added to her ever increasing fan following and cult status. An excellent PR exercise, indeed! Then there is Cheryl Tweedy, the lead singer of Girls Aloud, who is rumored to become English striker Ashley Cole’s wife in the very near future. Cheryl Tweedy along with Wayne Rooney’s teenager girlfriend, Colleen McLoughlin – all of 18 years, are the emerging glamour dolls. Perhaps we will come to know them as plain ‘Wayleen’ (Wayne and Colleen). That is, if it lasts. While Cheryl is used to being under the limelight, Colleen is learning the ropes. Model Kristen Park, who is married to the, twice, European footballer of the year, Andriy Schevchenko is also a famous star, snapped by the hungry paparazzi whenever she goes, and manages to catch as much media attention as her talented husband.
The Fashionable Connection
Many a footballers have been able to leave their mark not just on field, but off the field as well. Some have also modeled for reputed fashion houses. The more famous are often seen endorsing everything from colas to underwear!
Armani was the first to introduce the footballers in to the world of fashion. David James, the Liverpool goalkeeper, was the first to walk the ramp in 1950. David’s contemporary football mates, David Beckham and Freddie Ljungberg (Sweden) have not been far behind. They earn mega bucks, not just as professional footballers but as the faces of designer brands like Police sunglasses and Calvin Klein underwear, respectively. After having posed for Calvin Klein under wears, Freddie has definitely become the latest pin-up boy. But no one can beat Tranmere’s Eugene Dadi who launched his own fashion collection together with his French girlfriend Joana Varela da Veiga! Therefore, Tranmere Rovers are aiming to be top of the league for style with a new team strip of suits designed by their striker Dadi. The Prenton Park forward has a ‘second job’ as a bespoke tailor, cut out with his men’s wear label, Huge.n. And one of Dadi’s range of suits will now be worn by Tranmere’s players for their away games.
The Hollywood Connection
From the pages of glamorous fashion magazines to being the central story ideas for Hollywood blockbusters, the football players have covered numerous miles. There are big time Hollywood releases based on the lives and times of football like Gregory’s Girl, Bend It like Beckham, Football Factory, Green Street and Goal. Making of Goal did involve a lot of Premier stars, the football establishment and the players. This association with Hollywood has no doubt further enhanced the glamour quotient associated with football.
Entertainment, fashion and football have become so interlinked that last season’s top scorer becomes this season’s hottest and most fashionable male. A pro on the pitch, he can fare amazingly well in the world of fashion too.
So, leaving aside the popularity gained by playing the game, footballers are looked upon as being glamorous because of their larger than life celebrity lifestyle and their constant link-ups with models and super models from the fashion fraternity. Their king size profiles are a healthy match with Hollywood’s biggest stars as they also spend a considerable amount of time in front of the camera, be it playing or shooting for commercials. Also the role of the paparazzi cannot be denied in creating this hype. The role that the footballers and their partners play in the life of their fans cannot be negated and perhaps their individual style statements have led to their apparent rise as Glamour Icons and it will not be long before they will start dictating fashion trends.