All eyes are on Brazil as one of the largest sporting events in the world kicked off this week. Four years ago, more than 3.2 billion people, nearly half of the globe’s population, watched the World Cup in South Africa to see which country would claim the top spot.
While Americans have been slow to jump on the bandwagon, soccer—or rather football—is clearly the world’s game.
This year, 32 teams will battle it out for over a month to see which team will take the coveted prize and four year’s worth of bragging rights. Though the odds are on the home team, known as the Seleção, the battles on the pitch will no doubt be fierce.
While the intense match-ups should be enough to get you watching, the player’s ripped bodies offer even more motivation to tune in.
But in case you need them, here are 5 sexy reasons to watch the World Cup this year.
Alex Song – Cameroon
At 26, Alex Song is one of the most experienced members of Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions. The adept midfielder has been playing professionally for a decade since he signed with France’s SC Bastia. After a stent with England’s famed Arsenal club, Song now plays for Spain’s Catalan club.
Jerome Boateng – Germany
With roots in both Ghana and Germany, 25-year-old Jerome Boateng comes from a proud soccer family. His older brother, Kevin-Prince Boateng, is also in the World Cup playing for Ghana, and the pair is expected to help their respective teams make it deep into the tournament.
Jozy Altidore – USA
At 24, Jozy Altidore is one of America’s hottest talents. The forward has scored 22 international goals, and currently plays in the storied English Premier League for Sunderland AFC.
Memphis Depay – The Netherlands
Twenty-year-old Memphis Depay is one of the Netherlands’ rising stars. According to FIFA, the Ghanaian-Dutch player’s “speed, trickery and a powerful shot have already led to the young forward being likened to Arjen Robben and Eden Hazard.” Depay is sort of a bad boy and was plagued by discipline problems early on, but he’s put it behind him to be one of his nation’s top talents.
Kolo Toure – Côte d’Ivoire
Like his brother Ivorian star Yaya Toure, Kolo is one of Côte d’Ivoire’s most important players. With over 100 international games under his belt, Toure is a skilled defender who is one of the most experienced players in Africa. FIFA notes, “Toure and his world-class brother Yaya form part of an impressive spine of players for Les Elephants, with whom he finished runner-up at the CAF Africa Cup of Nations in 2006 and 2012.”