Spain’s soccer team will be traveling to South Africa this summer among the favorites to win the 2010 World Cup, but how do the Spanish señoritas stack up on the world stage?
Here’s a look at some of Spain’s sexiest stars and WAGs, from the sublime (Penelope Cruz) to the ridiculous (Amaia Salamanca, star of "There's no Heaven without Tits")...
A veteran of the Spanish TV talent show "Operacion Triunfo", Veronica Romeo is a well-known fan of this year’s Europa Cup winners Atletico de Madrid.
Atletico captain Antonio Lopez was featured in Veronica’s 2007 video "Conectado a Mi", but unfortunately Veronica will not be able to support Antonio in South Africa this summer. He’ll presumably be on a golf course having failed to make Vicente del Bosque’s World Cup squad.
Natalia Rodriguez Gallego is Spain’s contribution to the global tribe of uni-monickered pop divas.
Another "Operacion Triunfo" alum, Natalia has had pop hits such as "No Soy un Angel" and "Loco por Mi", as well as a unique cover of AC/DC’s "Highway to Hell".
The video for Natalia’s single "Sombras" (Shadows) caused a stir when it was relegated to late-night television in Spain. The scenes of supernatural seduction, in which Natalia gets up close and personal with a ghost, were deemed too disturbing for younger viewers.
Actress Paz Vega played Laura in the long-running Spanish sitcom "7 Vidas", but really made her mark on international audiences with her breakout role in the steamy movie "Sex and Lucia". Paz has also appeared in English-language films, including Adam Sandler’s "Spanglish", and the upcoming "Burning Palms".
Rhythmic Gymnast Almudena Cid has represented Spain at four consecutive Olympic Games. A Nike model and darling of bloggers world-wide, Almudena has variously been named Best Looking Athlete, Hottest Olympian, Sexiest Gymnast and many, many permutations thereof.
Sara Carbonero could be Spain’s ultimate WAG. Named the sexiest sports reporter in the world by FHM in 2009, Sara Carbonero is a sports anchor on the popular Spanish channel Telecinco.
This year, the hottest sports presenter hooked up with one of the hottest names in goalkeeping, Spain’s No. 1 Iker Casillas.
Iker, the Real Madrid keeper with the golden hands and boyish good looks, is one of Spain’s biggest WAG-magnets. One of his illustrious ex-girlfriends is Miss Spain 2003 Eva Gonzalez.
Iker’s Real Madrid teammate, defender Sergio Ramos, reportedly has a libido as towering as his headers, and a string of high-profile ex-WAGs to match. One is Miss Spain 2006, Elisabeth Reyes.
Another of Sergio’s conquests, Amaia Salamanca, is an actress renowned for her role as Catalina, a girl trying to raise money for a boob job, on the TV series "Sin Tetas No Hay Paraiso" (There’s No Heaven without Tits). Seriously.
Sergio is a big fan of bullfighting. Maybe that’s what attracted him to Nani Gaitan, bullfighter Rafi Camino’s ex.
Nani parlayed her relationship with Camino into an impressively extensive career on the reality/variety TV circuit, on everything from "La Isla de los Famosos" to "Mira quien baila!" (Spain’s equivalents of I’m a Celebrity, Get Me out of Here and Dancing with the Stars).
Nani accompanied Sergio to Euro 2008, but the romance has since cooled.
Who will the rapacious Ramos bring to South Africa?
No need to speculate who Real Madrid and former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso will be bringing along. He and longtime love Nagore Aranburu were together for years before their 2009 wedding. Nagore is an actress who has appeared in several Spanish and Basque-language films.
Perhaps more cute than smoking, Olalla Dominguez suits her husband, clear-eyed, freckle-faced Liverpool striker Fernando Torres, to a tee.
Once a WAG, always a WAG?
Spaniard Elen Rives is famous as one of the original WAGs Behaving Badly, at the Baden-Baden England camp for World Cup 2006.
Rives has since split from England midfielder Frank Lampard, but she will live forever in WAG history as the one caught by the paparazzi dancing on a table swigging champagne as her partner’s dreams of World Cup glory evaporated.
What better way to infuriate coaches than combine their two worst nightmares: WAG and agent? Provocative Nuria Bermudez is two threats in one, having made her name at the centre of sex-’n-ball related scandals involving no less than David Beckham and Luis Figo (among many, many others), and earning her FIFA agent’s license.
Nuria was widely credited with the success of Spain striker Dani Guiza by acting as the unpredictable player’s agent and lover. Their relationship culminated in Guiza’s participation in the Euro 2008 winning national side.
However, the pair split after a failed bid to join Barcelona saw Guiza pack up and move to Turkey’s Fenerbahce.
Award-winning Spanish actress Pilar Lopez de Ayala has recently made a huge splash at the Cannes Film Festival, where her film "The Strange Case of Angelica" is earning rave reviews, and Pilar is keeping the red carpet snappers happy.
Actress Victoria Abril has starred in such saucy films as "High Heels, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!" (pictured), "French Twist", and "Oscar, una Pasion Surrealista".
What more can be said about Spain’s premier beauty, actress, and style icon? Penelope Cruz surely installs Spain as a favorite in the Sexiest Celebrity World Cup.