Who’s hotter: 2014 World Cup’s Neymar vs. Cristiano Ronaldo
Just in time for the World Cup, we focus on our favorite sweaty and glistening soccer players: Neymar da Silva Santos and Cristiano Ronaldo. You tell us who's hotter!
Photo credit: Alex Caparros/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images, Harry How/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
Neymar da Silva Santos
Neymar da Silva Santos, Jr. was born February 5, 1992, in Mogi das Cruzes, Brazil. He played football at an early age, following in the footsteps of his father, a former professional football player. Described as a "true phenomenon," Neymar signed his first professional contract at the age of 17. By 21, he had won four consecutive Player of the Year awards, becoming one of Brazil's most famous public figures. He plays for the Spanish club FC Barcelona and plays as a forward or winger for the Brazilian national team.
He was a child prodigy, joining the Portugesa Santista youth club in 1999 and becoming one of the most renowned young talents in the country in just a few years. He joined the Santos academy when he was 21. In 2012, he was listed as the seventh-richest footballer in the world and the Guardian ranked him the sixth best player in the world. In 2013, he was named the most marketable athlete in the world by Sports Pro.
- On his 20th birthday (February 5, 2012), he scored his 100th professional goal.
- Neymar almost played for Real Madrid. When he was 14, he flew to Spain, passed all of the tests and was about to make the official move when Santos paid a substantial price to keep him in Brazil.
- He is the only Brazilian athlete to make the cover of Time magazine.
He obviously keeps fit with all of his training, but he also enjoys golf, tennis, cycling, running in the mountains and swimming
He participates in charity matches.
In 2011, he signed an 11-year contract with Nike and a two-year deal with Panasonic. He has also signed sponsorship agreements with Volkswagen, Unilever, Santander and more.
Neymar became a father at the age of 19. He is very close with his son, David Lucca, but is not in a relationship with his son's mother, Carolina Dantas. He has also dated Brazilian actress Bruna Marquezine.
Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro was born February 5, 1985, in Funchal, Madeira, Portugal. His father was a gardener and his mother was a cook. He played for the amateur team CF Andorinha at the age of 8, and when he was 14, his mother allowed him to focus entirely on football. In 1995, he signed with Nacional, and later went on to Sporting CP. He plays forward for Real Madrid and captains the Portugal national team.
Manchester United signed Ronaldo as their first-ever Portuguese player in 2003. He scored the first three goals for Manchester in the 2004 FA Cup Final and played a big part in their winning the championship. He set a record for goals scored in 2008, and in 2009, he was paid $131 million by Real Madrid.
- His second given name, Ronaldo, was after Ronald Reagan, who was his father's favorite actor.
- At the age of 15, he was diagnosed with a racing heart. He had an operation where a laser cauterized the area of his heart that was affected. He was discharged from the hospital the afternoon of the surgery and resumed training a few days later.
- After his father's death from an alcoholism-related liver condition at the age of 52, when Ronaldo was only 20, he does not drink alcohol.
He exercises seven days a week with a rigorous workout schedule and follows a very disciplined diet plan to keep his body fat at 10 percent.
After the 2004 tsunami, Ronaldo visited Indonesia to raise funds. In 2009, he donated a large sum of money to the hospital that helped save his mother's life so that they could build a cancer center in Madeira. In 2013, he became the Save the Children's new Global Artist Ambassador.
In 2009, he became the spokesmodel for Emporio Armani, and he has an endorsement deal with Nike until the end of this year. Ronaldo also has or had sponsorship agreements with Coca-Cola, Motorola, Jacob & Co., Tag Heuer, Herbalife and KFC, to name a few.
Ronaldo has been linked to models Alice Goodwin and Gemma Atkinson. In 2010, he started dating Russian model Irina Shayk and became a father to son Cristiano (not by Shayk), of whom he has full custody.
About Mara Marini
Mara Marini is a Canadian film, television and theater actress perhaps best known for her recurring role as Brandi Maxxxx on the hit NBC comedy series, Parks and Recreation. Marini has also appeared in a number of indie comedy and horror films. In 2013, she launched a popular digital comedy video series called Inside Dating on Break.com. She will soon be guest-starring on Disney's Kickin' It and shooting a politically incorrect feature comedy this fall. For more information on Mara, check out her official website, www.maramarini.com, and follow her on Facebook or on Twitter at @popgloss.