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World's Great Footballers In Underwear

PTI 16 Jan 2010, 13:08:46 PM IST

Cristiano Ronaldo scored an own goal when he struck a weird pose in his new strip - modelling underwear for Armani, reports the British tabloid The Sun, London.

Ronaldo follows in the footsteps of ex-Arsenal star Freddie Ljungberg and another former Man Utd player David Beckham.

But Freddie and Becks were by no means the first to flex their underwear.

Since the Sixties and Seventies, fitted and figure-hugging styles have kept the off-pitch tackle under control.

Seventies heroes such as George Best and Kevin Keegan wore shorts that left little to the imagination anyway, so the tighter the pants beneath the better.

A brief foray into the world of baggy boxers in the Eighties proved that men need supporting - something women have known for years.

And this was swiftly followed by the classic Calvin Klein boxer brief, a more fitted Lycra version of boxers as modelled by the delicious Freddie Ljungberg.

The popularity of Y-fronts continues today, albeit with slightly sexier shapes and patterns - just like those Ronaldo and Becks wear in the Armani ads.

But when it comes down to it, with bodies like these who's really looking at the pants anyway?

The players of yesteryear may have dressed for functionality but in his early photo Peter Osgood looks more like Jimmy Savile than a love god. As time went on, things started to perk up.

While there have been some disasters - such as when John Fashanu posed in those horrific monstrosities - the guys soon started to catch on.

Freddie Ljungberg got the gays and girls lusting as one of the most stunning men - let alone footballers - to have ever punted across the earth when he fronted the campaign for Calvin Klein underwear.

But it's David Beckham, king of the glamour gods of football, who always had the biggest impact - knowing just how far to push it.

Ronaldo has joined the thong throng but it's Beckham who still reigns supreme.

The pants have got smaller, the chests have got smoother and the desire to show off their "pay packets" has got stronger.

But have footballers got fitter?

Football posing these days is a well-oiled machine - very well oiled if you're David Beckham or Cristiano Ronaldo.

Playmobil hair - check; regulation six pack - check; very tight pants - check; broody expression - check.

Very easy on the eye (unless the pants in question are a silk jockstrap on John Fashanu), but do you really want your man to wax his chest and pluck his eyebrows?