20 Top La Liga Stars and Their WAGS
Since the acronym "WAG" was coined for the wives and girlfriends accompanying the England team at the 2006 World Cup, footballer's partners have become a huge part of British culture. Some loathe them, many aspire to be one of them, and virtually every professional player wishes to have one.
Take a look around the Spanish tabloids, however, and you will note that WAG culture is just as big—if not bigger—on the Iberian peninsula.
For your consideration, B/R has collated the top 20 Liga stars and their better halves...
Leo Messi and Antonella Roccuzzo
Antonella Roccuzzo is a 25-year-old model from Leo Messi's native Argentina, where they have known each other since childhood.
In November 2012, she gave birth to the World Player of the Year in 20 years time, Thiago Messi.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Irina Shayk
Perhaps the most aesthetically pleasing footballer and WAG couple on the planet, Cristiano Ronaldo met Sports Illustrated cover model Irina Shayk in May 2010, supposedly via their respective Armani underwear campaigns.
The 27-year-old Russian will make her acting debut next year in the movie Hercules: The Thracian Wars. It's directed by Brett Ratner, so obviously, it will be delightful.
Iker Casillas and Sara Carbonero
Sky Sports aren't the only network with a policy of employing exceptionally attractive broadcast journalists.
Twenty-nine-year-old Telecinco presenter Sara Carbonero was blamed for distracting Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas during their 2010 World Cup match with Switzerland (but she obviously didn't stop them from progressing to the final).
At the time of writing, Carbonero is eight months pregnant with Casillas' baby.
Gerard Pique and Shakira
The world's most globally recognisable football power couple—outside of the Beckhams—might be Barcelona's Gerard Pique and Shakira.
The Colombian pop star—whose hips are capable only of telling the truth—met Pique in early 2010 when he appeared in her music video for "Waka Waka (This time for Africa)," the official song of the 2010 World Cup.
She gave birth to their son Milan in January 2013.
Sergio Ramos and Pilar Rubio
Sergio Ramos—winner of the Most Handsome Man in the World Award as voted by Sergio Ramos—has had a number of high-profile girlfriends, and his current partner is no exception.
Pilar Rubio is a popular Spanish reporter and TV presenter based in Madrid. She was recently a guest on a daily entertainment show when Ramos came out and surprised her with some singing and flamenco guitar.
Alexis Ruano and Elizabeth Reyes
Aforementioned handsome devil Sergio Ramos used to be in a relationship with model, TV personality and former Miss Spain candidate Elisabeth Reyes.
The 28-year-old caused quite a stir in Spain when she started a relationship with Getafe defender Alexis Ruano in 2009.
Mario Suarez and Malena Costa
Ateltico Madrid defensive midfielder Mario Suarez is lucky enough to go out with frequently underdressed fashion model Malena Costa. You can see more of her work on her Twitter feed.
According to a recent interview, she saw her first football match when she was 16, she has two dogs and her life motto is "anything is possible."
Costa was used to the WAG lifestyle before she met Suarez, as she previously romanced a popular figure at the Nou Camp...
Carles Puyol and Vanesa Lorenzo
How on earth does Carles Puyol do it?
He looks like Captain Caveman and freely admits that he never goes out, but the shaggy-haired Blaugrana defender used to call the aforementioned Malena Costa his girlfriend.
Now, his partner is 36-year-old fashion model Vanesa Lorenzo.
Perhaps ladies enjoy it when he heads flower pots in airline commercials.
Xabi Alonso and Nagore Aranburu
Xabi Alonso is happily married to actress Nagore Aranburu, and they have two children: Jontxu and Ane.
Nagore caused tension between Alonso and Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez when she decided it would be a good idea to have a baby when the midfielder was supposed to be on duty for a Champions League game against Internazionale. For some callous reason, Benitez was irked by Alonso's decision to put his family first.
Alexis Sanchez and Laia Grassi
Shortly after he split from Brazilian model Michelle Carvalho, Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez struck up a relationship with Laia Grassi.
Laia has a degree in Fine Arts from the University of Barcelona and currently works as an art director.
Sami Khedira and Lena Gercke
Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira has been dating German model Lena Gercke since May 2011.
Lena was the winner of the first series of Germany's Next Top Model and subsequently became the host of Austria's Next Top Model.
In February 2012, the couple featured on the cover of German GQ, with Khedira displaying his excellent "hand bra" skills in the photoshoot (see above).
Cesc Fabregas and Daniella Semaan
There's not much controversial about a Japanese restaurant, but Lebanese-born Semaan happened to be married to a millionaire businessman at the time, with whom she had two children.
Fabreags was embroiled in the centre of a high-profile divorce, but the couple have now settled down into relative normality.
In April 2013, Semaan, who is 13 years older than her Blaugrana partner, gave birth to their daughter Lia.
Miguel Moyà and Patrizia Ruiz
Getafe goalkeeper Miguel Moyà's better half is Patrizia Ruiz, a Spanish singer, dancer, model, actress and TV presenter.
Before breaking into the worlds of theatre, film and TV, Patrizia studied Aerospace Engineering. Clearly, there is no end to her talents.
Neymar and Bruna Marquezine
Bruna Marquezine is a popular Brazilian actress who has been starring in films and TV shows since she was four years old.
Now 18, her popularity and scrutiny has breached beyond Brazil's borders, as she is in a relationship with a young Barcelona upstart called Neymar.
Adil Rami and Sidoni Biemont
French centre-back Adil Rami has had a huge falling out with his employer Valencia, and has started training with Milan, whom he will formally join in January.
For now, however, his French lingerie model partner Sidoni Biemont qualifies as a La Liga WAG.
Victor Valdes and Yolanda Cardona
Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes is married to lingerie model Yolanda Cardona. As you can see from the slightly NSFW Youtube clip above, she is quite good at what she does.
In October, they welcomed their first daughter Vera into the world. She has two older brothers Dylan and Kai.
Gareth Bale and Emma Rhys-Jones
Prior to the evening in 2013 when Gareth Bale swept the board at the PFA awards, no one had heard of or seen his partner Emma Rhys-Jones.
But after she was on the back page of every newspaper in the land, it transpired that she is the Welshman's childhood sweetheart, and they have been dating since they were 13 years old.
You're not likely to see Emma on the WAG party circuit, as Mr Bale's shy other half says she prefers a night in with a glass of wine in her pajamas.
The long-term couple have a baby daughter named Alba.
Alvaro Morata and Maria Pombo
Real Madrid's superstar-in-the-making Alvaro Morata is dating Maria Pombo, a university student based in Madrid.
She writes much of her Twitter feed in English because she studied in Michigan, USA for a year.
Karim Benzema and Sarah Williams
Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has been dating Swiss-born model Sarah Williams on-and-off since they first met as 15-year-olds in Lyon.
Born in Geneva but raised in France, Sarah was a contestant on Génération Mannequin, the French iteration of Next Top Model.
Dani Alves and Thaissa Carvalho
Neymar isn't the only Barcelona star to date a prominent Brazilian actress. Right-back Dani Alves currently sees Thaissa Carvalho, a 31-year-old TV and theatre performer from Rio de Janeiro.
Thaissa began acting at the age of 13, but is also a qualified nutritionist.