Becoming a sporting legend doesn't just throw your own profile into the spotlight: It will also mean overnight fame for the players' wives and girlfriends. When it comes to famous soccer players, newspapers and celebrity magazines just can't get enough of the drama and glamour that unfolds both on and off the pitch.
Gone are the days when news about British footballers was kept to the back pages of the newspaper. Ever since the advent of the term 'WAG', first penned by the British media to describe the high-profile partners of the national football players, these women are grabbing front-page news and filling hundreds of column inches. Much to the upset of their managers, who are desperate to maintain a distinction between private and professional lives, these stars are watched 24/7. And there's no hiding when a personal crisis emerges between a player and his hot WAG.
Becoming a WAG seems easy: It's all about hanging out in an expensive club, waiting for the footballers to come in celebrating a recent win, and approaching them when you're looking like a million dollars yourself. While nabbing a footballer may be relatively easy, keeping hold of the players until the marriage certificate is signed is trickier. Even harder, perhaps, is keeping their interest long enough to avoid the high-profile infidelity stories.
The following fifteen women seem to have it takes. These are the gorgeous WAGs who are here to stay, holding on to their men no matter what other competition there is out there.
15 Alice Goodwin - Married to Jermaine Pennant
Last summer Alice Goodwin was busy flaunting her WAG status on Instagram. She shared endless snaps of herself and new husband, Wigan Athletic midfielder Jermaine Pennant, in the Seychelles on their honeymoon together.
Pennant was notorious for dating a string of beauties including models and actresses, until he finally settled down with the former glamour model. Goodwin appeared to be the only one who could keep him keen enough to make it down the aisle.
The curvaceous bride dreamed of becoming a teacher but was spotted by a talent scout as she sunbathed on a Bournemouth beach. She was offered modelling contracts with men's magazines including Nuts and Maxim. When Pennant and Goodwin went public, the football player became the subject of cheers and chants about his partners raunchy shoots.
14 Danielle Bux - Married To Gary Lineker
Retired British football legend Gary Lineker re-married in 2009 to his new wife, model Danielle Bux. At 36-years-old she is 19 years his junior. The lucky star player tied the knot for the second time during a secret ceremony in Ravello on the Italian Amalfi coast.
The happy couple have often spoken of their desires to have more children. Danielle already has an 11-year-old daughter from a previous relationship and Gary has four sons from his last marriage to Michelle Cockayne.
13 Coleen Rooney - Married to Wayne Rooney
Wayne and Colleen Rooney are one of the most recognisable couples in Britain today. Since Rooney's first appearance with Manchester United in 2004, the pair's every move has been followed and they have managed to build a huge public interest in their own private life. The couple have two sons together, Klay and Kai.
The high school sweethearts met before Wayne was a superstar, back when they were in their early teens. But their relationship hasn't always run smoothly, with allegations of the current England captain, Wayne, playing away more than once.
12 Melanie Walcott - Married to Theo Walcott
When Arsenal and England forward Theo Walcott first laid eyes on Melanie Slade at his local shopping mall it really was love at first sight. They married in 2013 and have a newborn son together, Finlay. Theo was selected by Sven-Göran Eriksson for the England squad in 2006, at just 17. His girlfriend has been with him since the very beginning of his career.
11 Kimberley Crew - Engaged to Joe Hart
Joe Hart, goalkeeper for Manchester City and England, popped the question to his girlfriend Kimberley Crew with a $42,000 engagement ring. It was during a trip on a yacht in Mexico for her birthday, and the couple celebrated the moment with a romantic candlelit dinner on the beach.
They have yet to walk down the aisle together, but they have made one thing very clear; no babies at the wedding. It was rumoured that the wedding invitations controversially read 'sorry, no bambinos'.
10 Georgina Dorsett - Engaged to Tom Cleverley
No expense was spared when Aston Villa midfielder Tom Cleverley proposed to his long term girlfriend, Georgina Dorsett. A friend of the couple told one newspaper, "Tom has taken her for amazing meals with red rose petals scattered on the table and he’s made sure that she’s had the time of her life." At one such meal, he presented the reality television star with a $29,000 engagement ring - enough to make any girl weak at the knees.
