Soccer Players in Their Skivvies

Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo is the new face of Armani underwear. From England’s David Beckham to the entire Italian team, VIEW OUR GALLERY of soccer stars in their skivvies.

Emporio Armani

Cristiano Ronaldo

It's easy to forget about Team Portugal when you see the new pictures of its team captain. Pretty boy Cristiano Ronaldo (and his abs) have replaced David Beckham as the face of Emporio Armani underwear, and, in a stroke of excellent timing, will appear on billboards internationally this week as Portugal faces off against North Korea and Brazil.

Luca Bruno / AP Photo

David Beckham

The original face of Armani underwear, he is, perhaps, the patron saint of soccer stars in their skivvies. Beckham posed for the brand in 2007 but ended his contract in 2009—only to announce plans to start his own tighty-whitey line with Armani. "I always wear the Armani underwear," Beckham has said. "I've worn it in every game since joining the Galaxy because it is comfortable. It's masculine, but it has that feminine side." Um, right.

Team Italy

Dolce & Gabbana's theory for its ads is one we can get behind: More muscles, not so many clothes. In celebration of the World Cup, the company invited Italian players Antonio Di Natale, Vincenzo Iaquinta, Claudio Marchisio, Federico Marchetti, and Domenico Criscito to model its new underwear collection—and gave fans a peek into the locker room.

Hidetoshi Nakata

Hidetoshi Nakata was one of the first Japanese footballers to play outside his home country; and while playing in Italy, helped steer Roma to victory in the Italian championships. After competing in two Olympics and three World Cups, Nakata retired in 2006—but kept in shape long enough to pose for a Calvin Klein underwear ad this year.

Freddie Ljungberg

This charming Swede is accessible to all: from American mall shoppers (he's declared his love of Cinnabons) to men. "There's been a gay rumor for a long time," Freddie Ljungberg says of the gossip that swirls around him. "I don't mind at all. I am proud of that. I love fashion, and I think so many gay people have amazing style. So that is a compliment to me." When he's not playing for the Seattle Sounders, he's stripping down for Calvin Klein, among other hobbies.

Jesus Datolo

Argentine midfielder Jesús Dátolo came under fire when he posed in his underwear for an Italian gay magazine called Romeo Mag in January. The magazine featured five photos of the athlete, along with an interview in which he said he hoped he could become a role model. His soccer club, Napoli, threatened to punish him. Said Aurelio De Laurentiis, president of the club: "The image of Napoli rights has been violated."

Didier Drogba, Cristiano Ronaldo

For the June issue of Vanity Fair, Annie Leibovitz got intimate with the top soccer players in the world: Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, Ivory Coast's Didier Drogba, Cameroon's Samuel Etoo, Italy's Gianluigi Buffon, and USA's Landon Donovan, among others. The group posed in a colorful array of boxer briefs and, as Vanity Fair noted: "Underwear never looked so patriotic."

Daniel Raunig / Reuters

Antonio Di Natale

Italy's Antonio Di Natale appeared in Dolce & Gabbana's underwear shoot along with the rest of his team—but he kept the spirit alive on the field, recently stripping down to nothing but his skivvies to celebrate after a game.

Alberto de la Bella

Molto Bello, indeed: Spanish player Alberto de la Bella posed for Belgian line Dirk Bikkembergs.