Since we're always crushing on fit football phenom Rio Ferdinand—especially after speaking out against anti-gay and homophobic insults by fans—it's good to report that Ferdinand captained England's fourth straight World Cup qualifying victory, 3-1, over Belarus. The Manchester United defender went shirtless for a significant portion of the final period, not sure why, maybe helped the team and/or distracted a few Belarussian players.
On a more serious note, Rio Ferdinand, seen here after the game with stylish and gay pinup icon David Beckham, becomes the first English footballer to criticize the celebrity "circus" which enveloped English football several years ago. Rio says the publicity surrounding his, Becks and other players' WAGs—the wives and girlfriends—was central to the squad's recent failures.
"We became a bit of a circus, if I'm honest, in terms of the whole WAG situation. Football became almost a secondary element."
"People were worrying more about what people were wearing and where they were going rather than the England football team. That then transposed itself into the team."
The English World Cup team now follows the tradition of some American basketball teams and bans WAGs from the championship games. Not sure what Rio and Beckham are doing tonight, but, they're probably not too lonely.