July 05, 2010 12:00 PM

CRISTIANO RONALDO, 25

COUNTRY: PORTUGAL

OTHER GIG: owns a clothing store in Lisbon

Linked to Kim Kardashian this spring, the popular player earns $30 million a year and bumped David Beckham as Armani’s stud-in-underwear.

SAMUEL ETO’O, 29

COUNTRY: CAMEROON

IDOL: Nelson Mandela

At age 17, Eto’o was the youngest player at the 1998 World Cup. He honed his game during his hardscrabble childhood. “Like any other African child,” he told TIME, “I’d play barefoot with balls that we made out of plastic bags.”

TIM HOWARD, 31

COUNTRY: USA

OTHER SPORT: He’s an honorary Harlem Globetrotter.

The 6’3″ net-minder-a hero in the USA v. England match-hails from New Jersey. He’s also a Tourette syndrome spokesman who keeps his own tics in check without meds so his reflexes aren’t slower.

DIDIER DROGBA, 32

COUNTRY: IVORY COAST

NICKNAME: Tito

Soccer is no mere game for the sexy (though married) striker. After a 2005 match, he urged Ivorians on live TV, “Put down your weapons,” spurring on the end to his nation’s civil war.

FRANK LAMPARD, 32

COUNTRY: ENGLAND

Father of two girls

This brawny footballer has a reported IQ above 150. Look for the single dad to point skyward after scoring to honor his mom, Pat, who died in 2008. “I miss [her] a lot.”

YOANN GOURCUFF, 23

COUNTRY: FRANCE

CALLED: “the hottest man in France”

Also a talented tennis player, this single guy has said he enjoys movie dates, quiet dinners out and “a few hours on a boat on the river.”

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