Poor Angel Di Maria took a harsh verbal pasting recently from Barcelona sporting director Carles Rexach, who described the Manchester United winger as ‘too ugly for Real Madrid’, where he made 191 appearances between 2010-14.

Well, Carles, as the graphic below clearly shows, the Argentine could hardly have picked a place more renowned for housing football’s beautiful people than Old Trafford:

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Man Utd’s Smouldering XI

Anders Lindegaard – The Red Devils’ suave second-choice stopper is married to Swedish-Albanian beauty Misse Beqiri, who bears a striking resemblance to former supermodel Cindy Crawford.

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Gerard Pique – The Spain centre-half and wife Shakira made Men’s Health’s Hottest Celebrity Couples Top 20 this year, and placed 13th in Zimbio.com’s 100 Hottest Couples of 2014 list.

Nemanja Vidic – “Thanks to looking at a photo of him I managed to make it through my prison time m­ore easily” – Former Culture Club singer Boy George’s only printable comments about the Serbian back in 2010.

“I just like Vidic a lot. He is the hottest footballer in England. I know Martin is going to kill me for saying this, but I hope he doesn’t read this.” Liverpool centre-half Martin Skrtel’s wife Barbora.

The defence rests, your honour.

Laurent Blanc – Paris Saint-Germain’s gaffer, who finished his playing career at Old Trafford between 2001-03, is so attractive that Panini once had him posing topless with a rocking horse.

 

Patrice Evra – The former France captain, who now plies his trade alongside Vidic at Inter Milan, was named in Shape.com’s 50 Sexiest Soccer Players at the 2014 World Cup, coming in at 42.

David Beckham – Becks saw off the likes of Ryan Reynolds, Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper to be named Sexiest Man on the Planet by Heat magazine in 2012.

Ryan Giggs – Louis van Gaal’s assistant has been the face of Reebok, Fuji, Quorn and ITV Digital during his long career in football.

George Best -‘El Beatle’ skipped United training for a week in 1971 to hang out with then-Miss Great Britain Carolyn Moore, and was voted one of GQ’s 50 Most Stylish Men of the Past 50 Years in 2007.

Lee Sharpe – The only footballer to appear on Celebrity Love Island, where he broke poor Jayne Middlemiss’ heart and hooked up with nurse-turned-WAG Abi Titmuss.

Juan Mata – The 34-cap La Seleccion star is the subject of more than one man-crush here at news.bwin HQ. His 1.4 million Instagram followers suggests we’re not the only ones…

Cristiano Ronaldo – Real Madrid’s forward phenomenon was voted 2012’s Sexiest Athlete by People Magazine. The 30-year-old’s list of conquests during his time at United includes voluptuous British pair Alice Goodwin and Gemma Atkinson.

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After training badly as a nurse during his early twenties, Iain spent four years working in a Cork City bookmakers before starting an English Literature degree in 2009. Since graduating, he has written for a number of sites on various subjects, including sports, politics and art.

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