The Beautiful Game’s Most Beautiful Players

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Enough’s enough. You can discuss goal line technology, vuvuzelas and that octopus all you want. But sometimes you just need to know what has to say about the World Cup.

The website has revealed – wait for it – the most attractive and the ugliest players of 2010. Over 200,000 people cast their vote and we here at TIME’s World Cup blog are perfectly placed to comment on the results, as we were all selected for this writing gig because of our looks…

Most beautiful World Cup players of 2010 (in order of attractiveness)

1) Fabio Cannavaro, Italy
2) Fernando Torres, Spain
3) David Villa, Spain
4) Landon Donovan, USA
5) Thierry Henry, France
6) Edinson Cavani, Uruguay
7) Kaka, Brazil
8 Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal
9) Didier Drogba, Ivory Coast
10) Keisuke Honda, Japan
11) David James, England

The ugliest World Cup players of 2010

1) Wayne Rooney, England
2) Franck Ribery, France
3) Carlos Tevez, Argentina
4) Vladimir Stojkovic, Serbia
5) Benjamin Huggel, Switzerland
6) Zdenko Strba, Slovakia
7) Rafik Saifi, Algeria
8 Scott Chipperfield, Australia
9) John Terry, England
10) Ryan Nelson, New Zealand
11) Daniel Agger, Denmark

Conclusions? Simple. Being the most attractive or ugly equates to the same thing: failure. Neither “winner” of the above categories had a World Cup of any note whatsoever. Cannavaro looked on helplessly as the reigning champions were sent packing from the group stage, unable to beat the might of Paraguay, New Zealand or Slovakia. And while Torres is still involved in the tournament, he’s yet to open his account, and may well have to suffer the ignominy of being dropped against Germany in today’s semi-final. At the other end of the scale, Rooney was supposed to shine in South Africa, but his most notable achievement was to lay into his own fans at the end of the Algeria game. And at least Torres has managed to score in a World Cup; something Wayne is still waiting to do. Ribery didn’t exactly distinguish himself either but wasn’t sent home in disgrace (every cloud, eh?)

And talk about sticking the knife in, and then twisting it for good measure. Greg Hodge, managing director of the site, said: “Collectively, the worst looking team is Algeria. The term ‘trophy head’ could have been coined for most of their team. England follows close behind, with the most unattractive player on the planet, Wayne Rooney. The England team do have very beautiful wives and girlfriends, but this is surely due to their bank accounts which certainly makes them a lot more attractive.”

But Robert Hintze, founder of the site, goes one step further, saying, “‘There is a direct correlation between being attractive and being a great football player. Many of the ‘most attractive’ players are also the best players. Many of them however have been let down by their worse-looking team-mates.”

We can’t wait for the first post-match interview with a player who blames a team mate not for a misplaced pass but rather putting him off with his, ahem, “trophy head.”