La Liga

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La Liga 2818 8 El Clasico: WAGS 29744326 Wives and girlfirends, Barcelona-Real Madrid Wives+and+girlfirends%2C+Barcelona-Real+Madrid La Liga

Amongst the benefits of being an elite footballer is the attention of some of the world's most beautiful people. For the men that make up the two best soccer teams in the world, that means dwelling in a rarified air of celebrity and beauty that makes the sport's wives and girlfriends a pastime onto themselves. Here are some of the WAGs behind the Barcelona-Real Madrid rivalry.

La Liga 2818 8 El Clasico: WAGS 29739876 Sara Carbonero (girlfriend, Iker Casillas) Sara+Carbonero+%28girlfriend%2C+Iker+Casillas%29 La Liga

Iker Casillas’s newscaster girlfriend was involved in a minor imbroglio during the World Cup when English newspapers claimed she had distracted the national team keeper, leading to Switzerland’s upset of Spain. Never fear: Spanish newspapers promptly reassured us this wasn’t true. (No one has taken a position on her conflicts of interest.)

La Liga 2818 8 El Clasico: WAGS 29743198 Malena Costa (girlfriend, Carles Puyol) Malena+Costa+%28girlfriend%2C+Carles+Puyol%29 La Liga

Current love interest of Barcelona defender Carlos Puyol, this WAG is a Spanish “supermodel.” Just in case you were curious, she took pains recently to assure red-blooded men everywhere that she was not getting married any time soon. What a relief.

Manny Hernandez/PictureGroup via AP IMAGES - AP Images
La Liga 2818 8 El Clasico: WAGS 29739872 Carolina Celico (wife, Kaka) Carolina+Celico+%28wife%2C+Kaka%29 La Liga

The childhood sweetheart of Real Madrid’s Kaka, Cecilo and the Brazilian star have been married for six years. They are currently awaiting the birth of their second child, a daughter, this summer. She is a pastor at the evangelical church they attend in Sao Paolo and generally shuns the spotlight.

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La Liga 2818 8 El Clasico: WAGS 29739870 Nagore Aranburu (wife, Xabi Alonso) Nagore+Aranburu+%28wife%2C+Xabi+Alonso%29 La Liga

The Spanish actress and wife of Real Madrid’s Xabi Alonso, the couple have two children — one of whom directly led to Xabi departing Liverpool. In 2008, Aranburu gave birth to their son Jonxtu, leading Xabi to quite reasonably miss a Champions League game against Inter to be by her side. Rafa Benitez didn’t see it that way, and thanks to Mr. Warmth’s caring and understanding, Xabi is now the driving force behind Real Madrid. (Rafa? He’s out of work.)

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La Liga 2818 8 El Clasico: WAGS 29739871 Anna Maria Lewe (girlfriend, Mesut Ozil) Anna+Maria+Lewe+%28girlfriend%2C+Mesut+Ozil%29 La Liga

Currently dating Real Madrid’s Mesut Ozil, Lewe was formerly married to Finnish footballer Pekka Lagerblom. Lewe is a German model and sister of the pop star Sarah Connor.

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La Liga 2818 8 El Clasico: WAGS 29739875 Hayet Abidal (wife, Eric Abidal) Hayet+Abidal+%28wife%2C+Eric+Abidal%29 La Liga

The wife of Eric Abidal. The couple have been together since they were teenagers and have two young daughters.

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La Liga 2818 8 El Clasico: WAGS 29739874 Antonella Ruccozzo (girlfriend, Lionel Messi) Antonella+Ruccozzo+%28girlfriend%2C+Lionel+Messi%29 La Liga

The girlfriend of Lionel Messi — maybe. Messi’s romantic status depends on whom you talk to: for one, Messi’s grandfather says the couple, who met in their hometown of Rosario, when they were five years old, are through. Still rumors are flying that the two are about to tie the knot and the two have been seen together in public of late.

AFP/Getty Images - AP Images
La Liga 2818 8 El Clasico: WAGS 29744322 Shakira (girlfriend, Gerard Pique) Shakira+%28girlfriend%2C+Gerard+Pique%29 La Liga

The Colombian singer and star is arguably the best-known WAG outside of Victoria Beckham. She has been dating Barcelona’s Gerard Pique and is a genuinely rabid soccer fan.

Miguel Tovar/Associated Press - AP Images
La Liga 2818 8 El Clasico: WAGS 29739873 Irina Shayk (girlfriend, Cristiano Ronaldo) Irina+Shayk+%28girlfriend%2C+Cristiano+Ronaldo%29 La Liga

The Russian model and SI swimsuit issue cover girl is Real Madrid playmaker Cristiano Ronaldo’s squeeze. The pair met when they were selected as the faces of an Armani ad campaign. Aside from her SI appearances, she’s best known for writhing in a video for Kanye West, and, well, dating Ronaldo.

Peter Kramer/Associated Press - AP Images
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