As the World Cup 2022 officially kicks off in Qatar, footballers from 32 countries will bring their A game as they compete for glory, with some very eye-catching players standing out from the crowd.
Millions of fans will tune in as they dream of watching their nation lift the Jules Rimet trophy in the final on December 18 – and while for most, all eyes will be on the game itself, others might find themselves with a wandering eye.
Amid ripped abs, tattooed arms and world-famous legs, FEMAIL takes a look at the players who are setting pulses racing among the World Cup 2022 squads…
Club: Manchester City
Jack Grealish (pictured) sent the UK into a frenzy during the delayed 2020 Euros with his super muscular legs, which now have their very own Instagram fan page
Where to start with Jack Grealish? During the delayed 2020 Euros the Brummie footballer caused a stir with football fans – as well as people who had never had an interest in football before.
The cause of all the commotion? Outrageously muscular calves and quads.
Overnight, Jack Grealish’s legs became a sensation as he jogged up and down the pitch in shorts that somehow seemed shorter than other players’ kit.
They even have a dedicated Instagram fan account, helpfully entitled: @jack_grealishs_legs.
Raheem Sterling, who plays for Chelsea, is an England hero after his sensational performance in the 2020 Euros
England’s star striker Raheem Sterling, 27, won the hearts of the nation after a phenomenal performance in the 2020 Euros.
And as well as his undeniable talent and ripped physique, he’s also incredibly philanthropic – and set up the Raheem Sterling Foundation last year in connection with his old school, the Ark Elvin Academy.
Raheem has also been awarded an MBE for his services to racial equality in sport.
Iran’s goalkeeper Amir Abedzadeh follows in his father Ahmad’s footsteps in his successful footballing career
Football runs in Amir Abedzadeh’s blood, following in his father Ahmad’s footsteps as the Iranian national goalkeeper.
And Amir shows his appreciation for his talented father on Instagram, where he posts photos of their days out together.
Luckily for us, Amir, 29, also uses Instagram to post snaps of himself on holiday with his shirt open. No complaints here.
Robert Lewandowski’s chiseled figure evokes visions of a Greek God – and judging by the shirtless photos scattered throughout his Instagram page, he knows it
On first glance of Robert Lewandowski’s chiseled physique, you could be forgiven for thinking you had stumbled upon a Renaissance sculpture.
The 34-year-old striker, who is captain of the Polish team, has the figure of a Greek God – and he knows it.
His Instagram page is littered with steamy snaps of himself basking in the glow of the sun as it bounces off his muscles – and what a sight it is to behold.
Seny Dieng, who will represent Senegal in the 2022 World Cup, plays for QPR and is 6ft 4in – which is handy for a goalkeeper
British Championship fans may recognise this Senegal player as QPR’s star goalkeeper who recently saved his team from defeat in the 92nd minute of a match against Sunderland after running to the other end of the pitch and scoring to make it 2-2.
And it’s not just QPR fans falling for the Zurich-born goalkeeper, as his toned abs and towering height have made us swoon for him as well.
At 6ft 4in, the 27-year-old goalkeeper has certainly won us over and has us rooting for Senegal in the competition.
Club: Manchester City
John Stones, 28, can pull off a training kit just as well as he pulls off a turtleneck, which he posed in for a M&S campaign
Although it was Jack Grealish who stole the limelight in the 2020 Euros, fair attention must also be given to his Manchester City teammate, John Stones.
The 28-year-old from Barnsley is brainy as well as buff, having been educated at a grammar school.
And as well as a football kit, he can also pull off a chic turtleneck – which he demonstrated when he and fellow Lions modelled a campaign for M&S.
Club: England manager
He might not be playing in the World Cup, but we’re hanging on to the nostalgia of the 2018 World Cup in which Gareth Southgate helped England reach the semi-finals for the first time in years – and did it all while looking dapper in a waistcoat
Southgate, you’re the one…
Ok, he may not actually be playing in Qatar, but Gareth Southgate, 52, definitely deserves a mention after setting the world alight in the 2018 World Cup.
As England gave their best international performance in decades, Gareth became an unlikely sex symbol, calmly watching England from the sidelines while dressed in a dapper waistcoat.
He has even inspired a new football chant to the tune of Atomic Kitten’s Whole Again.
Kylian Mbappé, 23, is considered one of the best players in the world at the moment – and he happens to also have a winning smile
World Cup reigning champions France have a not-so-secret weapon in the form of striker Kylian Mbappé, 23, who has once again made it into his national team’s squad.
The PSG player is considered one of the best players in the world, which is attractive enough in itself. And it helps that he’s also incredibly easy on the eye…
Although France are not favourites to retain the trophy this year, it’ll still be a treat to watch them play with Mbappé up front.
Club: Real Madrid
Eden Hazard, 31, plays for Real Madrid, and will be representing his home country Belgium in the World Cup 2022
Eden Hazard, who now plays for Real Madrid after a long spell at Chelsea FC, has had a career full of ups and downs, with his future at the Spanish club currently uncertain.
One thing that has remained consistent? His undeniable good looks.
