Earlier this month, one of the most significant global sporting events kicked off in Russia: the 2018 World Cup. Many of the top soccer players spend their careers playing in leagues outside their home countries. However, the World Cup presents them with a unique opportunity to sport their national pride on the field.
Off the field, these renowned athletes will be sporting a different type of pride through their favorite watch brands. The watch and sporting industries are closely tied, with many star athletes serving as brand ambassadors. Others may not officially represent a brand but instead share in our passion for a fine timepiece.
The players in this year’s World Cup are no different. Whether they partner with a particular brand or simply enjoy collecting, you can expect to spot an array of interesting timepieces in between matches and at press conferences. Below, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite 2018 World Cup players and the luxury watches they’re wearing.
2018 World Cup Players:
Lionel Messi typically plays forward for the FC Barcelona club. He set the record for the most goals scored in a calendar year in 2012 and has been awarded the esteemed Ballon d’Or award five times. In the World Cup, he’s proudly representing his home country of Argentina. Off the field, you can find him representing Audemars Piguet as an ambassador. As part of the partnership, the brand created the Audemars Piguet Lionel Messi Limited Edition, which is a variation on the iconic Royal Oak.
Mohamed Salah joined the Liverpool Football Club as a forward recently in 2017. He began his professional career in 2010 in his home country of Egypt but soon joined Switzerland’s FC Basel club where he won the SAFP Golden Player Award in his first season. At the World Cup, he’s eager to return to his home team. And when he’s not playing, Salah is eager to grow his unconventional watch collection, comprised of unique pieces like a Ulysse Nardin Freak and Urwerk UR-105 CT Streamliner.
Harry Kane is a striker for the Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur and the captain of England’s national team, all at the young age of twenty-four. He was on loan for several years, playing for various teams before becoming a regular starter for Tottenham in 2014. After scoring an impressive 31 goals in that first season, he was named the Professional Footballers Association Young Player of the Year. Hublot also helped Kane to celebrate by gifting him a special edition watch.
Antoine Griezmann serves as a forward for the Atletico Madrid club. He broke the club’s scoring record for a debut season in 2014, and was named La Liga Best Player in 2016. In the World Cup, he’s returning to his French roots to play for his national team. Although the young player is only 27, he’s already developed a refined taste for timepieces. His watch of choice is the sophisticated Patek Philippe Nautilus.
Mats Hummels has played as a central defender for the FC Bayern Munich club in his home country of Germany since 2016. He began his professional career in 2009 with Borussia Dortmund and helped lead his team to two league titles as well as runner up in the 2012/2013 UEFA Champions League. At the World Cup, Hummels will continue to represent Germany as well as TAG Heuer as an ambassador. His favorite model is the iconic Monaco.
Cristiano Ronaldo is a forward for Spanish Club Real Madrid. He was the first player in the history of the sport to win four European Golden Shoes. He also holds the record for the most official goals scored in the top five European leagues, with a total of more than 600 career goals. Now, he’s representing his national pride for Portugal in the World Cup. Ronaldo is also a TAG Heuer ambassador. However, he’s got a number of other brands in his collection, including Hublot and Rolex.
Andres Iniesta has been a star midfielder for the FC Barcelona club since 2001. He led his team to an impressive six titles in 2009. Iniesta has also been an active member of Spain’s national team since 2000. He led his country to victory in the 2008 and 2012 European Championships and scored the winning goal for his country at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Iniesta is just as on top of the latest watches as he is his game. He opts for the TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45, the brand’s smartwatch.