As the World Cup fever heats up, our columnist looks at footballers who
have modelled tighty-whities.

When you have a body like David Beckham’s, it’s understandable that you’d want to constantly bare it. Thanks to Posh Spice’s hubby and his inclination for posing in his skivvies, other footballers have followed suit. (We doubt their female fans are complaining.)

Twenty-two-year-old Oscar dos Santos Emboaba Júnior, best known as Oscar when he plies his trade for Chelsea Football Club and the Brazilian national side, is the latest to make the ballsy move. A fan favourite, Oscar joins the ranks of some of football’s biggest stars, with a campaign for Calvin Klein. The campaign was shot especially for the Brazilian market by photographer Daniel Jackson in London.

Calvin Klein’s past roster of boxer-brief clad soccer models includes former Arsenal and Sweden winger Freddie Ljungberg and Japanese legend Hidetoshi Nakata. But it’s the first time the brand has created advertising especially for Brazil. As expected, the ads have gotten plenty of attention with the eyes of the world on the Seleção (as the national team is known by its fans) as Brazil hosts the Fifa World Cup.

Speaking of the World Cup, what’s up with Pitbull’s sartorial choice during the opening ceremony? The singer’s high-waisted, cropped white pants left everyone scratching their heads; some referred to them as “diaper pants” and “mum capris”.

Anyway, back to Oscar. He is part of an ongoing trend; 2014 Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo has modelled underwear for Emporio Armani. I predict that the undie brands will be going after Brazilian hottie Neymar next.

Ronaldo, 29, is certainly no stranger to stripping. Recently, he appeared in his birthday suit for the cover of Vogue Spain, alongside model girlfriend Irina Shayk. For the cover visual, Shayk shielded Ronaldo’s modesty by standing in front of him, wearing a strapless white dress. The shoot by renowned photographer Mario Testino was the first time the couple modelled as a duo.

As attention-grabbing as Ronaldo can be, no footballer has come close to Beckham’s successful stint as an underwear model. By the way, the former Madrid star was in Singapore last weekend for a meet-and-greet session with fans at Marina Bay Sands. (The last we checked, he was fully clothed.)

Beckham, 39, has an ongoing intimates label with Swedish powerhouse retailer H&M. It’s a partnership that’s proved to be lucrative for both parties. Most memorably, Beckham bared his bod in a short film for his H&M Bodywear spring 2013 line. Directed by Guy Ritchie, the film sees Beckham racing across streets and neighbourhood lawns garbed in nothing but his underwear and bathroom slippers.

It’s not only action-packed, but answers the perennial query: “Boxers or briefs?”

>Though he can’t score a winning goal to save his life, William hopes to visit football haven Brazil someday. Send feedback to star2@thestar.com.my.