While the on-pitch drama from the 2018 World Cup was beamed around the world, a far more intense competition waged throughout the beauty salons, hairstylists, fashion houses and manicurists of Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Kaliningrad as the WAGs (Wives and Girlfriends) battled to be the most glamorous, the best-groomed and by far the most fanciable footballer’s other-half. So, let’s see just how they did in the WAGs World Cup 2018…
Uruguay – SOFIA BALBI (2) vs France – MARINE LLORIS (1)
Marine Lloris, wife to France’s captain Hugo Lloris, is far from your typical WAG, with degrees in both human resources and law, and even her own clothing business – proof, perhaps, that beauty and brains can coexist in the world of WAGs. Sofia Balbi is wife to Uruguay’s striker Luis Suárez and is credited with giving him the stability to become a successful footballer after penury had driven him to take up road sweeping. Sofia scores for taking her husband from poverty to on-pitch super-stardom and scores again for having to put up with his habit of biting the opposing team.
Brazil – BRUNA MARQUEZINE (1) vs Belgium – NOÉMIE HAPPART (0)
Miss Belgium 2013 and model Noémie Happart – the wife of Belgian winger Yannick Carrasco – went onto represent her country at the 2013 Miss Universe and Miss World events, but failed to impress. She looks to score here, but her stalled glamour career sees her quickly offside.
Brazilian bombshell Bruna Marquezine, the on-and-off girlfriend of striker Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, has been a TV star since she was four, winning awards for a number of her more dramatic roles. It’s an open goal and she scores.
Russia – EKATERINA GERUN (0) vs Croatia – FRANKA BATELIĆ (1)
Model and former beauty queen Ekaterina Gerun, the wife of Igor Akinfeev, studied chemical engineering, before opting for a career in entertainment. To date, though, she has only managed fourth place in the Miss Universe 2007 event and appeared in just one music video. No strength up front and she is left goalless.
Singer-songwriter Franka Batelić, who recently married Croatia team captain Vedran Ćorluka, won the first season of her country’s take on Pop Idol and represented her country in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. Despite that, she still gets the ball across the line, if only once.
Sweden – MAJA NILSSON LINDELÖF (0) vs England – REBEKAH VARDY (1)
As a blogger and social media influencer, Maja Nilsson Lindelöf, wife of Swedish defender Victor Lindelöf, has 115, 000 Instagram followers and co-hosts a podcast with fellow WAG Sanna Dahlstrom, where she annoyed fans by singing the praises of the waiter service in football clubs’ executive boxes. Fails to get much possession and retires goal-free.
After six years with English striker husband, Jamie Vardy, Rebekah Vardy is Daily Mail’s Queen of WAGs, and is apparently set to make a post-World Cup £1.5 million. She nods one in from the penalty spot.
Uruguay – SOFIA BALBI (0) vs Brazil – BRUNA MARQUEZINE (1)
Sofia spent most of her career on the subs’ bench before teaming up with Mrs Lionel Messi to open a Barcelona shoe shop. Clearly outclassed by the opposition, she never looked likely to score.
Bruna, with an array of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar cover shoots in her portfolio, scores from the halfway line, sending Sofia home for an early bath.
Croatia – FRANKA BATELIĆ (1) vs England – REBEKAH VARDY (0)
While Franka stakes her initial hopes on her status as the poster girl for Croatia’s 2009 Animal’s Friend campaign, it just fails to deliver on the day. Rebekah, meanwhile, gambles that splashing out some £140,000 on a luxurious Russian residency for the whole of the tournament will see her score big. Unfortunately, such ostentation doesn’t go down well with the austerity-hit Brits back home. Narrowly avoiding an own goal, she stays off the score sheet.
Bouncing back, Franka bigs up her role as Beyoncé’s 2013 opening act and steals a goal three minutes into extra time, nabbing herself a spot in the finals of our WAGs World Cup 2018.
Brazil – BRUNA MARQUEZINE (3) vs Croatia – FRANKA BATELIĆ (2)
Bruna comes in strong with an astounding 30 million Instagram followers. Franka shoots but, with a mere 113,000 followers, hits the post. Boasting that her US$90 million man is the world’s most expensive football player, Bruna takes an early lead. Franka’s riposte that, while her husband is only worth US$1 million, he does have a Harry Potter tattoo, leaves the crowd clearly unimpressed and she’s starting to look a little outclassed.
With Bruna casually reminding fans that Neymar got £20,000 for filming a 90-second video apology for on-pitch misbehavior, it looks like it’s all over. Franka just can’t compete when it comes to monetized misdemeanors and her WAGs World Cup dream is in tatters.
As the youngest WAG of them all, at just 22, Bruna Marquezine wins the WAGs World Cup 2018. Remarkable stuff. And it’s back to the studio, Brian…
Text: Hira Desai