Even people who are not soccer fans have been watching the Fifa World Cup 2018 in Russia – a tournament played every four years, which has been featuring 32 national teams.
“The beautiful game” – a phrase coined by the legendary Brazil striker Pele – has been thrilling on the pitch thanks to plenty of goals and a few controversial decisions made by referees after halting play to use video technology, known as the Video Assistant Referee, or VAR, system, to review contentious incidents.
For those who are not interested in the action on the pitch, there have been other attractions, though.
Four immaculately besuited international World Cup soccer stars – England’s Harry Kane, Spain’s Alvaro Morata, Germany’s Julian Draxler and Brazil’s Philippe Coutinho – starred in a Hugo Boss Parfum campaign before the tournament began.
Yet, only one of them made the final list of 10 internationals who are not only skilled on the pitch, but also easy on the eye, too.
Julian Draxler – Germany
Nous sommes tous prêts pour demain! Debout Paris! // Alles bereit für morgen! Paris, auf geht’s! // We‘re all ready for tomorrow! Paris, stand up! ____________________________________________________________ #psgrcm #psgrm #championsleague #cl #icicestparis #allezpsg #psg #paris #paname #jdx
A post shared by Julian Draxler (@draxlerofficial) on Mar 5, 2018 at 11:20am PST
Position: Attacking midfielder
A player who has come into his own in the last few years, Draxler is known for his pace, intelligence and great dribbling skills. However, his soccer talents were not enough to help the reigning world champions go far in the competition, as Germany were knocked out in the group stage.
Neymar – Brazil
Everytime that I wear this jersey I remember of all the amazing players that got to the pitch with it. It was inspired by them that I also got here, and I hope I can do the same with the next generation to come. Brasileiragem has a new uniform ! And it's dope. Can’t wait to go back and have the honor to wear it. Toda vez que eu visto essa camisa eu lembro de todos os jogadores incríveis que entraram em campo com ela. Foi inspirado por eles que também cheguei aqui e espero poder fazer o mesmo com a próxima geração. A Brasileiragem tem um uniforme novo ! E isso é sensacional... Mal posso esperar para voltar aos gramados e ter a honra de usá-lo. #BRASILEIRAGEM @nikefootball
A post shared by Nj neymarjr (@neymarjr) on Mar 21, 2018 at 12:08pm PDT
The biggest star of the Brazil team has seen his playmaking abilities earn him comparisons with the likes of Argentina’s Lionel Messi, and Brazilian compatriots Ronaldinho and Pelé.
Many people have tipped him to become the best player in the world, so he continues to be one to watch for sure.
Lucas Hernández – France
A post shared by L U C A S H E R N Á N D E Z (@lucashernandez5) on May 17, 2018 at 11:39am PDT
The left-footed Hernández, who plays for Spanish club side Atletico Madrid, is tall, strong and has great speed and anticipation – traits that have established him as one of the best defenders in La Liga.
Dele Alli – England
A post shared by Dele (@dele) on Jun 15, 2018 at 6:37am PDT
At 1.88 metres (6 feet 2 inches) tall, Alli is a towering figure in the midfield with an eye for goals and intelligent passes.
His coach at English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur, Mauricio Pochettino says of him: “In the box, he looks like a striker, and outside the box, he plays like a midfielder.”
Fun fact: He’s quite well known for his style off the pitch, too.
Yann Sommer – Switzerland
After being second choice in Brazil four years ago, Sommer has claimed the No 1 spot in Russia thanks to some impressive displays – particularly with his German club side, Borussia Monchengladbach, in the European Champions League.
Makoto Hasebe – Japan
Position: Defensive midfielder
Captain of the Japan national team since 2010, his teammates have been relying on Hasebe to hold the middle of the pitch with his great passing, vision and technical skills.
Their fate – and hopes of reaching the last 16 of the competition – rests in their own hands in their final group match against already-eliminated Poland on Thursday.
Paulo Dybala – Argentina
Nicknamed “La Joya” (“The Jewel” in Spanish), Dybala's creativity, pace and technical abilities on the pitch have cemented his status as one of the brightest stars of the game in recent years.
He will be hoping Argentina’s stuttering campaign will improve now that they have reached the last 16.
Raúl Jiménez – Mexico
Jiménez's club career as of late probably has not been as prolific as he would have liked, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that he’s an instinctive finisher with good ball control and pace.
Perhaps this month’s loan move from Benfica to newly promoted English Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers from the start of next season – and Mexico’s impressive qualification for the last 16 of the World Cup – will give him the time to shine.
Hörður Björgvin Magnússon – Iceland
A post shared by Hörður Magnússon (@hordurmagnusson) on Oct 17, 2017 at 10:17am PDT
International minnows Iceland have already been eliminated after finishing bottom of their group. Magnússon, who had been tipped as one of the players to watch in the competition by Britain’s Guardian newspaper, often plays in the left back position.
He is known for his powerful free kicks and scored a crucial last-minute match-winner for Iceland in their 1-0 home victory against Croatia, which helped them qualify for the World Cup finals for the first time.
Thomas Vermaelen – Belgium
A post shared by Thomas Vermaelen (@thomasvermaelen) on Dec 5, 2017 at 2:20pm PST
The former Arsenal skipper is a solid centre-back with goal scoring abilities, but has been dogged by frequent injuries since his transfer to Barcelona in 2014.
He was injured after only 31 minutes when playing for Belgium in its second 2014 World Cup group match, so will be hoping to stay injury free in Russia if – and when – he gets picked to play for the impressive and much-fancied Belgium team, which are already into the last 16 of the competition.
This story originally appeared on Buro 24/7.