We can’t wait to see the 31-year-old striker take to the pitch to represent Belgium again – and if Real Madrid don’t want him, we hope he’ll come back to the UK where we’ll be lucky enough to see a little more of him!
Kasper Schmeichel, 36, is following in the footsteps of his footballing legend father Peter as he continues his successful goalkeeping career
Following in the footsteps of his footballing legend father Peter, Kasper Schmeichel is a world-renowned goalkeeper.
And when he’s in goal, it’s frankly difficult to concentrate on whatever else is happening on the pitch.
As well as being incredibly talented, the dishy Dane, 36, isn’t afraid to speak his mind. As Denmark prepared to face-off with England in the Euro 2020 semi-final, he famously taunted England fans by asking: ‘Has it ever come home?’
Country: Korea Republic
Club: Tottenham Hotspur
Son Heung-min, 30, has won us over with his charming youthful looks – and who couldn’t love his adorable Spiderman-inspired goal celebrations
Many British football fans will know Son Heung-min as Tottenham Hotspur’s star striker alongside England ace Harry Kane.
Son, has recently insisted he is fit enough to be included in the Korea Republic quad after sustaining an injury, and we’re thrilled to see him on the pitch.
As well as his youthful good looks and phenomenal talent, it’s safe to say Son, 30, has a slightly geeky side too, which only makes him cuter.
He has previously admitted he is a huge fan of Tom Holland’s Spiderman films – and has even celebrated goals by mimicking the superhero’s web-slinging hand movements.
Yunus Musah is a fairly new face on the world stage as he steps up to represent the USA, but with a smile like that, he’s won us over already
Yunus Musah will take to the international stage to represent the USA in the Qatar World Cup, but the 20-year-old spends most of his time in Europe.
The Valencia midfielder’s golden smile has helped him secure a modelling deal with sports giant Puma, and he is often pictured wearing the brand’s football boots and kit.
In his personal life, Yunus appears to be a practicing Muslim and posted on last year to wish his followers Eid Mubarak.
Other photos on his Instagram account show his keen interest in watersports, as he took a jet ski out for a spin in Florida last year.
Club: Atlético Madrid
Álvaro Morata, 30, shows off his chiseled abs in Instagram posts documenting lavish holidays he takes with his wife Alice
Álvaro Morata’s World Cup appearance was thrown into doubt last month after he limped off the pitch with a swollen ankle as his team Atlético Madrid took on Cadíz.
Thankfully, tests showed he hadn’t sustained a serious injury and would be fit to play in the international tournament – much to our relief.
When family man Álvaro, 30, who is married to wife Alice with whom he shares three sons, isn’t on the pitch, he enjoys lavish holidays which he shows off on Instagram, baring his chiseled abs for fans to lust over.
The Madrid-born player has won a multitude of fans off the pitch, especially when he shaved off all his hair in 2014 in solidarity with children suffering from cancer.
‘Kids with cancer wanted to have my haircut but they couldn’t, so I gave myself theirs,’ he said.
Brentford and Iran’s Saman Ghoddos has it all – charisma, undeniable good looks, and a pet poodle to boot
Saman Ghoddos will represent Iran in the Qatar World Cup at a time when his country is under the spotlight for its treatment of women as protests sweep the nation.
As well as being undeniably handsome with a perfectly groomed beard, long eyelashes and toned arms, Saman is also a dog person, and often posts photos of himself with his poodle on Instagram. He might be the perfect man.
Saman, 29, recently expressed his support for the protesters in his home country ahead of the international tournament.
He said he had huge admiration for the ‘brave men and women’ taking to the streets in Iran and said he and his teammates would be showing their support for the protesters on the pitch.
Club: Tottenham Hotspur
A doting father! Cristian Romero often posts photos of his family on Instagram – and shows that despite being a footballing sensation, he still makes plenty of time for fatherly duties
Move over Messi, Argentina has a new heartthrob!
Cristian Romero is usually seen playing alongside Son Heung-min at Tottenham Stadium for Spurs, but we’re lucky enough to be able to see him play in the international tournament as well.
When he’s not on the pitch, Cristian is a dedicated father and husband, which only makes him more attractive in our eyes.
He regularly posts photos of his wife and babyon Instagram, and appears to do his share of bottle feeding. We love to see it!
Club: Espérance de Tunis
Yassine Meriah, who plays for Tunisia, will make his mother (pictured) proud when he represents his country on the international stage at the 2022 World Cup
There’s no denying Tunisian hunk Yassine Meriah is incredibly easy on the eye – and as well as being incredibly talented, he’s also a family man.
Yassine, who has not moved abroad to play at a club level and plays at Espérance de Tunis, uses his Instagram account to show appreciation for his mother.
He often posts photos of himself and his mother out and about, with captions such as ‘I love you mom’.
Takehiro Tomiyasu, who plays for Arsenal FC, will represent his home country of Japan in the World Cup 2022
During football season, Takehiro Tomiyasu can be found wowing football fans at the Emirates Stadium in north London with his skills – and his phenomenal cheekbones.
With a mop of thick black hair and a defined jawline, it’s easy to see how the Arsenal defender who will be representing Japan in the World Cup could set pulses racing.
We’ll certainly be keeping an eye on Japan’s success this tournament…