Qatar 2022 is finally here – and when the world’s best players from the world cup fly to the Middle East, their other half will join them before the football festival kicks off every Sunday afternoon
The World Cup is finally here, and while it might be slightly different in the stands, for the players, it will be business as usual on the pitch in Qatar.
And as the world’s stars descend onto the Middle East for a month under the winter sun – they will be joined by their stunning better halves. Daily Star Sport is looking at the WAGs for the star players of some of the tournament favourites.
From former shop employees to fashion models, these are the girls who will be behind their superstar partner in Qatar.
Lionel Messi & Antonela Roccuzzo: Argentina
Lionel Messi and Antonela Roccuzzo are childhood sweethearts, and it’s been suggested that Messi almost didn’t leave Newell’s Old Boys for Barcelona because of Antonela.
Antonela is the cousin of Lucas Scaglia, who Messi played with at Newell’s. However, after Messi made the trip across the Atlantic the pair stayed in touch, and the future Ballon d’Or winner confirmed the pair were dating in 2009.
The pair now have three kids together, and have since relocated to Paris from Barcelona.Lionel Messi not to be seen at Argentina’s training sessionLionel Messi misses out on training session prior to 2022 Qatar World cupVideo Player is loading.
Kevin De Bruyne & Michele Lacroix: Belgium
Writing in the Players’ Tribunal, De Bruyne said: “My wife, she’s the most important person in my life. She sacrificed everything to move away with me when she was 19 years old, to help me follow my dream. We’ve been on this journey together.
“I look up to her, in a way. She got me to come out of my shell with people a lot, and the way she’s handled everything is remarkable, really.”
Gabriel Jesus & Raiane Lima: Brazil
Arsenal’s latest superstar has been key to the Gunners’ charge towards a first Premier League title in over two decades – ironically, the same amount of time since Brazil last conquered the world.
It was the stunning brunette who announced she was dating Jesus in 2021, shutting down reports linking her to a Brazilian politician. The pair posed on the pitch after Manchester City beat Aston Villa last season to claim the Premier League crown.
And they have expanded their family with a baby daughter.
Jack Grealish & Sasha Attwood: England
Jack Grealish was the revelation of Euro 2020, however, after a move to Manchester, he hasn’t really managed to hit the ground running at the Etihad Stadium.
Sasha is a model, and she regularly updates her Instagram with snaps from around the globe – including one recent trip to Paris. The 26-year-old stunned in a tight pink dress as she posed in front of an illuminating Eiffel Tower.
Recent snaps also showed Sasha enjoying a night out with other England WAGs before they jet to Qatar.
Karim Benzema & Cora Gauthier: France
The reigning Ballon d’Or winner will head into the World Cup with the reigning champions.
However, the French haven’t had it all their own way in the build-up – with injuries ravaging the squad. One man they’ll be happy to have in their ranks is Karim Benzema – who will be joined in Qatar by his stunning wife Cora Gauthier.
Cora and Benzema are very private people, and they like to keep their relationship out of the spotlight – but the pair do have one child together.
Ilkay Gundogan & Sara Afraoui: Germany
City’s superstar Ilkay Gundogan is married to Italian TV presenter and model Sara Afraoui – and the couple are currently expecting their first child.
Sara recently hit headlines when she blasted food in Manchester: “Sorry, I’m sad to be honest but nothing. I tried so bad to find a good restaurant but horrible food everywhere.
“Can’t find a real Italian or good sushi or just fresh food… everything frozen. Restaurants here are focused on making money with drinks and shots like nightclubs, not quality food. Maybe in London but in Manchester nothing. I’m sorry.”
Frenkie de Jong & Mikky Kiemeney: Netherlands
Against all the odds, Frenkie de Jong is still a Barcelona player, and he has impressed at the Camp Nou this season.
A large part of that reason is Mikky Kiemeney – who reportedly shut down a move to Manchester United due to the British weather. Mikky is a sportsperson in her own right, and she played hockey at a high level in her native Netherlands.
The stunning blonde isn’t shy about sharing her relationship and Instagram, and she’s uploaded numerous snaps of the pair sharing a smooch.
Cristiano Ronaldo & Georgina Rodriguez: Portugal
It’s fair to say its not been a quiet week for Cristiano Ronaldo following his bombshell interview with Piers Morgan.
But Georgina Rodriguez has stood firmly by Ronaldo’s side – and she will be cheering him all the way through what will surely be his final World Cup. Georgina met Ronaldo when the superstar was shopping at Gucci, where Georgina was a store assistant.
The pair suffered a family tragedy earlier this year when one of the pair’s twins died during childbirth.
Alvaro Morata & Alice Campello: Spain
Spain will be hoping Alvaro Morata’s goals can fire them to a second World Cup win – and he will certainly find the net if he has as much determination on the pitch as he did in Alice Campello’s Instagram DMs.