9 Ellie Penfold - Married to Jermaine Jenas
Jermaine Jenas, the Nottingham Forest midfielder, got engaged to part-time model Ellie Penfold in 2009, and the couple married in June 2011 then had their daughter late 2012. Jenas has been an international player since 2003 and was included in the 2006 England World Cup Squad. He had his debut aged just 16 and previously played for Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur and Queen's Park Rangers.
8 Claudine Palmer - Married to Robbie Keane
In 2011 Robbie Keane transferred to LA Galaxy and re-located his wife Claudine Palmer and his young son, Robert Jr, to the sunny shores of California. The couple, who have been married since 2008, have admitted that six year old Robert Jr. struggled to acclimatise at first, but say he has now settled well in his new home.
The gorgeous former glamour model has adjusted herself to the life of LA housewife. The previous Miss Ireland contestant can often be found shopping or grabbing a long lunch with her husband. Claudine was 17 when she first met her future husband and she remembers, 'he was funny and everyone who knows Rob thinks he’s very charming. We had a friendship that was just incredibly natural.' They married after six years of dating.
7 Louise Redknapp - Married to Jamie Redknapp
Louise Redknapp, wife of retired Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp, first shot to fame when she became the fourth member of popular girl group Eternal before leaving early on in the band's success to go solo. She left the music industry in 2004 after becoming pregnant with her son Charley and returned to the spotlight only for presenting and modelling work.
6 Tanya Robinson – Married to Phil Bardsley
Stoke player Phil Bardsley married his long-term partner and former glamour model Tanya Robinson last year, before jetting off to Los Angeles for their honeymoon.
Robinson, who was one of the most recognisable glamour models in Britain during her hey-day, called Bardsley the "love of my life." When her husband played for Sunderland she would often win over crowds of fans by appearing on the sidelines wearing their football strip and showing off her admirable legs as she supported the team. She now features in the TV series Real Housewives of Cheshire.
5 Sam Cooke – Girlfriend of Chris Smalling
If there was one thing to be said about the girlfriend of Manchester United's defender Chris Smalling, it would be that the glamour model Sam Cooke is far from shy. She's currently making her living showing off sensational curves in men's magazines. This long-term couple always look happy when they appear in public together, and sexy Sam is one of the hottest WAGs of the moment.
Smalling has played for England ten times and he has always made sure to fly his girlfriend out whenever he's away for matches so she can keep him company.
4 Christine Bleakley - Engaged to Frank Lampard
Presenter Christine Bleakley and Manchester City midfielder Frank Lampard became an official item in 2009 and have been engaged since 2011. The world is waiting for this charming pair to walk down the aisle, but there have been no firm plans as yet.
3 Alex Curran – Wife of Steven Gerrard
Alex Curran, wife of Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, can proudly call herself one of the first original WAGs. Only five years ago she couldn't strut down the street wearing her signature pink Juicy Couture tracksuit and matching UGG Boots without a dozen paparazzi chasing after her. It seemed Curran's life was dedicated to shopping, tanning, grabbing lunch and then shopping some more. Still, the British public couldn't get enough of her every move.
2 Helen Flanagan - Girlfriend of Scott Sinclair
Helen Flanagan and her long term boyfriend Scott Sinclair are expecting their first baby together in June this year. The footballer, who is currently on loan to Aston Villa, was last seen out in public house hunting with the stunning expectant mother in Birmingham City where they plan to make a little nest of their own.
1 Abbey Clancy – Married to Peter Crouch
Abbey Clancy knows all too well how painful infidelity can be for a partner; it was revealed in 2010 that her husband Peter Crouch had slept with a sex worker while she was pregnant with their daughter Sophia. The Liverpudlian model has been with 6"7 Stoke City striker since 2006 and they are currently expecting their second child together. The incident has been put behind the pair and they both passed it off as 'just one of those things.'
Crouch tackled the situation head on, faced up to his betrayal and vowed never to let his reality star / model wife down again.
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