World Cup football stars and their fast cars

DAVID MCCOWEN
Last updated 11:12 06/06/2014

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Football stars are paid fabulous money to play on the global stage.

Earning millions of dollars each year, many choose to spend their salary on the finest cars money can buy.

Here are 10 of the best cars driven by players set to star in this year's Fifa World Cup that starts next weekend:

Argentina: Lionel Messi, Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale

Lionel Messi's talent blends class and sheer raw ability in a similar manner to his Maserati. The Barcelona-based striker has a white example of Maserati's most focused car, a svelte coupe with sharp handling and a ferocious 4.7-litre V8 engine. Messi also has a four-door Maserati Quattroporte for luxurious cruising, and a Toyota Prius for fuel-saving fun.

Portugal: Cristiano Ronaldo, Lamborghini Aventador

As one of the world's most prominent players, it makes sense that Cristiano Ronaldo would drive one of the world's fastest cars. The Portuguese icon is often spotted behind the wheel of a Lamborghini Aventador capable of 350km/h. Ronaldo has several other cars for everyday use, including an Audi RS6 Avant with satin black paint to match his Lamborghini. Ronaldo is rumoured to have ordered one of the world's most exclusive cars, Ferrari's La Ferrari hybrid.

Brazil: Neymar, Porsche Panamera Turbo S

Brazillian number 10, Neymar da Silva Santos júnior,Jis known for his explosive pace on the ball. The 22-year-old striker drives a 419kW Porsche Panamera capable of accelerating to 100kmh in just 3.8 seconds and on to a maximum speed of 310kmh. Unlike other many supercars, the Panamera has four-doors and four-wheel-drive, allowing Brazil's key player to travel with company in comfort.

Spain: David Villa, Porsche 911 Turbo

Spanish striker David Villa can be found behind the wheel of a black Porsche 911 Turbo when he isn't kicking goals for Athletico Madrid. The bearded wonder's black coupe is one of the most well-rounded supercars on the market, with 412kW of grunt and a luxurious cabin capable of devouring long drives in comfort.

England: Wayne Rooney, Range Rover Overfinch

British danger man Wayne Rooney has a supercharged SUV in the garage. Like many footballers, the Manchester United forward drives a fully loaded Range Rover fitted with a powerful V8 engine. Rooney's personal example features stylish additions by Land Rover specialists Overfinch, including bespoke 22-inch wheels engraved with his jersey number.

Netherlands: Robin van Persie, Porsche Cayenne Turbo

Like his Manchester United colleague Wayne Rooney, Dutch hitman Robin van Persie chooses to ride in comfort with a luxury SUV. Van Persie's pick is the Porsche Cayenne Turbo, a heavy-hitting wagon with 405kW of grunt and sophisticated air-filled suspension that can be tailored to different environments.

Italy: Mario Balotelli, Ferrari F12

For Italian superstar Mario Balotelli, only a Ferrari would do. ‘Super Mario' has been spotted scooting around Milan in a red Ferrari F12 Berlinetta - one of the fastest cars on sale today. The AC Milan striker also has a black Ferrari California convertible and black Maserati Granturismo, as well as a wild Bentley Continental Supersports finished in army camouflage colours.

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Germany: Mesut Ozil, Ferrari 458

Nimble, sharp and always a thrill to watch, Mesut Ozil has plenty in common with his Ferrari 458 Italia. A metallic black example of the iconic coupe takes pride of place in Ozil's London garage, where he plies his trade for British giants Arsenal.

Socceroos captain: Mile Jedinak, Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG

 

Australia's leader on the pitch is a fan of red-blooded V8 grunt, and there are few V8s better than the 6.2-litre unit built by Mercedes-Benz' tuning house AMG.

The C63 AMG is a modern classic, and Jedinak's deep blue coupe features 336kW of power, more than enough to get to training on time.

Socceroos striker: Tim Cahill, Lamborghini Gallardo

When you play for the New York Red Bulls, no car could be more appropriate than the Lamborghini Gallardo, a fire-breathing supercar named after a breed of fighting bull.

Cahill's V10-powered coupe shares his predatory instinct, and is a car that commands respect.

 

When it goes wrong

World-class talent on the football field does not always translate to quality driving.

Many footballers have pranged exotic cars that cost well more than most people make in a year.

Cristiano Ronaldo crashed a Ferrari 599 while under contract to Manchester United in 2009, and Wayne Rooney shunted his Aston Martin DB7 in 2007. Mario Balotelli remodelled an Audi R8 while playing in England and German ace Nicklas Bendtner pranged an Aston Martin DBS on the way to training in 2009.

- Sydney Morning Herald

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