Step forward the young pretender to King David's global branding throne. Christiano Ronaldo has swapped his hotpants for something a tad skimpier in the new campaign for Emporio Armani underwear.
Running down the wing for Real Madrid and reputedly doing 3000 sit ups a day has helped the famous winker gain a very impressive physique and had the advertising people at Armani purring in delight.
There's no doubt that Ronaldo is easy on the eye and I'm sure his latino good looks and honed physique are very appealing to most women glancing up at the billboards. I can't help thinking though, that these pictures are ever so slightly, ermm... homo erotic? I'm not for one minute casting aspersions on Ronaldo's sexuality. I just think the photos are staged to appeal not particularly towards women, but perhaps with a nod towards the pink pound/Euro market. Maybe it's Ronaldo's overly buffed, waxed and oiled body. Or perhaps his boyish facial features with a touch of eyebrow re sculpturing that makes me think more gay pride than mucho macho.
Underwear advertising has certainly come a long way over the years. Check out this little beauty from 1971 with not a footballer or hint of homo eroticism in sight. That's it Brian, hold your stomach in. Dennis, yes you in the Y fronts, just look off into distance. Stan, can you just hold your chin in that pose you did for Grattan catalogues?