Meet the 32 Soccer Players Vying to Be the Hottest Guy In the World Cup

by Abby Schreiber + Elizabeth Thompson / graphics by Bryan Reitter

Fact: Soccer players are hotties and hotties are soccer players. And nowhere is there a greater concentration of baes than at the World Cup, when chiseled, stubbled, floppily coiffed players from 32 different countries converge on Brazil for a month. (As if they needed more hunks.)

While we'll leave the incisive sports analysis to our friends over at ESPN, we've decided to make our own tournament bracket for -- that's right -- the 'Hottest Player In the World Cup.' We've picked the biggest cutie from each of the 32 different teams participating and, like the Cup itself, separated them into eight different groups with four players each. But because this is PAPER -- and not FIFA -- deciding the groups, we divided the guys into categories based on their prevailing hot dude features: Beards, Clean Shaven, Long Hair, Buzzed Heads, Metrosexuals, Tattoos, Williamsburg Haircut, and Hot Guy Next Door. Throughout the next month, we'll be pitting these guys head-to-head, perfectly-sculpted cheekbone-to-perfectly sculpted cheekbone and eliminating the competition until only one mega babe remains.

Below, ogle the playing field.

Group A:

Nicolas N'Koulou, Defender for Cameroon

C'mon now, look at that tousled hair and smoldering -- yet aloof -- stare!

Mario Yepes, Defender for Colombia

Mario seems like the kind of guy who probably uses $50 shampoo and we're totally okay with that. Points for his Jesus vibes.

Graham Zusi, Midfielder for U.S.

While his shaggy locks are the main focus here, can we also direct your attention to his perfectly square handsome-guy cartoon character jaw?

Miiko Albornoz, Defender for Chile

Miiko looks like the type of guy who will love you and leave you and also looks really nice in a three-piece suit. Loves to day drink, but is looking at his texts on the reg. Actually, get out of here, Miiko. Just kidding, come back Miiko.

Group B:

Adam Kwarasey, Goalkeeper for Ghana

Gaze for days.

Glen Johnson, Defender for England

We swoon over guys like Glen who have such a versatile hair game (though prefer the close crop). Five o' clock shadow tells you it's time to DO IT WITH HIM.

Jerry Bengtson, Forward for Honduras

More like Jerry BANGtson.

Vincent Enyeama, Goalkeeper for Nigeria

Vincent is #FIERY and is pointing at the poolside cabana where you are going to make out with him later. Thanks for the directions, kid.

Group C:

Cristiano Ronaldo, Forward for Portugal

Of course we had to put Ronaldo in here. Even with that douche-y look on his face, we'd never pass up some 'relaxing time' with him.

Hotaru Yamaguchi, Midfielder for Japan

The bleached hair is giving us (very welcome) throwbacks to 1999.

Neymar, Forward for Brazil

There is so much going on with Neymar's look, from the double piercings to the razor-cut hair to the stubble to the wrist tattoo. It's like 2004 is just going and going and going forever. You'd probably have to listen to a LOT of Panic at the Disco hanging out with this dude, so that's something to seriously consider here.

Eduardo, Forward for Croatia

Eduardo is EXACTLY the kind of guy you want to meet at a beach club somewhere, marvel at his tastefully manicured brows, and then never talk to again.

Group D:

Carl Medjani, Defender for Algeria

Even if you aren't into sleeves, still: Dem cheekbones.

Ezequiel Lavezzi, Forward for Argentina

Ezequiel could probably bench press you but would cry about EVERYTHING.

Tim Cahill, Forward for Australia

Tim forgot to hug you today. Here he comes! Get ready!

Claudio Marchisio, Midfielder for Italy


Group E:

Boubacar Barry, Goalkeeper for Côte d'Ivoire

We'd be happy to console Boubacar any time.

Ehsan Hajsafi, Midfielder for Iran

We're getting major "that-hottie-on-the-L-train-you-always-lock-eyes-with" vibes from Ehsan.

Gabriel Achilier, Defender for Ecuador

Props to Gabriel's way elaborate facial hair and even more props to his perfectly symmetrical features.

Gerard Pique, Defender for Spain

Mr. Shakira can call us, uh, "whenever wherever." (Sorry.)

Group F:

Francisco Rodriguez, Defender for Mexico

How can you resist Francisco?!

Fabian Schär, Defender for Switzerland

Fabian would probably ask you to watch him wash his car and weird stuff like that, but, OK, fine.

Luis Suarez, Forward for Uruguay

Luis looks like a real fun guy who would laugh at literally everything you said and call you "girl."

Robin Van Persie, Forward for the Netherlands

Robin is a hot, intense guy with the sweetest little nugget of a name. Robin! Boop!

Group G:

Panagiotis Kone, Midfielder for Greece

He looks like he should be in a Dolce&Gabbana ad. *A Dolce&Gabbana underwear ad.*

Toby Alderweireled, Defender for Belgium

Totally getting "parched dude who doesn't believe in sunscreen, raging on McCarren's hipster beach with his guys after winning the softball game" vibes from him.

Tino Sven Susic, Midfielder for Bosnia and Herzegovina

Tino is a hot name. He'd hold the door for you and shit.

Olivier Giroud, Forward for France

I can't hear you because I'm hot. (But maybe I also look a little like that one guy from Color Me Badd, which, you know, some people might be into. No judgements here.)

Group H:

Celso Borges, Midfielder for Costa Rica

Something tells us Celso has a secret sensitive side.

Manuel Neuer, Goalkeeper for Germany

Manuel is just a normal hang-out kind of dude who might finally get into sailing one day and will never let anyone talk bad about his family.

Park Chu-young, Forward for Korea

Park looks like a real cute, nice guy who all your friends will approve of. He likes snacks and quiet afternoons.

Maksim Kanunnikov, Forward for Russia

Maksim doesn't have time for pretty boy antics and we approve of his normal, hot butch dude look.

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