Many famous footballers stand out with great games on the field and outstanding performances. Assists, goals, dedication to the team and good form are aspects which represent football players. However, in addition to their performance on the football pitch, players are constantly being followed by millions. For every journalist and writer, stories about the relationships of athletes have always been very interesting for their readers. Many boys and girls dream of marrying a famous football player and enjoying the life of luxury. Often, the lives of footballers fill the front pages of many tabloids as fans around the world are fascinated by stories revealing their love life. Here is where the term WAGs comes in – a term commonly used for footballers’ wives.
What are WAGs?
WAGs is an abbreviation used when referring to the wives and girlfriends of famous athletes. It was originally used for the wives and girlfriends of football players of the England national team and was first used by the British tabloid press at the 2006 World Cup held in Germany.
This terminology was widely accepted at the time, and its origins date back to four years earlier. Then, the wives of football players stayed together at the Jumeirah Beach Club in Dubai. They had stayed there in May 2002 before the World Cup held in Japan and South Korea and were then called WAGs by the staff of that hotel.
Although it was first used by the British press, over time, this term was embraced in other countries and was everywhere associated with the girls and wives of successful athletes. Initially, this term was used for a group of wives and girlfriends of football players, but now it is also used in singular forms when referring to an athlete’s life partner.
Is the Status of a WAG Something Alluring?
The status WAG has become attractive to some girls, so much so that there was a page on the social network Facebook called “When I grow up I want to be WAG”. There was also a guide book that contained instructions for smart girls on how to meet a football player. In a survey conducted in 2009, in which about 200 girls participated, as many as 6 out of 10 surveyed girls wanted to be a WAG.
Social networks such as Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat are the best social media to meet football players. Selfies with provocative photos are sent, all in order to get in touch with the football players. Agents of many models, singers, actresses who have the same ambition as their clients also play a big role here. A love affair with a football player becomes an ideal opportunity to become more successful and gain even more popularity. The Association of Professional Footballers has noticed this problem and is constantly trying to remind footballers that they need to make the right choice. A footballer’s career can be ruined by going on a night out.
Criticism of the Term ‘WAGs’
The term WAGs has often been condemned in public. It is considered humiliating and demeaning for woman and that is why many females have criticized this term and have asked for its use to be abolished. Some women find that they are fortunate enough in their work to be labelled with this term. They believe that they are successful in the business they are engaged in and that they are independent from their husbands.
Even the Commission on Human Rights and Equality has criticized the use of this term, considering it sexist and degrading for women. Dana Johannsen described it as the most disgusting acronym in the sport. Melanie Dinjaski described it through a relationship of women and dogs where women cheerfully wag their tails to their owners. She finds the term belittling to women.
Additionally, some media have stated that the use of this term should be permanently discontinued. Calling footballer’s wives wags has caused a lot of controversy, but what is certain is that this topic is fascinating for many people around the world.
Posh & Becks
The first love story that was under the watchful eye of the media almost 24/7 was between David and Victoria Beckham. The couple met at a charity match in early 1997 and from the very beginning they attracted tremendous attention. At the time, he was a Manchester United football star and she was a member of the popular music group Spice Girls. Their love lasts for over 20 years and the couple currently has four children. She is a footballer’s wives wags member, but she was quite popular even before her love affair with David Beckham started. This couple has often filled the front pages of the media around the world.
Pique & Shakira
Another love story that was widely covered by the media is the one between Gerard Pique, a long-time Barcelona football player and the Spanish national team member, and the popular Colombian singer Shakira. Shakira sang at the opening of the 2010 World Cup and they then met on the recording of her song Waka Waka intended for the opening of this tournament. The couple has been together for over ten years and they have two children. She gained immense fame and earnings even before meeting him, so this is another example of a woman being successful before she married a footballer.
Ashley Cole & Cheryl
The marriage between the former left back of the English national team member Ashley Cole, and the popular singer Cheryl, also attracted a lot of media attention. This story lasted from 2006 to 2010. It eventually ended up in a divorce that was declared in just 60 seconds because Ashley didn’t even show up for the divorce lawsuit. The former Arsenal and Chelsea footballer subsequently married Sharon Canu, with whom he has two children who were born in 2016 and 2018.
One of the most watched love stories in England is that of Wayne Rooney and his wife Coleen. During the 12 years of marriage, the media often wrote about the alleged cheating by Wayne. Although this marriage has often been declared to be on shaky feet by the media, the couple is still together. They have 4 sons of whom the youngest is two-year-old Cass. When asked what Coleen had decided against the divorce, she said she could not imagine life without Wayne in spite of everything.
Lionel Messi & his Childhood Love
Leo Messi married his childhood love Antonella Roccuzzo. She is the daughter of a supermarket owner in Rosario, the city where Messi was born. He has been in love with her for nine years and wrote letters as a child stating that she would become his girlfriend eventually. Today, they live in a happy marriage with three children.
An interesting sports marriage took place between Bastian Schweinsteiger and Serbian tennis player Ana Ivanovic. His former teammate from Bayern Munich, Robert Lewandowski, is married to karate girl Anna Lewandowska. She is a multiple winner of medals at World Cups, European and National championships.
Yolanthe Cabau, the wife of Wesley Sneijder, is considered one of the most beautiful women in the world. She won awards in 2006, 2007 and 2009 for the sexiest Dutch woman.
In England, the marriage between the striker of the English national team Jamie Vardy and his better half Rebekah Nicholson is closely watched by the media. The couple has four children, including two from Rebecca’s previous relationship.
WAGs have often been linked to current Chelsea coach Frank Lampard. He was married to Spanish model Elena Rivas with whom he has two daughters and since 2015, he has been married to former BBC presenter Christine Bleakley.
WAGs Drama | Rooney vs. Vardy
The relationship between the footballer’s wives is especially interesting. Coleen Rooney has accused Rebecca Vardy of selling fake stories to tabloids. Rebecca later denied all of this but this story filled the front pages of the tabloids for days. The story about WAGs has always been mostly related to the English national team. Before the 2006 World Cup, the football players were preparing and their families were with them. Football went into background, because everything that was written and talked about was personal, and less of it was about football. That’s why Fabio Capello banned the presence of WAGs 4 years later.
The love affairs of football players have always attracted huge media attention. Since 2006, the term WAGs has been used frequently for girlfriends and wives of football players. Many links were on the front pages of tabloids and sports newspapers. The connections of football players with beautiful models, singers and actresses are especially popular. The life of a football player is closely monitored both on and off the football field.