Euro soccer stars’ stunning weddings
Wedding season is in full swing on the other side of the world. Take a look at the glamorous nuptials of these big sports stars
WE MAY be in miserable mid-winter in this neck of the woods, fighting frost and freezing cold fronts – but on the other side of the equator the sun is golden, the sky is blue . . . and church bells are pealing a-plenty. Wedding season is in full swing in the northern hemisphere and joining in the mid-summer wedding mania are four faces you’re more likely to see on soccer pitches as they try to beat opponents at the top of their game.
But on their big day, all these sports stars had to contend with was the beating of their hearts.
SERGIO RAMOS & PILAR RUBIO PLACE: SEVILLE, SPAIN
THE 33-year-old Real Madrid captain wed his long-time love and mother of his three sons at a star-studded extravaganza that included David and Victoria Beckham as guests.
Pilar (41), a Spanish TV presenter, looked gorgeous in a beaded dress with a flowing veil, her gleaming brunette hair in braids and her ears dripping with diamonds.
A huge diamond wedding ring added to her collection of bling and she clutched a bouquet of black lilies as she emerged from the Seville Cathedral after the ceremony, hand-in-hand with her handsome groom.
The guests then made their way to Sergio’s estate near Seville where they were reportedly allowed in only once they’d all had a temporary unicorn tattoo applied and surrendered their cellphones and other devices with cameras or microphones.
A mini playground complete with bumper cars had been installed and rum, champagne, churros and chocolate were the order of the day. Music was courtesy of AC/DC, the bride’s favourite band, who performed as a wedding gift for the couple.
“It was such a special moment for us after being together for so long,” said Sergio, who’s been with Pilar since 2012. “We have formed a fantastic family with three little ones who fill our lives with passion. We felt it was the ideal moment [to wed] and we wanted our children to enjoy it.”
Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla confessed afterwards he drank rum “and only rum” all day and he was super proud of himself for “going on the bumper cars for an hour and a half and not falling off”.
MESUT ÖZIL & AMINE GÜLŞE
PLACE: ISTANBUL, TURKEY The luxurious Four Seasons hotel on the banks of the majestic Bosphorus river was the venue for the wedding of Arsenal star Özil and his bride, a Turkish and Swedish model and beauty queen who was crowned Miss Turkey in 2014.
However, the wedding wasn’t without controversy. Turkish secular weddings dictate that one man and one woman act as legal witnesses for the couple – and Ozil’s choice raised more than a few eyebrows.
He asked Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey’s controversial president, and his wife, Emine, to be their witnesses and it didn’t go down well in all quarters.
But enough about politics. The bride was gorgeous in her white dress and tiara and tuxedo-clad Özil beamed constantly as the president wished them love and happiness.
Clearly the newlyweds have their hearts in the right place: they made a sizeable donation to the Turkish Red Cross, part of it to help feed thousands of Syrian refugees along the Syrian-Turkish border. Özil then encouraged his fans to match his donations to BigShoe, a charity that provides funds to underprivileged children who need emergency operations.
“As a professional footballer I’m in a privileged position,” he said on Twitter. “However, I invite everyone who’s willing and able to help to support a special project close to our hearts. Amine and I will bear the expenses for surgeries of 1 000 children in need.”
HARRY KANE & KATIE GOODLAND
PLACE: EXOTIC RESORT IN AN UNKOWN LAND The Tottenham Hotspur striker and England captain wed his childhood sweetheart and mother of his two children at a secret venue – although he did share a few pictures with his fans on social media.
“Finally got married to my best friend,” he wrote on Twitter alongside a picture of the loved-up pair.
Harry proposed to his long-time love in 2017 when they were on holiday in Barbados, going down on one knee on the beach in front of a taken-aback Katie. It’s not known whether the couple’s daughters, Ivy Jane (two) and Vivienne Jane (11 months), were present at the wedding – or even if there was any kind of guest list.
HENRIKH MKHITARYAN & BETTY VARDANYAN
PLACE: VENICE, ITALY Cities don’t come much more romantic than Venice – and this little slice of watery wonder put on a great show for Arsenal midfielder Mkhitaryan (30) when he wed his sweetheart, Betty Vardanyan, the 30-year-old daughter of Armenian politician Mikael Vardanyan.
After the ceremony on Venice’s St Lazarus island, the newlyweds stepped into a water taxi, which ferried them to the wedding reception.
The bride, gorgeous in an ivory dress, sparkling tiara and impressive veil, shared a kiss with her groom on the boat, fingers entwined as they floated down the famous canals.
Mkhitaryan shared a picture of him with his bride on Facebook at the wedding venue, writing “Marry me and stay with me forever,” along with a heart emoji.
The pair have kept details of their romance under wraps – all that’s known is they became engaged in November last year then set about planning their special day.
And what a day it was: a celebration of young love in the city of dreams.
Spanish TV presenter Pilar and Real Madrid captain Sergio recently wed in Seville.
English footballer Harry married childhood sweetheart Katie at a secret island venue. BELOW: In 2017 he surprised her with a proposal in Barbados.
TOP: Model Amine and Arsenal player Mesut, who are both of Turkish descent, got married on the banks of the Bosphorus. ABOVE: The couple with Istanbul deputy mayor Ali Yerlikaya (left), Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his wife, Emine.
ABOVE: Arsenal midfielder Henrikh wed Betty in the romantic city of Venice.