TIME Culture

Soccer Wives: Here Are the World Cup WAGs You Should Know

They're more than just the wives and girlfriends of the best soccer players in the world

The wives and girlfriends of the world’s best soccer players are celebrities in their own right: gossip columnists follow them; they inspire think pieces; they get credit for their beaus’ wins and blamed for their losses; they have millions of followers on Instagram. Successful couples can even earn godlike status: Just look at David and Victoria Beckham.

The term “WAG” may imply that these women are just arm candy, but many have cultivated careers of their own, either before or after achieving true WAG status. Some WAGs are journalists, others supermodels. Many are moms, and of course some are just one girlfriend in a long line of infamous flings.

Here are the 2014 World Cup WAGs you should follow as you tune in to the world’s most-watched sporting event.

  • Shakira (Gerard Pique)

    2014 Billboard Music Awards - Arrivals
    Shakira and Gerard Pique attend the 2014 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 18, 2014 in Las Vegas. Frazer Harrison—Getty Images

    Shakira needs no introduction. The international pop sensation has provided the music (officially and unofficially) for two World Cups and is even more famous than her soccer-playing boyfriend, Spanish defender Gerard Pique. Ten years Pique’s senior, Shakira did not confirm her relationship with him until March 2011. She and Pique welcomed a son together in January 2013. She told Ocean Drive Magazine of their relationship, “Gerard doesn’t tell me what to do. We discuss everything as a couple, as I imagine most partners do. We have a beautiful relationship and one of mutual trust.”

  • Irina Shayk (Cristiano Ronaldo)

    FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala 2013
    FIFA Ballon d'Or nominee Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal and Real Madrid and Irina Shayk arrive during the FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala 2013 at the Kongresshalle on January 13, 2014 in Zurich. Martin Rose—Bongarts/Getty Images

    Talk about a power couple: Cristiano Ronaldo is currently the world’s best soccer player and Shayk is a highly sought-after international model. The Russian model has appeared in the last eight issues of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Shayk and Portugal forward Ronaldo recently posed on the cover of Vogue Spain. In an interesting reversal of naked magazine covers, Shayk stayed covered up while Ronaldo went completely nude.

  • Coleen Rooney (Wayne Rooney)

    Racegoers On Liverpool Day At The Grand National Meet At Aintree
    Manchester United's Wayne Rooney and his wife Coleen watch the racing during the first day of the Aintree Grand National meeting on April 12, 2012 in Aintree, England. Christopher Furlong—Getty Images

    Coleen and Wayne Rooney (a.k.a. Wayleen) met each other at age 12 in a Liverpool suburb. The two began dating at 16 and married in 2008. Rooney writes a weekly column for OK! magazine. The forward for England and his wife have two children together.

  • Fanny Neguesha (Mario Balotelli)

    AC Milan v Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Round of 16
    Mario Balotelli and Fanny Neguesha attend the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg match between AC Milan and Barcelona at San Siro Stadium on February 20, 2013 in Milan. Claudio Villa—Getty Images

    Italian forward Mario Balotelli popped the question to girlfriend Fanny Neguesha in Brazil just days before Italy’s opening match against England. Balotelli wrote on Instagram, “She said yes.. The most important yes in my life. That was the place of my question! I Love you and happy birthday too! Je t’aime my WIFE.”

  • Sara Carbonero (Iker Casillas)

    Sara Carbonero and Iker Casillas Present Their Newborn Child in Madrid - January 8, 2014
    Real Madrid's goalkeeper Iker Casillas and sports journalist Sara Carbonero present their newborn child Martin at Ruber International Hospital on January 8, 2014 in Madrid. Europa Press/Getty Images

    Carbonero made her name as a Spanish sports journalist and TV presenter before meeting now-boyfriend Iker Casillas. In 2010, when Switzerland upset World Cup favorite Spain, many fans blamed Carbonero for distracting her goalie boyfriend by filming a reporting segment before the game. “Can I destabilize the team?I think it is nonsense,” she told her own TV station, Telecino. Off the field, the couple welcomed a baby in January 2014.

  • Melissa Satta (Kevin-Prince Boateng)

    SPORT-FBL-RACISM-UN-FIFA-UEFA-BOATENG-POEPLE
    AC Milan's Kevin-Prince Boateng and Ghanian National stands with his girlfriend Melissa Satta after a panel discussion on racism and sport on March 21, 2013 at the United Nations Office in Geneva. Fabrice Coferini—AFP/Getty Images

    The fiancée of Ghanaian forward Kevin-Prince Boateng has a history of going out with soccer players: She used to date now-retired Italian center forward Christian Vieri. The Italian model has appeared in Maxim and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and has more than a million followers on Twitter.

  • Pilar Rubio (Sergio Ramos)

    Sergio Ramos and Pilar Rubio Present Their Son
    Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos and Pilar Rubio present their newborn son Sergio outside Hospital La Moraleja on May 9, 2014 in Madrid. Paolo Blocco—GC Images

    Spanish reporter and TV presenter Pilar Rubio, who studied economics in school, confirmed her relationship with Spanish defender Sergio Ramos in 2012. She’s almost a decade older than the soccer player. The two had a child in May, just before the World Cup. She tweeted the birth announcement, saying that the couple was naming the baby Sergio Ramos Rubio — after his father— to her 4.3 million Twitter followers.

     

  • Ann Kathrin Brommel (Mario Gotze)

    Oktoberfest 2013 - FC Bayern München
    FC Bayern München's Mario Götze and Ann Kathrin Brömmel on June 10, 2013 at Oktoberfest in Munchen, Germany. Felix Hörhager—Picture Alliance/AP

    Ann-Kathrin Brommel competed on Germany’s Next Top Model before launching her modeling career. She’s dating Mario Gotze, a midfielder for Germany.

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