First off, let me just say that I took this sh*t seriously. This isn’t one of those lists that was put together in five minutes by some bored, straight intern dude working for $10 a post. The research was intense and grueling. Not a single World Cup squad or player was skipped. That’s right: I considered every single player. So with 23 men on 32 teams, that’s … more math than I can muster. One major thing I learned: There are a lot of cute guys who play the Beautiful Game for a living. A LOT.
Rule #1: One and only one player from each national team made the first cut (mi dispiace, Italia; Žao mi Je, Serbia). Yes, this pitted sexy Spaniard vs. sexy Spaniard, which meant hours and hours of debate and photo research (pity me). With 32 teams and only 11 slots, mathematically not every nation could be included on this list, which is not to say its squad was butt ugly, it’s only to say it didn’t have one of the absolutely hottest guys tourneywide in a particular role.
Rule #2: Our formation is the rare 5-2-3 (5 defenders, 2 midfielders, 3 forwards — plus one goalkeeper). Maybe it’s a stretch, but when you have so many handsome defenders to choose from, this is how the cookie crumbles. Who knew defenders would be hottest of the batch?
Rule #3: Avoid Cristiano Ronaldo. He’s on every list like this. It’s boring.
Rule #4: Break Rule #3. He’s hot.
Rule #5: If they’re not playing in the Cup because they are hurt, they are out. Gotta be in it to win it. This isn’t a charity, David Beckham.
Rule #6: You don’t have to be your squad’s greatest player. I figure if you’re good enough to be on your country’s World Cup team, you’re good enough for this list, even if you’re a benchwarmer.
Rule #7: It’s OK if I never heard of you. Everyone’s worth was based only on looks (just like in real life!).
After the jump, Swoonworthy’s World Cup Starting 11 (All-Nations Edition)!